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CEO Update - November 2020

Dear Members,

Welcome to our CEO’s update for November, where despite there being no football taking place for the Sharks during the past month it has again been a busy period with all departments working hard as we now look ahead to the 2021 season.

In relation to 2021, the NRL draw has been released, our year starting with a local derby match with the Dragons, then a home game against the Raiders, we have been able to secure a couple of exciting regional opportunities, games which will expand our footprint and potentially our supporter base, the remaining home schedule offers a number of attractive match-ups throughout the season.

Memberships and corporate hospitality opportunities are now available, as are a handful of sponsorship properties so we hope we can count on your continued support in 2021.

The first group of players have returned to training, the full squad will be on deck during December and the new season will be upon us before we know it.

In other areas of the business, our licensed club Sharks at Kareela continues to trade strongly, with a number of shows, events and Christmas activities coming up.

Thanks again for your support and for your interest in this monthly communication as we update you on the latest happenings at the Cronulla Sharks.

Acknowledgment for Jack Stewart
The Sharks mourn the passing of Jack Stewart, one of the most committed administrators in the history of the Cronulla Club. Jack passed away last weekend, aged 99.

He was for 20 years the President of our Leagues Club and navigated the Sharks through some turbulent times.

Our sympathies go to son Peter and the Stewart family.

For more on Jack Stewart and the contribution he made to our club, please go to the following link for a Vale published on our website. CLICK HERE

Regional games
Earlier this week myself, Wade Graham, former player and current club ambassador Luke Lewis and representatives from our commercial, marketing and media departments attended the launch of our Coffs Harbour game which is scheduled to take place in round 12 next year.

The welcome mat was certainly rolled out, Coffs Harbour council going over and above with their hospitlaity, with all concerned excited and extremely positive about the game and what it will bring to the region.

The game against the Titans, set down for the 30th of May, will certainly be embraced by the locals and I encourage Sharks fans from Sydney and the Shire to make plans to come up, support your team and enjoy a beautiful part of the world.

And while on the subject of our regional games, we also look forward to playing the Cowboys on the Sunshine Coast in round four.

Another fantastic opportunity for our club, in a wonderful tourist destination, why not make plans to join us in Queensland on the weekend of April 3?

Ticketing and travel package information for both games will be communicated once it becomes available.

Football update
As mentioned, the 2021 NRL Draw has been released and we can already look forward to playing the Dragons in round one and hopefully getting off to a winning start next year. For those who haven’t seen our schedule, go to the link to find out when and where your Sharks will be playing in 2021. CLICK HERE

In some football department news, I can report a few changes as we aim to build on last season and challenge the leading teams in the NRL competition next year.

In a significant appointment, we are excited to have been able to entice Darren Mooney back to the club as our General Manager of Football.

An extremely well-credentialled operator, Darren played a major role in assembling our 2016 Premiership-winning roster before moving on to work for the Newcastle Knights.

He will oversee the overall football operations and the Sharks top 30 player recruitment.

Last weekend we were also able to announce Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis who will be a part of our NRL coaching structure this season.

It goes without saying the experience they bring will be invaluable, with their winning attitude, combined with the knowledge gained over many years playing in the NRL, for NSW and the Kangaroos, is going to be an asset to our squad.

The very highly regarded Nathan Pickworth and Tony Grimaldi have joined us from the Dragons and Bulldogs respectively in the high performance, strength and conditioning space, with Josh Hannay our new fulltime assistant coach working alongside Head Coach John Morris and returning assistant Dave Howlett.

The coaching and high-performance team have hit the ground running and are already working the squad hard with pre-season training underway.

We also welcome former Bulldog Aiden Tolman to the club. A thorough professional, Aiden will add plenty of experience and class to the depth in our forwards.

There are going to be some tough training days in the hot summer sun, but with the coaching group and NRL squad we have assembled I’m confident the boys will be fit and ready to go for our round one game on March 14.

Membership take up so far for 2021 has been overwhelming and for that Ben Ross and his membership team thank you.

Memberships in all categories are available and I hope you can support your team and join us at our home games at Netstrata Jubilee next year, while the Country-Interstate option enables you to take in a Sharks game while the team is on the road.

