In past seasons, the Dragons have based their training efforts in Wollongong, only rarely using their home ground in Kogarah.
Under Flanagan’s leadership, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium will become a frequent haunt for the Dragons. The entire team will utilise this venue for training every Friday during the off-season, and maintain a strong presence throughout the year.
As a St George junior, Flanagan is eager to reunite the club with the St George district, wishing to represent both regions. “We need to return to Kogarah,” stated Flanagan, highlighting his commitment for the club to take on its associated twin region’s identity.
Sydney-residing players will now have the opportunity to train closer to home instead of a constant commute to Wollongong.
Flanagan has recognised players’ concerns to lessen their travel burden. High profile players such as Ben Hunt, Jaydn Su’A and new addition Hame Sele, who live in Sydney, will benefit from reduced travel, potentially making the club more attractive to prospective players not wanting to shift to Wollongong.
However, Wollongong will continue to be the primary training facility for the club, with a $50 million high-performance centre being planned at the University of Wollongong campus.
In preparation for this major shift, Flanagan and the Dragons have been discussing their tentative plans with Georges River Council, the leaseholders of the Sydney training venue.
Criticism has been directed at the Dragons‘ move away from what many view as their original home, Kogarah, in recent years. Previously, Kogarah had been used for training before away trips or home games.
However, Kogarah has stood eerily silent for St George Illawarra for quite some time, hosting only a handful of home games at the Dragon’s venue.