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21 November, 2021

Oakey Bears welcomes first ever womens side

The Oakey Senior Bears have announced the formation of their first ever open womens side with a number of high quality signings showcasing the potential the team will have to take the Toowoomba Rugby League (TRL) championship in 2022.

Oakey Senior Bears Rugby League Club president Brendan Dolan (right) with the first ever womens open side coach Eddie Dean (left).

Club president Brendan Dolan said he is very excited to launch the team in the 2022 season.

He said he has welcomed highly experienced operators Eddie Dean as coach and Jodie Collins as manager.

“Eddie has coached sides in the past and will work well with his daughter Mireka who will most likely be the team captain and leader,” Mr Dolan said.

“The team is coming together well already, we have 11 or 12 signings so far.

“All are quality players who have played rugby league before and have the ball skills and experience we need.”

Alongside Mireka Dean who has played for Toowoomba Valleys and the Western Mustangs, Mr Dolan said they have signed a talented half/full back in Kirilee Sires who has also represented the region and played for the Toowoomba Valleys side.

Other signings to the team include:

- Brothers and Western Mustangs player, Poppie Collins;

- Former Valleys and Brothers player, Mareta Grace Aumau;

- Pacific Nations Open Womens team member, Rose Tereapii;

- Western Mustangs Under 17s player, Erikana Dean; and 

- Oakey Bears Touch Club player Bina de Caux.

Mr Dolan said the club is working at signing more players and expects to have about 24 or 25 players in the complete squad.

He said the womens side commenced pre-season training last week and is looking to build its skills and team cohesion before the season starts in early 2022.

“It is exciting to have this inaugural side playing in the Toowoomba competition,” Mr Dolan said.

“Toowoomba Rugby League only started a proper open womens side last year so the entire competition is very new.”

Coach Eddie Dean said he will be bringing his experience coaching men’s rugby union and rugby league sides to the challenge of launching a new women’s team.

He said he wants to create a welcoming culture and feel to the team before looking at building on the skills of the players.

“I want the side to be community-orientated. I want them to feel like sisters, like a family,” Mr Dean said.

“I think we will turn a few heads next year and make a bit impact.”

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