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Eels poised to do some hard time

Date

Adrian Proszenko

SUNDAY SIN BIN

Digital mischief ... the Parramatta Eels could be headed to jail, so to speak.

Digital mischief ... the Parramatta Eels could be headed to jail, so to speak. Photo: Sun-Herald Graphics

Ricky Stuart could soon have a unique training base for his Eels … Parramatta jail. As the Eels prepare for a breakout season under their new coach, Sin Bin can reveal the decommissioned correctional facility is firming as their likely destination. ''We're looking at a number of options for a training facility so that we can have our own one-stop shop and one of the options we're currently considering is Parramatta jail,'' Eels chief executive Bob Bentley said. ''We're in discussions with state property people to secure a lease so we can put in a gymnasium, a boxing ring, mats and then run all of our operations out of the area. It's only 500 metres from Parramatta Stadium and it would be an ideal location for us to set up a very high-performance unit, similar to a centre of excellence, where everything is contained in one area.'' Arthur ''Neddy'' Smith, Darcy Dugan and George Freeman are just some of the notorious figures who have called the prison, which was opened way back in 1798,home before its closure last year.

PARRA'S SPONSOR INTRIGUE

Parramatta officials will be shocked to learn that their major sponsor, Pirtek, has been involved in secret talks to back arch rivals Manly. Sin Bin can reveal that Pirtek boss Glenn Duncan was recently involved in discussions to take a stake in the Sea Eagles. Pirtek were one of several parties that flagged their interest in shaking up the ownership model of last year's premiers but ultimately opted not to proceed. It's unlikely Eels powerbrokers would have stood for such a conflict of interest.

KEARNEY JOINS BRONCOS

Sunday Sin Bin spies tell us Steve Kearney spoke with a Roosters official recently about an assistant's role to new coach Trent Robinson, but the former Parramatta coach will reportedly join the Broncos' coaching staff next season. The Chooks are close to finalising their support staff for next year, when their playing roster will be boosted by Sonny Bill Williams and James Maloney.

MANLY IN TO BAT FOR GOWER

Manly are poised to bolster their pack with the signing of St George Illawarra forward David Gower. However, there is still uncertainty on how the Sea Eagles will line up next year. Salary cap pressure means the club may have to offload Brent Kite, but his switch to Wests Tigers is not a done deal. Parramatta-bound Manly assistant Matt Parish is the favourite to take over from Tim Sheens. Should he be successful, it is understood Kite is unlikely to figure in his plans at the joint-venture club.

EL MASRI DEAL LIKELY SOON

We revealed last week that the AFL has attempted to poach Hazem El Masri as an ambassador for western Sydney. That news should have acted as a wake-up call for the ARL Commission bigwigs, but they are still to thrash out a deal with the Canterbury legend. However, an announcement is likely this week.

EARS TO A GOOD TIME

James Graham gets done for biting. Mike Tyson is coming to town. Are you thinking what Max Markson is thinking? ''I'm happy to extend an invitation to James Graham to meet Mike Tyson in Sydney on Saturday, November 17,'' said Markson, who is promoting the Tyson tour. ''They can meet, have a photo taken and we can caption it, 'Lend me your ears'.''

BLAIR'S BACK FOR KIWIS

Adam Blair, a surprise omission from the New Zealand team, has been given a call-up after injury ruled Newcastle-bound former Cronulla forward Jeremy Smith out of the Townsville Test against Australia.

TIME TO RUFFLE FEATHERS

A fiery meeting is expected when Magpies fans front Western Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club officials at today's ''information meeting'' at Wests Ashfield Leagues club from 10am. With massive doubts about whether the Magpies will field a team in next year's NSW Cup - Wests Tigers has called for the joint-venture to field only one side next year - it will be a chance for supporters to hear the recommendations of black and white powerbrokers.

ONE MORE FOR UTAI

They may not have a coach, but it hasn't stopped Wests Tigers from re-signing players. Matt Utai has just signed a one-year extension with the club. ''He's been in almost career-best form and has finished the season really strongly for them,'' said Utai's manager, Giancarlo Lombardo of GLT Sports Management. ''He's looking forward to a big 2013.''

FINCH FLIES FOR STORM

As we revealed back in July, Brett Finch will rejoin Melbourne next year. The announcement was officially made at the Storm's awards night on Friday.

