GUNNEDAH Bulldogs Rugby League Football Club had two highlights at Sunday’s annual general meeting when two club stalwarts – Wayne Griffiths and Phil Donnelly – were made life members.
Bulldogs president Ray McCoy was returned to head the club and he also nominated Griffiths and Donnelly for their life memberships because of their “sterling service to the club over many years”.
“We awarded Phillip Donnelly and Wayne Griffiths with life membership of the club for their incredible support of our club, in many capacities, over many years,” McCoy said.
Former long-serving club treasurer Peter Haley was elected as a patron of the club, joining Kevin Anderson, Colleen Fuller and Don Pascoe.
With secretary Karen Mooney not seeking re-election, that job still has to be filled.
“Karen was awarded club person of the year at our recent presentation night and will be a hard act to follow but we have a number of quality applicants from which to make our final appointment on Thursday,” McCoy said.
He said the life memberships of Donnelly and Griffiths were long overdue.
“Phillip has been associated with the club for more than 35 years as a player, trainer and coach as well as a player and coach with the Gunnedah Junior Rugby League for more than 20 years.
“His dedication and commitment to the continued growth and wellbeing of the Gunnedah Bulldogs over the past 10 years has been exceptional.
“As a former player and coach, Phillip has been an integral component in the fabric of the club for many years, both on and off the field.”
Donnelly played for the Bulldogs from 1974 to 1986, being part of first grade Group 4 premierships in 1985 and 1986.
In 2010 he won minor and major premierships with the Gunnedah Under 16s.
In 2011 he won a Group 4 reserve grade minor premiership as coach and then coached the Bulldogs Under 18s to a Group 4 premiership last season.
Griffiths has been associated with the Bulldogs for more than 30 years.
“Notwithstanding his support to the club from 1970 to 1990 as a player, I feel that Wayne’s dedication and commitment to the continued growth and well-being of the Bulldogs has also been exceptional,” McCoy said
“As a director, qualified coach, trainer and first aid officer, Wayne has been an integral component in the fabric of the club, both on and off the field.”
Griffiths played for the Bulldogs from 1979 to 1990 and graduated to club director and reserve grade captain-coach in 1991 and 1992.
He then coached the second grade side from 1993 to 1995, winning Group 4 premierships all three years.
In 2002 he was first grade co-coach and coached the first grade side in 2003.
In 2005 he was a club director as well as team trainer and fitness coach for the Under 18s coached by David Syphers.
They won that year’s title and, with Griffiths at the helm as coach in 2006, went through undefeated.
In 2007 he assisted Sean Torrens when the 18s won another Group 4 premiership and then trained both the 18s and first grade in the 2007/2008/2009 seasons.
In 2010 he remained a director before taking on the 18s again in 2011 and coaching that side to a Group 4 premiership.
Last year he coached the Bulldog Under 16s to a minor premiership and grand final appearance.