Valleys rugby league father and son combination Mark (left) and Shannon
Valleys rugby league father and son combination Mark (left) and Shannon

Father and son dream threatened

By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A TORN cruciate ligament is threatening to end a father and son's dreams of taking the field together for Valleys in next year's local rugby league competition.

Mark Chynoweth, 42, had been set to quit the game on a high by playing alongside his son Shannon, 18, in the 2005 Extended League and Gladstone Rugby League premierships.

However, Shannon will have to undergo surgery in Brisbane in March to repair damage to his knee.

It will require a recovery period of anywhere between three and 12 weeks.

In Shannon's favour is his knee strength, which he acquired through rugby league and surfboat rowing as a member of the Tannum Turbos outfit.

Mark, who will celebrate his 20th season with the club after starting as a 22-year-old in 1986, said he would make a couple of "cameo appearances'' in 2006 if Shannon missed the upcoming season and he was required to return.

Other than the desire to play alongside his son, Mark said his other reason for playing on when others have retired is simple.

"Back in 1995 I was going to give it away but then I thought 'you're a long time retired','' Mark said. "Once you give it away, that's it, there's no going back.''

Mark is also thrilled a number of his past Diehards team-mates are keen to again don the blue and white jersey.

"I've heard on the grapevine that a few of the old boys are thinking about playing again,'' he said.

Among those expected to make triumphant returns to the club in 2005 are former stalwarts Dwayne Sherwood and Jeff Zwissler.

Shannon had further aggravated his injury while representing the Central Comets Development Squad under-19 side against their Wide Bay counterparts in Gladstone in October.

However, he said he still harboured hopes of playing high-level rugby league.

Despite being an A-grade regular last season, Shannon said he would play some reserve grade next year if it meant he could fulfill his father's dream to play alongside each other.



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