Ahead of the recent expansion debates and discussion on where the next team should be, here is part 2 of Ricky’s overall expansion analysis – with the Brisbane Bombers in focus on this occasion.
- Brisbane Bombers
As the game continues to grow in Brisbane, so too does the idea that the region is ready to take on a second team to rival the Brisbane Broncos. With that idea, though, comes the notion that the region is not ready for a second team and that the NRL could and should look elsewhere.
For those in favour of the introduction for a second Brisbane team, they cite the future rivalries that they will have with the Broncos. Additionally, they see it as a great opportunity to showcase two Brisbane teams in one week and potentially, on the same day, which will galvanise the Brisbane community and thus force them to pick a team. The region’s growing population is another reason behind a second Brisbane team, that will allow more players across the state capital to be rewarded with an NRL opportunity.
The question remains, though, is a second Brisbane team viable for the region as a whole and would it create a healthy rivalry among rugby league teams in Brisbane? Or, alternatively, would it cause quarrels and uncertainty over designated regions and feeder teams, thus creating some bad blood between the two teams?
As for the Bombers bid itself, they have a clear vision in sight in terms of what they are seeking to achieve. Their entire bid is based around for key, fundamental values and can act as their motto – Community, Integrity, Sustainability and Success.
The bid is a relatively new one overall but their motto outlines their achievements so far in attempting to convince the NRL that their bid is the right one for expansion.
The values espoused by the Bombers bid are not just for show – they are serious about them and use their strategic plan, organisation structure and overall priorities as a means to illustrate their plan of attack and their level of commitment towards ultimate success.
Their community aspect is about getting all fans involved in the sport and providing a team that everyone can love, respect and immerse themselves with. To demonstrate just how much they mean business when it comes to community, the Bombers have committed a multi-million dollar community engagement to take it to the next level. Also imperative to the Brisbane bid and tying in with their community aspect, is there desire to maintain a strong focus on membership development and a true family-based game day experience.
The Bombers also value integrity and through their actions, commitments and via the bid itself, they uphold and maintain the highest standards that will see them grow and develop as an expansion bid with the eventual hope – much like all bids – to make their mark in the NRL and be rewarded for their good work.
With a multitude of juniors across Brisbane and neighbouring communities/areas, the talent pool is such that a second team in the region could be supported. For the Bombers bid, they are committed to forming long, fruitful relationships with feeder clubs to promote local Brisbane juniors and to take the game back to its humble roots and increase the development and pathways for young kids. Blessed with a rich history in terms of junior development, the Brisbane area could do well to have a second team to spread the talent around.
The bombers have thought long and hard about what they can bring to the table and one key aspect for them – also one of their values – is sustainability. They have clear, concise plans in place that outline how they plan to survive as a team and how they plan to grow and develop into a successful organisation. Their notion and ideas of sustainability tie into their own personal integrity, as well as into the community and junior development, two areas that the bid are determined to see succeed should they be one of the bids that is awarded an opportunity.
The region is blessed with a plethora of talented players, many of which have gone onto bigger and better things in the rugby league community. As a result, the Brisbane bid have set their sights high should they be successful – with ambitious plans in place to sign the likes of Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, two Brisbane locals, to strengthen their team and organisation.
They also have strong backing from former NRL players with Billy Moore leading the push for a second Brisbane team and the need for a local rivalry in Brisbane and thus for the NRL.
Ricky’s View: Brisbane is a budding rugby league community, have a huge talent pool, a long list of talented juniors and a region all to themselves that has the means to expand but in my view, it is a bid that will not be successful. Their commitment to the bid, their values and their desire to create a new Brisbane team is to be appreciated and applauded but as it stands, the Brisbane area has one iconic brand among it already – the Brisbane Broncos. Their development can continue for further expansion with a view to becoming a team in the NRL down the track but in terms of immediate NRL expansion, they are not the bid that I would personally go with.