Cronulla have announced a deal which will see them join forces with Newtown for 2005 and beyond. The new association will see Cronulla scrap their existing Premier League team, with Newtown to be brought in as a feeder club.
The plan will benefit both clubs. Cronulla will save up to a quarter of a million dollars per year on the administrative costs of running a Premier League team, while Newtown will benefit from greater public exposure and a direct path for their players into first grade.
Under the scheme, Newtown will still play the majority of their home games at Henson Park, except for those against out of town opposition such as Newcastle and Canberra, which will be transferred to Toyota Park. Cronulla juniors will now progress from Jersey Flegg into the Newtown Premier League or Jim Beam Cup teams, before being promoted into First Grade.
It is important to note that the deal is not a joint venture between the two clubs - both will retain their own identity, logo and jersey.