Keebra Park is now far more than a suburb, a school or a football team – it is a brand for excellence.
In 2017 this elite rugby league school further enhanced their reputation as the nation’s best when they took out the GIO Schoolboys Cup national final in Sydney. Their 25-12 win over Sydney’s Westfields Sports High avenged a heart-breaking loss to the same opponents in the 2016 final.
Keebra coach Glenn Campbell said the 26-24 loss from the previous year had been part of the motivation to go a step further in 2017.
“I know that players from 2016 are still gutted by that loss,” he said. “Six players from that side were in the 2017 final. They were going to make sure they were not going to make the same mistakes again.”
Although Keebra’s 2017 side boasted many very good young players, Campbell said what stood this side apart was the fact that a lot of the players had been together since Year 8 and there was ‘quality right across the park’.
He said the success last year was also the result of ‘a lot of hard work by a lot of people – players and staff’ and also about having the right attitude.
“Our players must perform on and off the field,” he said. “This is not a rugby league club. There is a holistic approach. The players know the expectations. Schoolwork comes first. We don’t bend the rules. “Boys miss out (on selection) if they don’t behave.”
Keebra Park has long been a dominant force in the national Schoolboys Cup. They are the only Queensland school to win the Cup three times, having also won the national crown in 2009 and 2013. Fellow Gold Coast school Palm Beach Currumbin were the first Queensland school to win the Cup, in 2001. They won it a second time in 2008.
Two players from Keebra’s 2017 squad – Tanah Boyd and David Fifita – were also selected in the Australian schoolboys side. If you need further proof of the success of the Keebra system, look no further than last year’s Rugby League World Cup, which included 12 graduates of this incredible Gold Coast school.