League passion labour of love for Devils’ stalwart
GYMPIE Devils coach director Darren Burns talks about the future of the club and the combined Northern Outlaws team.
For how long have you played rugby league?
I began playing in the under-12 Dalby Devils team at the Dalby Leagues Club and have been playing rugby league since 1995 until 2004.
I joined the Sydney squads Western Suburbs Magpies, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters for six years before playing with the Broncos.
How many years have you been involved with league in Gympie?
Not only have I been the coaching director at the Gympie Devils for 10 years, I have also been employed as game development officer which incorporates the Sunshine Coast, South Burnett and Dalby during that time.
What is your role in this position?
My position concerns the promotion of the sport to attract players, coaches, referees and sponsors.
To educate coaches and ensure that players are being taught correctly.
It is first and foremost about providing opportunities and a service to help players achieve higher honours.
We help young players find success but we can only help so much; the rest is up to them.
In the development department there are six people. We coordinate with current Broncos coach for 2015 Wayne Bennett and what he thinks are appropriate training exercises to keep all players and coaches in the region updated.
What do you think about the combination of the Northern Outlaws?
It was a situation we had to face as there were not enough numbers to stand alone.
We were forced to combine teams otherwise the boys keen to play would have had to join another club like Noosa anyway or not play at all.
It was not a matter of taking the easy option. It was the only option and both teams would have preferred to stand alone but the dedicated players from Gympie and Noosa were still keen to play rugby league.
The teams are bonding well and are not worried about all the politics - they are just getting in to the game.
How will the players look to progress through the Sunshine Coast Rugby League Competition?
Through the team's participation in Sunshine Coast Rugby League competition, players could be chosen to play in the 47th Battalion Rugby League Competition where players can commence to the next level which is the XXXX Queensland Rangers team.
How has the A-grade side done in the past?
The Gympie Devils team made the 2010 grand final in which they defeated Nambour then the following two years the side made a great achievement to reach the grand finals again but unfortunately lost.
Considering the effects of this year, what is the plan for the club in the coming years?
It is difficult to recruit senior players so the only way to improve the clubs numbers for the future is to keep the juniors involved. Although this year we have had a successful amalgamation, it is up to the players if they want to increase numbers and stand alone.
Name: Darren Burns
Born: Dalby, Queensland
Favourite food: Rump steak
Favourite TV program: Seinfeld
Favourite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favourite music: I like anything but country and techno
Sport you would play if not rugby league: Definitely golf
Funniest moment in sport:
There are so many but my favourite was tricking my Western Suburbs Magpies coach Tommy Raudonikis into thinking that a few other players and myself had been arrested after spending the night out. We asked a mate who was a policeman to turn up at the coach's door.