A NEW chapter in Creswick Football Netball Club’s long, proud history begins on Sunday.
Having farewelled its home of 143 years, Hammon Park, late last season, the Wickers are poised for their first home fixture at Doug Lindsay Reserve.
The $3 million-plus facility, which will also be used by Creswick Cougars Soccer Club, Creswick Municipal Brass Band and eventually the Creswick Bowling Club, is expected to be something special for the Central Highlands Football League club.
The complex features a function room, capable of entertaining 160 people, a commercial kitchen, two meeting rooms, as well as state-of-the-art change room facilities.
Creswick president Peter Considine said establishing the ground as a finals venue was part of the plan moving forward.
“It’s quite easy to have finals here. It’s a great ground, got good facilities, well located and central to the Central Highlands,” Considine said.
“That’s an important business proposition for us. It’s part of what we offer our sponsors ... That’s what we are working towards, making it a finals ground. That’s why the coach’s boxes are exactly the same.”
Considine said it was the first time in the club’s history that football and netball would be played alongside one another at home.
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“It’s great. The minute you think about it, you are not running two canteens and you are not running two gates so the volunteer demands are a lot less. People can enjoy themselves more and be more active around their sport,” he said.
“You are not tapping the same people on the shoulder all the time.”
With lighting yet to be switched on at the ground, footballers have been training part-time at Doug Lindsay Reserve, before shifting to Hammon Park when darkness falls.
It’s a small issue that will be resolved in the coming weeks, says Considine.
The unfurling of Creswick’s under-15 premiership flag will be a highlight of Sunday’s fixture, which will see the Wickers host Learmonth.
Senior coach Damian Lubeek is poised to play his first game of the season for the home side after missing last weekend’s loss to Newlyn, as will Brad Shine and recruit Aaron Hepworth.
The trio come into the side for important defenders Tarquin Netherway and Timothy Rieniets, who are both unavailable.
Learmonth will be desperate to bounce back to form following its disastrous opening-round loss to Hepburn, where it leaked 43 scoring shots and 25 goals in a 135-point drubbing.
PREDICTION: Creswick by two goals.