For years now we have had a successful junior club but most years the success of our senior club has been mediocre at best. The senior club has always wanted to promote our home grown talent through the senior grades & then onto higher honours if they’re good enough. However both “clubs” have always worked hard to achieve their own goals but unfortunately there has always been a small divide. I also believe that both “clubs” are moving towards a united, strong & successful club that we can all be proud of.
Although our premier side was bottom of the ladder this year, a tremendous culture has begun to evolve. To see 20 -25 seniors turn up on Thursday nights, of their own free will, after the season has finished and enjoy a game of touch with their mates is great. No other club in town has this!
This year we have instigated Viva 7’s during the off season on Thursday nights where we will have teams from our senior grades, colts & 15’s & 17’s. We have done this for 2 reasons –
1) To keep the boys together during the off season, &
2) To introduce the 15’s & 17’s to our senior players
Going forwards I hope this will involve all junior age groups.
Over the past couple of years we have done little recruiting in the hope that we could bring our juniors through. OK, this didn’t work the way we wanted it to & we need to change tack. We need to get a winning culture into the club & give our juniors something to strive for & provide mentors for them. To do this we need to do some targeted recruitment & really look after these guys so that they in turn become good club men.
Where the senior club struggles with recruitment is the ability to get jobs for these guys (especially in this market) & also to a lesser extent, initial accommodation. If anyone in the wider club can provide part time or full time employment from time to time then we would like to hear from them.
We now could also have the opportunity to recruit a Future Force Foundation player & will need a host family for him. I have already met him & he is a great young 19 year old man.
In return, part of his agreement is to help coaching the juniors every Tues & Thurs night.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of being a host family or could provide some work opportunities then please do not hesitate in contacting me on 0407 080 470 or email me on email@example.com
Nominated and Seconded by Nick Taylor and Bill Watt
Wanneroo Rugby Club is proud to recognise and acknowledge 27 years of outstanding service by Michael Johnston.
Michael ‘Jonno’ Johnston started playing at Wanneroo in 1990 when he was 17 years old. Although he had never played rugby before he was an exceptionally talented young sportsman and he took to the game immediately.
By 1992 when he was 19, he was selected to play for First Grade. He went on to play 155 senior first grade games by 2006, when he decided to retire from First Grade.
His count couldn’t be finalised at that time because he actually continued to play First Grade intermittently for years afterwards. Maybe, at 44 years of age, it’s time to finalise his total now.
Although we are still waiting for official confirmation, we know Jonno has played close to 200 games for Wanneroo. His count is remarkable because he only played one game for the Roo Dogs between 1998 and 2000.
In 1998 he moved to Kalgoorlie for work and played his one and only game for the club while on holiday in Perth.
In 1999 and 2000 Wanneroo Rugby Club was playing in the Districts Competition and had become the most successful club in it. But because of RugbyWA’s rules at that time, the club was unable to get promotion back into the Senior Premiership competition. Jonno wanted to test himself at the highest level, so with club encouragement and approval, he took a sabbatical for two years to play for Perth. As expected he made their first grade and was very successful.
In 2001 Wanneroo regained Senior Premiership Club status and Jonno immediately came home and resumed his 1st grade career with The Roo Dogs. Unfortunately he broke his leg after just seven games and was unable to play for the rest of the year. He resumed playing in 2002 and achieved the same high standards as before.
After 2006 he decided to retire from First Grade and play down the grades to enjoy social rugby with his old mates. But during the following years, the club was sometimes short of key players and he was regularly called on to play at all levels. He never refused. Jonno was still very fit and often played two games a day. He would play 4ths and then either 3rds or 2nds straight after. He also benched and played many games for First Grade and continued to do so into his 40’s.
Jonno is totally committed and loyal to his club, his mates and his family. He has represented Wanneroo with distinction as a player, team captain, club captain, committee member and volunteer. He was a fiercely competitive player, but always fair. As captain he was confident, positive, encouraging and helpful. He was unique in that he had the respect and friendship, not just of his own players but of his opponents too. He is a mentor and friend to young inexperienced players and a source of inspiration to senior players.
But there is another side to Jonno, and that is his celebrated and legendary capacity to enjoy himself socially. As with his playing career, he always gives it all he’s got and is a very generous, entertaining host and companion. We all have multitudes of funny tales and hilarious incidents concerning him and his social escapades. There are far too many to go into in print, but please feel free to ask him.
Off-field he is just as generous with his time, labour and expertise. He is always first to volunteer for working B’s and any other club needs. In his trade as a locksmith he has been invaluable, repeatedly reorganising and re-keying the club for improved security. Many times he has had to repair damage caused by vandalism and break-in’s. Sometimes we have had to ring him in the early hours of the morning and he has come out immediately – no matter how long or hard he had been celebrating!
He is married to Anna and they have three children – Caitlyn, Joseph & Thomas. Their boys are the new generation of Johnston’s playing for Wanneroo. But Anna & Jonno bring all three of their children to the club and Caitlyn is as much a part of the club as her brothers.
Along with other ex-players of his era, who bring their children to Wanneroo Districts, Anna and Jonno are helping to build a new and very welcome family orientated atmosphere to our club.
We are proud and privileged to give this brief history of Mike Johnston’s contribution to Wanneroo Districts Rugby Union Club and see him awarded Life Membership.
Due to a large number of coaches, referees and clubs showing interest in off season courses RugbyWA have decided to run a number over the summer period to engage those who are wanting to up skill during the off-season.
Please see the below the schedule of courses during this period.
Those who are interested in participating in any of these courses will need to register through LMS prior to the course. Due to it being an off-season calendar I encourage all participants to register and pay for the courses online. It will be a lot easier for clubs that might be in the transition with club committee and roles during this period to organise payment through RugbyWA.
If anyone is interested they may register on the link below. If they have further queries please don’t hesitate to call or email Graham Cooper on the details below.
RugbyWA is holding a VIVA 7s Competition on Sunday 18th of September as a pre-match tournament to Perth Spirit v QLD Country @ McGillivray Oval.
Clubs or individuals are encouraged to enter mixed teams of all ages.
There will be two age groups on the day.
U/6s-9s- Activities for participants- not a competition
U/10s-12s- VIVA Competition
U/13s-Opens – VIVA Competition
Max 12 players per team
Team Registration: 10am
Games Commence: 10:30am
Games Conclude: 12pm
Cost: $100 per team (teams will be invoiced on the return of registration)
Teams will be provided with a great sevens atmosphere, Viva 7s Singlets for teams to play in on the day and the possibility of WALLABIES to be in attendance.
If you would like to register a team please follow the link below.
Two former RooDogs will clash during the NRL final on Sunday at Allianz Stadium.
Force bound Curtis Rona’s Bulldogs will be out to knock off Waqa Blake’s Panthers to keep their NRL title chances alive.
The Panthers were undefeated through August and are looking to take that form into the game against the Bulldogs after a comprehensive victory over Manly.
No matter what team you go for in the NRL Sunday’s game at 2:10pm (Perth time) is a must watch for all Wanneroo supporters and players, as we get to watch two fantastic players that cut their teeth at Wanneroo.