Fairleigh named coach for Central Coast Bears bid

North Sydney legend David Fairleigh will be the coach of the Central Coast Bears should the club gain entry into the National Rugby League (NRL).

North Sydney Bears chief executive Greg Florimo is aiming for the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) foundation club to be re-admitted into the first grade in 2011.

Florimo pointed to Fairleigh's experience and credentials to become a successful NRL coach.

"You can't knock his experience," Florimo told The Sydney Morning Herald. "Although he hasn't had the job of a head coach, I have no doubts he has the capability."

The Bears face a number of hurdles in their bid to get a team into the NRL. In particular, putting together a business plan and finding backers to help finance the estimated $15 million start-up costs.

If successful, the Bears will play out of Bluetongue Stadium while still maintaining a historical connection to the North Sydney Bears.

The North Sydney RLFC joined the competition as one the league's foundation clubs in 1908. They won two premierships, in 1921 and 1922 in what was then the first grade NSWRL 'Sydney Competition'.

Following the formation of NRL in 1998, North Sydney struggled to keep pace, eventually forming a joint venture with the Manly Sea Eagles in 2000. The 'Northern Eagles' failed after just two seasons with the NRL licence reverting back to Manly at the end of 2001, and North Sydney eventually being relegated to the second tier NSWRL competition.

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