MUD BATH: The Blues’ Dylan Galea gets a feel for the Ballan surface during last Saturday’s round 17 Central Highlands Football League clash with Hepburn. Picture: Kate Healy.BALLAN Football Netball Club president Billy Smith is confident the state of itshome ground won’t be a long-running issue, providingit can land funding to fix drainage issues at the sporting reserve.
The Central Highlands Football League club has been forced to use alternate venues for many Tuesday night training sessions, despite a major upgrade of the playing surface during the off-season.
Ballan has not had to shift any home fixtures because of the issue, but its condition has been the talk of many within league circles.
Photos taken by The Courier’s Kate Healy on the weekend show just how bad the oval is in some areas.
Smith said thetwo issues contributing to the muddy surface were the lack of time the new grass hashad to establish and the drainage throughout the precinct.
Hesaid rainfall from the tennis and netball courts quickly flowed onto the oval, which is located well below.
“At the start of year all the seed washed off the oval because of the reserve drainage, so the oval had to be reseeded due to this issue,” Smith said.
“We are little bit disappointed, but we understandthat the grass is young and once it has a good 12 months for the grass to establish, we are hoping that it will be a lot better next year.”
Moorabool Shire Council chief executiveRob Croxford said it was expected that the oval would battle in its first season following the refurbishment, which was completed inApril.
“The playing surface held up well for the first part of the season, however with the recent heavy rains, like all grounds in the region, the quality of the surface can be compromised,”Croxford said.
Croxford saidcouncil had “no direct day-to-day responsibility for the recreation reserve”, buthas been and will continue to assist the crown land committee of managementand the club within itsresources.
He said any further drainage works will need to be assessed against allprojects into2016-17.
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