The Pirates face better fortunes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

The Pirates face better fortunes

By Adam Gartrell 22/04/2005 04:32:21 PM Comments (0)

Last week the Hunter Pirates faced almost certain oblivion - they had no money, no owners, no coach and no team.

Today, after a month of doom and gloom, the Pirates' NBL future is looking brighter than ever.

First came the six-figure 11th-hour sponsorship offer from a mystery local millionaire, later revealed to be media magnate Bill Caralis, who was hellbent on keeping the team in the Hunter Valley.

Then, bolstered by the financial security offered by Caralis, a Newcastle-based syndicate of seven led by prominent Hunter business people Helen and Nick Buvinic were able to reach an ownership agreement with majority stakeholder Jeff Blandon last Friday.

In another boost, last season's NBL coach of the year Adrian Hurley has scrapped plans to retire and returned to the helm.

Hurley announced his retirement last month, several days before the club was put up for sale.

His leadership was a key factor in the Pirates reaching the playoffs after a dismal performance the year before.

"I hadn't intended to return, I thought I'd be working on my golf this year," Hurley said.

"When I left I thought things were stable and secure and they could move forward without me.

"But they (the Buvinic group) pointed out that with new owners, a new coach, and new players they'd be back to square one, which was the main reason I put my hand up."

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