Geelong Falcons manager labels Reid Oval facilities ‘embarrassing’

GEELONG Falcons talent manager Michael Turner has expressed his disappointment with Reid Oval’s preparation for a TAC Cup match in Warrnambool yesterday.

The Falcons-North Ballarat Rebels fixture was the sixth match in two days at the oval.

It followed a Warrnambool and District league fixture between East Warrnambool and Dennington on Saturday which featured five games, from under 12s to seniors.

Wet conditions on both days continued a fortnight of bad weather. Mr Turner, a former Warrnambool footballer, lamented the state of the ground for the state under 18 game.

“I know we can’t control the weather and it’s July but the disappointing thing for me is, with local football yesterday, is if you want a TAC Cup game don’t play six games of football on it the day before,” he said. 

“Cover the wicket, prepare the ground as best you can because it could have been better than what it was,” he said.

“The wicket was an absolute quagmire today but I have been here when it’s been too hard, so it’s got to be prepared properly.”

Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh said a scheduling issue was to blame for the chopped up condition of Reid Oval and suggested the TAC Cup should have played at an alternative ground, given the Hampden league had a bye which left numerous ovals available. 

Reid Oval’s long-awaited upgrade started in February.

Stage one included a new electronic scoreboard, multi-purpose changerooms and netball court extensions.

Further improvements, such as ground surface, lighting, new male changerooms and media rooms are pencilled in for the next stage when funding is secured. 

The TAC Cup game was a rescheduled fixture from Sunday, March 30.

“To get the best promotion for TAC Cup in the region it is best to play the Geelong Falcons,” North Ballarat Rebels region manager Phil Partington said.

“There were five games the day before which you can’t do much about.”

Turner was also frustrated with the state of the Warrnambool change rooms. 

“This is my old home room Warrnambool and I walk in here and it’s embarrassing,” he said. 

“The rooms weren’t clean, the showers and toilets were a disgrace.”

Warrnambool Football Club chairman Wally Steere said the changerooms were East Warrnambool’s responsibility at the weekend, given the Reid Oval co-tenant had hosted games the day before.

Partington said the Rebels used East Warrnambool’s change rooms and had “no problems whatsoever”. 

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