WARRNAMBOOL and District football could be without Reid Oval and Friendly Societies’ Park for the first two weeks of finals.
Warrnambool City Council is considering making the two premier venues unavailable to the WDFNL for the weekends of August 18-19 and August 25-26.
But the Friendlies will remain available for South Warrnambool, which plays Camperdown at home in round 18 of the Hampden league season on August 25.
WDFNL general manager Dianne Membery met with WCC representatives Kim Smith and Anna Sanderson this week to discuss venues for finals.
Membery said the council had not completely ruled out denying the league use of the two venues.
But the council’s concerns about the condition of the ovals warranted back-up plans for a much-anticipated finals series.
Kolora-Noorat will almost certainly play its first finals match — set to be the qualifying final — at Mortlake’s D. C. Farran Oval.
Options for the other match — the elimination final — are Davidson Oval, Allansford or Bushfield.
The second semi-final — featuring minor premier Panmure — would be at D. C. Farran Oval or Noorat, depending on if it featured Kolora-Noorat.
Allansford, Davidson Oval and Bushfield head the priority list for the first semi-final.
The left-field selections will only become reality if council restricts use of the Reid Oval and Friendly Societies’ Park.
Membery said the WDFNL wanted only one final each weekend beyond Warrnambool/Allansford should it be without its two premier venues.
She said discussions with the council had been productive — “they haven’t ruled anything out” — and another meeting was on next Friday.
“We brought up some concerns. They had a good look around and agreed with us on a lot of stuff,” she said.
“We all know it’s been an exceptional year (of weather).”
Membery said the WDFNL would be disappointed if rain stayed away until finals and the WCC still denied the league use of the Reid and Friendlies.
“I don’t think the council is being unreasonable at this stage,” she said.
“Deakin University are pretty excited we’re looking up there at Mortlake, and everyone is happy the ground up there is good. We have to look outside the square.”
Playing finals at Mortlake, Davidson Oval, Allansford or Bushfield would add another chapter to WDFNL history.
The league played last season’s elimination final at Noorat — the first time in 65 years a final had been outside the city boundaries.
League officials did not consider Mack Oval or Walter Oval because of issues with fencing.
The lack of adequate netball viewing meant Merrivale was never an option, despite ticking “a few of the other boxes”.