Bulldogs Chief Executive Raelene Castle discusses some of the issues surrounding our game and looks back at season 2015 and what is in stall for 2016.
I was shocked with the timing and I think Dave has added an enormous amount to the NRL.
He leaves some significant change process that has been in place at the NRL that really needed to take it to the new level and he got a long way through the TV deal and stadium policy.
We are pleased that the money has been committed, but we would like to see ANZ Stadium get the first lot of investment so it can be upgraded and turned into a rectangle stadium before anything else is done and that will then also give a home for anyone coming out of Parramatta Stadium or Allianz Stadium.
We will continue to have those discussions to see if that’s a possibility not only for ourselves, but for what we believe is the best for rugby league.
We had an enormous year and anytime you celebrate a milestone like 80 years it gives you lots of reasons to step back and contemplate the amazing achievements that the Bulldogs have had over a really extended period of time and what a significant player the Bulldogs are in the rugby league market.
We had lots of special moments throughout the year, including the 80th anniversary Gala dinner, introduction of the Hall of Fame that included five great inductees which was a really special night, not only for the Bulldogs to celebrate 80 years, but for people to get together who hadn’t seen one another for a very long time.
The two games at Belmore bought a fan based that had been longing to experience those moments that their grandparents or parents had spoken about and they were both very successful.
The Monday night game against the Storm in round 16 was very special and many people said it was the highlight of their rugby league year and although the result didn’t go our way in round 20, the afternoon at Belmore was amazing.
On-field was a little bit disappointing by our standards and at least one more week and probably two more weeks, to give ourselves a chance to win the Grand Final.
It was a tough year after Good Friday with the injuries and suspensions we picked up.
We need to pay respect to the impact that really had on us through that period and how we fought and clawed back to even get to the top eight and give ourselves that really good chance, but I think playing without those players really took its toll on us through the year and off the field we had our biggest membership numbers we have ever done and I would like to thank all the members who stepped up and really supported us by buying a membership.
I saw it on TV, read about it and people had spoken to me about the very special feeling that is Belmore and when the team sung the song on the field at the end of the match, it was a moment I will remember forever.
It was a very special memory and I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.
The roster looks strong again for next year and those players that missed a lot of games through injury and suspension will be fit and firing which will give us that consistency and deliver an exciting brand of football again.
I think we will sign more members than we have had before so we would love to get to 20,000 members which will be great for us.
Families have a lot to look forward to in the 2016 season, with all 2015 family membership prices freezing for our early bird sale period. That means that until November 20 2015, any family that is renewing or joining as new members can enjoy the same price that was offered in 2015.
In addition to that, we have introduced even more memberships for the upcoming season including our Premium Add-On available to all Full Season members as well as our brand new Boy and Girl memberships!
We will bring some new initiatives to game day and look to make that experience something you don’t want to miss and am excited to be able to bring another two games back to Belmore next year, but also look ahead to lock the Belmore games in as a regular event.