THE FUNNY SIDE OF FOOTY - KENMORE BEARS STYLE
Introduction The following is an application on behalf of the Kenmore Bears Senior Australian
Football Club (the Kenmore Bears) for the 17th AFL licence on the Gold Coast. It
begins with a brief history of the Kenmore Bears and then demonstrates how as an
existing club with a sound infrastructure in place, the Kenmore Bears offer the AFL a "risk free" choice for the 17th licence.
A Brief History The Kenmore Bears currently play in the third-tier of Australian Football in
Queensland. We were formed in 1997 and took part in the 3rd Division of the Brisbane Australian Football League. Since then we have been promoted three times and are now playing in the 1st Division of the Australian Football League Queensland State Association. The year 2007 was our first as a 1st Division State Association club and the seniors team finished 8th, managing seven wins.
The Kenmore Bears have a formidable history of success. We have won 5
premierships since our inception. It is this culture of success that has inspired us to
apply for the 17th AFL licence. We have always been a club that has aspired to greater things and although a move into the AFLQ State League would be the next logical step in our progression, we believe our history makes us ideal candidates for the 17th AFL Licence. We are a club that knows how to win and how to succeed. We are looking to shed our amateur status and mix it with the big boys on a national stage.
The Current Situation - Our Oval The home of the Kenmore Bears is in Queenscroft Street, Chelmer. However, the
drought has dealt us a terrible blow. During the 2007 season our home ground was
one of only two grounds in Queensland to be condemned by AFLQ as unfit for use. It was deemed too hard for safe use and a potential death trap. Since then, the club has been somewhat nomadic and we have played out of Akuna Oval in Kenmore and have trained as far away as Inala. We consider this current situation to be unacceptable and this is a primary reason for the club looking for a permanent home elsewhere. It would be preferable for the AFL to secure a stadium deal for our club in the Gold Coast before we take the 17th licence; however, this is negotiable.
The Gold Coast Bears If the AFL was to offer the Kenmore Bears the 17th AFL licence, the club would be
prepared to relocate to the Gold Coast. We would jump at the opportunity to take our brand to a much larger market and believe we are the kind of club that the Gold Coast would adopt as their own. Many of the players have a natural affinity with the Gold Coast. For the last three years we have held our annual footy trip there and we are immediately recognisable to many of the locals and security firms. Sponsorship from a local hotel would be assured. The club is also prepared to change its name to the Gold Coast Bears or something similar (see appendix 1: Potential Logos). This has been a sticking point for many of our members; however as a compromise we have decided that the letters KBFC will be in small white writing on the back of the jersey.
The Team - the List The club would like to remain faithful to its current list of players. The Kenmore spirit is not something that is easily learnt and often takes new players a number of years to acquire. We believe that there are at least 30 players in our current squad who are up to the rigours of top level AFL football. We would aim to supplement this list with players from our affiliated junior club and past Kenmore greats including current AFL footballers Max Hudgton, Mal Michael and Courtenay Dempsey and current VFL footballers Tim and Simon Plummer.
Given that receiving the licence would require many of our players to relocate to the Gold Coast, we would ask the AFL to provide salary cap concessions to stop the
dreaded "going home" epidemic that faces many clubs outside of Melbourne. It is a
concern of ours that many of our current players would not be able to cope with the move to the Gold Coast and may return to Brisbane to take up amateur football at another club. We would look to phase out these concessions over a 10 year period in which time we will aim to get the infrastructure in place to help our younger players deal with homesickness.
The Team - Coaching Our current senior coach Jeff Williams has been at the helm for the past three seasons and has brought the Bears into an era of unparalleled success. For this reason, if granted the 17th licence, we intend to offer Williams a one year contract with its extension being contingent on sound on-field performance. While we consider it flattering that Kevin Sheedy would consider taking over the coaching role, we believe that we should stick with our current formula of long kicks down the guts with little tactical insight. We would be prepared to offer Kevin Sheedy an unpaid advisor position and if he impressed us enough we may consider him as a future alternative to Williams.
