Dry weather helping footy fields

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Dry weather has largely prevented football fields in Bendigo from showing the burden they bear, with frequent use by a growing number of teams.

Numerous clubs have told the Bendigo Advertiser their home grounds were holding up remarkably well, despite sometimes daily use for training and games.

The number of sports fields available to the growing number of people involved in organised sports in Greater Bendigo has become a talking point, with several clubs struggling to make do with a single oval.

“The difficulty, mainly, with us is training,” Eaglehawk Football Netball Club committee member Andrew Reid said.

The club and it’s junior counterpart use the ovals at California Gully Recreation Reserve and Eaglehawk Secondary College.

But Mr Reid said neither of those grounds had sufficient lighting, making it difficult to train on winter evenings.

“Everybody wants to get onto Canterbury Park,” he said.

The club is one of about four in the league aspiring to establish a senior women’s team next year, which Mr Reid said would also be seeking space at Canterbury Park.

He said local information had proven invaluable for preventing wear and tear at the oval.

“We know where the ground wears,” Mr Reid said.

He also identified the need for female friendly facilities at the ground, to smooth transitions between matches.

Marong Football Netball Club has been managing well with its facilities at Malone Park, president Darren Turnbull said.

But improvements to the ‘top oval’ would put the club in an even better position, especially with Marong’s projected growth.

“It could be made into one of the best football grounds in the league,” Mr Turnbull said.

Marong’s Greg Toomey said there were three junior games on the main oval last Sunday.

“The Auskickers had to shift up to the top “oval” on the inside of the trotting track,” he said.

“At the moment the main oval is just coping, but like all ovals with a lot of traffic on them in the winter, it’s only a wet week or two away from messy.”

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