McLean Park ready for football

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
McLean Park will host football on Saturday.
Camera IconMcLean Park will host football on Saturday. Credit: Toby Hussey

Denmark-Walpole Football Club will play their first official fixture on the newly developed McLean Park after gaining permission from the Shire of Denmark to play all four grades there this Saturday.

Last month, DWFC announced they had given up hope of playing games there this season but that changed after lobbing to have all four games played on the ground instead of only two.

The Magpies play Mt Barker at McLean Park, which has undergone more than $1 million of improvements, as the sole Saturday fixture in round 13 of the Great Southern Football League.

In their initial decision not to play any games at the ground this season, the Magpies also gave up the rights to host next month’s grand final, which has since been transferred to Centennial Stadium.

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The grand final will remain in Albany this year.

DWFC president Kim Barrow said they would see how the oval pulled up after this Saturday but were hopeful of playing the last two regular season games there.

“The oval looks really good,” Barrow said.

“The boys trained there last Thursday and will again (tonight).

“Being able to play all four games there and keeping it all together was essential for us; moving a couple of games just makes it too hard. The players are pretty happy. It has been a long season travelling every week and our plan is to play the last two games there as long as the oval comes up alright.”

Saturday’s league game between the fourth and fifth-placed sides will also double as the annual Graham Hard Memorial Match.

Shire of Denmark corporate and community services director Cary Green thanked his staff and contractors for their work.

“We are really excited about the game being played this weekend,” he said. “We thank the community for their patience and encourage them to get down to the game and see the Magpies play on the new surface for the first time.”

Meanwhile, in the top-of-the-table clash between Royals and Railways on Sunday at Tigerland. the home side will be without a number of key players.

The Tigers are expected to still be without captain Bodhi Stubber, who is nursing a quad injury, while Mitch Green (shoulder) is unlikely to play given his side have secured a top-two spot.

Midfielder Joel Want and forward Ryan Harper are possible inclusions but the Tigers will have to cover the loss of Ethan Knee who went down in the win over the Bulls with a hamstring injury.

The Lions have won their past nine games to sit four points and significant percentage clear of the Tigers in the standings.

A win to the Lions would guarentee the minor premiership and hosting rights for the second semifinal.

Coach Andrew Ruck will look at recalling Taylor Powell, who has kicked 19 goals in three reserves games this year, and Ryan Flick.

In the other Sunday game, Albany will tackle North Albany at Centennial Stadium.

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