Bulli Men's Bowling Club president Bernie Harding is working on a plan to effectively move as many of his bowling members to one established club as the fallout over the closure of Bulli Bowling Club continues.
Bulli BC will close at the end of the month leaving the future of more than 60 pennant players in limbo, in a sad footnote to a great 12 months for the northern suburbs club.
Bulli won the Zone 16 fours championship this year and then became the first fours team in the club's history to make the final of the State Championships, at East Maitland BC in October.
Bulli also won promotion to Grade 1 in Zone 16 pennants in 2014 and looked to have a fairly strong side, plus had nominated teams in Grade 3, 6 and 7 in 2014.
After winning the Grade 2 and Grade 4 Illawarra Zone 16 pennant flags, Bulli's Grade 2 side made the grand final of the State Playoffs, while the Grade 4 team reached the State semi-finals.
Now faced with the prospect of 60-plus pennant players needing to find new homes in 2014, Harding is hoping most can find the same home.
"It would be great if we could move not only what we hope is the base of what will be our No 1 Grade side to a new club, but as many teams and players as possible to the one club," Harding said.
"If we found the one new club together that was keen to take us in, then we could unite again and play our bowls together again."
While not all Bulli bowlers will move to the same club, Harding said initial talks with the players had been positive to finding the one established new home.
Harding confirmed from the early preliminary talks that Woonona Bowling Club is their preferred new base.
It is still early in negotiations but the favoured plan is for Bulli's promoted Grade 1 side to play as Woonona in Illawarra Zone 16 Grade 1 pennants in 2014.
With Oak Flats dropping out of Grade 1 in 2014 and relegated Albion Park moving back into Grade 1, Zone 16 officials do not want to be left with a nine-team Grade 1 comp which would occur should Bulli not take their place in some form.
Before Bulli's move across to any club in Grade 1 can be approved, Zone 16 need a guarantee that the vast majority of their 2014 Grade 1 team would also move to a designated new home.
Before any move could be ratified it would need the approval of the NSW Bowls Match Committee, though Zone 16 have been keeping Bowls NSW up to date.