Grin and bear it, NRL enlargement simply would not match league’s much-loved membership

Anytime the topic of enlargement of the NRL is raised, somebody is all the time fast to trot out the phrase: “convey again the Bears.” It’s time for this nonsense to cease.

For any true-blue Bears’ supporter, the one acceptable end result can be to have the Bears again at their conventional residence in North Sydney. Nevertheless, everyone knows that this can be a pipe dream.

The Bears’ greatest mistake was not becoming a member of the Tremendous League. When the mud settled within the struggle and the NRL was fashioned, what number of Tremendous League golf equipment have been pressured to merge? Zero.

1993 NSWRL - North Sydney Bears

Mario Fenech with North Sydney teammate Sean Hoppe in 1993. (Picture by Getty Photographs)

Let’s not point out the ill-fated, doomed-from-the-start failure that was the Northern Eagles. Or the truth that the fourth version of the Gold Coast – keep in mind the Giants, Seagulls and Chargers? – was allowed again into the NRL in 2007 forward of everybody’s second group. How nicely has that labored?

Transferring the Bears’ brand and colors to Perth or Port Moresby or wherever doesn’t revive the membership. You can’t relocate the emotional attachment that comes from spending numerous winters watching video games beneath the Moreton Bay fig.

The Bears performed their final recreation within the high flight in 1999. There was an entire technology of followers develop up who know nothing about them until that they had the nice fortune of getting a relative who was a Bears diehard.

You’d count on the denizens of Perth or Port Moresby to have even much less data of the tortured fortunes of one of many league’s much-loved golf equipment.

If the Bears have been to return again, a reincarnation on the Central Coast can be one thing that almost all supporters would regard as a suitable compromise. It was the unique plan anyway because the membership handled its dire monetary circumstances in the direction of the top of the Nineties.

At the moment the Bears have been sourcing lots of their gamers from the area. It’s a simple drive or prepare experience from North Sydney, and the underused stadium suits the invoice for contemporary NRL greater than North Sydney Oval regardless of any romantic attachment to the picturesque floor.

So what’s the method ahead for the Bears? The membership’s standing as a founding member of rugby league in Australia entitles it to stay within the reminiscence of league followers. Its custom of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory was the stuff of legend. Historical past data that the membership received two premierships – hear that Gold Coast?

North Sydney solely has to look throughout the Harbour Bridge to seek out the reply to its future. The Newtown Jets have advanced right into a group membership deeply related to the native space. It has attracted a wave of recent supporters (8972 at every recreation apparently) most of whom by no means noticed the Jets lose to Parramatta within the 1981 grand remaining.

So the Bears have to develop nearer hyperlinks with their group and people additional afield who nonetheless love them. Bear in mind the historical past however forge a brand new path that each one supporters can embrace.

So let’s make it clear – no extra speak of “convey again the Bears.” The colors and brand will stay the place they’ve all the time been – in North Sydney.

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