BFL: teams get creative as rain causes havoc on surfaces

Lake Wendouree on its home ground last month. The BFL will consider shifting the Lakers' home game next weekend.
Lake Wendouree on its home ground last month. The BFL will consider shifting the Lakers' home game next weekend.

BALLARAT-based sides in the Ballarat Football League have been forced to abandon their home grounds for training due to wet weather, while their eastern counterparts have had the luxury of being able to use their home surfaces at maximum capacity.

With a week of bitter cold and wet weather wreaking havoc on a number of playing surfaces in the region, Ballarat clubs have had to get creative when it comes to finding somewhere to train.

It is no secret that Lake Wendouree has been hit the hardest, but a number of other clubs have been forced to search for alternative measures to ensure their grounds remain playable.

Redan has trained on the narrow fire track that runs along the side of City Oval and the adjoining netball courts, while also utilising gymnasiums around town.

Ballarat has also used the netball courts and has even been forced to head indoors at Ballarat Secondary College's East Campus; the complete opposite side of town.

Even East Point has stayed off its usually pristine surface at times, holding its own mini soccer tournament to break the monotony of the winter grind, while North Ballarat City was also forced off its ground this week.

For the Lakers, just one training session has been held on its main oval for more than a month and the club will not train there again for the rest of the season.

The club has run the streets and has even given consideration to holding training sessions at Stockland Wendouree carpark and the infield of Llanberis Reserve.

"You've just got to get creative and do whatever you can," Lakers coach Gavin Webb said.

"It gets tricky but that's just the way it is for us."

Meanwhile, a number of the eastern bloc clubs are free to hold complete training sessions.

Darley has barely been impacted and has trained in small pockets of Darley Park as a precaution, while Sunbury coach Rick Horwood declared his club's surface the best in the league.

"We've got the best surface in the league and when you've got the best surface in the league, you can use it however you want," Horwood said.

"We haven't had an issue at all."

The differences between the standard of the grounds can be perfectly summed up by looking at last week's scoreboard.

The average total game score in the two eastern games (at Sunbury and Bacchus Marsh) was 189 points, including a 33-goal game between Sunbury and North Ballarat City.

However, the three games in Ballarat yielded an average total game score of just 105 points, including the match between Lake Wendouree and Melton, where just seven goals were kicked.

No doubt the Ballarat teams will be praying for some much-needed sunshine.


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