New stadium slated for Granville Park

New stadium slated for Granville Park

If Cumberland Council Administrator Viv May gets his way a new Cumberland Oval may rise from the ashes in Granville Park next year.

The existing sporting facilities at Granville Park would become unrecognisable under a bold plan to replace the outdated structure along Montrose Avenue with a new, state-of-the art pavilion including major upgrades to the playing fields estimated to cost $9 million.

Former Cumberland Oval was burnt down following Parramatta League’s first premiership victory in 1981. It is now the site of the new Western Sydney Stadium.

To recognise the new local government area Mr May has asked the General Manager to liaise with the appropriate authorities to have Granville Park renamed Cumberland Oval.

Mr May said he was disappointed that he was not in a position to approve the project prior to the caretaker period a month out of the September election.

“I am not in the practice of raising community expectation with financial fantasy but I had to wait for the Council’s resource plan which was approved at the last meeting. The plan clearly shows the project is affordable,” Mr May said.

Council has released early concept work that shows a modern facility boasting ample elevated seating for a better crowd experience, four change rooms for male and female athletes, strength and conditioning gym and separate rooms for time keepers and referees.

“Western Sydney routinely produces world class athletes. Unfortunately the stadiums and grounds they train on and compete on are rarely of the same calibre,” Mr May said.

“There are too many past their use by date and women’s participation in organised sport has been neglected.

“Council has commenced an audit of what it has, but also, more importantly, what it needs. It will be up to the incoming councillors to set the priority.

“Hopefully the days of its not what you know but who you know are gone.”

The proposal has found an enthusiastic backer in the resident Two Blues Rugby Union Club. Craig Morgan, General Manager of the Two Blues, agrees something

“A new facility would be absolutely huge for us. Our current one just isn’t up to scratch for a premier level club,” Mr Morgan said.

“Our existing facilities make it hard for us to attract and retain players. The Shute Shield is televised on 7TWO but we lose out on potential sponsorship and promotional opportunities because the producers won’t film our home games.

“A great facility is not only good for us. It will lift the reputation of the whole area. At the moment when we host a visiting club, our facilities don’t reflect well on us or our local community.

“We see ourselves as representatives of Western Sydney. We don’t want people looking down at us. We want to break the stereotypes.”

Vale Faye Selby

Vale Faye Selby

It is with great sadness the Two Blues advise of the passing of avid club supporter Faye Selby.

Faye is the mother of club legend Brad Selby and wife of Alan (passed).

We send our condolences to the Selby family at this sad time.

A Service is being held 10.30am, Thursday 3rd August at Guardian Funerals First Avenue, Blacktown.

Two Blues Announce New Major Partnership Term

Two Blues Announce New Major Partnership Term

The Parramatta Two Blues Rugby Club are pleased to formally announce a three year extension to the major partnership shared with Merrylands RSL Club.

The announcement was made at the clubs season launch held at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park this evening in front of Dignitaries, Sponsors, Board Members and the clubs playing group. Merrylands RSL Club President Ron Hand reinforced the clubs commitment and support of the Two Blues.

Merrylands RSL have been the Major Sponsor of the Two Blues for five years with the new formalised agreement extending the association a further three years.

Two Blues General Manager Craig Morgan said “we are excited to announce the new three-year partnership, Merrylands RSL continue to be tremendous supporters of the Two Blues. We share a very positive association that we are extremely proud of. The Two Blues are focused on working toward once again becoming a powerhouse of Australian Club Rugby and off field ensuring we have a positive impact within the community. This show of support from Merrylands RSL reinforces the strength of our relationship and is a sign that we are heading in the right direction”.

The announcement was made alongside the unveiling of the clubs 2017 playing strip and announcement of the clubs captains to start the 2017 season with Stirling Savona named Club Captain, Siale Fifita Colts First Grade Captain with Andrew Cox announced as Captain for the premier grades first round clash against Eastwood this Saturday.

The club also launched its new website to coincide with the season launch with the club focused on driving the Two Blues digital platforms to ensure greater engagement with supporters and key stakeholders.

2017 Season Preview

2017 Season Preview

Parramatta showed glimpses of their ability in 2016 but consistency and poise in tight matches proved costly. The Two Blues lost six games by less than a converted try and finished 10th last season but there seems to be renewed optimism around Merrylands.
Some talented recruits and the return of a number of local juniors has boosted Paul Hardwick’s squad this season and if Waratahs David Lolohea and Senio Toleafoa end up in a Two Blues jersey this year, anything could be possible.

