WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Chris Conway shows off the silverware with Central Highlands men's coach Mitch Whyatte.
WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Chris Conway shows off the silverware with Central Highlands men's coach Mitch Whyatte. Contributed

Footy glory for region

RUGBY LEAGUE: Talent from the Central Highlands was on display for the 47th Battalion Memorial Trophy at the Sunshine Coast across the May day long weekend.

Nine players across the Central Highlands' men's, women's and emerging women's teams were selected to represent the Central Crows, the premier representative squad for senior players in the Central Division of rugby league.

The Central Highlands men's side, led by their captain and men's player of the carnival Chris Conway, managed to win the plate final with a 24-16 win over South West.

Conway said the carnival was a great opportunity for the Central Highlands to showcase their talent.

"We made a bit of a pact early on when we were all going for selection in the Central Highlands squad,” Conway said.

"We all had the same goal, go down there and give the competition a shake up.

"Let the other regions know that the Central Highlands can be a force and compete with the really good teams.”

With Conway and Ray Ebsworth selected last year for the Central Crows, Conway said those selections were a motivating factor for the Central Highlands squads this year.

"Last year we had two players selected in the Crows' team and a third called up,” Conway said.

"That paved the way this year for people to say hey we've got people in the Central Highlands being selected.

"That's why, with coach Mitch Wyatte, we got a good team together who all had the same goal.

"It's just another stepping stone for next year to try and back it up, go one better and keep getting players selected in the Crows women's and men's sides.”

Conway thanked his teammates for their effort and noted they were key in helping him to be named player of the carnival.

"I got named player of the carnival which was a big shock and an honour.

"My other teammates around me helped me and we had a couple of standout players that I think could've made the Crows' side.”

After putting in the hard work and claiming the plate victory, Conway said friendships had been built with all his teammates who he would line-up against throughout the club season.

"Me and Ray are good mates, we got selected last year,” Conway said.

"When you come up against each other on the football field for your respective club teams it's always a bit of fun.

"Even with all the boys who didn't get selected in the Crows side, we have that friendship now and we respect each other for playing our hardest.”

Looking ahead, Conway and the men's Central Crows squad will compete at the QRL State Championships on May 31 at Southport.

Central Highlands players in the women's and emerging women's Crows squad will travel to Mackay in two weeks to face the Northern Marlins for possible selection in the Queensland Country Women's team.

Congratulations to the players selected; Elle Stitt, Layla Fauid, Mariah Storch, Chris Conway, Deb Barchard, Kailah Rogers, Cass Marks, Charleigh Robinson and Ray Ebsworth.

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