A reconstruction of historic Ashes Oval in Victoria

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As far as significant sporting fields go, this one is a biggie! The Ashes Oval in Sunbury, Victoria is named as such because it is the famous site of the first ever Ashes cricket match between England and Australia that took place in 1877.

Turfcare and Hire are based in Geelong in regional Victoria and specialise in oval constructions, landscaping, project management and sports turf maintenance. turfmate recently chatted to Luke Trezise, one of the founding directors of the company about a recent construction project at the Ashes Oval.

Luke started in the turf industry in 1987, as an apprentice greenkeeper at Portarlington Golf Club where he stayed for 13 years. He then started Turfcare and Hire he currently oversees business development and construction management.

“The Ashes Oval project come about through an invitation to quote via Salesian College in conjunction with ETP Turf.

“There was a select handful of companies were invited to tender for this prestigious school’s oval. Mick Russell was Turfcare and Hire’s construction manager on this project. He has over 35 years of experience in the turf industry, which put in him in good stead for this very large project,” explains Luke.

Mick says that the Turfcare team had to work in conjunction with the crew on a number of different elements, including building four undercover basketball court and it was a great project to be a part of.

I really enjoyed working with a client that had a clear vision about what the finished project would be,” says Mick.

Before the construction works began, it was a steep site with a cut/ fill component of around 10,000m3 over the one hectare site. This allowed the site to be levelled and a new subbase was brought in. From there, new drainage and fully automated irrigation system were installed, along with a specification built concrete cricket pitch and synthetic cover. The team at Turfcare and Hire also worked closely with Salesian College to preserve a tree on the side of the oval that is over 180 years old.

The oval was sown with Santa Ana couch sod and one year on is in full use and looking great. The final result fits perfectly with the historical significance of the site, complete with a traditional picket fence!