Tuesday 18 December 2012 10:12 AM
PARRAMATTA have turned to a former Australian Test cricketer in their quest to create a state-of-the-art training facility.
Architect Graeme Watson, an all-rounder who played five Tests for Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, has been enlisted to upgrade the outdated training base as the Eels try to climb off the bottom of the ladder. The 67-year-old, who also played 18 VFL games for Melbourne and was the first person to play in the Sheffield Shield for three states, had an integral role in designing South Sydney's Centre of Excellence at Redfern.
Watson's brief is two-fold - to build the Eels their own centre of excellence, a project he predicts could take between two to three years to complete. However, his immediate focus is on providing the club an immediate facility that will satisfy their needs when the players return from their Christmas break.
Officials had been eyeing off the recently decommissioned Parramatta jail, which had previously housed notorious criminals including Arthur ''Neddy'' Smith, Darcy Dugan and George Freeman.