Wendouree Reserve badly needs new surface

Lake Wendouree players stretch on the muddy Wendouree Reserve oval.

Lake Wendouree players stretch on the muddy Wendouree Reserve oval.

LAKE Wendouree deserve more than what it has right now. Far more.

The condition of Wendouree Reserve on Saturday came close to resembling a mud-pit towards the end of Saturday’s match against Sunbury.

That’s not to say it was unplayable, but there is every chance it could be in a month’s time after the Lakers have played three consecutive games on the ground.

The promise by the City of Ballarat to complete a $1 million resurface of the oval later this year will be a massive boost for the club, while further facility upgrades are also on the cards if Labor finds itself in government in November.

And it will not come a second too soon.

To put it bluntly, the current state of the Lakers’ home ground is unfair.

Yes, their opponents on game day each week have to compete in the same sludge Lake Wendouree has come to know all too well.

But few would have to train in similar conditions twice a week, before being forced to back it up again for home games time after time.

Over the stretch of a long season, the hard slog is certain to take its toll.

Take East Point, for example.

Let’s just presume the Roos and Lakers exerted the same amount of effort on Saturday (the scoreboard is irrelevant), with East Point running atop of the pristine Eastern Oval while Lake Wendouree picked itself out of the mud time and time again.

On its own, the difference in recovery might only be minor.

But having to do it each and every week would undoubtedly compound fatigue for the blue, green and gold.

It would be fair to say the Lakers’ legs will be feeling more weary come the end of July.

In somewhat of a saving grace, Lake Wendouree actually only has three games remaining at Wendouree Reserve for the rest of the season, with the fixture altered to enable restoration works to start before the season even ends.

But even once the works do start, there is uncertainty over where the side will train.

It travels to Darley next week, before hosting Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Sebastopol in consecutive weeks.

Let’s just hope the weather gods can smile for just one more month before Lake Wendouree can a take a big step towards what is has needed for so long.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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