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Magpies homeward bound

Friday, 15th July, 2011

HOME AGAIN: Central Football Club Vice President Garry Sandy can’t wait to see football back at the Memorial Oval. HOME AGAIN: Central Football Club Vice President Garry Sandy can’t wait to see football back at the Memorial Oval.

Central’s players and supporters will be back on their home turf next month with recent upgrades to the Memorial Oval ensuring that football will return to the ground.

No games have been played at the Memorial this year due to a number of problems at the ground, the most prominent of which were a lack of hot water for players and umpires and a deteriorating scoreboard.

However, City Council has set about rectifying these problems by installing new hot water systems, converting the scoreboard to better hold and display numbers, and general cleaning and weed spraying.

The Magpies have missed out on hosting four games at the Memorial so far, but  will run onto their home ground for the first time this year on August 13 when they face South. They will also host West on August 20.

Broken Hill Football league Chairman Glenn Williams thanked Council’s Frank Zaknich, Peter Schindler and Bernie Williams for ensuring the ground was brought back up to scratch.

“Council have done a fair bit of work and there would have been a fair cost involved, but ... we’re happy to be back there,” he said.

Mr Williams said the League would now look at compensating Central for lost income from the ground being unavailable.

He said the club had lost money through no fault of its own as the Memorial Oval is a Council facility.

“It’s only fair. They have no control over it, but it impacts them financially as they run the bar there.

“It won’t be a huge amount of money, but clubs don’t make a great deal, so if you miss out on $500 or $1000 it’s a fair chunk.”

Central President Kelly Dart welcomed the financial support from the BHFL, and said football being played at the Memorial was good for the health of the competition.

“We’ve missed out on four matches worth of revenue, and that money goes to supporting our players and our juniors, so that’s been a bit tough. But now things are on the right track,” she said.

“Having the Memorial back is going to be a real bonus, not just for the Central Football Club but for Broken Hill football itself.

“It’s great to have three ovals up and running again, and it gives the community more options for watching the footy.”

South can expect a sea of black and white in the grandstand when they tackle Central next month, and Mrs Dart encouraged the Magpie faithful to ensure the ground remains a fortress for teams visiting their heartland.

“I’d like to see all the supporters, club members, and everyone possible to come out on the first game and support the Central Football Club.

“Sport is all about having fun and enjoying yourself, and it will be nice for the supporters to get back to where they enjoy watching football and their boys.”

The benefits of returning home could even extend to the playing group, she said.

“Over the last 18 moths we’ve struggled for training facilities, the ground was a swamp and we had to train at Sturt Park. Then we lost some players - it’s all been a bit disjointed.

“So hopefully this will be a boost for players’ morale to be able to play at home.”


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