Dave Allen at before school training at Woodridge.

The mentor and his titans

WHAT does it take to be a champion rugby team?

This year Woodridge State High School’s rugby team showed the winning formula includes a variety of ingredients.

These include: a dedicated and respected coach, a team of players committed to each other, relentless early morning practices and a lot of hard work.

During the footy season, coach and former retired Woodridge teacher Dave Allen, and the rugby league boys are the first to arrive on the school grounds at 6am every morning.

Mr Allen, who has tied the football team’s class attendance and their effort in the classroom to their team participation, says involvement in team sports is great for building discipline among the students.

Before the school day begins, Mr Allen has the team engaged in rigorous training sessions and then feeds the boys breakfast before sending them to class to focus on their studies for the day.

The winning Woodridge team after their victory over Palm Beach/Currumbin.
The winning Woodridge team after their victory over Palm Beach/Currumbin.

One of the players, Nathan Hudson, says Dave Allen is more than a coach, he’s also a ‘mentor’.

“I am proud to play alongside with my brothers and mentor Dave Allen,” said Nathan.

Nathan is not the only one in the team to feel that way.

The players’ passionate commitment to their coach and each other has earned them striking success.

Earlier this year Woodridge State High School defeated Palm Beach State High School 18-16 in the gripping final of the Titan’s Cup.

After winning the Titan’s Cup, the team were able to go down to the Titans game and catch up with former Woodridge student and Queensland State of Origin representative Josh Papalii.

Josh, who is now one of the National Rugby League’s elite forwards, is another Woodridge success story, thanks to the mentorship of Dave Allen.

But this year’s triumphs didn’t stop there.

Douglas Epi summed up the team’s achievements when he said, “Out of all my years playing rugby league, this year is the best year I’ve experienced.

“We took out the Titans’ Cup, the Country Cup and dominated throughout the Logan district rugby league season. But my favourite part about the team is my Woodridge brothers.

“As a player I am very grateful to be a part of this team.”

Nathan Hudson said the players were proud of their standout year.

“This has been one of the best years for our rugby league team.

“First we won the Titans Cup for the first time ever, then we went on to win the Country Cup for the first time as well.”

Mr Allen, who still coaches the team five years after retiring, said his greatest satisfaction was seeing the kids motivated to succeed.

Mr Allen’s personal commitment to the players has seen him nominated for the Pride of Australia Community Spirit medal.

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