Towns boosted by double premiership wins
FROM wooden spooners to premiership winners, the Whitsunday Sea Eagles story in 2017 was inspirational.
So is the Proserpine-Whitsunday Brahmans who against the odds took out the premiership twice in the last three years.
For Brahmans coach and captain Phil Ramage, the grand final on Saturday marked his last game.
He said the victory was testament to the community support of a club he referred to as "battlers”.
With no leagues club, poker machine or restaurant takings to support the club, the Brahmans succeeded on hard work and donations.
"It is a lot more deserving (for us to win the) premiership (as)... we are a small country club,” he said.
"We are a tight knit family club. Our Saturday night home games are the best to play. We get the best supporters and the old boys at the bar high-five you when you run out.
"And there is a real good feeling when you come off that field with a win.”
Ramage plans to leave the Whitsundays to take on a mortgage and settle down in his home town of the Gold Coast.
Coach of the Sea Eagles, Luke Somerville, said the grand final win against the Mackay City Hawks on Saturday was as much a win for the community as it was for the club.
"We took two bus loads of supporters down there and you could see the joy on their faces that we had won something,” he said.
"We had the cyclone earlier in the year and the town copped a battering and its good to put a smile on people's faces knowing their side has won premiership.
"It's special thing in a small town.”
Somerville said the success for the club in 2017 had been a big turn around from last year and he was proud to give the crowd something good to watch.
He hoped island contractors would boost player numbers in 2018.