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Springfield Panthers RLFC return with a roar

Guy Hazlewood    March 22, 2024    2 min read   

After a hiatus of over a decade, the senior men’s team of the Springfield Panthers RLFC made a triumphant return to the field last season, winning the Division 3 competition in their first season back.

Springfield Panthers president Natalie Fox was excited to see the senior side back after some time without them.

Springfield Panthers
The Springfield Panthers RLFC won the 2023 Division 3 grand final last year. Source: Springfield Panthers RLFC

“We decided to bring them back in because we had a lot of coaches or dads at the club that were interested in just playing some social community football,” she said.

Despite initial challenges in assembling the team and getting them match-ready, Natalie remained determined to see them through.

“It was hard to get them sorted and on the paddock,” she admitted.

“The men have jobs and families, so we had to coordinate around those commitments.”

However, with perseverance and a focus on enjoying the game, the Panthers found their rhythm and began to excel on the field.

“I said to my husband at one point in time, okay, we need to stop giving this team CPR,” she said.

“He just kept trying and trying, and they eventually strung some wins together,” Natalie said.

The resurgence of the senior men’s team is just one aspect of the club’s remarkable growth in recent years.

Unprecedented Growth at Panthers

With a total of 29 teams now under the Panthers’ banner, including plans for their first all-girls team in the under-13 age group, Springfield Panthers RLFC is experiencing unprecedented expansion.

Springfield Panthers
Panthers are seeing growth across all grades. Source: Springfield Panthers JRLFC

However, Natalie acknowledges that such growth presents challenges, particularly in terms of securing adequate facilities for training.

“The unfortunate side to that though is having the right facilities,” she lamented.

“There’s a bit of a strain on available training space as the club continues to grow, but the coaches are all working together to not get in each other’s way.”

The club will look for another successful season across the club, with the seniors looking to go back-to-back for the very first time.

“The new coach this year, who was a player last year, is excited again,” Natalie said.

“There has been a good turnout to training over the last couple of weeks, so we are very excited for the season to begin.”

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Guy Hazlewood