Euroa’s oval to become even more friendly

By Thomas Moir

Sporting fans passing through the Euroa area will be greeted with a friendly sight in the months to come.

The redevelopment of Euroa’s Friendlies Oval has finally started.

The project includes a new white picket boundary fence, three new turf wickets and an automated irrigation system.

And one key champion of the project believes it will provide a friendlier entry to town from the north.

The works, aimed to create a high-calibre facility, started with the removal of the old concrete wicket and boundary fence.

Works have started to reshape the playing surface, widen the oval at the north and south ends and prepare the ground with soil and fertiliser.

Strathbogie Shire Council confirmed the next steps included replanting the ground with Santa Ana couch grass, including three new turf wickets, an automated irrigation system and a new fence.

Friendlies Oval sub-committee member and a project driver Rob Asquith said it was great to see works started.

‘‘We have had such wonderful support from the local community through fundraising so it is great to be able to start delivering the project,’’ he said.

‘‘It is going to be a fantastic ground for our local cricket, hockey and tennis clubs, as well as significantly improving the presentation of Euroa when coming in from the northern entry.’’

The $210000 upgrade is being funded by $100000 from the Victorian Government’s Community Sports and Infrastructure Fund, $60000 from the oval’s management committee, raised through community fundraising, and $50000 from council.

Councillor and Friendlies Oval sub-committee chairman John Mason said it was fantastic to see the committee and community rewarded for their efforts.

‘‘Council is so pleased to be able to partner with our community and the Victorian Government to ensure the long-term future of the Friendlies Oval,’’ Cr Mason said.

‘‘The end product will be a high-calibre facility which will be valued and utilised by, not only its many user groups, but the whole community.’’

Planning for the project’s second and third stages has started.

This would have external amenities updated and landscaped as part of stage two and the development of a new multi-purpose clubhouse, which would accommodate a number of sporting groups.