September 26, 2022

UPDATED: League legend Mick Cronin won’t let girls play football in his town

2 min read


Women’s involvement in rugby league has never been stronger and a major reason for that is the introduction of Ladies League Tag.

Most competitions now boast strong participation from females with Ladies League Tag truly part of game day fixturing across both New South Wales and Queensland each Saturday and Sunday.

But The81stMinute understands a former legend of the game is refusing a ladies team at his club.

According to sources from the area, Gerringong Lions head coach Mick Cronin, a premiership-winning icon at Parramatta in the 1980’s, does not want Ladies Tag at his club despite Group 7 attracting 12 teams to their 2016 competition.

“As long as the ground is named after him no girl will ever step foot on it,” one source said.

It’s believed Cronin and a number of Gerringong officials are at loggerheads over the decision not to allow the girls to play.

The81stMinute spoke to Cronin on Sunday night and denied the allegations.

“I just coach the team, I am not on the committee. There are women on our committee so to say I don’t want women playing football is ridiculous,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

But Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn also told SMH that the story was in fact accurate.

“It seems to be true. Group Seven is really big on women’s tag and women’s football but Gerringong Lions don’t want women’s teams,” Quinn said.

“It’s discriminatory. We’ll get onto it, we’ll do something about it. Very surprising.”


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10 thoughts on “UPDATED: League legend Mick Cronin won’t let girls play football in his town

  1. I would like to know how many “sources” you utilised and how long prior to publication you gave the club to respond please?
    Also can you please confirm the assertion of your article is that mick cronin himself is the person responsible for the team not being formed?

    Kind regards,

  2. I have 2 girls playing in the Grand Final for Cobar in Bourke today. This is the best thing that has happened to Country Rugby League in the bush. I am proud to be able to watch them play & really enjoy playing League Tag. Not sure if Mick has any daughters, but if he has & they enjoy sport he may change his mind. My wife & I are taking our 4 granddaughters to watch their mothers play today.

  3. Mr. Woodward, I have been made aware of the comments on your website regarding Michael Cronin and his views on Women`s League Tag in Group 7 and especially in the Gerringong RLF club. I believe you should get your`e facts in order before you publish the nonsense you obviously have received from a third party on the subject. Michael Cronin does a great job running the football team and we hope he continues on for some time as our head coach, however he does not run the football club or influence the committee in any way in their decision making. If you took the same time out to contact our committee or myself as you did with the source regarding these ridiculous rumors circulated by a disgruntled person or persons,who think they know more about how our club should be run you may have found a better and possibly a more worthy subject to scribe to the fans of this great sport. Our club has honored many women volunteers in the history of this club and continue to do so today, we have had a long and successful relationship with our local women`s hockey club, who at present run and organize catering at our home game days at the clubhouse granstand, all the proceeds form this go to the women`s hockey club to assist with their personal escalating outgoing costs they must meet each hockey season, our footy club volunteers used to run this side of the catering for many years and found it to be a financial success for our amateur football club in raising much needed revenue, however after being made aware of the hockey club`s financial burdens, our football club committee have since generously given the opportunity to the hockey club to take over this side of the footy club catering to generate funds and assist in the survival of their chosen sport. Gerringong Junior league register a least a dozen junior teams each season, approximately 180 to 200 junior players plus coaching staff etc., so on top of four men`s senior grades currently active in the Group 7 League competition, that`s a lot of activity on the one and only training and playing field at Michael Cronin Oval Gerringong, the mini teams at present are fortunate to have the opportunity to use the local Women`s hockey field adjacent to the footy ground for local matches. Our committee at present find it very difficult to host a women`s league tag team due to two very good reasons, #1. Our local ladies sporting talent is committed to either women`s hockey, netball or other women`s dominated sporting activities during mid week and weekends, at present one of those talented young girls is representing our country in Rio with the Hockeyroos #2. we currently have four men`s senior grades participating in the South Coast Rugby League competition, they all train together twice a week on the same paddock and back up again at home games, if we can find a solution to take the wear and tear off the main playing field we would appreciate it, possibly another rugby league playing arena in the township and then we would be more than happy to consider a women`s league tag team as long as it did not take a toll on the playing participants and the long term existence of our women`s hockey and netball clubs. Michael has been unjustly victimized here and has the utmost respect from not only his club members and team players, but from the community of Gerringong and league fans all over Australia, that includes the wonderful men and women who have selflessly given so much toward the existence and longevity of this historic club over the past 100 years. Mr. Woodward, if you want the true and honest facts, our club officials and including Michael Cronin is simply a phone call away, I can`t say I was ever contacted prior to your publication, maybe you should have considered it and therefore not tarnish or question the credibility of individuals and/or volunteers who give their time for no financial reward or personal gain. To finish, I have just read a disturbing article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday August 22 page 39, The comment in “Set of Six” and I won`t mention names as this poor bloke has obviously been given the wrong information as well, quotes “Lion`s don`t want women`s teams, it`s discriminatory, we`ll get onto it, we will do something about it”. Well and good, do something about it, find us another playing field in the Gerringong community with modern state of the art facilities to share the ever increasing load of big and little feet having a lot of fun and then we can seriously consider not only senior women league teams but also the possibility of more young ladies participating in the junior ranks in one way or another. Our footy club is a very strong family based outfit which includes all genders, the comments circulating at present is an insult to Michael Cronin and his family, who I might add is strongly represented by the female gender, it is also an insult to our club committee, who is represented by a number of women on the board, including our loyal members,past and present, this type of rubbish does not do anyone any good what so ever, it can have considerable side affects in many negative ways. So I do apologise if you take this letter personal, we at Gerringong surely received your comments that way, I`m more than happy to present you and your article with honest and reliable facts, I`m sure your readers would appreciate that as well, my numbers in the book! Yours sincerely, Daryl Hobbs (President Gerringong RLFC) August 22, 2016.

