Narrandera Argus
Ostriches take flight in new league

NEW look Osborne Ostriches have pulled off a resounding win against defending premiers Wagga Tigers in the opening round of the 2020 Gallagher Riverina Championships on Saturday.

Sporting their new guernseys and name, Osborne defeated the Tigers at the full-time siren 9.8 (62) to 6.11 (47).

This Saturday, the Ostriches take on Mangoplah CUE Goannas at Mangoplah.

The defending Hume League premiers, Osborne had unveiled their new look jumpers and name for the 2020 season before last weekend’s kick off against Wagga Tigers.

The Tigers have competed in the Hume League for 50 seasons but the League’s cancellation left Osborne all “dressed up and nowhere to go”, according to president Jason Gooden.

They were given clearance to join the Riverina League but its cessation has now seen them given a berth in the Gallagher Riverina Championships.

“Newly appointed coach Joel Mackie had fired up a group of footballers who had put in a really strong preseason,” Gooden said.

“They continued to train under the constraints of isolation and were keen to have a game somewhere.

“It will be talked about for years after we have returned to competing in the Hume league for season 2021 and beyond.” To avoid a jumper clash with Wagga Tigers, Osborne took on a new playing stripe for the 2020 season.

The jumper is a nod to the club’s heritage and is taken from the guernsey worn through the 1940s and 50s.

The colours are reversed while the name refers to the colloquial nickname the club is known by.

Gooden said during the 1990s the Schneider family donated ostrich farming sheds for use around the ground as player and supporter shelters.

Osborne was given the final approval of the Riverina Board on June 30 with the club voting in favour of joining at their committee meeting held June 25.

The club’s firsts, reserves and Under 17s football and senior netball transferred across to the Riverina League.

Gooden is positive about the transfer.

“We are looking forward to the season and providing the opportunity to benefit physical and mental health of the players and club members.” The season will run with six clubs in the draw, with six rounds and no bye weekends.

“Osborne will remain affiliated with the Hume Football Netball League and players will automatically be returned on November 1,” Gooden said.

“Under 14s Auskick and Junior netball grades will remain in the Hume League as a competition is being planned.

“We need everyone in our club to follow the social distancing and increased hygiene activities so we can all benefit from being together as a club each weekend again.

“This is a really positive development for our club allowing our players to participate in competition this year and we gratefully acknowledge the sacrifices made by our youngest footballers and netballers and their families to allow this to happen.” 

“If any one club is going to make it work, it will be Osborne,” Gooden said.