#1 multi-sport complex is planned, model von love520 08.08.2019 07:46

Battling Brisbanes facilities are a concern but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has baulked at adding to their $5 million investment in the Lions proposed new headquarters.The Lions were hopeful of lobbying for more funding from the league for their proposed new base near the airport when they met the AFL Commission on Friday in Brisbane.A $25 million multi-sport complex is planned, modelled on Melbournes AAMI Park where the Demons (AFL), Storm (NRL), Rebels (Super Rugby) and Victory (A-League) are based.Its clear the facilities at the Lions are a concern, McLachlan said.Theyre very keen on the airport. The AFL has committed $5 million of funding to that.Asked if the AFL would consider contributing more, McLachlan said: Five million dollars is significant.In the end, we will need to have broader partnerships than that, no matter if we increased it, to get this facility to work.But McLachlan claimed a new Lions base was a priority.Were clear now about what the Lions priority is there and well work with them to secure an outcome, McLachlan said of Brisbanes proposed headquarters.Its a priority. Well be going as fast as we can.I think weve come a long way in the last couple of months.The Lions are also lobbying the Queensland government for funding for their new base.Meanwhile, McLachlan admitted it was an issue that the Lions were more than $1 million short of spending their football department soft cap.Brisbane also struggle to expend their entire player salary cap.But this year, there are 15 of 18 clubs not spending up to the cap, McLachlan said.Its a priority across the league for all clubs to pay 100 per cent of the salary cap and spend up to 100 per cent of the soft cap ... and also to make a profit.We are working with the Lions and (Gold Coast) Suns but a lot of clubs are getting there.Lions coach Justin Leppitsch said Brisbane would be requesting what a lot of other clubs took for granted.Most of our things are really just things every other club takes for granted, as far as facilities, spending of the soft cap, making sure we can spend our full salary cap, things most clubs just have at hand, he said.Itd definitely be helpful to just get the base minimum of what every other team in the competition is doing.McLachlan said it was disappointing that the two Queensland clubs - Brisbane and Gold Coast - were again struggling this season.Brisbane (2-15 record) are second last on the ladder.The Suns (6-11) are fourth last and have never made the finals since their 2011 inception.Clearly, our two AFL clubs have had their challenges in the last 18 months but Queensland generally is going very well, McLachlan said.We always take a long-term view - Queensland particularly. 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I knew there was much more to it, but it wasnt until I got on a court with an Olympic gold medalist that I understood just what makes the sport so difficult: Its the sand itself -- slowing every step, cutting short every jump and conspiring with the beating sun to wear down even the fittest bodies.Or even one belonging to a fortysomething sports writer.During a professional tour event outside Cincinnati this spring, I had a chance to hit the ball around with two-time Olympian and 2008 gold medalist Todd Rogers. Aptly nicknamed The Professor, Rogers is the coach at Cal Poly, where he took over a team that had won one match in each of its previous two seasons and led it to an 11-12 record in his first year.This would prove to be an even bigger challenge.I gave Rogers and his teammate, Robbie Page, a ride over to the practice facility that was the warmup area for players in the AVP Cincinnati Open, the last American stop for the FIVB tour before the close of Olympic qualification. Page, at 7-feet tall, could barely avoid kissing his knees in my midsized rental car.Rogers asked if I had ever played volleyball before, and I told him I had hit the ball around enough to know what I was supposed to do, if not how to do it. But my limited experience in a gym class on a hardwood basketball court did not prepare me to play outdoors, on the sand.Rogers started out by just tossing the ball over the net to me, under-handed, and that proved easy enough; I was able to return a few serves back to him, and pass most others to where my partner would be waiting. Then he stepped back and lofted some easy serves in my direction, and I really figured out what makes the sport so challenging.First there was the movement of the ball, which from a skillful server comes in like a knuckleball in baseball, darting around and confounding any attempt to hit it squarely. The wind also plays a part; many times I thought I had the balll lined up, only to see it drift off course.ddddddddddddThe hardest part, though, proved to be just moving around.While I lacked the spatial judgment and reaction time of the elite athletes on the courts next to me, even when I correctly determined where to go to hit the ball it just took me too long to get there. I seemed to be moving in slow motion in the 16-inch layer of sand, like in those movies where the sound didnt quite sync up with the actors lips.As Rogers began to speed up his serves -- though still closer to batting practice than full-speed -- more often than not the ball would bounce past me for an ace or, if I was lucky, carom wildly off my increasingly reddening forearms onto a nearby court.On one serve, I didnt even bother. Instead, I watched the ball bounce off the sand a few feet away, turned back to Rogers and said: That was my partners. (This is an old stand-by in beach volleyball, so common it has a name: The husband and wife.)My only problem: I didnt have a partner.Still, Rogers was impressed at how quickly I was picking up the excuses, if not the actual skills.Afterward, he told me some of the things I was doing wrong.Although much of it was due to physical shortcomings, I was also awaiting the serves with my hands together, ready to pass. A pro -- actually, pretty much everyone -- knows that its easier to move with his arms free and only lock them when the ball clears the net. (Young players who make this mistake are often told to run laps around the court with their hands locked, to remind them how much more difficult it is.)I thanked Rogers for the lesson and wished him luck in the tournament. Later that day, I bumped into him back at the venue, where a fan was hoping for a picture with him. I offered to take it.Youre really doing it all, he said, running through the tasks he had witnessed that day: Driver, writer, photographer.And beach volleyball player, too, I reminded him.Nah, he said, better leave that off the list.---Jimmy Golen has covered Olympic beach volleyball for The Associated Press since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jgolen. ' ' '

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