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Rain forces council to close grounds

Greater Shepparton's sporting grounds have been closed for the week due to heavy recent fall, forcing sporting clubs to find alternate training venues.

OLIVER CAFFREY June 25, 2014 3:05am

Greater Shepparton’s sporting grounds have been closed for the week so they can recover from recent rainfall.


Sporting clubs across the municipality have been forced to find alternative training venues after Greater Shepparton City Council closed all grounds to the public until Saturday.

Heavy recent rainfall prompted council to conserve the playing surfaces for future use.

Major Shepparton venues, including Deakin Reserve, McEwen Reserve and Princess Park, are just a number of grounds to be closed.

Council infrastructure director Steve Bowmaker said the widespread nature of the rainfall had forced council into action.

‘‘We’re closing all sports grounds for training purposes to have them in a fit state for play on Saturday and for the finals series, which is not far away now,’’ Bowmaker said.

‘‘We’ve done this before, however, it has usually been done on a ground-by-ground basis.

‘‘I’ve had staff out over the past 48 hours surveying all the grounds and the reports we received were they all needed a break.

‘‘We hope the sporting public understand that this short-term measure has been taken to ensure our grounds are preserved for the long-term.’’

Five of the 12 Goulburn Valley Football League clubs — Shepparton, Shepparton United, Shepparton Swans, Mooroopna and Tatura — will have to look elsewhere to prepare for this weekend’s matches.

A Sun Country Cup game between Kyabram P-12 and Goulburn Valley Grammar School scheduled for Deakin Reserve last night was postponed.

Swans coach Brett Warburton said the club was not impacted last night, but needed to train tomorrow.

‘‘We’re not training there tonight (last night), we’d already planned to train indoors anyway, but obviously Thursday night is the big one for the entire club,’’ Warburton said.

‘‘Princess Park is a heavily-used ground and we have a lot of teams training on there, but I was there today and the ground seemed fine.

The Swans host Benalla on Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash.

‘‘It’s Goulburn Valley footy, a lot of time and work goes into it and we really only need 40 minutes to train on Thursday night because it’s always a short and sharp session,’’ Warburton said

‘‘I’m scratching my head to be honest, but hopefully it’s all resolved for training tomorrow night because it’s a big game against Benalla.’’

Shepparton United co-coach Geoff Hall said the Demons were planning to secure a different venue for tomorrow night.

The Demons will travel to Tatura to take on the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Shepparton coach Brad Campbell said the Bears trained at Aquamoves on Monday and were looking to get in a session elsewhere tonight.

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