IN a forward-thinking sporting development, the 240-game titan of the scrums, Ben Manning, has been elected new president of the Forster Tuncurry Dolphins rugby union club and a committee of recent players has been appointed with him at the club's annual general meeting.
An involuntary wave of delight passed through the Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club with the news that youth had won the vote at the Dolphins club's annual general meeting and that a generational change had taken place.
"Massive boots to fill in the footsteps of my predecessors, but delighted to be president," Mr Manning, a Forster born and bred businessman, said upon his election.
A local Great Lakes rugby league player when educated at St. Clare's High, Taree, Ben's move to the University of New England in Armidale saw him introduced to rugby union, a game which infatuated him for its specialisation in scrummaging, a requirement being its demand for forwards of his size.
As to whether he will continue as tight-head prop for the Dolphins, the position he has made his own since 2004, Ben observed warily: "We'll see."
Massive boots to fill in the footsteps of my predecessors, but delighted to be president.Forster Tuncurry Rugby Union club president, Ben Manning
With the club honorary secretary's position similarly vacant with the retirement of the splendid Sue Hobbs due to illness, standing down after likewise beginning in 2004 with decade-long president, Damian Daczko, the Dolphins' former classy three-quarter, Kurt Forrester, has become secretary.
The three-man committee of vice-presidents consists of this year's Mid North Coast Axeman representative backrower, Blake Polson, and former tight forwards, Chris Simon and Gavin Maberley-Smith.
The coach's role is expected again to be filled by the club's long-time successful occupant, Ron McCarthy, but as with tradition, the position will be advertised, along with one for a women's coach.
A women's team was formed but lapsed for want of players last winter.
Likewise, the Dolphins' treasurer, Paul Scott, has been returned, bearing the good news that the club's finances remain healthy.
Rob McCabe, the former rugged Dolphins lock will continue as ground manager at Barclay Field.
Phil Wilkins will continue as team manager and publicity officer.
The club's inevitable difficulties and storms of a football club were ridden out admirably by Mr Daczko and Ms Hobbs and their committee for the last decade.
Did you know? Great Lakes Advocate online subscribersnot only have 24/7 access to local and national news, sport, what's on and entertainment - they also have access to our print editions in digital format, with all the advertisements and classifieds at their fingertips.