Muddy hell: Alexandra Oval causes concern

Despite some sunshine on this day of footy at Alexandra Oval, the surface is 
failing to dry out, with large patches of mud evident.
Despite some sunshine on this day of footy at Alexandra Oval, the surface is failing to dry out, with large patches of mud evident.

ALEXANDRA Oval's surface has again come under scrutiny following heavy winter rainfall.

Recent wet weather, coupled with heavy traffic from football training and matches in the Wimmera and Mininera leagues, has seen some areas of the ground's surface reduced to patches of mud.

Ararat Rural City Parks and Gardens staff are continuing to monitor the oval's condition, while mayor Paul Hooper said if need be Council will take the same measure as it did in 2013 and only open the oval during weekends, which forced the Ararat Rats and Ararat Eagles to make alternative arrangements for training.

"We will never have the resources to have a drainage system like the MCG and it is a wet weather sport, as I hated many times myself when I was playing!" he said.

"It is a worry, but that is why we are trying to look after it as best that we can during the course of the season, so that when you get those rain patches you try and keep off it and try to keep it in the best possible condition it can be."

Since the football season got underway in April a total of 259.7mls of rain has fallen in Ararat.

Cr Hooper said Mother Nature was the main reason for the 'sloshy' surface and he doesn't believe the poor ground condition is a result of overwatering.

"Not that I am advised. We have had an excess of 200mls in a relatively short period of time and it just hasn't coped," he said.

"The advice that I have had is that it is not overwatered, but I am the world's worst gardener too, so I have no expertise to really know."

Cr Hooper said because Alexandra Oval is the premier sporting facility in town it has a lot of traffic on it each week, which makes the need for a second facility such as Gordon Street all the more necessary.

"Certainly once the new facilities are built, we are talking to the VFL now about potentially hosting a practice match," he said.

"We want to lift its profile, we want it used and it is going to be a great facility that is going to give us the opportunity to go out and market it and get more use for it.

"It doesn't really get a good break through (with two clubs in the winter and cricket in the summer), which makes something like our proposal of Gordon Street Oval even more important.

"If you are training you need to at least have access to warm showers and unfortunately we haven't got that, so that is another reason why we have identified the need."


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