By Suheil Damouny
24 August 2006 - Valley Times
Nobody can question Campsie resident Luke Brailey's passion for the mighty Bulldogs. It is this dedication that has fuelled his goal for the Bulldogs to return to their original home ground at the Belmore Sports Ground (BSG).
The BSG is in a deteriorated state and is in need of refurbishment to return it to NRL standards to have any chance of hosting an NRL game.
Mr Brailey has initiated the “Back to Belmore” campaign which aims to let the public be aware of the situation and help him convince the Bulldogs Club to upgrade the BSG.
After contacting Canterbury Council, the Bulldogs and the National Rugby League (NRL) Headquarters, with no positive response, he has decided to run for the Bulldogs board in 2009, to convince them to fund the upgrade.
“Belmore has been the Bulldogs' home ground since 1935 and is the life blood of the team. I want to maintain the traditions of the Bulldogs and have the hill where people can put their rugs and have a good time, people do not need seats at Telstra Stadium - it is not the opera for heaven's sake,” he said.
Mr Brailey said
he would bring to the club his commitment and love of the club. “If I get elected I will be the youngest member of the board where I will bring my youth and the traditional values of the club,” he said.
Bulldogs great Steve Mortimer said he admires Luke's passion but says the club's future is at Telstra Stadium. “It is my absolute belief that everything should be moved to Telstra and I firmly endorse the move to Olympic Park. It is the best facility in Australia, it is a win-win situation,” Mr Mortimer said.
In a meeting between Mr Brailey and NRL's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Gallop, Mr Brailey expressed his concerns to the CEO who seemed sympathetic but said the NRL cannot force the clubs to choose their home grounds.
General Manager of Canterbury Council, Jim Montague said “[Council] is unwilling to commit such a large sum to the upgrading a venue which has a limited future.”
For the latest information on the campaign visit backtobelmore.com.au