Wolves take a chance on WIN Stadium

FOOTBALL 

South Coast president Bobby Mazevski believes the Wolves' high profile move to WIN Stadium is a risk they need to take.

The former NSL champions announced yesterday they would be calling the beachside venue home for the 2014 season after months of negotiations with Venues NSW and WIN Stadium.

The club spent their last campaign alternating between John Crehan and Macedonia parks but had decided to pursue a more permanent option.

WIN Stadium was a logical solution and while the move will result in a degree of financial burden on the club, Mazevski was confident the rewards could outweigh the risks.

"It is a risk as we are not the most heavily backed club in terms of financials from that perspective," he said. "[But] for us, we need to take it.

"We know the risks ... it is going to be a case of making sure the results on the pitch count and we get the people on board.

"We think we have got a strategy in place that will hold us through the season."

Mazevski said that the club had already looked at measures to ensure the move remained viable throughout 2014, including membership, sponsorship and corporate packages.

In addition, co-operation with Venues NSW and the stadium management was deemed of high priority.

"We have to try and make sure it gets good support," WIN Sports and Entertainment Centre general manager Stuart Barnes said.

"Between us and the Wolves, we have to be active in making sure the message is out there when games are on.

"I am sure the Wolves will present a brand of football which is exciting and entertaining.

"We just have to make sure we get the people in here. I hope the people will come out and support them because they are wearing Wollongong and the South Coast on their sleeve."

In recent years, the Wolves remained in the football wilderness in the Illawarra after the demise of the NSL and their former complex at Brandon Park.

The club was dealt another blow late last year when government funding for the West Dapto "home of football" development, a potential new home, was denied.

Moving to WIN Stadium and a family friendly Sunday afternoon timeslot should provide the club with an immediate boost.

"It's a step in the right direction," Football South Coast chief executive Ann-Marie Balliana said.

"The Wolves played here once upon a time, obviously in the NSL, but for our elite team to be playing at the elite facility is obviously a step in the right direction.

"It won't be without its challenges. I think the important thing is that the community comes out and supports our Wolves."

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