EAST Warrnambool Football Netball Club and Nestles Cricket Club would prefer to stay at Reid Oval permanently, raising the question of whether there is room for South Warrnambool Football Netball Club to share the ground as well.
While the prospect of Warrnambool and South Warrnambool football netball clubs becoming co-tenants of the reserve brings with it the possible financial backing needed to elevate the ground to the type of premier sporting facility all parties agree is needed in the region, it adds extra headaches for the current tenants.
East Warrnambool FNC president Richard Jaynes said he had been hearing about the idea of the Blues and Roosters sharing the Reid Oval “for probably 12 months” but was unable to confirm it.
“I don’t see how two Hampden sides could share one ground,” Mr Jaynes said.
“Logistically, I don’t believe it is possible unless there are two grounds there, side by side. That’s certainly possible — there’s plenty of space there.”
Mr Jaynes agreed the south-west needed a premier ground to attract AFL pre-season games and VFL matches, but questioned whether East Warrnambool should have to move or not.
“It was our ground originally, it was left to us a long, long time ago,” he explained.
“Warrnambool moved over from the showgrounds in the ’50s.
“We identify with that area. We intend to stay there.”
East Warrnambool is building a gym, renovating its bar, kitchen, office and storage spaces, and Mr Jaynes said the club is building and growing and hoped to see on-field success soon.
Mr Jaynes said he believed there was a place for cricket in the future of Reid Oval but “you need to sort out the drainage on the ground or use drop-in pitches”.
Nestles Cricket Club president Gary MacLean agreed Warrnambool needed a premier sporting ground and that cricket should be involved.
“To spend x amount on the oval and it doesn’t have cricket? That’s a big expense for something that might not get used for three or four months of the year,” Mr MacLean said.
“Our preference would be to stay at Reid Oval. We’ve been there since 1952. We do everything we’ve been asked to do. We hand it over at the end of March and it’s a nice green area and we get it back and it’s a pile of mud.”