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The Rumours Thread

Messages
3,710
I've always felt it was an issue. How big an issue is hard to quantify but I'm sure it's there. Yes Wollongong is a great place to live, and for someone starting their career or on the last-chance roundabout it's probably not a problem. But if you're an established first grader, with only a 2 year contract on the table, do you relocate at some cost to yourself or do you commute? If your family/partner/significant other don't want to relocate then you have to commute. And while an extra hours drive each way is not the end of the world, it's an extra 10 hours a week you don't get paid for. Look at the interchange of players between Wests Tigers, Penrith, Parramatta and Canterbury, players often choose to go to a nearby club, and you can't help but wonder if the commute comes in to their thinking.

For me the issue boils down to this - if another Sydney club tables a similar offer, we've lost. We don't offer better facilities, better career prospects, 3rd party sponsorship opportunities, or the likelihood of playing finals footy. To a Sydney based player all we offer is a longer trip to and from work. Luke Keary had the choice between commuting to Wollongong or jumping the back fence to go to the Roosters. I know what I'd do.
Well summarised, this is the reality of the situation.

When we were a Sydney based club were were generally competitive in the player market.

As a regional club, recruitment can be more difficult. However winning cures most problems.
 

FlickFlano

Juniors
Messages
359
20 something year old kids want to be close to family/friends .. they dont want to raise a family at the beach as they move into their middle age years.

The majority of the friends/family are in sydney ...


When illawarera existed and st george, the sydney based st george were typically stronger.

its not about what 40-50 year olds think of the gong.

Turuva wanted to stay near family, AFB wanted to live in the shire with a short commute to work.

This is the main issue that we simply dont want to address.
 

Old Timer

Coach
Messages
17,255
Stop trashing Wollongong. It is better than shithole Sydney. And before our merger I supported the St George Dragons since 1970. Wollongong is a fantastic place with lots of amazing picturesque places. It isn't just a steel works.
I'm not thrashing Wollongong merely making a statement which seems pretty obvious to me based on the following.

In the entire existence of The Steelers give me the list of gun players that traded in Sydney or other locations to come to Wollongong and make the place a fortress?

In the entire existence of The Steelers how did Wollongong and its inhabitants contribute to their longevity as a stand alone club?

In the entire existence of the St GI Dragons give me a list of gun players that traded in Sydney or other locations to come to Wollongong amd make the place a fortress?

If Wollongong was the answer then why didn't Bennett abandon Kogarah?

If Wollongong is the answer then why is The Steeler's Club non reciprocal and an absolute shit hole?

Maybe Wollongong is a bit like the Gold Coast just a bit "too comfortable" to get the best out of it's contracted professional footy players.
 

CozDragon

Juniors
Messages
38
I really don't understand the constant bashing of either the Illawarra or St George areas.
None of us genuinely know whether the commute or different locales is a serious issue or not, so I don't know why we continue to try and make it one.
Does anyone genuinely believe either side of the merger would survive if it was to be split now? The merger happened decades ago, its time to get over it and just accept that its happened and isn't going anywhere.
If anything it feels like the Illawarra side would have a better chance of survival than the St George side now.
 

John moz

Juniors
Messages
745
Illawarra will soon be a memory of the past they sold out years ago to wincorp to a massive debt they and the Illawarra leagues club hanging on by a thread in the red .
With no success as a club in the history of the nrl will soon be over .
St George Dragons will be playing all games back ar kogarah plus training and the odd game in illawarra to keep wincorp happy for broadcasting in years to come .
And the upgrade of 60 m to St George Leagues club to be completed in 5 years .
 

Mojo

Bench
Messages
3,709
That’s a rule for us but tigers defy it???
Yes, because trying to do it back-to-front achieves the opposite result (I think). Bulldogs have taken the same approach and have also struggled until recently.

I guess the key is to focus primarily on improving performance to attract the players rather than trying to buy players to improve performance.

Both approaches are obviously difficult but I think the former is about building solid foundations first whereas the latter can easily become a house of cards.
 
