Cougars are going home

THE Capricorn Cougars are on the prowl and heading to Ryan Park for the 2010 QSL season.

Cougars chief executive officer Bevan Dingley and Frenchville Sports Club's sports manager Terry Kennedy agree the move to the Ryan Park facility is a positive one.

Dingley said one reason for the move, which is a return to the venue where they started in the old State Cup competition, was proof the club listened to what its fans required.

“The feedback from the public was to move to Ryan Park,” he said.

Dingley dismisses the idea crowd numbers will automatically rise as he felt there were other reasons why numbers were lower than during the first year.

“Performances last year didn't stack up,” he admitted.

What Ryan Park does offer is a fine facility, quality playing surface within an established club and Kennedy admits he couldn't be more delighted to see the Cougars return.

“Part of my job is getting people through these facilities,” Kennedy said. “The preference is for games on a Sunday, but that will depend on the draw.”

Frenchville realise that to maximise the appeal of playing high- level football on their home pitch there will be concessions.

“There will be no rugby union on the same weekend as a Cougars home match,” he said.

There will also be more use made of the McLeod Park training facility with both the Cougars and Frenchville teams using it.

While pleased to have Frenchville on board with the Cougars, Dingley insisted it was not a takeover.

“Frenchville has come on board as a venue function sponsor,” he said.

“There is no input into the running of the Cougars, but we have invited a liaison person from their board to come along to our meetings.

“That is being done to strengthen lines of communication.”

Already Dingley is claiming the move will save the Cougars nearly $10,000 a season, money it had to budget for in setting up Jardine Park for games.

Kennedy said Frenchville already had the workforce “90% in place” for running such matches.

For the new season the temporary seating from Jardine Park will line the touchline opposite the permanent seating. Overall, the amount of seating will exceed 1000 spectators.

Although the fixtures for 2010 will not be available until next month, it appears there will be eight QSL matches played at Rockhampton and one at Gladstone. Emerald has also expressed interest in staging a game.

It is likely the league will have 10 teams with a side from the Gold Coast a possible inclusion after both Redlands and Olympic dropped out.

Dingley said the Cougars will walk away from Jardine Park with no hard feelings.

“Southside's club manager (Berneice Reynolds) is fully supportive of us making this business decision,” he said.

Reynolds yesterday confirmed Southside was supportive of the move as Frenchville was a bigger club and capable of providing things her club could not.

“The club did not get much out of it and it was always (home games) a big day for us,” she said.

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