FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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R2K interviews Kogarah Mayor Jim Taylor (pictured below)
How would you describe the public response to Kogarah Council's unanimous decision to support the return of the Dragons to Jubilee Oval in 2003?
In a word overwhelming, I have had many phone calls, notes and face to face comments, all of them so very positive and expectant of the day the Dragons come home. Kogarah Council has often been painted as the villain by the mainstream media in relation to Jubilee Oval. Are you glad that this theory has been completely dismissed over the past week? Unfortunately Council has been painted as the villain in the piece. Uninformed comments by the media, both electronic and paper, leaves me wondering is there some hidden agenda in there to support what has become rugby league for the corporate dollar rather than entertainment for the grass roots supporters. I know and you know that the dyed in the wool Dragon supporter wants to stand on the hill and watch the game.
What sort of maintenance work will be done to Jubilee Oval with the funds allocated from Kogarah Council and the Club?
The monies to be spent on maintenance will be on the grandstand. Little if any money has been spent there since the stand opened in 1990 and a report commissioned by Council has pointed out some work that must be done immediately. The stand is not however condemned, as one "commentator" has stated.
What's your favourite memory of the Dragons playing at Kogarah?
After watching my Dragons for so many years I have a treasure chest of memories. I well recall Changa's first game and marvelling at the prodigious sidestep. Ken "Killer" Kearney strutting around the field training and educating the youngsters and turning many of them into champions. Sticks Provan, Bluey Wilson, Gaz with his swerve and speed, Harry Bath as a player and coach. Don't start me, I could go on for ages.
Do you believe that the R2K movement and Dragon Army have played a positive role in keeping the return to Kogarah issue on the agenda?
Kogarah Council recently opened a 224 space car park in Derby Street, Kogarah? Will supporters be able to utilise this when the Dragons return to Kogarah?
Yes, Council's car park off Derby St will be available to the public on football days. It will in fact be free on weekends. There are also other car parking facilities available within a five or six minutes walk to the ground.
What is Kogarah Council's long-term vision for Jubilee Oval and how do you plan to fulfil this?
This is my long term vision, not Kogarah Councils. I want to see a quality, boutique ground capable of holding 18 to 20 thousand fans in comfort. I would like to see a stand on the eastern side with community facilities under it. Perhaps we can fulfil this vision by first getting back to Jubilee and then beginning a process that will convince decision makers with money of its merit.