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redandwhite4evr

Juniors
Messages
1,870
I think it's this simple: win more consistently and quality players will come ... and club morale will improve.
Maybe- but missing out on POS makes me feel that there's more to it. Newcastle is a regional club like Wollongong but was more attractive to him than a club he had ties to from the past. I'm still thinking the major problem is the Head Office of our club.
 

Lennyb

Juniors
Messages
372
Illawarra will soon be a memory of the past they sold out years ago to wincorp to a massive debt they and the Illawarra leagues club hanging on by a thread in the red .
With no success as a club in the history of the nrl will soon be over .
St George Dragons will be playing all games back ar kogarah plus training and the odd game in illawarra to keep wincorp happy for broadcasting in years to come .
And the upgrade of 60 m to St George Leagues club to be completed in 5 years .
Japanese restaurant, more pokies and the team to move fulltime to StGeorge.

StGeorge powerbrokers showing the Gordons how its done.

About time they got off there asses and showed us what they reaaly got.

Impressive.
 
Messages
506
We are all too focussed on the problems (Defeatists) of being a merged entity rather than the potential opportunities – I.E. Solutions

This Kogarah V’s Wollongong is all BS

All it needs is thinking outside the square

Gym training can be separate in local area

Team training – How about a communal bus either to/from Kogarah/Wollongong - no mobiles and activities

Some friendly rivalry between Wollongong and Sydney based players

Billeting younger players with families of similar background either area

Club owned rental homes/townhouse for both single players and players with family all near the local facilities in either area.

When the Dragons were in their prime – players had to live in the area -Dragons adapted then – They need to adapt now!

A winning culture then adds to the allure of playing for the Dragons regardless of where you reside
 

FlickFlano

Juniors
Messages
359
again the simplest part of the whole thing is missed ...
If someone has a choice of working near home or working an hour away from home and the chances of success are no better further away they pick home every time.

success might tilt the equation but until success happens or a demonstrated path to it players will continue to pick the tigers and bulldogs over us. If they get offers from sharks/roosters then it isnt even a contest.
 
Messages
506
again the simplest part of the whole thing is missed ...
If someone has a choice of working near home or working an hour away from home and the chances of success are no better further away they pick home every time.

success might tilt the equation but until success happens or a demonstrated path to it players will continue to pick the tigers and bulldogs over us. If they get offers from sharks/roosters then it isnt even a contest.
In terms of emerging talent, it may be "simplest part of the whole thing" Flick, but we are a pretty diverse competition in multiple States, plus NZ,

Excepting a few Sydney opportunities most emerging talent will sign contracts not knowing exactly where they are going to live, let alone how close to work. They just want the opportunity to play NRL with the best possible $$$$.

Opportunity = Success, or potential success, for identified talent, and late blooming fringe players of class, seeking a career in the NRL

Give them a palatable solution for living arrangements V's Training arrangements, then emerging talent will take the option of "opportunity".
 
Messages
351
Yes, because trying to do it back-to-front achieves the opposite result (I think). Bulldogs have taken the same approach and have also struggled until recently.

I guess the key is to focus primarily on improving performance to attract the players rather than trying to buy players to improve performance.

Both approaches are obviously difficult but I think the former is about building solid foundations first whereas the latter can easily become a house of cards.
I don't know what to say, Mojo.

I could pull up more than one article where the incumbent coach said there will be changes and that we will sign players. Everything since then on recruitment is luke warm at best, and the silence is deafening.

Not doubting SF's intent one bit but the inability of this club to land the players we need in order to improve is astounding. The lack of talent with a mass of cap available is definitely stunting our jettison out of the lowly place we have been for a while, so greatly exemplified on Sunday when our hapless players literally lost the unlosable match effortlessly.

Is Flanagan improving performance? Yes. Is it having the desired effect in the market place? Not yet.

I am a bit tired of the 'look at the Bulldogs/Tigers' argument by now if I am honest. They are struggling, we are struggling. I'd rather be signing some players like Stephen Crichton and Jerome Luai than lamenting the likes of the Feagais and Hunt or what-have-you endlessly.

