2014 APL welcomes two new teams and two star internationals

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Two new teams and two internationally acclaimed bowlers headline the changes to the 2014 Australian Premier League to be held at Club Pine Rivers in Brisbane from 18-21 November. Following the success of the inaugural six-team competition in 2013, two new licences have been granted to Moama Bowling Club, on the border of Victoria and New South Wales, and the Gold Coast’s Club Helensvale by the Australian Premier League taking the composition of the competition to eight teams for the second staging of the event in 2014. Moama’s team will be known as the Murray Steamers and Club Helensvale will carry the team name the Gold Coast Hawks. Not only is the introduction of two of Australia’s pre-eminent bowls club establishments a major coup for the competition but Moama Bowling Club has also attracted the signatures of two of the sport’s biggest names – Scotland’s Alex Marshall and Canadian representative Ryan Bester – gold and silver medallists respectively at the recently completed Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Marshall is arguably the sports most decorated male player of the past 20 years with four Commonwealth Games gold medals to his name between 2002 and 2014 – including two (pairs and fours) in Glasgow – and seven World Championship medals since 1992. The 29-year-old Canadian-born Bester, who now resides in Australia and plays for the Broadbeach Bowls Club on the Gold Coast, secured the singles silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to accompany his singles bronze medal from Melbourne in 2006 and his four World Championships medals, including two from the most recent event in Adelaide in 2012. APL Chairman and Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple is delighted that the Australian Premier League is attracting internationally-revered players in only its second year. “To have Alex and Ryan commit to the APL for 2014 is a wonderful addition to the competition which was a resounding success last year and I am thrilled to announce their signing to the Murray Steamers in its inaugural year. “They are both highly regarded and well-credentialed players in world bowls who will add so much colour and excitement to the competition and will enhance the quality of the overall playing lists which already feature our best Australian players, many of whom are also national representatives on the international stage,” Dalrymple said. The APL will announce the remainder of the Murray Steamers team and the other player lists, including the Gold Coast Hawks at an official media launch in Brisbane on 12 September. Moama Bowling Club, a two and a half hour drive from Melbourne is situated on the banks of the Murray River on the border of Victoria and New South Wales and was formed in 1928. Club Helensvale, situated 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise and just over 60km from Brisbane, is one of Australia’s burgeoning bowls club facilities already boasting five Clubs Queensland ‘Best Bowls Club’ titles to their name in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 as well as winning Bowls Queensland’s ‘Club of the Year’ title on three occasions in 2004, 2005 and 2008. “It is extremely exciting and pleasing that two strong and iconic clubs have thrown their support behind the APL concept along with our existing club and state body licensees which is very important to the continued growth of the sport particularly in the area of participation. “Moama Bowling Club and Club Helensvale are strong clubs in vibrant bowls communities and will be able to further promote the sport of bowls and encourage greater participation which is paramount to the success of the APL and its associated broader participation program called Jack Attack,” Dalrymple said. Comedian and star of Crackerjack, Mick Molloy has again been appointed the official ambassador of the APL. The APL was developed to showcase a new, short and exciting format of bowls that will be replicated and delivered to clubs and communities throughout Australia from the start of 2015 via a …