Pope saves Spacies as Parkes committee forms ahead of 2018

WE'RE GOOD: Parkes will head into the 2018 Group 11 season with a strong committee headed by new president Jamie Pope. Photo: NICK McGRATH
WE'RE GOOD: Parkes will head into the 2018 Group 11 season with a strong committee headed by new president Jamie Pope. Photo: NICK McGRATH

As Jamie Pope puts it, if you grew up in the Pope household you played for the Spacemen.

So when the former Spacie heard of the form-or-fold predicament the Parkes rugby league club was in headed into a third annual general meeting on Tuesday night, really, there was only one thing he could do.

“I’ve always been involved, but usually with strapping, training, things like that,” Pope said.

“I wasn’t going to sit on the sideline and watch it go down. My wife said that’d happen over my dead body.”

Pope was absent from the first two AGMs due to other commitments, but as the newly elected president will now headline a diverse and youthful committee set to drive the club beyond the Dennis Moran era.

Ricky Newham and Joe Spicer are the club’s senior vice presidents, while Jack Medlyn and Dean Messiter will share the junior vice presidency.

The club’s treasurer is Shelley Gissane and registrar is Lizzie Jackson, while Michael Oakley will be the Parkes secretary in 2018.

“The other big thing, the others that put their name forward on the committee, there’s a lot of 30-something people which is exciting for a football club,” Pope added.

“There’s new people, young fresh ideas. It made it a bit more appealing.”

Pope moved to Parkes in 1995 when the mine opened, and being a rugby league tragic he was drawn to the Spacemen.

He played for the club for 15 years – up until the age of 40 – while two of his boys, Jordan and Brandon, play in the Spacemen’s first grade side in 2017 and youngest son, Liam, will progress from the club’s under 16s to the senior ranks next winter.

Pope, now 50, said the club is in a strong position headed into the 2018 season.

“The transformation from 2008-2009 when we only had a couple of players and we had Fijians come on board to keep us alive, to where we are now ... there’s a lot of familiar surnames in junior ranks and in first grade,” he said.

Pope also confirmed the club was in discussions with a captain-coach for next season and was hopeful of securing a signature within the week.

“We're really looking to be professional with the way we engage with sponsors and the community,” he added.

NEW SPACEMEN COMMITTEE:

President: Jamie Pope

Senior Vice President: Ricky Newham and Joe Spicer

Junior Vice President: Jack Medlyn and Dean Messiter

Treasurer: Shelley Gissane 

Secretary/Public Officer: Michael Oakley

Registrar: Lizzie Jackson