Shire takes long-term view on oval

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Denmark Walpole Football Club league coach Matt Candy at the McLean Oval prior to the development.
Camera IconDenmark Walpole Football Club league coach Matt Candy at the McLean Oval prior to the development. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Football is expected to return to Denmark’s McLean Oval next month with a turf consultant to test the surface this Friday.

The redevelopment is six weeks behind schedule due to “geotechnical issues”, which required the Shire to redesign the field’s drainage system.

Shire of Denmark director of corporate and community services Cary Green said he knew local sport clubs were eager to get back on the ground.

“A test specialist consultant will be conducting a thorough test at the oval and he will be providing us some reports to find out if the surface is going to be playable come July,” Mr Green said.

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“We want to make sure the oval is fit for purpose, but we do appreciate the club is keen to get back into the oval.”

Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker said the $1.1 million project was a significant investment.

“We are taking a long-term view of when activity can resume at McLean Oval. The last thing we want is the surface being damaged,” he said.

“All going to plan, games should resume at McLean Oval in July.

“Depending on the performance of the playing surface, training may continue to occur at alternative venues until the end of the winter season.”

The playing surface is now 1m higher than it was before the redevelopment and better equipped to deal with wet conditions.

A full set of 1000-watt LED lamps had also been installed as part of the upgrades, making the oval the only facility in the region to have environmentally-friendly LED lighting.

The project was delivered in response to reports of a poor playing surface that was often waterlogged, compromising player safety.

The oval is used by a number of sporting clubs, including Denmark-Walpole Football Club, Denmark Soccer Club and Denmark Cricket Club.

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