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Thread: Swans AFLW Team and new training venue

  1. #1

    Swans AFLW Team and new training venue

    Hopefully this can stay here rather than go to the AFLW thread

    I know the club has defended its lack of an AFLW team due to not having somewhere to play but I think that we may have misread the tea leaves a bit re the success of this comp.

    Having said that, whilst GWS have performed admirably and above expectations it is obvious that there is no way known we can split the local playing talent in two. So I do think that is an issue and good on GWS taking the lead there.

    In terms of a venue though, when the Swans do get an AFLW team I find it hard to see how you could get a better venue than North Sydney Oval. It was too small for the men but it would be perfect for women's footy.

    In terms of the new training venue I heard through a reliable source that we are really trying to make the old Showground site next door work but I think there may be some planning issues. It certainly is a prime site and the backers there (Singo and/or Harvey I think) certainly are in for the long haul. It's a ghost town at the moment but if you had the Swans Admin, the Swans Academy, a Swans Hall of fame and Museum as well as maybe the NSWAFL set up there too then it would be a real boost for both us and the site. It really is the perfect spot for us and I just can't think of any other suitable sites ripe for development....

  2. #2
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    North Sydney Oval would be perfect but if timing of AFLW season remains the same in the future as it has been this year North Sydney would be used for cricket. So I suspect it would not be available.

  3. #3
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    I agree with MP's opening comment to the effect that the Swans inability to bid for an AFLW licence is leaving us flat-footed. I also agree that it will probably be quite some years before the women's comp. is able to field two Sydney teams. Possibly it is good for the overall growth of AFL in Sydney, and specifically in Western Sydney, that GWS does have the Sydney licence. I'm still sad about it though.

    I saw an article and photo of the brand new, dedicated change rooms GWS has established for their women's team (I assume as part of the Tom Wills Oval training facilities although the article didn't specify). Very attractive and impressive. I could see the difficulty the Swans would have in doing anything similar at the present time as I strongly doubt there is any further room in their SCG change-room facilities.

  4. #4
    What about getting some funding from the AFL to fix up the surface and stands and get Henson Park as the playing and training venue of the Swans AFLW.

    The ground is in a very progressive part of Sydney and I'm sure the local Sydney Uni, Newtown, Enmore, Erskinville and Marrickville community would get fully behind it.

    You don't however want any sink holes swallowing up the players.

  5. #5
    What about Gore Hill. Council is working to turn it into a state of the art synthetic afl oval with changerooms that are appropriate for men and women?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by barracuda View Post
    What about Gore Hill. Council is working to turn it into a state of the art synthetic afl oval with changerooms that are appropriate for men and women?
    It's not especially close to the SCG. The Swans have declared that their priority is to find an appropriate site somewhere within the Moore Park precinct so that they remain close to the SCG. While they acknowledge it is a challenge to find a site in the area, comments at the AGM hinted towards them having identified at least one possibility, and that negotiations are underway.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Ridge View Post
    What about getting some funding from the AFL to fix up the surface and stands and get Henson Park as the playing and training venue of the Swans AFLW.

    The ground is in a very progressive part of Sydney and I'm sure the local Sydney Uni, Newtown, Enmore, Erskinville and Marrickville community would get fully behind it.

    You don't however want any sink holes swallowing up the players.
    Henson Park could work I guess, there's plenty of parking and I guess there is scope for the building development they'd want. Not sure if other sports have access to it though

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    It's not especially close to the SCG. The Swans have declared that their priority is to find an appropriate site somewhere within the Moore Park precinct so that they remain close to the SCG. While they acknowledge it is a challenge to find a site in the area, comments at the AGM hinted towards them having identified at least one possibility, and that negotiations are underway.
    Not sure we'd want to be training on a synthetic surface either given we don't play on it

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    It's not especially close to the SCG. The Swans have declared that their priority is to find an appropriate site somewhere within the Moore Park precinct so that they remain close to the SCG. While they acknowledge it is a challenge to find a site in the area, comments at the AGM hinted towards them having identified at least one possibility, and that negotiations are underway.
    If it's in Moore Park precinct and near the SCG, I can only think of the following venues close by:

    - ES Marks
    - Waverley Oval
    - Sydney Uni Oval 1

    These three have facilities. Drummoyne and Henson would be too far away.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Ridge View Post
    If it's in Moore Park precinct and near the SCG, I can only think of the following venues close by:

    - ES Marks
    - Waverley Oval
    - Sydney Uni Oval 1

    These three have facilities. Drummoyne and Henson would be too far away.
    Hell would freeze over before Sydney Uni #1 was handed over. Plus it has multiple other users and is too small for AFL.

