March 15, 2023 / 8:22 pm
MODEWARRE is bracing for a financial hit, with a delay in upgrade works at Community Bank Oval forcing the club to shift two home games in the opening month of the BFNL season.
The Warriors were due to play Geelong Amateur on Good Friday and archrival Torquay the following week, but they will now have to wait until at least the Round 6 meeting with Drysdale before returning home.
Football boss Michael Fitzgerald said the irrigation and drainage works are a case of “short-term pain for long-term gain”.
“As everyone knows, in the middle of winter, Community Bank Oval can be a fairly soft affair,” he said. “This will lead to massive improvements in terms of the playing surface.
“But, we’re going to miss the completion date through some holdups along the way.
“The project was running ahead of schedule, and then there was a supply issue with one of the components.
“The ground will be re-sewn in the next couple of weeks, and Surf Coast Shire won’t give us clearance to play on it until mid-to-late April at this stage.”
After being overlooked for nearly 20 years by AFL Barwon and its predecessor Football Geelong to host a match on Easter Weekend, Modewarre got an opportunity in 2021 with a night clash against Anglesea.
Last year, the Warriors entered an agreement with Geelong Amateur to rotate Good Friday between the two clubs, with a large crowd packing Queens Park for the inaugural clash in 2022.
“The Easter game the year before, we had a $35,000 day,” Fitzgerald.
“Missing Round 2 and 3 when the weather’s good, and being a Good Friday and a Torquay game, which is always a big crowd, it could be a $40,000-45,000 revenue hole in the first half of the season.”
Modewarre has lived a nomadic existence through the pre-season, using grounds at Mt Duneed, Connewarre and on Cape Otway Road for training.
Fitzgerald said they’re working with Surf Coast Shire to find the Warriors a training location with lights when daylight saving concludes at the start of April.
“We’re hoping that Surf Coast Shire can pull a rabbit out of their hat and find us a venue to train on a Tuesday and Thursday night,” he said.
“And it’s not just the senior and reserves footy – we’ve got ten football sides, including our inaugural women’s side.”
Geelong Amateur has confirmed via social media the Good Friday meeting with Modewarre will be played as a twilight match starting at 5:20pm, allowing Ammos to showcase their newly-installed lights.
Image: Modewarre players celebrate a goal in the win over Geelong Amateur on Good Friday last year. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)