From Wolves to Hawks, Illawarra has a fascination with Canberra

Capital gains: Could the Hawks have a successful relationship with Canberra?
Capital gains: Could the Hawks have a successful relationship with Canberra?

Hey there, Canberra. 

It might not seem like we’ve got much in common, but in the interests of full disclosure, we find you very attractive. 

Sure, we may not share your love of politicians, or public service, or freezing winters, or roundabouts. 

And we still remember the Raiders hoodoo, so we don’t share your passion for lime green either. 

They tell us you still have a Super rugby team too? Good for you. No-one talks about elite rugby much here, aside from hearing the odd religious ear-bashing from Israel Folau. But we can still have some good times if we hang out more often. 

For instance, we both share a genuine love for Jervis Bay and the South Coast. 

We see you down there every school holidays, so we think we could really hit it off.

And we know your flirtation with the GWS Giants, but we reckon there’s still room for us in your life. 

It was 12 months ago when Wollongong Wolves chief executive Chris Papakosmas signalled intentions for a more meaningful relationship with the national capital. 

"Canberra is an area and a market that is absolutely crucial to the growth of football and it's about much more than just A-League games in Canberra,” he said. 

"It's also about the clinics and tournaments and opportunities and the pathways we'll provide for players.” 

Canberra had launched a push for inclusion in the A-League, raising $5 million in capital, when the Western Sydney Wanderers were embraced. Since, the ACT’s hopes have been completely ignored, leading to your need for a plan B and our need for a bigger catchment area. 

The Wolves’ ongoing fight with Sydney super bid Southern Expansion continues with deadline day looming.

Remember the whole “fish where the fish are” argument from FFA boss David Gallop?

Well, we’d like to take you out for a nice seafood dinner and we promise we’ll call you again. This week, Basketball ACT perhaps somewhat prematurely declared the Hawks were ready to take NBL games – as well as pre-season games – to the former home of the Canberra Cannons. 

In all likelihood, it will mean two games down there, and Hawks fans have little reason for complaint, it’s not like the WIN Entertainment Centre is packed out, even with the sport’s national resurgence. The Canberra concept first came up three years ago, when it widely slammed. 

It feels like the dynamic has changed since, even though there were doubts over the club ownership structure when James Spenceley sold his share, as there was then after the club went into voluntary administration. But the financial incentive is there.

In the hope of a long-term elite future in both basketball and football, maybe we could be a perfect match after all.