'Demanding would describe it' the tough role of a junior rugby league club secretary

It's a labour of love.... Most days!

For the past six years, Annette Busch has been heading up one of the toughest jobs in local rugby league.

She's the Valentine Eleebana Devils junior rugby league club secretary.

"Demanding would describe it," Annette laughed.


"We do have people that say it would be the hardest, most time-consuming job here."

After moving from Canberra in 2011 and enrolling her kids at the club, it only took until the following year to take on the mammoth task of helping to run one of the biggest junior rugby league clubs in the Hunter.

Her responsibilities are spread wide, and the work never dries up.

"Just being here to make sure the kids take the field each week, making sure that coaching staff have all their accreditation, have their working with children checks. There's a lot that we do but it's just to see the kids happy and smiling," she said.


Club president Ian Taylor said she's one of the main cogs that keeps the club ticking each year.

"She's tireless in the work that she does, she's got the hardest job in the club," he said.

"She's down here five nights a week for training, she's here at 7am on a Saturday and leaves when we finish.

"She receives calls and emails all hours of the night. She's doing a fantastic job and picks up the slack where other people drop off the ball a little bit.

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"There's been a couple of years where she hasn't even watched her own kids play, at times when we've been understaffed in the canteen."


Ian was one of two people at the club to nominate Annette for the nib Newcastle Knights Women in League competition.

As one of the successful 21, Annette will get her name on the back of a Knights jersey when they play the New Zealand Warriors in Round 22's Harvey Norman Women in League Round.

"It was a surprise. It is very humbling," Annette commented.

"It's not why you do it, but it is nice to know people do appreciate it."


"When they said I'll get my name on a jersey I thought that was just amazing. It's a great idea and such a thrill, it'll be so great to see my name on that jersey."

The junior club is well known to produce some NRL stars.

Brett Finch, Michael Ennis and former and current Knights Paul Harragon, Adam Muir and Sam Stone, have all been part of the club's long history.

With a wall of budding talent, Annette is proud of what the club has achieved and the strong junior ranks which continue to thrive.


"A lot of the kids have played here and were in the Australian Schoolboys squads," Annette stated.

"Again, this year we have got quite a few representatives in the 13s, 14s and 15s development squad."

But ultimately for Annette it's the littlest stars that melt her heart and make it all worthwhile.

It's why she returns every year.


"I've got a son in the Under 14s still here now and you go and watch his games, but when you watch the little ones, they're just out there with a big smile on their face, they're out there having a good time, and it's doing what I do which makes them able to do that," she said.

"It's a reality check some weekends and that's why I do it.

"It's a massive privilege to be in the role that I'm in, to help other kids and mums and dads achieve what they want for their children."