Thursday, September 1, 2022

Promises, promises, promises...

Photo:  Veterans in action at North Chigwell last Sunday. [PlessPix] 

On 7 March 2019, I posted the following article on this blog:

“The largest single investment in Tasmanian football was announced at North Chigwell today with the Federal Government granting $12.8 million for the construction of a Northern Suburbs Junior Football Hub at Metro’s ground.

“Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley and FT Director Jim Lange joined MP Andrew Wilkie to announce the $12.8 million in Federal Government funding.

“Also present were Mayor of Glenorchy City Council, Ald Kristie Johnston, Metro FC President Darrin Chaffey and Northern Suburbs Junior Soccer Association President Bianca Tolputt.

“The grant will fully fund the construction of a Junior Football Hub that will boast five separate pitches, two of them with a synthetic surface.

“In addition, the new facility will have high-quality lighting, new female-friendly change rooms, a function centre, spectator stand and increased car parking.”

As of today, 1 September 2022, three-and-a-half years later, as far as I know, not a single sod of earth has been turned.

The soccer fraternity is being taken for fools.

This sort of inaction in many other fields would have demonstrators out in force, complete with placards.

It won’t happen with football, however, because administrators, players and fans of our game are largely apathetic.

There was no NPL report in the local paper on Sunday about the weekend’s games.  Unbelievable!  Not even a photo, despite photos having been provided free of charge.

I’m afraid that football, the World Game variety, is just not part of the Tasmanian culture.

If it were, there would have been uproar years ago.

I am told that some of that $12.8 million has been diverted to renovations at KGV Park and some has been used to pay for failed project management.

Photo:  The puny floodlight towers of the soccer ground are in stark contrast to the huge floodlight towers and lights of the Aussie Rules ground at Glenorchy.  Apparently, work will start soon to replace the artificial pitch and the floodlights.  I won't be holding my breath. [PlessPix]  

I am told that work at North Chigwell will start at the end of this month, but it will not be anywhere near as extensive as initially promised.

There won’t be five new pitches, including two with artificial surfaces.

I am told there will now be just two new grass pitches.

What a let down and what a huge disappointment, and yet we followers of football sit back and meekly accept it.

That’s all we deserve then.

What has happened with the South Hobart Oval grant of $1 million?

Nothing.  The ground, which used to be the home of football in Tasmania, is a dog-walking park.

One volunteer at South Hobart told me recently he has had to pick up dozens of dog turds from the ground before games.  So much for responsible dog owners.

That ground has been used for many decades as a football ground and that’s what it should be.

Try walking your dog on North Hobart Oval and leave dog turds everywhere.

It’s unhygienic and unacceptable.

There is at least one lawyer on the Board of Football Tasmania.  I wonder if avenues for redress for the current situation at South Hobart have been explored?


Tasmania will be sending four football teams to the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast in November.

The teams will be for the age groups over-60s, Over-55s, Over-50s and Over-40s.

Some of the Over-60s players are original players from Dad’s Army Over-35s from a couple of decades ago.

Photo:  A veterans game at North Chigwell last Sunday. [PlessPix] 


David Webb said...

The whole situation is an indictment on the entire soccer community in Hobart. Watch the posts fly in on this one as we fracture further and decide who we should blame rather than doing anything about it. Let's see...FFT will get smashed here, as will Glenorchy Council and various governments...confirming what we all know in our's never the clubs the players and the soccer community who need to accept responsibility...always someone elses fault, even though it's OUR sport.

Anonymous said...

One would have thought that a core function of the FT President (in particular) and the Board would have been to work hard to ensure that promised monies for Tasmanian football would not be allowed to slip away into the ether.

But alas Walter is correct - we get what we deserve: the most lacking in transparency football administration in Australia - by a country mile - no 2022 AGM; no new well overdue FT President elections; no 2021 financial report; no public release of NPL player/manager sanctions - the media should be onto that last one in particular!

(Do something about it someone will say - NO - YOU do something about it - I've done enough lobbying by myself.)

