Hawks, Dragons partnership plans

By PAUL SUTTOR
Illawarra Mercury

St George Illawarra and the Wollongong Hawks are set to team up to form an alliance.

Officials from both clubs have been secretly negotiating for several weeks and are expected to announce the "joint-venture" deal at a press conference today.

Dragons chief executive Peter Doust would not release any details when asked about the union last night and said the two clubs would reveal all at today's function.

"It (the press conference) will address the ongoing relationship between the Hawks and the Dragons," he said.

The Illawarra Mercury understands the deal was initiated by the Hawks.

Dragons and Hawks players and officials have shared a close relationship over the past three years.

Hawks players are often in the crowd at St George Illawarra's home games and vice versa.

The players from the two clubs often do weights training together at the WIN Stadium weights room under the guidance of David Boyle, who has been the weights trainer for the Hawks and Dragons for the past three years.

Also, the two clubs have benefited through their dealings with the Wollongong Sportsground Trust and WIN Television in upgrading WIN Stadium and entertainment centre.

The West Sydney Razorbacks (National Basketball League) and the Bulldogs (National Rugby League) were the trailblazers in relationships between football and basketball clubs in Australia.

R2K Comment

The Dragons have made what the Daily Telegraph described as "...a six figure investment" in the Wollongong Hawks. R2K is concerned at this expenditure as it should have been spent on a more important cause. Club management have informed supporters that they’re into 'software not hardware' - in other words, St. George-Illawarra provide the funds for a rugby league team but are unable to provide the funds for home ground facilities for that team to use. How can St.George-Illawarra explain "...a six figure investment" on basketball when they are unable to find the funds to contribute towards the redevelopment of Barton Park or an upgrade of Kogarah Jubilee Oval?

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