The 2015 AIHL schedule has released and unsurprisingly, the Gold Coast Blue Tongues aren’t in it.
The Blue Tongues, who in 2012 were forced to play midnight games at Brisbane’s Acacia Ridge after several serious health and safety risks at the decrepit Bundall rink, were given until the 2015 season to find a new home.
The Blue Tongues’ AIHL licence was suspended for two years to give them the opportunity to seek a home, but that licence is now invalid.
Blue Tongues GM Dave Emblem had been on the campaign trail prior to the problems at Bundall in 2012, and had been seeking funding to build a new dual-rink facility that seemed ideal for an AIHL team. Sports in the Gold Coast are a tough sell however, and to this date there has been no news regarding a willing sponsor.
Emblem took it to the local council chambers, and despite some strong interest, couldn’t find enough backing from government either.
A few of the Blue Tongues players have moved on or have retired. Adam Geric played two seasons with the North Stars before returning to Canada this year, and Jon Bale played 17 games for the Sydney Bears in 2013. Others, such as Nicholas Novysedlak, are emerging as players of the future in the IHQ leagues and IHA youth teams.
The absence of a Queensland team for the third successive season has motivated the AIHL to make enquiries in Brisbane to gauge interest in a team in Australia’s third biggest metro area.
The reception was said to have been welcoming.
Let’s hope that it’s not too long before Queensland has a team back into the AIHL.