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The Rumours Thread

TheRev

First Grade
Messages
9,343
Our geography is what it is... understand it could be a barrier for some, and thats life... all we can do is help make the transition as easy as possible, especially for young players (like we are with Halangahu, Finau etc) and this is where good administration come into their own... have everything in place to make recruitment easier.. and tbf we have pulled a lot of kids from qld and penrith.

We still have a portion of our players who do choose to live in Sydney though right, im not sure what the commute to the gong is like versus across Sydney (I remember it could take 45mins to get out of my street when I lived in Sydney).

I always think about the old Dragons bus as a good concept.. but in practice it must add a tonne of time to the commute.. hence I dont think it can work... it rly makes more sense to travel individually, or do a bit of car-pooling if there are players living close or on the way etc.
 
Messages
351
Our geography is what it is... understand it could be a barrier for some, and thats life... all we can do is help make the transition as easy as possible, especially for young players (like we are with Halangahu, Finau etc) and this is where good administration come into their own... have everything in place to make recruitment easier.. and tbf we have pulled a lot of kids from qld and penrith.

We still have a portion of our players who do choose to live in Sydney though right, im not sure what the commute to the gong is like versus across Sydney (I remember it could take 45mins to get out of my street when I lived in Sydney).

I always think about the old Dragons bus as a good concept.. but in practice it must add a tonne of time to the commute.. hence I dont think it can work... it rly makes more sense to travel individually, or do a bit of car-pooling if there are players living close or on the way etc.

Proof the merger was doomed the fail. Seeing it now.

Cronulla have well and truly won the derby full stop.
Should have tried to stay St George.

That would have been far more interesting.
 

Adolf_Spritzer

Juniors
Messages
569
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 .
I guess they’ll get right on that after that big signing you were on about eh John?

Give yourself an uppercut and get on the wagon, otherwise go away.
 

Adolf_Spritzer

Juniors
Messages
569
Proof the merger was doomed the fail. Seeing it now.

Cronulla have well and truly won the derby full stop.
Should have tried to stay St George.

That would have been far more interesting.
Since the merger we’ve played in two GFs compared to their one, both winning one. I also can’t remember them ever being as dominant as the Bennett years even with that 2015 side, but sure the proofs there for all to see right?

Another uppercut son.
 

SnowDragon

Juniors
Messages
809
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
I take the response as hugely positive
 
Messages
351
Since the merger we’ve played in two GFs compared to their one, both winning one. I also can’t remember them ever being as dominant as the Bennett years even with that 2015 side, but sure the proofs there for all to see right?

Another uppercut son.
They will definitely play in one next before we do.
They’ve still got their identity, ownership of the complete Sutherland shire and in turn got the coach we originally wanted and the players we wanted.

The writing is on the wall. Just accept it.

We’ve got an undesirable location as a club, an inept/disunited board and we scramble to retain polarising players who can’t win games. Only thing we got right is the coach by a Steven Bradbury. How long before he becomes the next scapegoat for this failing administration?
 
Messages
351
I take the response as hugely positive
Funny thing is Flanno is also trying to get big time players as well as bring through the youth.
So easy for the CEO to just say we will stick with our youth especially when we watch Robson play origin and Bostock kill it under a Wayne etc. Lazy and convenient. This is what kills all the deals the coach initiates out of his hunger for improvement. If you can’t see it then maybe have a closer look instead of saying ‘she’ll be right’.
 

Illusion

Bench
Messages
2,985
Funny thing is Flanno is also trying to get big time players as well as bring through the youth.
So easy for the CEO to just say we will stick with our youth especially when we watch Robson play origin and Bostock kill it under a Wayne etc. Lazy and convenient. This is what kills all the deals the coach initiates out of his hunger for improvement. If you can’t see it then maybe have a closer look instead of saying ‘she’ll be right’.
CEO ?????? Do we even have one ?????????
 

Mojo

Bench
Messages
3,709
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
Thanks mate. A heartfelt submission on your part and a somewhat terse reply, I feel. However, to give Webb his dues, at least he gives the courtesy of a reply. I once emailed him, which my family thought was a bit tragicomic, but I appreciated the fact that he replied. The fact is that fandom is a bit ‘funny’, especially when the team you support doesn’t perform well, and especially over a long period of time. There’s no doubt about it though, for many of us it is almost primal. I grew up, living in Kogarah, during the world famous Dragon’s dominance era. Me and all my mates were permanently attached to our footballs. One way or another we played the game every single day, every chance we got. We grew into wearing red and white jerseys. Some kept going into Flegg; some made grade; one made first grade and became an iconic Dragon’s player. The 2010 Grand Final made me cry tears of joy. My eldest boy is a died-in-the-wool Dragon’s supporter (his younger brother isn’t particularly interested, but that’s OK). I half-jokingly tell people that I was born Catholic but I’ll die a Dragon’s supporter. The point is: it’s personal; it’s deep; it’s heartfelt; real, genuine, honest - and yes, sometimes it’s tragicomic.

