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Footy back at Memorial

Saturday, 24th June, 2017

The brand new digital scoreboard at the Memorial Oval will be fired up on Saturday when Central plays a home game for the first time since 2015. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan The brand new digital scoreboard at the Memorial Oval will be fired up on Saturday when Central plays a home game for the first time since 2015. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

After more than a season out of action, the Memorial Oval will see football played on its surface this Saturday. 

The oval was without any play in 2016 after the surfaced was deemed unsuitable but a new watering system was installed to improve the surface during the off season and then further work was done this year.

“Council installed a new fully automated Hunter watering system and new water tanks in October 2016, and 960 square metres of new turf was laid on April 1,” a Broken Hill Council spokesman told the BDT.

That turf took a little longer to knit than expected but the oval is now ready for play after being given the tick of approval by AFL Broken Hill and City Council.

“The work is now complete,” the Council spokesman said, “and the new turf has knitted very well. There are still a few bumps on the surface, but they will be flattened out in the warmer months.”

AFL BH official Peter Johnston looked over the surface with Jarred Paull and Codie Howard from the Council and deemed it to be the best football oval in town.

“It is in better condition than either the Alma or the Jube,” Johnston told the AFL BH Budget last week.

“I had a good look at it with Jarred Paull and Codie Howard and in my opinion it is ready to go.”

The Central Football Club will take on South this weekend in their first game at the oval after over a year of playing their ‘home’ games at the Alma.

“The Central FC is happy to be back at the Memorial Oval after an extended period of time,” CFC president Gavin Blows told the BDT.

“And we look forward to playing our home games there for the remainder of the season and into the future.

“A lot of improvements have been carried out on the ground and surrounding assets to ensure the Memorial Oval is a high quality sporting facility for the Central Football Club and Broken Hill community.”

Central was due to play seven of their last nine games at the Memorial but will now play eight after a re-jig of the draw.

“After negotiating with Central and South we will swap the round 13 match on Saturday July 15 from the Alma to the Memorial,” AFL BH chairman Andrew Schmidt said in the Budget.

“This will still leave South with eight home games for 2017 as they gained one due to the early transfer (of games).”

On top of the improved surface, the Memorial has also made other improvements including painting and carpeting the change rooms, umpires room and secretary’s office as well as new coach’s boxes.

This is in addition to the brand new digital scoreboard that sits at the Garnet St end of the ground.

“We met with council on site and had a session with them in how to operate the scoreboard,” Schmidt told the Budget. 

“It is going to give the football public a whole new experience.

“We can’t wait until Saturday when Central gets the chance to once again play on their home ground.”

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