Ins/outs:

Ins: Waldo Wessels (Southern Districts), Mike Ross (Eastern Suburbs), Johnathan Malo (Eastwood), Marcus Christensen (Newcastle), Jaline Graham (Bulldogs U20s), Larry Hermans (Northern Suburbs).

Outs: Caleb Rech (Canberra), Trent Winterstein (overseas), Moa Maliepo (overseas), Robbie Mate (sabbatical), Riley Carter (coaching).

Overview with Paul Hardwick:
“I certainly think that while we had a successful season in a number of areas of the game, the reality is that we still finished 10th and that’s not good enough. You can’t continue to finish bottom of the table if you want to be a strong club going forward,” Hardwick told Rugby News.
“There were a number of games that we should have won, but we lacked the experience and know how to close those tight matches out. We lost six games by less than seven points and a few of those were by less than three points so we need to find a way to convert those tight losses into wins and put ourselves in a position to play semi finals.
“There is a good feel about the club at the moment, we’ve had some changes off the field and those new people have been able to build on the good work that had been done before them and then take it to that next level. Greg Michell, our assistant coach has been great. We’ve worked hard to push our message out there so people can see and hear about the good things happening at Parramatta and that has had a positive impact so far.
“We’ve got really strong junior clubs and a fantastic catchment area. Our junior representative sides are very strong, so we need to make sure the link between our junior and senior clubs is tight. We need to continue to build stronger connections there and that’s something we’ll keep working on so that Parramatta Two Blues is the club of choice for all our local juniors.
We’ve got David Lolohea and Senio Toleafoa with the Waratahs but they’ll still be involved with the club. A few hours before he made his Super Rugby debut, David Lolohea was clapping our boys on as they ran out to play a trial match. They’re gaining a lot of experience at the moment and they are sharing that back at the club, which helps show our players that there is a genuine pathway to higher honours through Parramatta.
“We’ve also had a number of local juniors come back to the club this year, then we’ve been able to add some fantastic talent like Waldo Wessels from Souths and Johnathon Malo from Eastwood.
“We want to be more consistent on and off the field, that’s what we’re working towards. A lot of the past players that have been down at the club this year have said that there is definitely a similar feel at the club to when they had success back in the 80s. Now we need to prove it on the field.”

Key areas of improvement:
“Last year we had a big forward pack and were dominant at set piece. This year, we’ve concentrated on our backline and the interaction and continuity between our forward and back play, which will make us a much more dynamic side.
“I think we’ve added some players with plenty of spark to our backline and that has helped improve our depth right across the grades. On the back of what should be a solid set piece, we’ll have a lot more structured attacking flare this year.”

Players to watch:
“Josh Tupuola has been really impressive through the off season and in our trials. He’s one of our colts who has stepped up into grade and he’s making a name for himself at the moment in the centres.
“Tyrone Viiga has also been impressive after what was a dominant NRC season. He spent some time with the Waratahs over summer and will be in for another big year.
“We’ve also got a few other guys from our colts program last year, both forwards and backs, who have trained really hard over the off season and I think they’ll cause a few selection headaches this season.”

What are your hopes & expectations for the season?
“Our main focus is club championship points. We’ve always been towards the bottom of that table so we really want to turn that around. We want other clubs and prospective players to talk in a positive way about our club so we need to be consistent and competitive in all grades.
“We also want to continue to build on the positive work happening off the field at Parramatta. On the field, we want each side to play to the best of their ability and make sure we are engaging all of our players. If we can do that, club championship points will take care of themselves.
“In first grade, we want to convert some of those close losses from last year into wins. The first step is to improve on our 10th place finish from last year, then we want to push to play finals football this season.”

Who will your team play in the grand final?
“Norths will be strong again, Randwick will improve again from last year, Sydney Uni and Souths are going to be tough to beat, but I think Warringah are probably the team, they look red hot.
“If we can get to a grand final, I’d say we would be pretty confident and give it a good crack.”

New Two Blues Site Launched

New Two Blues Site Launched

The Parramatta Two Blues are pleased to have launched the clubs brand new website in conjunction with Oddball Marketing.

The new site is part of the clubs digital strategy to improve the look and feel of the clubs content, presentation and appearance critical in today’s digital society.

Club General Manager Craig Morgan said “we have a strong focus on our digital platforms and we are excited about where the club is heading both on and off the field, the launch of the new site is paramount to the direction the club is taking acknowledging the clubs rich history yet focused on the future”.

The Two Blues site has been designed to provide key information and content utlised alongside the clubs social media platforms to ensure clear communication and to showcase the club to stakeholders and the community.