I spoke to some of the club officials in May this year tipping them off to the fact that Dubbo would be incredibly keen to secure an NRL trial next year. I offered them my contacts with Council, Chamber and Media. I wonder where else they'd manage to go and get a crowd of 12,000 plus - all an easy 1 hour flight from Sydney so the players are not inconvenienced. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Council keen to score NRL games for Apex Monday, 31 October 2005 Baited up with its shiny new grandstand, Dubbo City Council has gone fishing for NRL clubs to play pre-season games in Dubbo next year. But the first-class facilities at Apex Oval have barely attracted a nibble let alone a bite. Council's community services director David Dwyer has received just two responses from the 11 NSW-based clubs they sent invitations to. "We've only received replies from Penrith and Parramatta and both declined our invitation," Mr Dwyer said. "But it's still early days - we only sent out the invitations a couple of weeks ago. "Parramatta and Penrith both said they had already made arrangements for the pre-season games next year but would keep us in mind for 2007. " Mr Dwyer was not too concerned by the slow response from the NRL clubs as Apex Oval was rapidly developing a reputation for its capacity to host large-scale events. "We've got the Krusty Demons next month and expect to get up to 12,000 spectators for that," he said. "Plus we're hosting the City versus Country game next year, which is expected to pull a similar crowd." Past pre-season NRL games at Apex Oval have a good track record for their crowd-pulling capacity. In 1991, 9000 spectators turned out to watch Canterbury defeat Canberra, while the following year a similar crowd turned out to see the Steelers beat the Broncos. In 1993, a crowd of 12,000 gathered at Apex to see Canberra defeat Western Suburbs and in 1999 the ground was again covered with spectators to watch Wests play Souths. Council prepared a full-colour brochure highlighting the new grandstand and ground facilities at Apex Oval, which it sent to the NRL clubs. The brochure also contained information and colour photos on the attractions and amenities Dubbo had to offer teams.