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Dockers expected to complete move to Cockburn

Date

Simon White

Matthew Pavlich and his Dockers teammates are poised to make the move to Cockburn.

Matthew Pavlich and his Dockers teammates are poised to make the move to Cockburn. Photo: Getty Images

The Fremantle Dockers' long rumoured decision to move to Cockburn is poised to be announced in coming days.

Fremantle has been weighing up rival offers from the City of Cockburn and the Fremantle City Council for a new, state-of-the-art training facility.

The Dockers are currently based at Fremantle Oval.

Although all parties have remained publicly tight-lipped on the topic in recent times and the Fremantle Dockers' official line that no decision has been made has not changed, it is understood both the Fremantle Council and Fremantle Oval co-tenants South Fremantle have been expecting the Dockers to decide on the Cockburn switch.

Dockers' media manager Luke Morfesse reiterated the message club president Steve Harris gave at the annual members meeting on Tuesday night.

"No decision has been made," he said.

Mr Morfesse said there were no plans for an announcement in the next few days.

The Dockers' move to Cockburn would see the club housed in a development worth as much as $80 million on a greenfields site bordered by Poletti Road, Beeliar Drive and North Lake Road.

The new training facilities would include two ovals, a hydrotherapy pool, a gymnasium, corporate offices and a community centre. It is believed Fremantle would contribute up to $10 million to the development.

The Cockburn site is 500 metres from the Cockburn Central train station and between 15 and 20 minutes by car from Fremantle Oval.

After the Cockburn option became public knowledge in July, the Fremantle City Council presented an August counter-offer that revolved around a $100 million redevelopment of a 6000 square metre site that would take in Fremantle Oval and land bordering the ground.

But the Dockers' financial contribution to the Fremantle redevelopment would have been more than to the Cockburn option.

Although the Fremantle Council was keen to retain the Dockers' main training base, a decision to move to Cockburn would at least provide certainty for future planning at Fremantle Oval and its surrounds, including the old Stan Reilly aged care centre.

Fremantle is expected to keep a presence of sorts - at least as far as retail goes - at its current base.

The Dockers certainly won't be the first AFL club to move out of their traditional stamping ground in search of premiership success.

Former Fremantle mayor and a member of the Keep Freo in Freo action group Peter Tagliaferri told 6PR Radio a move out of the port city would be a "betrayal" to Fremantle.

Mr Tagliaferri said the board should think "long and hard and deep" before making a decision which would see the club move to Cockburn.

"This is a serious betrayal, not only to the people of Fremantle but the City of Fremantle as a local government," he said.

Mr Tagliaferri said the City had provided an interest free loan to the club for a number of years.

"Fundamentally, we have been subsidising the Fremantle Football Club, I would say, conservatively to the tune of about $300,000 to $400,000 a year," he said.

"For them now to pack their bags and want to look at a better offer somewhere else, I think it'd be a serious betrayal of that trust and that arrangement."

He said he understood the Dockers had engaged a specialist a few months ago who had previously been involved in the relocation of other AFL teams.

"That almost put the death nail on the whole scenario, but I mean we still held out hope that the board and the membership would see reason."

Apart from the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans, who switched cities and won flags, St Kilda is now based at Seaford rather than Moorabbin and Essendon is due to switch its main training base from Windy Hill to Melbourne Airport next year.

Former Dockers captain Peter Mann was this week elected to the Fremantle board ahead of "Keep Freo in Freo" campaigner Chris Lewis.

-With Aleisha Orr

 

 

8 comments

  • so a small wetland will be destroyed for this new training facility.isn't that against everything the people of Fremantle, the teams fan-base, stands for?

    Commenter
    penelope
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    November 30, 2012, 11:17AM
    • If Freo is short for Fremantle, will this move make them the Cock' Dockers?

      Commenter
      Peter John
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      November 30, 2012, 12:36PM
      • Maybe they should look at the people in the club to get a premiership rather than the piece of swap they are going to train on!

        Commenter
        Greo
        Date and time
        November 30, 2012, 1:13PM
        • Seriously, as a Docker's supporter who cares. They don't play in Freo they play at Subiaco. They get a bigger training base and make the trip up to play in Subiaco every second week. It's not like they are moving home ground just a training base. Get over it.

          Commenter
          njm3010
          Location
          Perth
          Date and time
          November 30, 2012, 2:37PM
          • Given you don't care enough to call yourself a member, then your opinion is quite irrelevant.

            Commenter
            jj
            Location
            perth
            Date and time
            December 01, 2012, 2:38PM
        • this could be a win win situation for a lot of people SOUTH FREMANTLE move to Dockers current facility and Colts & junior football take over South Fremantle facilities

          Commenter
          RonaldR
          Location
          Cockburn Central
          Date and time
          November 30, 2012, 9:09PM
          • All fine in theory, but where will South Fremantle find the money to buy/lease the Docker's current premises?

            Commenter
            jj
            Location
            perth
            Date and time
            December 01, 2012, 2:40PM
        • This is all very interesting, given that mid-week the CEO said a decision is unlikely to be made before Xmas. He did say that a decision is expected before the start of the 2013 season.

          Commenter
          jj
          Location
          perth
          Date and time
          December 01, 2012, 2:36PM
          Comments are now closed

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