League defends fixture decision

WARRNAMBOOL and District Football Netball League boss Ken McSween has hit back at criticism of officials’ scheduling of round one matches.

McSween yesterday said the league had no option but to stage just one match in Warrnambool to open season 2014, which got under way on Sunday.

The Dennington-East Warrnambool clash at Dennington was the only fixture in the city. Others were at Allansford, Nirranda, Noorat, Panmure and Mortlake.

The fixturing came under fire on The Standard’s website, with one fan saying: “No game in Warrnambool Round 1 — Ridiculous!!!”

But McSween said the criticism was unjust and lacked an understanding of the constraints the WDFNL had in devising it with a March 30 start in mind. The Warrnambool and District Cricket Association made five grounds off-limits for football due to the potential of them hosting cricket grand finals.

The grounds were Reid Oval, Davidson Oval, Walter Oval, Mack Oval and Merrivale Recreation Reserve.

WDCA grand finals were on March 22 and 23, although March 29 and 30 were reserve days in case of rain.

A sixth ground — The Pond at Deakin University — was also unavailable due to netball court works.

“A lot of people don’t realise we have to get permission from all sorts of areas, this was all done months ago,” McSween said.

“We had to get permission from the cricket association, the council and we had to organise it months ago because clubs have to get their bar licenses.”

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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