Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The time has come to roll up the sleeves and get to work


Photo:  The artificial pitch at KGV Park shortly after being installed.  It is now 8 years old. [PlessPix]

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley has issued a timely update today on the funding that was promised by the Federal Government for renovations at KGV Park and for the football hub at Metro’s North Chigwell headquarters.

Bulkeley has now quite correctly put the pressure on the Glenorchy City Council to deliver.

The Council has to start work, and soon, so that football facilities at KGV Park and North Chigwell meet community and football participants’ expectations.

The work at North Chigwell should be straightforward as it will basically a ‘green fields’ development.  There is little existing infrastructure that could hinder or delay development.

It will just require and appropriate and feasible vision and careful forward planning.

Photo:  Glenorchy Knights training session on the new artificial pitch in 2013. [PlessPix]

KGV Park is different in that the existing infrastructure will need to be razed and new facilities constructed.

This will create problems and the venue may well be out of action for some time, thus disrupting football scheduled for that venue, which is the headquarters of football.

The lights are a huge issue.  I am told that part of the problem is that the cabling for the lights runs underground and across the centre of the pitch.

If, as has been said, the artificial pitch is near the end of its life, that may be a good thing because the pitch could be ripped up and the cabling replaced and in a more efficient manner.

If the artificial pitch still has some life let in it, that could create a dilemma in terms of fixing the floodlighting.

Is the pitch to be torn up in part, the lighting and cabling fixed, and then the pitch repaired?

Or, is the whole pitch to be replaced, and before that is done, the cabling for the lights re-routed or repaired?

In fact, do we return to a grass pitch rather than an artificial pitch?

Photo:  The late Gordon Nutt, an ex-Arsenal player, at KGV Park when it was a lush grass pitch. [PlessPix]

These are huge issues that need to be addressed, and addressed quickly.

It we are to revert to a grass pitch, there must be assurances from the Glenorchy City Council that the surface will be maintained to the highest level, as is the Aussie Rules ground next door.

This has sadly not been the case in the past and no-one wants the pitch to turn into a quagmire in inclement weather or into ‘concrete’ at the end of the season or during dry spells.

Believe me, I have played on that pitch under both conditions and it’s no fun.

The artificial surface has been a Godsend at times.  I could not hope to count the number of games that would have been postponed had we not had that pitch.

But, the artificial surface has had its downsides.  Visits by A-League and other interstate teams have not gone ahead at times because they refused to play on that standard of surface.

Photo:  The Tasmanian representative side that played South Australia on a lush grass KGV Park surface back in 2007. [PlessPix]

There have been a few serious injuries that some have attributed to the surface.

Planners and organisers at the Council and Football Tasmania now need to roll up their sleeves, put on their thinking caps and communicate with each other so that work can commence quickly and that football can be continue to be played for the pleasure of players, fans and clubs.

It's not the time to look a gift horse in the mouth.

And, the devil’s in the details, so please, officials, get to work now and get it done.

Photos below:  The construction of the artificial surface at KGV Park in 2013 in time for the launch of the Statewide Victory League [PlessPix]


Tanner Coad said...

Fantastic write up Walter. Very in depth and hit a lot of good points. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work!

Anonymous said...

Interesting the Media release form FT appears that they have received approval to use the funding which was originally to be used at North Chigwell to upgrade KGV, I wonder how much of this funding is being used at KGV and how it will effect the planned Northern Suburbs Football Hub at North Chigwell. The state of KGV is appalling but I am not too sure that robbing Peter to pay Paul is the best solution.

Anonymous said...

The CEO release is exactly what we have being hearing for months so what do we do in the meant time to make, KGV at least workable in the short term future because this is all going to take time that is the question he didn't answer sadly .


Anonymous said...

I won't get too excited about these plans. Circumstances have changed since the promise of these upgrades and the Glenorchy CC will no doubt have to prioritise their investments. The majority of Northern suburb rate payers would no doubt prefer an increase in infrastructure as the population is growing. New schools, roads, parks etc.

The decision to make KGV a plastic pitch was a disastrous one. I can understand the reasoning but surely there were other locations, like the showgrounds. KGV is meant to be our home of soccer in Tasmania but when we are unable to host A league teams at the venue, what is the point? (We are the laughing stock when we have to go to AFL Tas and ask to use the twin ovals as our grounds are crap). The surface is average as well and having played on it, its like playing indoor soccer. It doesn't feel right.

The Glenorchy FC were able to complete their upgrade to KGV and cleverly incorporated two other major tenants in the three story building. The third tenant is the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) and they are housed on the third floor and operates a range of its services for the northern suburbs and southern Tasmania. If you have been to watch a game at KGV football ground you'll know the facilities are magnificent. Our KGV is like going back to the 1970's...

Mr Darcy said...

Walter, thanks for the photo of Gordon Nutt. Knew him when he was at the Manly Warringah club in Sydney in the late sixties. I played in midfield with his son Richard in the 4-2-4 days, a skilful and intelligent player. They were both real characters. Gordon was especially " entertaining " on the fund raising evenings!

Anonymous said...

Everything was better in the '70's!

Anonymous said...

Needs to revert back to a grass pitch. If the ground is a bit hacked up by the end of year so be it, learn to control the ball on different ground conditions.

Anonymous said...

Problem with a grass pitch is that every time it rains the council will close it. It happens at all the other grounds. We need an artificial pitch somewhere for everyone to use. Of course KGV could be a grass pitch but we then need an artifical pitch somewhere else. Walter made a good point (as usual) that hundreds of games wouldn't have been played over the years on a grass pitch at KGV. As for learning to play on it if it was in poor mentioned, the council wouldn't let it happen anyway!

Unknown said...

Back in the late 60s going to KGV every Sat to watch who ever was playing I look around now and not a lot has changed. Is there a mover and shaker out there who can give this sport we love what it deserves. A multi ground complex like the hockey centre at Cornelian Bay. Grass and synthetic to please the weather gods. Is not the Domain crossroads a suitable venue? Lets try and build the game back to the crowds we used to get. The roar of the crowd at Darcy st could be heard way down Macquarie st back in the 60s and 70s. How lucky were we to have those great players from overseas come here to live and play. Lets honour them by going forward and not just talking about it. Craig T.