Following the announcement that the Gold Coast Blue Tongues will not play in the 2013 AIHL season, HSN had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the shape the league will take next year. Xavier Player with more.
While the decision for the Gold Coast to sit out the coming season came as a shock to many, when speaking with AIHL Assistant Commissioner Alex Lata, she made it very clear that it was a decision that came from the Blue Tongues, rather than the league.
“The suggestion to sit out a year was first raised by the Blue Tongues, once it seemed that other options may not be satisfactory.”
Not only does this show the respect that the Blue Tongues have for the future of the league, but the league themselves must be congratulated for the way that they have handled the situation.
After the official decision was made on Thursday of last week, the league held off from making an announcement at the request of the Blue Tongues who thought it best that they were able to release the news to their fans first-hand.
The omission of the Gold Coast from the upcoming season will see it revert to a 28 schedule, where each team will play all other teams twice, with two home fixtures and two away.
While it could be expected that this would mean members of the Blue Tongues would have to sit out the season, the league are going to be working with the remaining eight teams to ensure that homes are found for as many as possible.
With over 12 months to finalise their new venue, both the league and the Blue Tongues will be working tirelessly to ensure that the new rink doesn’t hold the same risks as the previous venue, Lata says.
“Any new facility which the Blue Tongues propose as a permanent venue for the 2014 season will need to meet the existing requirements, which we think satisfy the basic requirements. The Blue Tongues old venue did not meet these requirements, but they had been given a dispensation on the basis that they move home venues in the 2013 season”
The agreement for the side to move venues for next season was cancelled after the postponement of games against the Melbourne Ice in June.
While the year break may not be what fans want to see, it ensures that the Blue Tongues will be able to come back stronger in 2014 and that hockey in Queensland will have a long and prosperous future.
By Xavier Player
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