30 Apr 2019
You know your footy field is in trouble when its centre square is more suited to mud wrestling than to a display of some Aussie Rules ball-handling skills – or even a decent ball-up!
Slowly, steadily, surely though, mud had become the dominant feature at the Hope Valley Oval, in Adelaide’s northeast.
One problem was the square’s age – it had last been upgraded more than three decades ago.
Another problem: it just wasn’t level. Whenever it rained, the water didn’t drain – it pooled. And that meant mud, mess, and generally terrible conditions for footy (or, over summer, cricket).
Basically, it was a bog.
Rather than fiddle around the edges, it was decided the best bet would be to simply start again from scratch – to dig up the old square, get rid of the bog, re-lay it with fresh turf, and put in a new drainage system.
It cost $40,000 (the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing put in $25,000), but boy was it worth it.
The Hope Valley Sporting Club says since the new square was laid in February 2018, it’s had a good, solid workout (on the busiest weekends the ground hosts up to 15 footy games).
With a bit more time to really settle, by season 2019 the ground should be in absolutely tip-top condition for some ripper Hope Valley performances.
May the force be with them!
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