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Chairman's Update - February 2020

A member’s message and update from Sharks Chairman Dino Mezzatesta.

Dear Members,
As part of our ongoing communication we thought it timely to provide an update on our planned amalgamation with the [email protected] Golf Club, Sharks Club Development progress, the upcoming AGM and all things Football.

Following our statement back in late January to advise that at our extraordinary general meeting Sharks members voted unanimously for the amalgamation of Sporties @ Kareela Golf Club and Sharks, it was communicated that the next steps was for the Office of Liquor and Gaming to approve the deal.

You will be pleased to know that all parties worked tirelessly to get the paperwork lodged and we are now awaiting formal regulatory approval for the amalgamation which, we hope, will come through before our first game against the Rabbitohs on March 14.

We will be sure to advise members when this happens, but in the meantime, we are already establishing Sporties as our new home and we’d encourage you to do the same.

The club at Kareela will be the place to watch all away games.  We will have former players and guest speakers on hand and plenty of promotions as you watch the matches on the big screen in the members lounge.

For home games, we hope you will be at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium at Kogarah and we are currently finalising transport packages to ensure you can come back to the club afterwards.

For those who haven’t visited [email protected], I can assure you the facilities are really first rate. There is a huge lounge with sweeping views over the golf course, an a la carte restaurant, several cafes, a VIP Lounge, function room and TAB. The Club also has what we believe is one of the best Kids Clubs in the region to cater for families.

The club at Kareela also has ample parking and it is open 7 days a week till late.

For those of you that have driven past our own Club recently you will note that works are well and truly on the way. We expect the road works along Captain Cook Drive to be complete by November this year and we should start to see construction on the old car park site commence around May.

The developers are confident that the project is on track to be completed by June 2022. We are in the final stages of completing our own Club design and look forward to sharing this information with you once finalised. We will keep you up to date in future member updates.

We will be notifying members shortly of the details of our upcoming AGM (Annual General Meeting). I can advise that it will be held at Kareela Golf Club on Monday, March 30, with exact timings to be notified.

There are so many good things happening at the Sharks and we are planning another Information night for members soon, where we hope to share with you the latest images of how our Leagues Club will look, while updating you further on Kareela.

Football
The NRL squad is training strongly with an eye towards the season ahead, with the Nines in Perth and the next two weeks of trial matches crucial to our preparations.

Coach John Morris in his first full pre-season in charge has lifted the intensity, instilling new standards throughout the summer and all the boys have bought in and trained extremely hard and now with the groundwork laid, we look forward to what lies ahead.

In recapping the Nines, as disappointing as the first game was for us, the big win over the Bulldogs in our second match showcased the young talent we have coming through.

Three players were making their first appearances at an NRL level, while there were some great signs amongst the other players in the Nines squad.

Shaun Johnson has enjoyed a huge off-season and is looking sharp, Aaron Woods has really stepped up during pre-season and will be a forwards leader for us this year, while I’m excited to see what youngsters Billy Magoulias and Ronaldo Mulitalo can produce in the top grade in 2020.

I also know the coach has been very impressed with young half back Connor Tracey and front rower Toby Rudolf, with that pair doing everything asked of them throughout the pre-season. They are also set to push for round one selection if they can continue their form through the trial matches.

And while still on the Nines, it must be remembered we did leave some talent at home, with Andrew Fifita, Matt Moylan, Bronson Xerri and Braden Hamlin-Uele not taking part in Perth, so getting them back to full fitness and having the full squad raring to go early in the season is something everyone is working towards.

From Perth we now head to PNG for what is a significant event, the first NRL game of its kind in a country which has an unrivalled passion for rugby league.

Off the field in PNG our itinerary includes clinics, signing sessions, a trip to the Australian High Commission and a school visit where we will donate solar lighting to a local school, making the trip one to remember for all who are headed to Port Moresby.

Then its home for the Manly trial at Netstrata Jubilee on March 1 in wrapping up our pre-season campaign, where we will also continue our fundraising initiatives for Fine Kula.

As sad as the situation has been for Fine, I would say it has been uplifting to see the support given to him and his family by the playing group and coaching staff, with many initiatives planned and underway. There has been a GoFundMe page set up to assist with the costs associated with his on going treatment, those wanting to help please go to the following link to make a donation - CLICK HERE - while we are auctioning the jerseys the players wore at the NRL Nines, with all proceeds also going to Fine and his family. Go to our auction link to make a bid - CLICK HERE

As Chairman I was also proud of the work done by our Club in bush-fire affected areas while the team was on their pre-season camp in Kiama.

Not only did the boys visit Kangaroo Valley to lift the spirits of the locals, they got their hands dirty in assisting with the clean-up, with our bush-fire fundraising efforts on-going.

Finally, in addressing Josh Morris and Josh Dugan, those much-publicised matters are in the capable hands of our football department.

Josh Morris is a valued member of our squad and it’s been communicated to him that we very much want him to be a part of our team in 2020 and we continue to work with Josh Dugan in relation to his troublesome knee. Josh’s knee has been a source of frustration to him and to our coaching and medical staff and all parties are working hard to get him back to where he can again make a major contribution to our team this season.

The Sharks have played finals football each of the past five seasons, in 2019 only goal kicking at crucial times kept us out of the top four, and we have every intention of being a contender again this year. I have no doubt we have the talent in our ranks to help us deliver on those aspirations.

Thanks for your continuing support and I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Dino Mezzatesta
Chairman