The synthetic pitches at Morshead Park will come under increased pressure in coming weeks as clubs around the region are forced to abandon their home tracks due to the weather.
Both Vic Park and the Forest Rangers have had to relocate a series of fixtures from their home grounds in the latter part of the season, and now both clubs are facing the prospect of having to reschedule all remaining home games for the year.
While the Sebastopol Vikings’ St Georges Reserve facility has improved, they too have had to relocate a number of matches throughout winter.
Vic Park president Lucas Ellis said while the club had not trained on their main pitch all season to preserve the surface, unprecedented amounts of rain meant both of their two pitches had been destroyed.
The club’s main pitch played host to four Ballarat and District Soccer Association fixtures on the weekend including two senior matches, while the secondary pitch held three games.
“We’ve been training elsewhere all year because we know how bad the pitches can be if they’re churned up,” Ellis said. “I’m pretty confident that we won’t get back onto it for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile the Forest Rangers senior men have been training on the synthetic surfaces at Morshead Park, while the senior women’s side has been forced to train indoors due to the condition of their surface at the Wendouree West Reserve.
“It’s up to council as to whether they open or close the grounds, but it’s certainly looking (like the surface will be unplayable for the rest of the season),” Forest Rangers chief executive Charlie Payton said.
BDSA incident and discipline coordinator Howard Wilson said while the league was concerned by the state of the facilities, he was confident the pitches at Morshead Park would be able to accommodate any necessary fixture changes in the remaining six rounds.
“We’ve had a lot more water in a short period of time this year,” Wilson said. “We are concerned that clubs don’t have playable home grounds mainly due to things like canteen and bar revenue, because it costs a lot to run a soccer club.”
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