The Moreton Bay Region community could be the Warriors’ secret weapon in the NRL as players, staff and their families relish stability in their home for the next 12 months.
Moreton Daily chatted with CEO Cameron George about how the extended group of more than 100 people is settling in as preseason training gets underway at their new home ground, Moreton Daily Stadium.
“The majority of our players are living within the Moreton Bay Region, which is fantastic, there are a number that are living very close to the ground (Moreton Daily Stadium) and surrounding areas,” Cameron says.
“Everyone’s loving it. Anyone who drives over that bridge feels much more relaxed. I live at Margate and I’m really enjoying being a part of the community.
“If away from work, you’re really stable and happy it’s always going to reflect in everything else you do in life and it’s no different for footy players and their families.”
He says they have already started exploring local venues as a group, coming together as a team.
“We’re getting out and about and really experiencing the area locally and everyone’s just enjoying it,” Cameron says.
“The boys are riding pushbikes to work, some are walking from their house. That is really a huge bonus to us because we’ve been living in restrictive confines for basically two years. We all lived together at Terrigal before we relocated up to the Gold Coast, so we’ve all lived in the same blocks of apartments for two years.
“Now, to have our own space … everyone seems to be much more relaxed and enjoying their time.
“The Moreton Bay Region is beautiful. It is outstanding and if we can somehow promote that to all Kiwis both based in Australia and New Zealand to come and visit us here it would be great for the region and the local businesses.”
Many of the players’ children are now enrolled in local schools in a move Cameron says is essential to ensuring the families are settled and happy.
He is grateful to the schools which have worked hard to make the transition easy.
“That’s so important for the players to settle in. It’s a real pat on the back to the local schools for the way in which they’ve embraced us,” Cameron says.
Families have found rental accommodation and a couple have even bought homes in the region.
“It does, in a small way, inject some much-needed cash into the economy as well,” he says.
“We have purchased a whole new gym and relocated that here into a Redcliffe facility and obviously all the other bits and pieces that come with the NRL outfit.”
The team is already training on the field behind Moreton Daily Stadium, replicating what will happen when the Dolphins have their own NRL team.
“It’s good for Redcliffe to experience the NRL operation here. We don’t always get it right but at least they’ll get an insight into how their facility operates with an NRL program in place. They could get some learnings from that which allows them to kick off their operations in a really good state,” Cameron says.
“We’re very respectful of the Dolphins and their brand-building exercise over the next 12 months, but at the same time we fill that void at the moment. We’re the second Brisbane team. You know, it’s history that a New Zealand international team’s been based here to play in the NRL.
“We’re hoping, and the players are hoping, we get really good support from the community.”
Cameron would like nothing more than to pack Moreton Daily Stadium with fans from the Moreton Bay Region, backing ‘their local NRL team’ for the 2022 season.
“We want the locals to walk to the ground and enjoy the atmosphere and be a part of cheering on the Warriors to be successful during our stint here,” he says.
“Come and watch the team playing and support the Warriors along the way and get ready for an ongoing event for you guys in the region, when the Dolphins kick-off.”
Preseason training started on November 8 and will run until they break for Christmas on December 19, resuming in early January.
The side will play a trial game at Moreton Daily Stadium in February against Melbourne Storm before the competition begins in March.
Cameron says he is grateful to the support the club has received from Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Dolphins, and he is looking forward to hosting fan events during the season including open training sessions and other community initiatives.
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