  4. I havent used twitter for months but I have seen the pasting Curtis is getting and it seems a tad full on. I live in the gong and have contacts down to Batemans Bay and I’ve heard the same kind of thing. Whether it’s all Mick or not I am not sure. Terry Quinn has confirmed it through Mascord as well. Sounds like the whole town has got its back up but it looks like theres some truth there somewhere.

  5. Calm your tits Daryl John Hobbs and co. … Ever heard the saying, “don’t shoot the messenger”? The sources are there for your own eyes, I’ve seen this published on SMH and other places, with direct quotes from Country Rugby League CEO Terry Quinn. There has to be some truth to it, but I guess not all can handle the truth, especially those out Gerringong way 😉

    1. Mr.Blewett, We can handle the truth at the Gong`, most of us just can`t stand the BS, come to a committee meeting and you may have a different opinion on the matter, like I said yesterday, Michael Cronin does not make the decisions when it comes to club matters, the committee does, and if they are the wrong or right decisions then future committee members will change that in one way or another just as they have done over the past 100 years at Gerringong, we don`t claim to be perfect. Best part of Michael`s job is to decide who takes the field and who shares the bench each game, and to add, he would never challenge the committees decision to enter or not enter a women`s team if we so decide, the present committee has it`s reasons and we are more than happy to make those reasons public, the so called sources you mention are a mystery to all of us and obviously come from personal opinions and not actual fact, Terry Quinn(CRL)I believe has been misinformed as well, I wonder if Terry has done his homework, I won`t enter into any kind of debate or personal accusations against Mr. Quinn, I believe the truth will eventually prevail so let`s not go there and suffer any future embarrassment, you know Alec at the end of the day it`s just a game of footy and we love and respect our women of Gerringong, I believe we would have a very competitive side of ladies one day in the local league tag competition but for now we will not be pushed into a corner to accommodate a minority with major concerns of something that really doesn’t concern a lot of people, like a lot of other clubs, if we didn’t field four men`s teams at present and had a bunch of athletic young ladies with nothing better to do, it would be a serious consideration to follow the leaders, like a very wise man said to me once “Think twice before saying Nothing” have a nice day Alec, Regards D J Hobbs, President GRLFC.

  6. Alec Blewett – “The sources are there for your own eyes” No they’re not, it’s anonymous person with no proof at all to the veracity of their claims.

  7. Thatts why they have sources otherwise everyone would have to go on the record. And how much of a shit storm would that be.. whether it’s 1 or 10 sources

  8. Sources often go on the record. In fact most media outlets would prefer that, those willing to go on the record are implicitly trusted more because they’re willing to put their name to their claims.

    In this instance Mick Cronin and Daryl Hobbs have done just that, yet their claims are treated with less respected than some unnamed individual?

  9. The truth is a local girl formed a team a few years back but they wouldn’t allow it. Mick is not on the committee so his opinion is not an issue. Anyone who knows him would understand he would never carry on about it even if he wasn’t a fan of the idea. It is a the decision of the committee who may have antiquated ideas of women and didn’t like it. You can spin the excuses but they don’t stack up.
    I have not heard of an approach since and that was three years ago. Any fool could see this blow up though with the famous coach used as an excuse for publicity as this type of sexism is no longer acceptable.
    All the volunteers are good people so be kind. They might just need some younger volunteers in the mix to bring them into the 21st century.

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