THE Atherton Roosters are a rugby league club steeped in history which dates back decades, and they have been recognised for their continued excellence as an organisation as they were named the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) Club of the Year last week.
The Roosters have a number of moments throughout their history you can point to where they have exemplified greatness – whether it be their 49 year drought breaking premiership in 1971, their back-to-back premierships in the 70s and then again in the 90s, or their thrilling play in 2009 off the back of would-be Dally M Medal recipient Todd Carney.
Even with those accomplishments in mind, their recognition by QRL last week is arguably the club’s greatest feat. Atherton Roosters co-patron Rosa Lee Long, who has been involved with the club since the 1960s, spoke passionately about what an award of this magnitude means to her personally and to the club.
“I was over the moon when I received the news – it’s amazing to see the Roosters climb to the greatest heights in country rugby league and this award is just another feather in the cap,” she said.
“I have been involved with the club since my late husband first started playing with Atherton in the 1960s, and over that time I have seen the club go through highs and lows.
“The Atherton Roosters have become like a religion to me and so many other people in the community – I often say I stopped going to church on Sundays and instead went to Roosters games,” she laughed.
“I was fortunate enough to see them break their 49 year premiership drought in 1971 along with their four premierships since.”
Lee Long said she feels the Atherton Roosters stood out from other potential candidates for the QRL Club of the Year award because of a strong football culture that has been forged there from the ground up.
“From the players to the coaches, to the administrators and to the fans, it’s an extremely well-run club that has plenty of passionate people continually working to better it,” she said.
“We’re lucky to have a wonderful committee that has Darryl Day at the helm – and he deserves a lot of credit for the success we have experienced at the club.
“We are ascending once again and the future certainly appears to be bright – go the Roosters.”