Victoria Morton said...

Hello Walter,

Thanks for raising the issue of dogs on South Hobart Oval.
You are correct in your statements. Before each game volunteers at the club collect the poo from the field. It is heartbreaking to see such disrespect for a ground that has so many memories for football in Tasmania.

It is not just the members of my club who have to dodge the poo it is all the clubs who come to play there too. Would the City of Hobart allow us to play football in the John Turnbull dog park? I don't think so. Therefore, I cannot understand why it would be permitted in reverse.

I am being asked to prove my case against this. This involves taking photos of dog poo on the ground and sending each individual photo to the Council who are keeping a file. I think we have reached 60 individual photos.

How can it be healthy to fall in dog poo? It is one infected limb away from a law court.

I have forwarded your article to the Council Walter and they have put it in the file.
There is a review coming up and I hope as many people as possible who kick a ball with their small children, play for fun, roll in the grass or play more seriously say, enough is enough at South Hobart Oval.

Thanks Walter

Victoria Morton

Anonymous said...

We are our own worst enemy. We sit back and just watch as things around our game deteriorate or sit idle with no progress/improvement. Is is up to the governing body to lobby governments/councils in respect to grants etc ? I don't know. I suppose if the governing body is going to take credit when something does come off and they are happy to get the media involved so they can get their mugs on TV , then maybe they need to take blame when things do not.
They spruke continuously about the women's game and the numbers increasing and popularity increasing , yet in reality the standard of the so-called top women's competition in this state is anything but improving. If you think otherwise you are delusional.
We continuously complain about the governing body yet the clubs just sit back and watch as they slowly kill off the improvement in the game that was made some 9 years ago.
The clubs need to get together and discuss what they are not happy with , what is and what isn't working and discuss these issue with FT. If they are not prepared to do this then unfortunately what is currently happening will continue and the game will disappear further up you know where.

Anonymous said...

1:30pm Comments...I am pretty well aligned with your views. Only comment would be that towards the end you wrote, "the media should be on to that last one in particular".

What media?

Anonymous said...

I agree with all this. I've been saying for years how poorly Football is run here. A lopsided NPL competition every season (declining standards and poor crowds), poor media connections and no idea about how to promote the game. I've contacted FT several times over the years and have never got a reply. Even criticism in this site is often met with inane comments from luddite die-hards. If you are reading this Mr Bulkely, do the right thing, fall on your sword and give someone with a bit of vision a go.

Anonymous said...

Maybe clubs need to boycott playing our beloved game in the state as a protest to FT and all councils to see if any change happens

Terry said...

Wasn't it the Zebras (Before the merge) or maybe it was the the Knights, that went to the council about the condition of KGV a few years ago, all to have the council state they knew nothing of the issues despite FFT saying they had been in contact with them?
Then FFT finally put out a statement only after the information made it into the newspaper?

They wont even have a final 4 competition at the end of the year, what makes people think FFT will do anything more progressive to enhance the game.

Anonymous said...

Zebras have boycotted playing football all season

Anonymous said...

As for South Hobart, it’s election year…..MAKE IT Count or suffer the consequences!

Anonymous said...

Walter did the information you managed to extract detail what is happening with the “Northern Suburbs Junior Football Hub” will it still exist or has the basis of the funding disappeared?

Walter said...

Anonymous 8.13pm. No, it didn't. Perhaps it'll be a mini-hub. LOL

Anonymous said...

Don't we have an advocate to address these issues and who represent our soccer community?

FFT perhaps? Pretty sure it falls within the job description and wages. Any chance lads?

Ray C said...

Now that more women are playing maybe things will start to happen !!. I know I have to move when told to do something by the 'trouble & strife' !!. Otherwise maybe bring back 'Spinner' Adkins from interstate & put him back working for the council.

Shane said...

Hi Walter

I spoke to Kristie Johnson about 6-7 weeks ago about North Chigwell and she explained that Football Tasmania wanted some of the grant money to fix up KGV so hence the delay,

Anonymous said...

Mate there are less women playing the game