    I think the showground site is an absolute no brainer to be honest. It also provides a nice anchor tenant to an area that is really under-utilised, if you have a walk around there it is like a ghost town but there is just so much potential and the new owners are no dummies. Channel 9 have been mooted as moving there HQ there

    I think certainty of tenure and the long term district plan for the area is the main thing holding it up at this stage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    It's not especially close to the SCG. The Swans have declared that their priority is to find an appropriate site somewhere within the Moore Park precinct so that they remain close to the SCG. While they acknowledge it is a challenge to find a site in the area, comments at the AGM hinted towards them having identified at least one possibility, and that negotiations are underway.
    Liz - did you attend the AGM?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mug Punter View Post
    Hell would freeze over before Sydney Uni #1 was handed over. Plus it has multiple other users and is too small for AFL.

    I think the showground site is an absolute no brainer to be honest. It also provides a nice anchor tenant to an area that is really under-utilised, if you have a walk around there it is like a ghost town but there is just so much potential and the new owners are no dummies. Channel 9 have been mooted as moving there HQ there

    I think certainty of tenure and the long term district plan for the area is the main thing holding it up at this stage.
    You can't touch the show ground site. My 7 year old son loves the mobile water park that is placed there every year over the summer holidays. Besides they would have to rebuild a lot of the infrastructure that was torn down as part of the Fox Sports Development.

    Waverley Oval would be interesting, but it's not a venue where you can charge money for admission as people can walk around it and view the sport.

    On female facilities. This may be deemed a silly question. Does making changerooms female friendly mean ripping out all the urinals?

  12. #12
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    I reckon, Meg and MP, you are at odds about the Swans missing the boat with the AFLW. And I agree with you, Meg. Maybe the Swans underestimated the success of the AFLW as you say, MP, and as many did, but this was not the reason they elected not to make a submission for a team. The reason is clearly out there and quite convincing: we simply don't have the space to accommodate another team. As it is our facilities are not up to standard.

    I agree that somewhere like the old Showground (or even the Moore Park Bat & Ball oval) could be ideal locations for training because of their proximity to the SCG. But it must be seriously questionable whether they are gettable. If they are, fantastic! Time to start sucking up to Clover Moore & co or whoever. Wherever it is, we need to be able to have large indoor facilities, perhaps including a pool, co-located or else we could just stay where we are. And, if not, it is tricky because you'd think we don't want to be too far from the SCG. (Although Melbourne clubs seem prepared to travel: isn't the Hawks new home base far from the MCG and even from Waverley?) Secondly, whichever venue is chosen for the facilities for the men must be the same one that is used for the women. This is a matter of club unity and good optics, not because it is practically unfeasible.

    I think Sydney Uni #1 Oval is no chance. Ditto the Village Green at UNSW. If we can't get close to the SCG, then perhaps somewhere like: Erskineville Oval, Waterloo Oval or Lionel Bowen Park in Mascot (all currently configured for rugby league) might be viable alternatives as much as Henson Park or Waverley Oval are? They are a little closer. These are all public land, council operated, so not sure whether they are gettable or not. We would have to be able to get a very long lease and build some state of the art facilities on the relevant site (or refit existing buildings). Maybe the council would give us the lease in return for building the facility that we hand over at the end of the lease? Once we have worked out the venue there is still a question of how long it will take to get it up and running. We won't be able to bid for AFLW licence until we have somewhere to put our team. (Although, if it's all worked out and we know the venue/facilities are going to come on line for sure in the near future perhaps we could lease a different space for the AFLW team temporarily.)

    Does it matter if you can't close off the ground and charge admission? These are training grounds. Even if they host some NEAFL matches I'm not sure if it matters that admission can't be charged. And if it does matter then you fixture the relevant match at a venue where you can charge.

    I still reckon the Swans are a good chance of getting an AFLW licence if we have the facilities and submit a bid whenever the next intake of teams is. There are already 4 teams in Melbourne and if they add another one or two there surely they will be willing to add another one in Sydney, Australia's largest population base. In terms of getting players, as far as women's sport goes, AFLW won't have to compete with rugby (league or union) in the same way that the men's comp does in Sydney/NSW. AFLW is already way out in front and attracting female athletes from across Australia and from across sports ranging from basketball to ultimate frisbee to soccer to javelin (not sure if I made the last one up). Plus there will continue to be a national draft so that we have an equal shot at a lot of the talent.

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