Well it’s about bloody time. After much public demand from the football community and raised issues by supporters and club officials alike, King George V Oval (KGV) is finally going to get an upgrade with the funding now being approved but let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Glenorchy City Council and Football TAS now have to deliver in a timely manner so renovations can start ASAP.
Statement from FT
The football community was thrilled when Andrew Wilkie announced 12.8 million funding for the North Chigwell junior football hub in March 2019. Football Tasmania worked closely with Mr. Wilkie to secure this funding and have been grateful for his hard work and support ever since then. Mr. Wilkie is a fantastic supporter of football in Tasmania and has done everything possible to get this project happening.
On behalf of the football community I’d like to again thank Mr. Wilkie, as well Senator Eric Abetz, for their efforts in Canberra to get this funding over the line after it received formal approval from the Federal Government last week. One of the pleasing outcomes I can now confirm is that the funding can now be used across both North Chigwell and KGV. FT had also already secured $500,000 in funding for the replacement of the change rooms through the Levelling the Playing Field program. In addition, Glenorchy Knights had secured, through Andrew Wilkie, a further $1 million to contribute to construction of new club rooms at KGV.
This means that football will benefit from excellent facilities at both locations, which is a great thing for junior, youth and senior players, coaches, referees and volunteers. Now the funding has been formally approved, the Council must outline a clear timeframe for when these projects will be completed. We’re looking forward to working together with the Glenorchy City Council to get the upgrades off the ground as soon as possible.
It is also widely understood that the facility requires major work in order for it to meet the expectations and needs of the football community. The lights, change rooms, seating, and the synthetic pitch, are all at the end of their life and need to be replaced. KGV is a facility owned by the Glenorchy City Council. FT has a lease arrangement with the Council. The responsibility for the repairs and maintenance is Councils.
As you are aware, KGV has for many years and continues to be a critically important facility for the football community. It plays host to countless matches each season including NPL and other senior fixtures, including and in particular for Glenorchy Knights. KGV is a facility that is used for talented player development programs and matches, referee courses and training, coach education courses, workshops and seminars, as well as regular stakeholder meetings. Importantly it is also the venue used for major football events such as the Summer Cup and State Wide Cup Finals.
In the meantime, we acknowledge and understand that there is still frustration about the lights in particular. The Council and FT have spent a substantial amount of money fixing various issues in recent years – including again in recent weeks. Electricians have been onsite and have rectified some issues. They have also identified that the primary cause is due to power issues beyond the AMP circuit breaker.
The bottom line is that the lights need to be replaced including any underlying power issues. It is our expectation that this should be the first priority for the major work at KGV.
CEO Football Tasmania
I will admit that the KGV artificial turf has been good when games have been too rainy or muddy at other grounds. D’Arcy St for example last season was in no condition for South Hobart v KLUFC for the final game of the round after heavy rainfall.
After pitch inspections it was deemed unsafe and the game was moved to KGV. So we have that dilemma if we were to rip up the turf, where would those games go? The likely option would be postponed matches and that would be the most appropriate way to go.
One has to wonder if they will rip up the artificial turf in the process? It would be nice to see the ground return to the grass format as the turf has been deemed a hard surface which has contributed to injuries along the way.
The hard concrete around the outer of the pitch is also extremely unsafe and needs an upgrade. Players have to avoid tackles or falls to prevent injury and for too long that has been in place.
The toilets and normal facilities also need changing. Little things like a baby change room for mum’s, appropriate dressing rooms and showers for players and staff would go so damn far.
The football faithful can’t keep expecting to go to games with the likely prosperity that the lights will go out and the game will be abandoned. It doesn’t happen in any other state and it looks like Glenorchy City Council and Football TAS are on board.
For too long we have had to endure these faults and finally it will be taken care of. How great it will be to go to a game knowing the floodlights will actually beam for the entire game and after it! It’s a risk to the players, club officials and fans alike not having the appropriate lighting.
Along with this other areas like the grandstand will also be upgraded for hopefully something a lot better.
Actions speak louder than words however.
Ball is in FT and GC Council’s court. Let’s go.