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http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story.jsp?sectionid=1258&storyid=3107540

How about those Sharks

By LUKE McILVEEN, JAMES HOOPER and MALCOLM FARR

May 12, 2005

PETER Costello has spurned his Sydney Rugby League team amid claims he is not working hard enough to get the Sydney support needed to become prime minister.


The Treasurer has not attended a Cronulla Sharks game for at least two years, despite being the club's No.2 ticket holder.
One of Cronulla's select "celebrity supporters'', Mr Costello has not been spotted at Shark Park in recent seasons and appears unable to show even a passing interest in the premier football code in NSW.

The Treasurer never misses an opportunity to watch his beloved Essendon Bombers, the Melbourne AFL club he has supported since he was a boy growing up in that city's suburbs.

Political observers are astounded Mr Costello has not used his privileged slot with the Sharks to improve his profile in the NSW capital. It is seen as a wasted opportunity for him to insert himself into the culture of Sydney and the millions of voters whose support he might need.

And some of his backers are worried his campaign against Prime Minister John Howard - a staunch St George fan - is based too much on Melbourne, with Sydney only a business destination for Mr Costello.

They fear that if the contest between the Prime Minister and the Treasurer becomes simply a Sydney-Melbourne battle, Mr Howard will win.


Sharks Club officials said yesterday Mr Costello had not been seen in the grandstands at Cronulla since John Lang was head coach in the Shire. Lang left to join the Penrith Panthers at the end of the 2001 season.


"He has attended some Sharks games but he hasn't been this year or last year," Sharks president Barry Pierce said.


"In my office here now there's a photograph of myself, [Sharks legend] Andrew Ettingshausen and Peter Costello and he's got the Cronulla jumper on," Mr Pierce said.


"He has shown some interest in coming to a game when he is next in Sydney.


"He has kept in touch. He's a life member of the club."


The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Costello was recruited to the Sharks by local member and close friend Bruce Baird.


He attended a handful of matches before giving the game away.


Sharks chief executive Steve Rogers said he could vaguely recall Mr Costello coming to a game. "I know he has been to a game and we sent him a jumper a couple of years ago," Mr Rogers said.


In a stark contrast, Prime Minister John Howard regularly drops in to support his St George Illawarra Dragons, where he is the No. 1 ticket holder.


Mr Costello was still lapping up praise for his 10th Budget yesterday, but he must soon decide whether to challenge Mr Howard or watch his prime ministerial aspirations slip away.


While he is seen as a keen footy fan in his own state, polling suggests the Treasurer will struggle to make up ground north of the Victorian border, where AFL is a fleeting pastime and tackling around the legs is encouraged.


It's possible Mr Costello has considered switching codes already this season.


While Essendon languishes third-last on the AFL ladder, the Sharks climbed to second in the NRL with a last-minute win against the Warriors last Saturday.

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Oh god forbid Costello would be 'too Melbourne'. Maybe he just doesn't like rugby league. Tossers.

Btw how many Newcastle knights games has Kim been to? Never mind, he lives in Sydney now so who cares. :|
 

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Champagne Socialist
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ppssshk, NSW will vote Liberal at a Federal level no matter who's leading the party - it's Victoria the Liberals needs to work on, state and Federally.
 
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