By Robert Burgin, Date: 20/9/13
Instructions barked between players in Spanish, Colombian coffee and chilli con carne bubbling away on the sidelines, and samba music for every try scored.
That will be the scene tomorrow, September 21st, when the rugby league world gets flipped on its head with the Guzman y Gomez Latin Heat making a fitting debut in Brisbaneâ€™s scorching spring.
As the Cowboys, Broncos and Titans watch the remainder of the NRL finals from the sidelines, the Heat will be bringing a new rugby league experience to Queensland â€“ and indeed the world.
After a final training run tonight, the GYG Latin Heat will go into Saturdayâ€™s Mitchelton Nines as an eclectic group, drawn from an array of countries across South and Central America.
The squad ranges from Guyanese Commonwealth Games representative Kevin McKenzie to first-time players such as Bogotaâ€™s Fernando Villegas.
And the team has been generously backed by a family of sponsors, most recently Andres Rodriguez and his business Crop del Monte Coffee Specialists.
An agricultural engineer who grew up on his fatherâ€™s Colombian coffee farm, Rodriguez forms a vital link between small and specialty coffee farmers and Australian roasters and brewers.
â€œWe work along a similar ethic to the Latin Heat in that we try to present the best light on what South America has to offer,â€ says Rodriguez.
â€œOur single origin beans are completely traceable from the mountains of Colombia, we have a strict selection process and we offer generous incentives to the families producing.
â€œJoining the Latin Heat team is for us another step in supporting the community and promoting ways that Australian and Latino culture complement each other.â€
The contribution of Crop del Monte as a platinum sponsor of the GYG Latin Heat has a very real impact.
For a not-for-profit team which focuses on providing a pathway for Latino players of all abilities, Crop del Monteâ€™s sponsorship ensures the Heatâ€™s participation fees can be met.
Other companies aside from Crop del Monte and Guzman y Gomez working with the Latin Heat include Rumba Latina Entertainment, Gringo Magazine, Plus Fitness Morayfield and Struddyâ€™s Sports Everton Park.
The GYG Latin Heat has an open-door policy for players and encourages those who want to be involved visit https://www.facebook.com/SouthAmericanRugbyLeague
For more information on Crop del Monte visit www.cropdelmonte.com.au or https://www.facebook.com/cropdelmonte.foods
Tomorrowâ€™s Mitchelton Nines runs from 11:50am to 8pm at Prospect Rd, Mitchelton, featuring eight teams and 18 games played over action-packed nine-minute halves.