BEAVER SIGHTING

Steve Menzies was a surprise attendee at Manly's presentation dinner on Friday night. The Beaver, who will play on into his 41st year for Catalan, stunned guests and officials when he flew in to present an award named in his honour.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Benny Elias moves in interesting circles. The Tigers great was spotted at China Doll dining with Crusty Demons star Robbie Maddison, outgoing FFA boss Ben Buckley, Hawthorn star Lance ''Buddy'' Franklin and PR man Grant Vandenberg.

COURT DATE FOR FOLKES

We recently revealed that Daniel Folkes, the son of former Canterbury coach Steve Folkes, allegedly urinated on a man during a night out in Sydney. Daniel, a former under-20s player for the Bulldogs, was charged with offensive language, offensive behaviour and resisting arrest. The matter has been adjourned until Thursday, although he isn't required to front the Downing Centre Court if legally represented.

PLENTY TO CHEW ON

Most punters believe the judiciary got it right in handing James Graham a 12-week ban. However, recent history will show that the defendant in a much more serious ear-biting incident got a lesser suspension. North Sydney winger Mitchell Stevens copped only 10 weeks, despite the fact he was found to have bitten a chunk of Balmain-Ryde player Jason Schirnack's ear off in a NSW Cup game in 2010. Stevens pleaded not guilty and claimed that he had punched rather than bit Schirnack's ear, but also lost his case.

THAT'S IT … FOR NOW

That's it for Sunday Sin Bin for this year. Thanks for reading and, until next footy season, do svidaniya!

Twitter -@proshenks

6 comments so far

  • There's been a lot of comments about the James Graham saga and everyone is entitled to an opinion. Why hasn't anyone considered the opinion of the specialist who spoke for Graham. He said in his 19 years of experience, he did not consider the evidence to support biting. He said the wound was in the wrong place and there was no puncture mark.
    Maybe Graham was right when he said it was an abrasion caused by his head and not a bite.
    And the guy has played 250 games of league and has never offended.

    Commenter
    speedy2460
    Location
    Grafton
    Date and time
    October 07, 2012, 2:43PM
    • speedy you are wrong...check his wrap sheet from the u.k...then you might have a different opinion.....

      Commenter
      fatcat73
      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 8:27AM
  • West's Tigers need to take a good look at the Western suburbs/ Balmain merger. I f ollowed the Magpies for years and it was logical to suport merged teams given the "equals share: in the premier team. Is it still there? Or is the Balmian view of to world? I have to think hard about my support if that is the case. Love West'ss Tigers but I still bleed for the Magpies and the way they are treated is not good. This year not a game won as as Sheens insisted that anyone who was any good HAD to play for Balmain! Hate saying this, but if the Magpies aren't given a bigger share OR God forbid, are dumped altogether; then I have to decide that if my old team isn't featured in the Tiger's plans, whether I support someone else!

    Commenter
    Walks of Wgtn
    Date and time
    October 17, 2012, 11:22AM
    • i was a tiges fan and got out at the start of the merge. the whole thing stank. was tough not claiming the GF win after the tigers GF losses of my childhood, but I couldn't support a merged team. time to get out mate. pick a new team. I stayed out west, maybe i'll see you at a game depending on who you choose?

      Commenter
      Jono
      Location
      Melbs
      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 11:50AM
  • Cheers Jono, I live in Wellington NZ so odds are I won't bump into you. But you can bet on one thing, I ain't supporting the Warriiors! The may call themselves the NZ teams BUT they are and always will be the Dauwkland Warriors. The creation of the warriors effectively killed off grassroots league here so will carry my resentment to the grave haha! As for another team I have soft spot for Souths so if things do pear shape for the Mighty Magpies; Rabbit have front running.

    Commenter
    Walks of Wgtn
    Date and time
    October 18, 2012, 2:09PM
    • Hasim Elmasri being Signed by the AFL to be an ambsidor fio WEstern Sydney all Melissa & I can sa y the ARLC is yiu have mised ti bus because the AFL will have one of your sports legends to help tem develop their game in Western Sydney furthermore the AFL will be happy that they poached somerone from under Rugby League's nose Hasin will bring many people who have not e-been to abn AFL game in WEstern Sydney he will also bring many Sponsors to Tghe Greaster Western Sydney Giants from Rugby League in Western Sydney and Canberra.

      Commenter
      JASON & MELISSA
      Location
      BORONIA & FERNTREE GULLY
      Date and time
      October 21, 2012, 5:03PM

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