ALLANSFORD Recreation Reserve officials say an $80,000 revamp of their facility was behind football finals coming to the reserve this weekend.
The Ziegler Parade ground will host elimination final day on Sunday as part of week one of the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League finals.
Merrivale and Dennington go head to head in the senior football and South Rovers and Old Collegians clash in the A grade netball.
WDFNL officials had initially pencilled in Davidson Oval for elimination final day.
But a ground inspection on Sunday prompted them to lock in Allansford Recreation Reserve, which has emerged from a wet winter in good condition.
Reserve committee of management chairman Glenn Byron said Allansford last hosted a final “eight or nine years ago”.
He said the 10-member committee was proud it had prepared a ground capable of hosting post-season action.
“The idea of the committee of management is to provide a venue that’s suitable for finals, whether it’s football or cricket,” he said.
“We believe the work and funding going into improving the facilities is starting to show.
“We’ve got exciting projects coming up to improve both grounds.
“We do want to continue working on the grounds so they are premier locations for football and cricket.”
Byron said the reserve used to have a turf cricket wicket on the main football ground, which made it a “glue pit in the middle”.
But an $80,000 revamp shifted the turf wicket to the second oval and installed drainage pipes in from the centre square to the boundary and along the perimeter.
The revamp featured as part of a 2010 master plan and contractors completed the work in 2011 and 2012, between cricket and football seasons.
“It’s changed the way football is played at the ground, no longer having to avoid the middle of the ground, being able to play through the centre,” Byron said.
“From the football club’s point of view we believe it’s an attraction for potential recruits.
“They see we’re a club that inputs funds into the development of the ground.”
Byron said Allansford having a committee of management run its main sports facility meant “a lot more people take pride in it”.
He said new netball courts and women’s facilities were the next projects on the drawing board.
Warrnambool and District league president Justin Balmer said the Allansford committee of management deserved praise for its improvement works.
He said a match in week two of finals would likely be at Davidson Oval.
Mortlake’s D. C. Farran Oval — which will host qualifying final day on Saturday — and Noorat Recreation Reserve are also options for the semi-final weekend.
“We’d like to keep one game in town on the weekend,” Balmer said.
“We’re happy to share it around the district.”