Demetriou praises 'Roos transformation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demetriou praises 'Roos transformation

By Sam Lienert 02/06/2008 06:32:09 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says North Melbourne's off-field transformation in the past seven months has defied his expectations.

The Kangaroos on Monday unveiled plans for a $15m redevelopment of their Arden St base, including new training facilities as well a multicultural education base - the Life and Learning Centre.

Demetriou said the club's ability to garner support to ensure the redevelopment went ahead was one of several signs of their growing off-field strength.

It contrasts with their position last November, when James Brayshaw took over as chairman and the club voted not to relocate to the Gold Coast, despite fears they faced extinction in Melbourne.

"This football club, from the moment that it announced that it wanted to stay in Melbourne, has kicked many, many goals - 30,000 members is an incredible achievement given we didn't ever think we'd see the day that the North Melbourne Football Club would have that level of membership," Demetriou said.

"They've been able to cut costs out of their business and introduce efficiencies.

"They've signed up corporate partners and sponsorships, they're now talking about their redevelopment back on track ... they've done an outstanding job."

Kangaroos chief executive Eugene Arocca said an improved home base was critical to the club cementing their future in Melbourne.

"When I came on board the three key areas I thought were relevant to North Melbourne were membership, sponsorship and the facilities," Arocca said.

"Every club that's succeeded in Victoria in recent years has been based around a strong new facility - Hawthorn with Waverley, Collingwood with the Lexus Centre, Carlton's now getting their facility in order.

"North Melbourne needs a facility to survive and give itself some relevance in Victoria ... this (Life and Learning Centre) was just a creative way of making it even more relevant."

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