We need players and would have taken them if they wanted to come. They don't. Our board and the likes of Haran get off scott free. Treating us like fools.
 

denis preston

First Grade
Messages
8,447
20 something year old kids want to be close to family/friends .. they dont want to raise a family at the beach as they move into their middle age years.

The majority of the friends/family are in sydney ...


When illawarera existed and st george, the sydney based st george were typically stronger.

its not about what 40-50 year olds think of the gong.

Turuva wanted to stay near family, AFB wanted to live in the shire with a short commute to work.

This is the main issue that we simply dont want to address.
You do know that there is half the comp NOT in Sydney to recruit players from ?
 
Messages
351
Given there's not much else to read here in regards to signing. I'll post a excerpt from a letter written to the CEO some time last year and I will include the reply I received from Webb. Grateful he bothered to reply, but more than a year on I think it says enough about the continual inaction of our club to do what it needs to do and put the bed the torment of being grade A losers without the cattle to actually go for a trophy which is what it is all about.

Following the Dragons has been a major part of my life since I was 7 years old. Through my most impressionable years of the early and late 90s St George saw a lot of near success but we never quite reached the pinnacle. The thing is I was always proud that the team with the big red v consistently assembled a competitive team with clever coaches and inspiring individual players. It was a very bittersweet time to be a Dragons fan as it was usually a case of so close yet so far but, crucially, I'd always thank my lucky stars that we were at least a relevant and competitive team with an abundance of pride. My curious mind at the time had to try hard to imagine what it would be like to not be a competitive and proud team. "I wonder what it is like to be the struggling Wests or the Seagulls" I would think.

Well. Now I know. We all do.
And while you can't be at the top all the time it has now been a solid decade or more of shame for those who have always had an allegiance to the club.

You and I both know the story of what followed the 90s. For years our team of stars couldn't win a premiership so eventually our CEO lands a champion coach who brings instant success to the club...it's very little wonder that this brought us the success we'd long yearned for.

I realise you have only joined the scene in recent times but why does it feel the administration of our club is still trying to feed off the success of 2010?
Why are we not exerting a proper effort to get back to the top?
Why are the fans who keep the club afloat treated with such disdain that nothing is ever communicated to them? Completely left in the dark until another season has come and went.
Decisions are clearly clouded by disunity at the board ranks and usually based on what is most convenient - see the resigning of McGregor in 2019 and Griffin in 2022. If my assertion weren't the case we'd at least have an interim coach in now to send the message that "mediocrity is not accepted at this proud club". But alas we are shoveled the same silent treatment followed by the same amatuer performance on field, then before we know it September looms, no finals action and worse yet, zero plans are in place for the following season - rinse, lather, repeat.

Relevance as a club. Gone.
Pride for the club. Absent.
Sincere effort to compete. A distant memory.

I will tell you, now that my two children have reached that age when I fell in love with the Dragons I could not pay them enough to sit through a Dragons match and adopt the team as their own. Their novice understanding of the game is enough for them to know something is very wrong with the team. I can't blame them. I'm hanging around because I am a tragic but it really hurts by this stage, and to be honest I wish I wasn't rusted on so I didn't have to endure it week in, week out.

I realise nobody at the club will be content with what we are seeing but we've seen similar struggling clubs like the Cowboys, Broncos, Bulldogs and Tigers move heaven and Earth in the player market and off the field to bring success to the club. What do we have Ryan? What are we actually doing?

Webb's reply.

Thanks for the note.


In my relatively short time here I haven’t got the feeling that people are living off past successes.

Everyone is focused on building a winning club and frustrated with the recent results that see us positioned where we are. The guys are playing with heart (and feeling these losses) but are doing undisciplined things that expose them.

There are a lot of talks happening but all behind closed doors to ensure things are respectful and confidential. Hopefully in time you and other fans will see the outcome and understand the time it has taken.

Our biggest challenge isn’t getting talent to the club, it’s getting the best out of the players we have. We have a great stream of players under 23 coming through and need to take advantage of that.

I hope you start to see some positive signs shortly and that reinvigorates your passion for the club.

Kind regards,

Ryan
 
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