While “Lottoland” never really rolled off the tongue for fans of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, it came as something of a shock to locals that the club’s spiritual home, Brookvale Oval, would be renamed, again, to “4 Pines Park” in the middle of this NRL season.

As reported in the Northern Beaches Advocate, the Sea Eagles have partnered with local brewer 4 Pines in a 4-year deal which will see Brookvale Oval called “4 Pines Park”, at least in corporate and other media communications.

Outside looking in, the brand appears a good fit.

Because unlike Lottoland which is based in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on Spain’s south coast, a headland dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high limestone ridge which was first settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain, the outpost ceded to the British in 1713, with layers of fortifications including the remains of a 14th-century Moorish Castle and the 18th century Great Siege Tunnels which were expanded in WWII, 4 Pines is headquartered in a big shed the end of Winbourne Road Brookvale.

Better than Lottoland”, “Don’t mind it” and “Always be Brookie” among the vox pops collated by the Beaches Champion since these signs were erected at Brookvale Park on Thursday morning. Pic: Matt Cleary

What can it all possibly mean? Not a heck of a lot, really. While 4 Pines has been the Sea Eagles’ “official beer” since 2019 and appears a better fit than an off-shore gambling mob from a rock south of Spain settled by Moors in 1462, it’s hard to see fans “getting down the Pines for the footy”, however delicious their very delicious beer is.

The ground, for most locals, like Freshwater remains Harbord, is now and forever “Brookie”, just as the team is Sea Eagles, no matter which waste remover or financial planner is draped over the jumper, shorts and corner flags.

Manly Sea Eagles Celebrate New Beer Partnership - Ministry of Sport
Sea Eagles old boys Max Krilich (left) and Mark Bryant with 4 Pines “Chief Beer Lover” Richard Sweet. Pic: seaeagles.com.au

And so the brewer’s signage is going up and the gambling mob’s is coming down in time for the round 14 game against North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night.

Make of it what you will, as Manly man Ben Fordham did on his radio show:

4 Pines Chief Operating Officer Todd Atkinson said 4 Pines and the Sea Eagles “share a passion to welcome the community into our spaces to connect and have fun”.

“We’re going to double down on making a positive community impact with one of the great community grounds in the game,” Atkinson said.

Reading between the lines this of course means: Free beer!

Of course it does not.

But here is a thing: if 4 Pines and Manly Sea Eagles suits really wanted to engender goodwill among the citizenry and patrons of Brook-, er, 4 Pines Park, they could begin by doing something about the queues to purchase said products.

Because when a lot of people are in 4 Pines Park it can take quite a lot of time to purchase 4 Pines products.

By employing more people to sell the products and supplying more vessels from which to sell them, it would have a decidedly positive impact on those members of the community in said space.

Just a thought.