TINONEE Soccer Club has set a goal of improving facilities at its headquarters, the Tinonee Recreation Ground.
The club will work with Tinonee Cricket Club along with Tinonee School to seek funding for major projects at the ground.
Tinonee Soccer Club secretary Jason Ryan said the ground is used extensively by the community for social and sporting activities.
“The soccer and football clubs use the ground along with the school while it is also the focus for community-type activities,’’ he said.
“Any improvements will benefit Tinonee and not just the sporting clubs.’’
Mr Ryan said the soccer club has been lobbying for funds for many years to improve facilities.
Main objective of both the football and soccer clubs would be the installation of a turf wicket to replace the synthetic surface pitch.
The synthetic wicket is close to the soccer field and Mr Ryan said this is a major concern for the safety of players. He said this is the main reason why Football Mid North Coast will not allow Tinonee to host major fixtures – including grand finals – at the ground. Tinonee teams play in the southern junior competitions while the Tinonee Eagles play in the southern all age men’s premiership. The Eagles were grand finalists last season.
Mr Ryan said the clubs looked at the possibility of installing ‘drop-in’ pitches at the ground last year and had discussions with Cricket NSW. However, the annual cost of $900 was prohibitive.
He concedes the installations of a turf wicket would need an injection of government funds to not only install a turf but also to buy a roller for on-going maintenance. There are four turf wickets in play in the Manning Cricket Association area, at Cedar Party Reserve Wingham, Johnny Martin Oval, Chatham Park and at Tuncurry.
Mr Ryan said current Manning first grade player Ben Marron has volunteered to act as curator for the turf. He has extensive experience working with the wicket at Johnny Martin Oval.
Mr Ryan said there’s little protection against the weather at the reserve.
“We hope install fixed awnings to the front and sides of the soccer clubhouse for shelter against wet weather and to protect against the sun in summer,’’ he said.
Purchasing and installing two four tiered aluminium 40 person sheltered grandstands is also on the agenda.
Mr Ryan said the Tinonee Rural Fire Services have pledged in-kind support to assist with the projects while the soccer club has started a petition seeking assistance from council.
Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie was due to inspect the reserve yesterday and speak the club representatives about the proposed upgrade.