I could reflect on modern historical events of mergers, so-called Joint Ventures, rule changes, Boards, bunkers, billions … but … I know that The Dragons are, at their core, an irresistible force. Whatever the immovable objects have been over the past couple of decades, they won’t prevail.
 
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FlickFlano

Juniors
Messages
359
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".

Which is why we get the likes of Marschke and Nu Brown ... players that want another opportunity.
It is why we dont get AFB or Tracey or Turuva or established NRL players that don't need opportunity they need growth/success. We rarely get a player coming to us that doesn't need to use us as an opportunity.

We force every player into a commute either from the gong to Sydney or from Sydney to the gong. Peeps may accept that for opportunity but when another club comes calling with an offer of NOT having to make those trips why do we wonder that we cannot close off on deals?

If we try and recruit from clubs outside sydney, the players then need to make a choice, do i live in sydney and commute to Wollongong or do i live in Wollongong and commute to Sydney. Or do i live between the two in the middle of f**king nowhere and hate myself.

Cook was looking like coming to us for an opportunity to play his last few years, roosters look like they are keen now .. tough choice .. .we will need to offer something extraordinary.

It is not a matter of most teams are not Sydney based. I get that 100%. But every club in the NRL with the exception of us provides an opportunity for players to live near their work. We dont. We force every player on our books to travel one way or another.

Said before, wait until the likes of Halangahu/Tonga/Latu realise that there are other "opportunities" that afford them a simpler lifestyle.
 
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Dragon David

First Grade
Messages
8,208
Which is why we get the likes of Marschke and Nu Brown ... players that want another opportunity.
It is why we dont get AFB or Tracey or Turuva or established NRL players that don't need opportunity they need growth/success. We rarely get a player coming to us that doesn't need to use us as an opportunity.

We force every player into a commute either from the gong to Sydney or from Sydney to the gong. Peeps may accept that for opportunity but when another club comes calling with an offer of NOT having to make those trips why do we wonder that we cannot close off on deals?

If we try and recruit from clubs outside sydney, the players then need to make a choice, do i live in sydney and commute to Wollongong or do i live in Wollongong and commute to Sydney. Or do i live between the two in the middle of f**king nowhere and hate myself.

Cook was looking like coming to us for an opportunity to play his last few years, roosters look like they are keen now .. tough choice.

It is not a matter of most teams are not Sydney based. I get that 100%. But every club in the NRL with the exception of us provides an opportunity for players to live near their work. We dont. We force every player on our books to travel one way or another.

Said before, wait until the likes of Halangahu/Tonga/Latu realise that there are other "opportunities" that afford them a simpler lifestyle.
This is the reality the Dragons have faced for sometime, well since the Bennett years anyway because after he went except for the initial year or so, we hired journeymen, rejects and pre-retirees under Mary and Hook because of operational and location issues which have continued.

Let's face it, there are not that many great things that this club has going for it that can attract really decent players from outside. That is why Webb said in his reply to St George Dragons -
"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.".

That in a nutshell says a lot about recruitment and because they know that getting players to the club is hard, they prefer to rely on getting the current crop up to a better level to compete and to concentrate on developing the youth who are most probably in the localities that doesn't require long commutes.

If things were going for the Dragons say - in one locality, say Wollongong - where the C of E is being built and the area is the catchment for the juniors, then maybe a couple of decent external guys might come - may not need many depends on who we have becoming great. Be accommodated around the 'Gong for a few years. Just like Knights, Raiders, etc localities.

Just one locality in Wollongong. Concentrate on that and build on it. People will get used to it. Why not Kogarah though? Yes as the St George Dragons maybe but it is not and the people who live in the areas like Rockdale, Hurstville, Kingsgrove etc don't appear to be league followers like it was decades ago. Someone here might have answers to this.
 

RedVee

First Grade
Messages
6,315
This is the reality the Dragons have faced for sometime, well since the Bennett years anyway because after he went except for the initial year or so, we hired journeymen, rejects and pre-retirees under Mary and Hook because of operational and location issues which have continued.

Let's face it, there are not that many great things that this club has going for it that can attract really decent players from outside. That is why Webb said in his reply to St George Dragons -
"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.".

That in a nutshell says a lot about recruitment and because they know that getting players to the club is hard, they prefer to rely on getting the current crop up to a better level to compete and to concentrate on developing the youth who are most probably in the localities that doesn't require long commutes.

If things were going for the Dragons say - in one locality, say Wollongong - where the C of E is being built and the area is the catchment for the juniors, then maybe a couple of decent external guys might come - may not need many depends on who we have becoming great. Be accommodated around the 'Gong for a few years. Just like Knights, Raiders, etc localities.

Just one locality in Wollongong. Concentrate on that and build on it. People will get used to it. Why not Kogarah though? Yes as the St George Dragons maybe but it is not and the people who live in the areas like Rockdale, Hurstville, Kingsgrove etc don't appear to be league followers like it was decades ago. Someone here might have answers to this.
We should be St George in Illawarra rather than St George Illawarra?
 
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