Interleague clash to go ahead at Colac's Central Reserve as Werribee walks away

AN interleague football clash between the Warrnambool and District and Colac and District leagues is all but certain to be at Colac’s premier oval.

Football officials are set to lock in the May 24 match for Central Reserve following VFL club Werribee’s decision to walk away from staging a match at the ground.

Werribee was to play Richmond at Central Reserve on May 24, but substandard facilities mean the clubs will instead look for an alternative venue.

The decision paves the way for the CDFL-WDFNL showcase to return to the ground, which underwent a $750,000 surface upgrade in 2012 and 2013.

CDFL officials were facing the prospect of shifting the interleague match to neighbouring Western Oval, due to the VFL match.

In a statement released late on Friday, Colac Otway Shire Council chief executive officer Rob Small said losing the VFL match for 2014 was disappointing.

“The feedback we received from Werribee was there were too many compromises associated with playing at the Central Reserve with the off-ground facilities in their current state,” he said.

“As clubs cannot use the Youth Club building (next to the oval) because it is housing our gymnasium space, there would have been a significant cost associated with hiring additional amenities.”

Small said the decision placed pressure on the State Government to commit funding for an upgrade of Central Reserve.

The Federal Government has already promised $2.5 million to improve the grandstand and player and officials’ change rooms.

“There is still plenty to be excited about, with interleague now having exclusive access to the Central Reserve,” Small said yesterday.

“Werribee had high praise for our playing surface and we’ll continue to work with them to get a VFL match to Colac in the future when our off-ground facilities no longer present such a barrier.”

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