East Warrnambool Football Netball Club president says facilities are decrepit

The clubrooms at Reid Oval are something from the 1950s.

East Warrnambool Football Netball Club president Justin Balmer said although the works may mean two years off the ground for the club, it was short-term pain for long-term gain.

East Warrnambool Football Netball Club president Justin Balmer.

East Warrnambool Football Netball Club president Justin Balmer.

“They’re (the facilities) decrepit,” he said. “There’s only so many paints of coat that can hold a place together.” Mr Balmer said there were better grounds found in country areas around the south-west.

Nestles unsure about two season relocation

Former president of Nestles Cricket Club Bryan White says the council should release details of the relocation plan for Reid Oval users as soon as possible. Mr Bryan said the redevelopment was for the benefit of the district, but clubs needed to know what was happening. 

“Whether the redevelopment is one or two years off, we would like to know where the cricket club is going to go for two seasons. I’m sure Warrnambool Football Club wants a solution as well.” 

Umpires wait to blow whistle

The release of the business case for Warrnambool’s Reid Oval has received a mixed reaction from the Warrnambool and District Umpires Association.

In the business case released by Warrnambool City Council, the recommended design includes a multi-purpose pavilion and office space to accommodate the the umpires association, regional sporting bodies and community.

MIXED RESPONSE: Warrnambool and District Umpires Association vice president Jamie Lake says there's no doubt there needs to be upgrades made at Reid Oval.

MIXED RESPONSE: Warrnambool and District Umpires Association vice president Jamie Lake says there's no doubt there needs to be upgrades made at Reid Oval.

Warrnambool and District Umpires Association vice-president Jamie Lake said the umpires were in a difficult position. He said there was no doubt an upgrade was needed and the umpires were happy to be part of a new facility, but only if it provided the same space and amenities as their current building. “It has to be better then what we’ve got now and then we’ll use it,” he said.

Upgrade could open doors for women

IF the grand plans for the Reid Oval come to fruition one of the big winners could be women’s football.

South West Sport club development officer Mark Taylor said in the case of Reid Oval it was widely recognised that all the facilities at the ground needed improvements.

“Football facilities have been designed for people who have played football and for the last 100 years that has been men,” he said. “In general the facilities need to be improved and that would also cater to women playing football.” He said the state government had been focused on encouraging women’s participation in sport through the Change Her Game campaign and it would be disappointing if the facilities discouraged women from playing sport.

Warrnambool City Council manager recreation and culture Russell Lineham said the relocation challenges and opportunities had been of great interest to the clubs “with everyone clearly understanding that in order to get the desired outcome there will be unavoidable disruption”.

CELEBRATE: Former Warrnambool Mayor Kylie Gaston with representatives from the various Reid Oval user groups, after the council approved $100,000 to develop a strategic plan oval upgrade in February 2017. Picture: Rob Gunstone

CELEBRATE: Former Warrnambool Mayor Kylie Gaston with representatives from the various Reid Oval user groups, after the council approved $100,000 to develop a strategic plan oval upgrade in February 2017. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Mr Lineham said with the release of the business plan clubs had been interested in the funding model, when it would be available and how it would work.

“There will, of course, be further discussions around the design of new facilities and we must stress that the business case is not a design document,” he said.

“Council will speak to each of the user groups individually once further work is completed around securing funding for the project.

“The project is dependent on external funding and council will continue to advocate for financial support to make the project a reality.”