As for Magic Round, which has forced a third game away from Kogarah, this decision is driven by the NRL with their match scheduling. Again, there are financial incentives for the club in playing a ‘home’ game as a part of that particular weekend of matches.

As our membership team would have communicated, we are compensating our ticketed members with either a merchandise or ticket voucher, with the Ticketek voucher allowing members to purchase the Coffs Harbour and/or Magic Round tickets.

Also in relation to memberships, unfortunately due to the continuing COVID restrictions we won’t be in a position to hold a Members Christmas Party. We can inform though that if and when restrictions are eased there will be a number of member activations and opportunities to interact with your Sharks squad leading into the first game and throughout the year.

Return to PointsBet
A working group is in full swing in an effort to ensure our games return to PointsBet Stadium for 2022 despite the Woolooware Bay development construction delays.

Although considerably behind what was originally proposed, in relation to both the Woolooware Bay retail, residential and commercial project, as well as with the new Sharks Leagues Club, we remain focused on the games being back at PointsBet next year.

There is plenty of work to be done to have the stadium compliant, but we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to have you back at PointsBet supporting the Sharks in 2022. We will keep you updated on progress.

Sharks at Kareela
Sharks at Kareela enjoyed another positive month in November with plenty to now look forward to in December as we head into the Christmas period.

Live music shows, including the Fleetwood Mac Show this coming Friday, Christmas raffles beginning on December 9, and the huge Paul Gallen v Mark Hunt Fight Night on December 16, just some of the upcoming attractions.

The Sydney Superfight, which also features Tim Tszyu, Australia’s number one boxer against world rated Kiwi Bowyn Morgan, is being hailed as the biggest boxing event in Sydney this decade. And it’s showing live and loud at Sharks at Kareela.

There will also be a Christmas Charity Toy Drive, which has already commenced and runs through until December 8, as Sharks at Kareela aims to collect as many toys as possible to deliver to kids when our Sharks NRL players visit the Sutherland Hospital, Sylvanvale pre-school and the Civic Disability Group in the coming weeks.

We are also still working with council on the car park resurfacing at Kareela, which we are fully aware is in desperate need of repair. We apologise for the continued delay however can assure our members and guests it is priority for us and will occur once all the compliance issues surrounding drainage requirements are resolved. The club is confident we are moving closer to approval.

Sharks Store at Kareela
The Sharks Store has been offering some outstanding specials on 2020 Sharks merchandise throughout November, and now as we approach Christmas and anticipate stock of our 2021 gear, what better place to purchase a gift for that special Sharks fan in the family.

The Sharks NRL jerseys featuring Sharks at Kareela on the front will soon be in store and also available for pre-purchase, along with an exciting new range of playing, training gear and winter wear.

If looking for an item with a point of difference, Sharks Have Heart Charity jerseys are also on sale, but with only 350 being offered, don’t delay if you would like to own one. Check out the following link to find our more and to order yours today – CLICK HERE.

Drop in and check out the store at Sharks at Kareela or go on line (CLICK HERE for Sharks Store) to see our complete range of Sharks merchandise.

While our commercial team continues to work hard in attracting corporate partners to fill the remaining sponsorship properties available, a special mention of a breakfast event held at Sharks at Kareela last week.

Our commercial department hosted the sponsors of our Sharks Women’s and Sharks Junior Rep and Academy teams, with an excellent morning had by all.

We thank those sponsors who support our girls and our pathways players and teams, programs which enable us to develop young talent and to help them chase and achieve their sporting dreams.

In addition to sponsorship opportunities, corporate hospitality has also gone on sale and is available for 2021. Why not check out the options and support the Sharks in style next season. CLICK HERE to find out more. 

In closing
Thanks to those who have secured your 2021 memberships and we look forward to your continued support in the New Year. It’s certainly not too late to become a Sharks member and we would love nothing better than a full Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to cheer on our team next season.

As touched on above, there is plenty happening at Sharks at Kareela so if you haven’t been there as yet, why not drop in for a show, a meal or a Christmas drink.

The return of our NRL squad to pre-season training means the new season isn’t too far away and in wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we hope to see you showing your colours and supporting the Sharks in 2021.

Up Up Cronulla
Dino Mezzatesta