Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reigning premier Gaza homeless

HOMELESS: Gaza, which won the 2011 division one amateur
football grand finale, will be without a home until June as
development work takes place at its Klemzig Oval base.
A DELAY in development work at Klemzig Oval is hampering Gaza’s quest for back-to-back Division One amateur football flags, club president Bob Napier says.

The $900,000 upgrade to the council-owned community space, which houses the Klemzig Tennis Club and Gaza’s cricket and football clubs, will not be finished until the end of June.

It means Gaza, which defeated Sacred Heart Old Collegians in the 2011 Division One grand final, has not been able to use the oval for pre-season training and will have to play its home matches at Thebarton Oval until the work is completed.

Mr Napier said the development work, although good for his club in the long run, had affected it off field.

He said revenue was down by as much as 75 per cent because the community club appeared closed due to construction fences.

“The main issue for us has been, of course, not being able to use the oval which has meant no cricket, no football training, no soccer training, no community engagement which means you’ve got no people around the club,” Mr Napier said.

“It’s been a real struggle for us but we absolutely embrace what the council are doing (with the development) and it has our full support.

“The only bugbear is the pain before the gain, it’s been a tough one because initially the council assured us the oval would be ready for the start of the season.”

Port Adelaide Enfield Council’s recreation and community development manager Brett Hill said the redevelopment was on schedule.

Club A-grade coach Nathan Grainger said the interrupted pre-season was not ideal.

The Eagles have been training at Windsor Gardens Vocational College but will move to LJ Lewis Reserve, Greenacres, next week.

“We have been training on an oval smaller than ours, it is a cricket oval,” Grainger said.

“It hasn’t been ideal but at the same time we’ve had to deal with the cards we’ve been given ... I guess it was a focus which got the better of us before Christmas but we’ve just learned to deal with it now.”


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