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Home Game (Fox)

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by lismore_fan, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. lismore_fan

    lismore_fan Well-Known Member

    +223 /2

    SO WHAT’S the secret to Brookvale Oval?

    You know, The Cauldron. Fortress Brookie. That ugly, dilapidated footy ground which, rusting away in the middle of suburbia, boasts the most fearsome home record of any ground in Australia.

    “The secret? Everything,’’ grins Manly superstar Daly Cherry-Evans. “The crowd, the atmosphere, the way we lift because of all the history here . . . I can understand why rival players don’t find any of that ideal.”


    Once a home for trot races, carnivals, even a training base for World War II soldiers, Brookvale Oval today stands among the last great venues where “home ground advantage” still drips from every broken awning and busted beam.

    An ascendancy ingrained in the ageing brick entry. In those archaic away dressing rooms. And find me another ground anywhere still dragging a long, steel cage out to protect visiting players from flying garbage, if not the occasional golly?

    And, sure, such intricacies aren’t considered part of New Age Australian Sport. Deplored by suited types who, apart from wanting all games inside roofed stadiums, are also gunning for cheerleaders, Cattledog and goanna wrestling on Mad Monday.

    But successful?

    According to Fox Sports Statistics, since 2007 the Sea Eagles have won a staggering 54 of 74 matches at Brookvale Oval. A 73% success rate representing not only the strongest home record of any Sydney club, but better than every NRL rival bar Melbourne -- whose success, we now know, has been as much about speed boats as speedy backlines.

    “They’re definitely good numbers,’’ statistician Aaron Wallace concurs. “And unlike Melbourne, the Warriors and Brisbane, who are all strong at home, opponents aren’t usually catching a flight to get there.”

    And, yes, we know teams are more likely to win at home.

    But understand that against tonight’s rival Melbourne, the Sea Eagles are three times more successful at Brookvale. Against St George Illawarra, that figure even higher again. And as for their 48% success rate against Newcastle away . . . well, that lifts to 85% at home.

    “And it starts from the minute you walk through those main turnstiles,’’ explains Manly chairman Scott Penn. “I can still remember, as a teenager, walking in and up through what feels like a tunnel towards the ground . . . the hairs on your neck standing up as you almost finish right onto the field.”

    Problem is, you still have the same old, brick turnstile building, right?

    “Exactly,’’ Penn laughs. “Only they’ve put in an electric gate that scans the tickets”.

    While Brookvale Oval may be the greatest asset in Sea Eagles history -- and, yes, we’re including Bozo and Beaver -- it is understandable that even the club itself wants change.

    Consider, for example, the limited corporate suites. The lack of covered seating. And how does any club compete financially in a ground boasting just one merchandise stand?

    “Right now, we’re not giving our members and sponsors what they deserve,’’ Penn says. “To compete commercially, we have to make changes to Brookvale Oval.”

    But at what price?

    Excluding Melbourne, whose success in recent years now comes with an asterix, the top three most successful home ground advantages all belong to suburban grounds -- Manly at Brookvale (73%), Wests Tigers at Leichhardt (64%) and St George Illawarra at Jubilee (63%).

    And just as no one knows what makes State of Origin successful, so you have to ask Penn if Manly could be cruelling themselves by wanting to tinker with Fortress Brookvale?

    “No, not at all,’’ the businessman says. “Obviously you have to get the balance right and, as part of our upgrade, we’ll keep some hill. Still have fans so close to the sidelines they can smell the liniment too.

    “We know that, as part of their stadia strategy, the NRL would probably rather us playing out of ANZ Stadium. But instead of trying to get 40,000 fans to Homebush, we’d rather 20,000 fans inside Brookvale Oval, at a ground we’ve been successful at since the 40s. It’s about doing what’s best for the Sea Eagles . . . and for us that means staying right here.”
    • Like Like x 2
    • SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +10,550 /214
      Good to hear more stories about Brookie, along with the PMs comment quoted in the other thread this might be a sign things are happening (unless I am just a hopeless optimist)
    • castle eagle

      castle eagle Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +1,033 /9
      this quote says it all.
    • Dan

      Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

      +7,736 /120
      God visions of walking through the old hill tunnel before it was filled in, walking through the scoreboard entrance and seeing a packed hill, sitting on the white seats and hearing every single hit.... Man I miss brookie like only a sea eagles and northern beaches expat can
      • Like Like x 2
      • lsz

        lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

        +4,845 /102
        Does not sound like a man who wants to move the club does it
        • Like Like x 1
        • Dan

          Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

          +7,736 /120
          dont kill the conspiracies man

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