HAMPDEN league vice-president Peter Manoel says he would back any proposal for the league to stage a night final.
Manoel yesterday said he was excited about plans for six light towers to go up at Friendly Societies’ Park.
New South Warrnambool president Jock O’Connor revealed in The Standard on Wednesday that the club planned to have the towers operating in time for season 2014.
Manoel was on the Cobden Football Netball Club committee when the Bombers lit up their home ground with four light towers in 1997. He said he wanted to see a Hampden league night final, but stressed that was his opinion and not the league board.
Manoel said there would be no discussion on the topic until match-standard lights were working at the Friendlies.
All decisions would involve club and league officials.
“I’d like to see it,” Manoel said.
“I’m not sure how the other clubs would react, whether other clubs would be interested in doing it.
“It’s something we’d have to take to the executive and to the clubs and then work it out from there.
“It’s not something we’d put in the draw and say ‘righto, there’s a night final’.
“We’d sit with the clubs and work it through and work with them.
“At the moment the policy through the league — the clubs are the ones that decided it — is that there are no finals to be played at night.
“That’s always open to discussion and open to change.”
Match-standard lights at the Friendlies could mean the qualifying final or second semi-final, which are on Saturdays, go ahead at night in Warrnambool.
Hampden officials schedule the matches out of Warrnambool to avoid clashing with the Warrnambool and District league preliminary and grand final.
But night football could enable the fixtures to return to Warrnambool and football fans would almost certainly welcome a Saturday night showcase.
Manoel said when to stage the netball finals was another hurdle to a night football final since the Friendlies courts do not have match-standard lights.
“We won’t jump at shadows,” Manoel said.
“We’ll wait until South gets the lights up (around the football oval).
“They have to be commended.
“I hope for their sake and the sake of football in the Hampden region they do get it up and running.”
Manoel said the Hampden league had an opportunity to play a night final at Cobden a few years ago, but the initiative failed to win support.
“We had a chance of playing a game at Terang or Camperdown and a game at Cobden under lights,” he said. “I thought that would be the ideal opportunity to have a ticket that’d get you into both games.
“The seniors at Camperdown would finish at 4.30pm, 4.40pm. The under 18s would start at Cobden at 3pm.
“We’re one of the few leagues in the state that has lights good enough to play night football under.”