Read on for the latest news from around the grounds in Canberra sport. We've got the latest stadium changes, Raiders turning into reality stars and soccer drama.
You can get it walkin', you can get it talkin', you can get it mowing a plough. Matter of fact, I've got it now. A hard-earned thirst needs a big cold can, and the best cold can at Manuka Oval is water.
Hang on, water? You read that correctly.
Water bottles are being phased out at Manuka Oval and Canberra Stadium, meaning punters at the Prime Minister's XI this week have been quenching their thirst with a can of water.
Cracking open a can of water might not give you that same satisfying sound as a soft drink or a beer, but it's part of the ACT government's plan to outlaw harmful environmental pollutants.
The Canberra Raiders and ACT Brumbies might as well stock up on stubby holders to sell at games next year with single-use plastics to be banned at sporting fixtures at Manuka Oval and Canberra Stadium.
Among the plastic items already eliminated are sandwich containers, salad containers, soup bowls, cutlery and its wrapping, stirrers and straws. In their place come paper, cardboard or compostable aluminium containers, as well as wooden or bamboo cutlery.
Venues have introduced sauce bottles - to be used at food vendors before punters return to their seats - in place of sauce packets, while lids for coffee cups are on their way out.
Bottled water and soft drink is heading out the door, with cans and tetra - a type of thick cardboard which also contains aluminium and low-density polyethylene - preferred in their place.
So, what's next? Pie and sausage roll packets, chip and nut packets, and plastic cups. Venues Canberra officials plan to eliminate those items in 2024.
THE RAIDER LOOKING FOR LOVE
"Sorry to cut you off," a lady named McKenna said, "but I feel like I know you from somewhere. Are you the same Luke Bateman who crashed over next to the posts against South Sydney in round 21, 2017?"
"Right there and then I realised this is a girl I could marry," the former Canberra Raider would say.
OK, maybe this conversation didn't actually happen - but Raiders fans are having plenty of fun with Bateman's appearance on The Bachelors Australia.
Fans have been posting memes about the former Raiders workhorse, who became something of a cult hero during a 71-game NRL career cut short during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The one we've already mentioned is a standout - while Bateman picking up the phone and saying "G'day darl, come on up" has been hailed as one of his best lines on the show.
Bateman ended up on the show - alongside fellow bachelors in Brazilian Wesley Senna Cortes and model Ben Waddell - after two female friends urged him to apply.
Twenty-four women are vying for the bachelors' hearts, with Bateman - whose bed and clothes are in Brisbane but spends most of his time in central Queensland working with logging machinery - already putting the experience "above playing in the NRL".
SANDOR THE GLADIATOR
Speaking of former Raiders turning into reality stars, Sandor Earl is set to feature on Channel 10's Gladiators relaunch.
Earl made a name for himself on the wing during a 56-game NRL career during stints with Canberra, the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers.
But he'll be known by a different name on the TV show: Phoenix.
"Just like his totem, every battle is a new beginning for Phoenix, he will rise and never fall," his bio reads.
"With incredible speed, power, and strength, he thrives on adrenaline. Phoenix is rough around the edges, with an air of menace. He is resilient and fierce, welcoming any challenge in the arena."
HEYMAN'S 100TH DILEMMA
Canberra United coach Njegosh Popovich might need to take a page out of Ricky Stuart's book.
United star Michelle Heyman has scored 97 goals during her A-League Women's career, leading into Canberra's clash with Brisbane at McKellar Park on Sunday.
If she creeps closer but doesn't bring up the 100-goal milestone this weekend, Popovich might find himself in a dilemma with Canberra fans keen to witness the feat on home turf.
United hits the road to face the Melbourne Victory next week before hosting Central Coast on December 23. It would be a fitting day to reach 100 goals for Heyman, who played with the Mariners before joining Canberra.
CAPITAL FOOTBALL'S SEARCH
The position's become something of a poisoned chalice, but Capital Football is hoping to fill its vacant chief executive role with Christmas cheer.
Capital Football chair Angelo Konstantinou said there were some "really good candidates" after applications closed recently.
They're in the process of organising interviews with the potential of finalising their new boss by the end of the year.
It will hopefully put a tough few years for the governing body of ACT soccer behind them, as they could potentially have their fourth chief executive in two years.
He oversaw a massive $874,000 loss that depleted Capital Football's cash reserves, which they've been saving to help fund the planned Throsby Home of Football.
Throsby's cost has potentially blown out to almost $50 million due to escalating building costs.
Gardiner's replacement, Ivan Slavich, was brought in to turn around the financial situation by attracting extra revenue.
Slavich was able to do that before he quit in controversial circumstances in October - less than a year in the role.
He slammed his own board at their biggest night of the year - Capital Football's awards night, which was meant to be a celebration of everything ACT soccer.
Slavich took aim at their decision to can the controversial Canberra United Academy and replace it with a "talented sports program".
Konstantinou was impressed with the calibre of candidates who have applied for the role.
"We're just about to start the interview process," he said.
"We've got a heap of applications in, with some really good candidates. That's good news.
"We're hoping to finalise something before Christmas, but it will all depend on the interviews obviously."
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