The Team - Development Every club that wishes to make it at AFL level needs an exceptional developmental
structure supporting it. We are attached to one of Brisbane's strongest junior clubs,
the Kenmore Junior Football Club, and currently we provide a direct pathway to
senior football. We are already in the process of grooming these youngsters for third tier amateur football in Queensland and believe that with a slight tinkering of this process we will be grooming top-level AFL footballers within two years.
We are committed to the development of football in Queensland. Therefore, if we are given the 17th AFL licence we pledge to fill our rookie list with players from our
junior club or junior clubs within the Gold Coast catchment area. We believe that
Queensland football is a rich source of untapped potential and we have our talent
scouts on the lookout for the next Michael Voss to lead our club into the future.
The Club - Our Financial Situation The club is in the strongest financial position in its 11 year history. The 2007 season saw us finish the season $10,000 in the black. We expect the takings from the 2008 season to resemble those of 2007.
Our primary source of revenue is player fees. Last season we charged each player
$300 for the season. If we are granted the 17th licence we will continue to charge
player fees and given the increase in interest in the club we may be able to demand over $1,000 a season per player. With a list of 44 players, this will be a substantial source of revenue.
The Kenmore Bears are also renowned fundraisers and every year organise a number of events, which line the coffers for the season. We plan to host a "Porn and Prawn Night" and a "Kenmore Idol Night" in the 2008 season. If we were granted the 17th licence we believe the extra publicity would ensure larger attendances at these nights and the club would reap the benefits of this.
Every match day we run a canteen, which sells lollies, coffee and beer. We also run a weekly sausage sizzle after training. We will continue providing this service and, once again, with the potential of tapping into the Gold Coast market of over 500,000 people we believe these services will prove extremely lucrative.
We would be happy to accept the same support the AFL has given the Kangaroos of $7million a year. This money would primarily go towards a slick advertising
campaign, which would announce our arrival on the Gold Coast. We would also look to spend the money on a marquee player to capture the public's interest. Given that our current list is prepared to play without payment, we would be able to spend the entire salary cap on this marquee player. Some suggestions have been to try to encourage former Kenmore Bears great "Humper" out of retirement with a $2 million carrot. Other ideas put forward include signing Warwick Capper or trying to tap into the current "Beckham Mania" and getting David Beckham over for some cameo performances.
The Club - Our Fan Base The Kenmore Bears have a large, loyal fan base made up predominantly of parents, girlfriends and past greats. Our average home crowd attendance is approximately 100 supporters. These figures would be equivalent to what the Kangaroos get to most of their home games. We believe that crowd attendance numbers would steadily improve if we were granted the 17th licence as we are very popular club on the Gold Coast.
This solid base of fans is another bonus of awarding an already established club the 17th licence. This year we held our 10 year anniversary function and more than 200 people attended and pledged their support for the idea. There will be no embarrassment for the AFL or the Kenmore Bears by fans voting down the move to the Gold Coast.
Although most of our members are loyal Brisbanites, they fully support the idea and are keen to see the club move forward.
Conclusion - the Time is Right for the Gold Coast Bears There are many pitfalls involved in starting a sporting team from scratch on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Seagulls, the Gold Coast Chargers, the Gold Coast Rollers and even the Brisbane Bears are all failed Gold Coast sporting enterprises. We offer the AFL a financially secure club with a proven history of success when being promoted into higher divisions. The infrastructure of the Kenmore Bears is also second-to-none.
We have a ready-made list of players, a coach who has confirmed his desire to lead us into the AFL and a world-class talent development program. As an already
established club we have a guaranteed supporter base, ensuring that crowd
attendances will not be low. In conclusion, the time is right for the Gold Coast Bears!
Last Modified on 25/02/2008 11:17