CRONULLA Sharks coach Shane Flanagan’s stay at Woolooware should only lengthen following Monday’s decision by the Department of Planning to recommend the Sharks $300million development for final approval.
The flow-on effects should ensure the football club catches up with most other clubs in the National Rugby League.
The Sharks might be one of the few NRL clubs to own, not lease, their own ground.
Now, they’ll be able to do something about it. And not just modernise the stadium.
For 45 years the Sharks have had limited budgets, and in recent years didn’t even fully spend their allocated NRL salary cap, as they cut debt and staff numbers to the bone in both the football and leagues clubs.
While other teams have utilised GPS monitoring devices and stocked up on the benefits of sports science, the financially battling Sharks have played ‘‘catch-up’’.
So it is more credit to Flanagan, his players and staff that the revamped 2012 Sharks team is running third this season.
As the department’s report endorsed all aspects of the Sharks proposed development, it seems highly probable the independent Planning Assessment Commission will approve it in the next six to eight weeks.
‘‘We’ll then be able to confidently talk to the best players in the game about playing for us,’’ Flanagan said.
‘‘Whether they’re our own players, or from outside.’’
It certainly helps when most of your leagues club debt is wiped clean, and your development includes a Woolworths, a Coles or some of Australia’s other big companies as new sponsors.
What do you think is the best aspect of the Sharks development?
Local juniors to thrive
SHARKS Junior League Academy head Allan Wilson says the local juniors, and other sports, will thrive as a result of final approval for the Sharks development.
‘‘We’ll be able to work with more than 90 local juniors, and give them a better chance of playing for the Sharks NRL side,’’ he said. Wilson pointed out while rival clubs often have 20 or more contracted players at the start of each SG Ball (under 18) representative season, the Sharks could pay for only four or five.
‘‘That gives our rivals a huge advantage in tapping into a much bigger pool of players, living and training together,’’ Wilson said.
‘‘Now, soon hopefully, we’ll be able to give our kids more than a T-shirt to train in.
‘‘They’ll also be able to get a Sharks tracksuit and football bag.
‘‘And the Sharks will also be able to better provide for other sports and sportsmen, alongside the league players.’’
As Wilson says, the club’s heart and soul has to ‘‘come from within’’ — even if the required arms and legs might have to come from somewhere else.
Vale Daniel Batman
AUSTRALIA’S athletics and sporting community will pay their respects at the funeral service of former Australian champion and Sydney 2000 Olympian, Daniel Batman, tomorrow.
The former Sutherland Shire champion sprinter was killed in a car accident in the Northern Territory last week.
His service will be held from 1pm at the Woronora Cemetery and Crematorium, Sutherland.
WHAT a thrashing, and in such a big game ...
Spain confirmed their status as one of the greatest national teams in football history by overwhelming Italy 4-0 in Sunday’s Euro 2012 final in Kiev and retaining their European crown.
Spain made a mockery of a ‘‘boring’’ label placed on them by critics to produce a thrilling demonstration of attacking football, with Fernando Torres becoming the first player to score in two European Championship finals.
GOOD to see Southern Districts’ half Grayson Hart called up to make his NSW debut for the Waratahs against the table-topping Brumbies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
The nephew of former All Blacks coach John Hart, he has been one of the unsung heroes for Souths in the Shute Shield — a real class act since his arrival from New Zealand a few years ago.
IT was a case of broken bus and broken hearts after the Dragons’ supporter bus broke down on the way to Canberra Monday night. The group of frozen supporters didn’t get to the ground until mid-way through the second half.
They got to see the Dragons fight back to get to the lead, but must have wondered about the trip when the Raiders scored their late try to continue their remarkable 12-year hoodoo over the red and whites.
Wrestle to the end
PROFESSIONAL wrestlers face off for the Sylvanvale Foundation on Saturday, July 14, at Sutherland Basketball Stadium.
Professional Wrestling Alliance (PWA) Australia is hosting the event, where 25 wrestlers compete in seven matches until one fighter is left standing.
The main event is between defending PWA heavyweight champ ‘‘The Green Dragon’’ Mick Moretti of Illawong and South Australian Robby ‘‘The Lion’’ Heart.
Bouts start 6.30pm. Bookings and more details: 0417700435.