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The Burrangong Bears have announced that they will be joining the George Tooke Shield competitions for the 2021 season.

The Bears will field a team in the Open Men’s competition and the Ladies League Tag competition.

Based in Young, Burrangong joined the George Tooke Shield competitions this year after their usual Woodbridge Cup competitions didn’t go ahead due to COVID-19.

The Bears League Tag side were very successful, winning the GTS Ladies League Tag grand final 20-14 against the undefeated Bungendore Tigerettes #1 side.

Burrangong Bears president James Sheehan said all the players enjoyed their time this season, and that their 2021 plans are based on the long-term future of the club.

“We decided that it was probably in the best interest of the club long-term to invest more locally and go for George Tooke,” Sheehan said.

“Burrangong was a founding club of the Woodbridge Cup back in the 70’s. The competition kept moving more and more out west. The closest away game for us was in Grenfell, the next closest Canowindra and after that it’s a trip to Orange.”

“It makes more sense to have the local derbies like Harden, Boorowa and Binalong which are all about 15-45 minutes drive rather than driving three hours and not getting any supporters coming to games.”

CRRL General Manager Mark Vergano said that he was pleased the Bears enjoyed their first year in the competition and are coming back for 2021.

“It was very pleasing that Burrangong came on board this season and played, as they helped make the competition viable and able to go ahead,” Vergano said.

“Obviously the experience was a positive one, and it is wonderful to see the club wanting to come back for 2021.”

Burrangong are also hopeful of entering an Under 19s team in the Canberra Raiders Cup competition next year.

Sheehan says it will be a good option for those wanting another year of footy before moving into the open age competitions.

“As part of the long term strategy we are looking to invest in the younger generation, so we are going to try and get our Under 19’s program off the ground and offer that for anyone that is coming out of the Under 18’s and isn’t quite ready to take on the open ages just yet or who want one more year of development,” Sheehan said.

If you are interested in joining the Burrangong Bears Open Men’s, Ladies League Tag or U19’s sides, please contact the club on their Facebook page.