A brand new junior rugby league club will join the Penrith District in 2021, with the Western Vikings set to make their highly anticipated debut this upcoming season.
Following the closure of the Rooty Hill Dragons last year, locals Moses Finau and Tim Tuiti put in an expression of interest to start a new rugby league club in western Sydney, to play out of Whalan Reserve near North St Marys.
After weeks of preparation and paperwork, the pair finally learned their fate last November when Panthers Juniors General Manager Nathan Mairleitner along with the Panthers Board granted the Western Vikings a place in the 2021 competition.
Just one week after the big announcement, the club was inundated with enquiries.
“We had over 300 enquiries in the first week of opening up,” Finau told the Weekender.
“Our Executive team initially agreed on fielding five teams in our first season, however we’ve since climbed to 11 teams because we just couldn’t knock the kids back.”
The Western Vikings will field teams in U5, U6, U7, U8, U9, U10, U10 girls, U13, U14, U16 girls and A-grade, with limited spots still available in most teams.
“We are still after a few more players but we are about 60 per cent full already,” Finau said.
“Our U5 and U10 teams are full but there are still spots available in the other sides.
“If you were at another club last year and want a fresh start, we’d love to have you on board with us.”
While the Vikings know they might struggle against the well-established teams in the Penrith District this season, they’re main mission in 2021 is simple.
“Our main focus is on our juniors and to develop and nurture them from a young age to love the great game we all love, rugby league,” Finau said.
“My personal motto is ‘all for the kids’ and we have plenty in store for our juniors here at the Vikings in season 2021.”
The Western Vikings will hold a Registration Day at Whalan Reserve next Saturday, February 6 from 10am. Upon registering, players will receive a water bottle, a bag and vouchers. A free sausage sizzle will also be on offer.
For details, visit the Western Vikings Facebook page or call 0400 159 057.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.