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West can overcome oval shift

Friday, 16th May, 2014

By Ethan James

West coach Dale Tonkin wants his side to focus on footy and not get distracted by commentary surrounding the shift of his team’s round five match against South from Jubilee to Alma Oval.

The BDT understands that some club officials are less than impressed with AFL Broken Hill’s decision to move the game to South’s home ground.

The Robins were originally scheduled to play the Kangaroos at Jubilee Oval this weekend.

But the match was moved to the south when Memorial Oval was deemed unplayable on Monday.

The’Jube’ will now host the North/Central game.

The Kangaroos have played two games at Alma Oval this season for two wins, booting 46 goals in the process.

Tonkin was tight lipped when asked about whether he thought the move was fair on his team.

“I’m not going to comment on any of that,” he said.

“We have an attitude that we have to perform on every ground - it doesn’t matter where we play.”

AFLBH released a statement yesterday saying it was unlikely that any further changes will be made to fixtures unless further problems were encountered.

“The amended draw means West still receive 12 ‘home’ games at the Jubilee Oval and play South three times at the ‘Jube’ and three times at the Alma,” the statement read.

“That is a fair outcome in the opinion of the CMC.

“Under by-law 15.1 ‘Exceptional Circumstances’, the governing body has the authority to make these decisions.”

The Memorial Oval was inspected on Monday by representatives of the Memorial Oval Management Committee, AFLBH and City Council who agreed that the field needed more time to recover.

The affected area was directly in front of the grandstand and about 80 metres square.

The next game scheduled for Memorial Oval is on May 31 between Central and South.

Football Operations Coordinator Ann Brown was confident that the surface would be up to scratch by then.

“The grass is recovering and just needs another two weeks of good weather to shoot,” she said.

“We will do another inspection before the next match of course.”

Council is working with the Memorial Oval caretaker to make repairs to the field.

“All parties including the league have a duty of care to all players to ensure the playing surface is safe,” AFLBH’s statement said.

Prior to games at any ground, an oval inspection is conducted by the two clubs who then sign an insurance form approving the venue.

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