Dogs deny Belmore mis-use for NRL training

Canterbury coach Des Hasler has rejected accusations that the Bulldogs are mis-using Belmore Oval after a newspaper report said the NRL club was training on the ground against council guidelines and forcing co-tenants Sydney Olympic to play their soccer matches elsewhere.

A Fairfax report on Wednesday said the Bulldogs were not allowed to train at Belmore Oval except in a small section of the ground because of its poor condition.

The report also had a photo which appeared to show players training in the middle of the ground.

But Sydney Olympic were told they could not play on the ground and have been forced to move five fixtures elsewhere, costing the NSW Premier League club around $60,000 in lost signage, canteen and gate revenue.

But Hasler told reporters on Wednesday that the Bulldogs were playing by council rules.

“No, no the oval’s marked with clear specifications. We’ve just been training in the twenties (quarter) so we’ve cooperated with all the restrictions put on us by the council,” said Hasler before winding up the media conference.

Sydney Olympic president George Giannaros told Fairfax that he felt Canterbury were being disrespectful, given they’d decided to play their NRL games at ANZ Stadium eight years ago.

Olympic have a lease to play at the ground until 2032 and were factored into the ground receiving an $8.7 million government upgrade.

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