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Forfeit fires up Eagles appeal

Emerald Eagles’ Cody Clarke on the run against Frenchville at the Frenchville Sports Club in Rockhampton earlier this year.
Emerald Eagles’ Cody Clarke on the run against Frenchville at the Frenchville Sports Club in Rockhampton earlier this year. Rebekah Polley

THE Emerald Eagles' inaugural season in the CQ Football competition appears to have come to a dramatic and abrupt end after a number of opposition clubs' apparent unwillingness to travel to Emerald and complete their season obligations.

The Eagles were due to play Rockhampton-based club Berserker tomorrow afternoon in Emerald, but received notice late last week the club had opted to forfeit the match in favour of resting players for an upcoming semi-final clash in another league.

And just days ago, the club was also advised CQ Football would not be rescheduling last weekend's clash against fellow Rockhampton-based club, Nerimbera, which was abandoned due to delays caused by a fatal traffic crash on the Capricorn Hwy.

"It has destroyed us," Emerald premier men's coach John Salogni said.

"We were high flying the last two games against Frenchville and Cap Coast - two great wins and very strong wins.

"The team has just come together. We were on a roll and a month before the end of the season we haven't got any more games. We come out of our bye and no more, there's nothing. It's just harsh."

Furious at the league's inaction in addressing their grievances, the Eagles club penned a letter to Football Central Queensland general manager Rod Cousins requesting the game be reinstated, but to no avail.

"We are mindful of the financial impact of the decisions by other clubs to forfeit may have," Cousins wrote in reply.

"(But) playing next Sunday is an unreasonable option as Nerimbera has to play on the Saturday.

"The Nerimbera Football Club Premier League team was not in the wrong, they were victims of circumstance, like you, they did not forfeit."

Salogni questioned why other games could be reinstated after cancellations, but not Emerald's.

"He (Cousins) has got to say we've made the precedent. Teams have done it before, you will travel to Emerald and play that game, it's a rescheduled game for Sunday," Salogni said.

The Emerald club plans to appeal the decision at a higher level with Queensland Football, but for now it looks to be the end of the road for the Eagles in a regrettable end to their first year in the competition.

"It's over. It's shattering," he said.

"I've lost a lot of respect for CQ. I believe they had their chances to reschedule these games, they just don't want to."


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