Freo could be 'lite' Eagles with move

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 28 Oktober 2012 | 14.43

STANDING FIRM: Chris Lewis (second from left) and Keep Freo in Freo members Richard Utting, Peter Newman and Peter Dowding are keen for the Dockers to remain at Fremantle Oval. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper Source: PerthNow

FREMANTLE board nominee Chris Lewis says the Dockers risk becoming "West Coast Eagles lite" if they turn their back on their heritage and set up a new training base in Cockburn.

Lewis, one of six candidates who have nominated for the member-elected board position, is one of the founders of the Keep Freo In Freo lobby group and is running on a platform to fight for the Dockers to remain at Fremantle Oval.

The corporate consultant has launched both traditional advertising and online campaigns and believes he is a strong chance of being elected.

Lewis is running against former Fremantle captain Peter Mann, sitting director Kate Grieve, real estate director John Garland, Keystart Home Loans chief financial officer John Vojkovich and Summit Fertilizers executive Murray Browne.

Online voting opens at 9am tomorrow and closes at 5pm on November 26.

The Dockers have spent several months considering whether to redevelop their traditional training base, or move to a greenfields site known as Cockburn Central West.

A decision was originally expected by the end of the recent season but The Sunday Times understands this may now not be made until early next year.

Lewis praised the direction of the club under president Steve Harris and CEO Steve Rosich, but said it was clear members wanted the Dockers to be based in Fremantle.

"It's a wonderful organisation, a great club and a great business: it's got a lot of things going for it," he said.

"The Dockers have endless potential and are just starting to get somewhere. We just need to make sure it stays on track and works alongside its members."

Lewis said the Dockers needed to understand their attachment to Fremantle gave the club an important geographic and historic link not enjoyed by their cross-town rivals.

"The Dockers do have a unique identity," he said. "The opportunity is to capitalise on that.

"One of the risks of moving away is we end up being West Coast Eagles lite.

"Just like watering down a beer, we would be watering down the strength, the passion, the heartland of the entire Dockers movement.

"I've put my hand up as a members' representative: someone who will actually get up and say things and take a strong stand on matters and pursue the Keep Freo in Freo stand."

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