Men at work out West on home ground reno

Saturday, 11th March, 2017

These boys might look like they are having fun, but it’s a lot of hard work. Haydn Vincent (left) and Colin Tonkin have been pulling up weeds as part of West Football Club’s plans to rejuvenate their home oval. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan These boys might look like they are having fun, but it’s a lot of hard work. Haydn Vincent (left) and Colin Tonkin have been pulling up weeds as part of West Football Club’s plans to rejuvenate their home oval. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

The West Football Club is on a mission to clean up their oval with the aim of cutting the cost of training during the season.

Most of the surface of the Bill Renfrew Oval has long been unsuitable for training which means that West’s senior teams have been forced to train at the Jubilee Oval at considerable cost.

But a recently-formed committee is hoping to change all that.

Vice President Craig Burke, ex-player Haydn Vincent, former president David Sedunary and last year’s Top Robin, Colin Tonkin, have come together to work on the oval. 

They have been laying loam, pulling up prickles and weeds, watering and doing general maintenance.

“We obviously don’t have a big football ground like everyone else does,” Burke said.

“So Sprigger (Sednuary) formed a committee of past players to try and rejuvenate the oval so that we have a facility for the players to train through the season.

“We have around 140 junior players across the grades as well as women’s, Under 18s and the senior men.

“That’s a lot of players that need a place to train.”

Work on the oval began before Christmas with club volunteers pulling up weeds before a digger was brought in recently to pull out the larger patches and spread the loam, which was provided by City Council.

The ground is owned by the council and they are responsible for mowing it but West’s volunteers have taken responsibility for the other upkeep which includes whipper-snipping the perimeter of the oval as well as mowing the areas near the fence where council’s large mower cannot reach. 

“There’s still a long way to go but the oval is starting to look better,” Burke said.

“Colin (Tonkin) and Haydn Vincent have been there pretty much every day.

“Colin was the one that reseeded it and he’s been there watering those patches day and night and they’re coming along nicely.

“Watering is tough as it takes a week for us to cover the entire oval.”

For the preseason, the club is also using the Picton Oval for training given the limited useable space at their home oval, although that too has suffered in the dry weather. 

The Robins actually floated the idea of moving their entire club to the Picton Oval 10 to 15 years ago but that was ultimately decided against.

“We booked in about four months ago to use the Picton just in case our oval didn’t come up and it was lucky we did,” Burke said. 

“The girl’s team has been there for the past couple of weeks and the boys will head there now for training.”