Redcliffe Dolphins 2024 season launch

Published 10:00am 23 February 2024

Redcliffe Dolphins 2024 season launch
Words by Kylie Knight

The Redcliffe Dolphins will be looking to break their premiership ‘drought’ this season, with club Chairman Bob Jones declaring at last night’s season launch ‘it’s time we held the trophy again’.

See our photo gallery from the launch at the end of this story

“Nothing has changed in our desire for the pursuit of excellence in everything we do. Premierships is the ultimate goal and we’ll do that by producing and improving very good players,” Jones said.

“Keep working hard. History tells us, sooner or later, you’ll get there if it’s important enough. It’s time we held the trophy again.”

QRL CEO Ben Ikin joined Redcliffe Dolphins CEO Scott Clark and Hostplus Cup Head Coach Ben Te’o for a panel discussion about this year’s competition, how they think the Dolphins will fare and pathways to the NRL.

There are plenty of new faces in the squad this year, with a host of younger players coming to the club to take the next step in their careers as a result of the restructured state competition but also with an eye on a genuine pathway to the NRL.

“It’s a big turnover here at the moment. There were a lot of guys here who played in that successful year of 2018 and as life happens, you have children and you work your way up in your occupation and it just gets a bit too much … the commitment,” Te’o said.

“So, a lot of those guys gave the game away and, in the end, we had some good juniors coming up but we had to go outside and look for some players.

“There’s a lot of guys here who have been in NRL systems around the country, mainly Sydney, for whom it was time to come home to Queensland, come home to Brisbane.

“They chose the Redcliffe Dolphins to come and continue to play their football. I think that speaks volumes for the club and the environment we’re trying to give them.”

Redcliffe Dolphins 2024 season launch

Winning combination

Te’o and Clark are confident they have players with the right skills and character to be successful this season.

One of those is new recruit and former Falcons’ prop Max Bailey, who is looking forward to being on the right side of the Dolphins’ passionate supporters this year.

“I’ve been in opposition to the club … everyone’s raised to hate Redcliffe and all of this. To be a part of it, feels pretty good. There’s lots of support around the club and it shows. I’m keen to be a part of it come game day,” Bailey said.

“We’ve talked about how much support they get around here and I’m keen to see it round one.”

Bailey was part of Dolphins NRL preseason training before Christmas and says he learnt much from the experience.

“I’m hoping to bring some of that back with the boys and keen to win games,” he said.

Ikin said the Dolphins were a club with a rich history.

“As the QRL, we are enormously proud that when the NRL decided to expand, this is where they came – to this town and to our competition,” he said.

“I just know that this organisation with its leadership goes back many, many years. It’s been very stable, it’s very capable, it’s going to set this organisation up for success at the elite level.”

Redcliffe Dolphins 2024 season launch

Real rivalry

Ikin said the Dolphins’ entry into the NRL had created a genuine rivalry with the Broncos.

“The Broncos are a manufactured, made-up organisation that was created through a consortium. This place is a proper footy club. They’ve got different personalities. One’s not right and the other wrong, it’s just different,” he said.

He predicts the Dolphins NRL side will finish fifth this season.

“With Wayne Bennett in charge, some of the recruitment plays that they’ve made – having been around Tommy and Herbie last year, seeing that Fleg finished the season probably as good as Payne Haas … you’ve brought a couple of good ones here,” he said.

“If you can keep the rest of them healthy and see a bit growth in the young ones, under the leadership of Wayne Bennett, the Dolphins are going to be much better in ‘24 than they were last year.”

The Redcliffe Dolphins’ Hostplus Cup side’s season kicks off on March 9 against the Souths Logan Magpies at Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium at 6pm. Tickets are still available.

In a first for the club, the side will play a curtain-raiser to the Dolphins NRL team’s home game on March 17, facing northside rivals Norths Devils (2.10pm kick-off). This game is sold out.

To see the full draw, head to the QRL website.

See the photo gallery from the season launch below

Photos by Dominika Lis

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