Gold Coast
name Cartwright as coach

NSW Origin assistant coach John Cartwright has immediately called on the NRL to make a quick decision in appointing a 16th team for 2006 after being announced as Gold Coast coach.

The Gold Coast bid team also christened the prospective side the Dolphins and unveiled its orange and turquoise jersey and logo as it increased the pressure on rival bidders, NSW Central Coast and Wellington, NZ.

Former NSW and test second-rower Cartwright admitted it was a strange feeling to be appointed to a non-existent team but was confident he would bring a winning culture to the tourist strip.

The Gold Coast has been a graveyard for national sporting teams over the past 16 years since the Gold Coast Giants first played in the then NSWRL premiership.

But Cartwright said the Dolphins - the name determined after a community vote - only needed enough time to prepare a successful team for 2006.

The NRL isn't expected to make a decision on admitting a 16th club until July at the earliest when the matter is to be discussed at board level.

"It can't be too hard a decision to make," Cartwright said.

"It's either a yes or no and it's either Gold Coast, Central Coast or Wellington.

"It's very exciting at the moment. We're very confident of getting in but an answer as soon as possible would top things off.

"There's been a lot of money spent pushing towards this to be successful. And it's fair not only to the side, but the infrastructure you have to build."

Cartwright gained the role with the blessing of the Sydney Roosters where he serves as assistant to coach Ricky Stuart.

The Dolphins appear to have the support of NRL players as a poll in Rugby League Week had 94 per cent advocating the admission of a new team and 74 per cent believing it should be on the Gold Coast.

The name, though, has upset Queensland Cup premiers Redcliffe Dolphins and the 57-year-old club is considering fighting the adoption.

"We'd prefer they didn't use it," said Redcliffe general manager Wally Day, adding the matter would go to board level in coming weeks.

"I know we're Queensland Cup and they're national. But we are the biggest junior club up here.

"We're disappointed with both them and the league (NRL) if they let them use it given the amount of time, money and effort we've invested in it."

Gold Coast's poll rejected other names including the Bulls, Buccaneers and Pirates.

The bid team, headed by former Chargers boss Paul Broughton, recruited Cartwright on the advice of NSW coach Phil Gould who describes his 1991 Penrith premiership player as a "sleeping giant" of the young coaching ranks.

After four league teams, two basketball franchises and various baseball sides have come and gone from the Coast - and the Brisbane Bears AFL club relocated - Queensland premier Peter Beattie said first-rate administration was most needed at the Dolphins.

"We are very supportive of that provided they've got a team, provided they've got the resources providing they've got the funding to actually maintain a team," he said.

"The Gold Coast is part of the fastest growing region of Australia and they should have a league team but it's got to be run properly and it's got to have a good business case and we've got to avoid what happened last time."

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