Former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott, was a welcome VIP at Sea Eagles training today.

The Federal Member for Warringah met with Sea Eagles Chairman Scott Penn, CEO Joe Kelly, and CFO Neil Bare, before being taken on a tour of the training facilities.

Mr Abbott then joined the players and coaching staff for a team lunch at which he addressed the squad and wished them all the best for the season ahead. He spoke of his desire to watch more matches at Brookvale Oval this year.

“It was a real privilege to host Mr Abbott at our Narrabeen training base,’’ Kelly said.

“We had a very constructive meeting with Mr Abbott and updated him on our Brookvale Oval development plans along with our current ‘Fight for Fortress Brookie’ campaign with Warringah Council over the 2016 hiring fees.

“He mentioned how honoured he was to remain the number one ticket holder for the Sea Eagles for this season coming.

“His passion for the Sea Eagles shone through in our discussions and he knows of the importance of having Manly Warringah playing at Brookvale Oval.”

Mr Abbott elaborated on the campaign with Warringah Council.

“I think it is really important that council supports the Sea Eagles.  They are an iconic local institution,’’ Mr Abbott said.

“It is not for me to tell the council or the Sea Eagles how to handle what is, essentially a commercial negotiation, but I do think it is important that council acts in ways that supports the Sea Eagles.

“Brookie Oval is a 1980s ground. It needs to be brought into the 21st century. I’m very pleased there is an ongoing pledge from the Federal Government of $10 million towards the upgrade of the oval.”

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