Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Reid makes sure grass is top class

Shayne Reid has prepared courts for Wimbledon and Davis Cup ties and he has been busy making sure the temporary tennis courts at Mooroopna are up to scratch for Country Week.

DAMEN FRANCIS February 7, 2014 4:15am

Shayne Reid has prepared temporary tennis courts for Country Week in the past, now he’s lending a hand at Mooroopna.

Shayne Reid has prepared grass courts at Wimbledon and Australian Davis Cup ties, but right now Shepparton and Mooroopna have his full attention.

The towns are co-hosting Australia’s biggest grass court tennis tournament, Victorian Country Tennis Association Country Week, starting Monday.

However, with just 32 permanent courts between Mooroopna and Shepparton Lawn tennis clubs and more than 1000 players to cater for, 50 temporary courts are being created at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve.

That’s where Reid comes in.

The talented Wodonga Tennis Centre curator and veteran of multiple successful Country Week tournaments has lent his expertise to ensure Greater Shepparton’s first time as host is a hit.

Reid said the scale of the project was not unlike the preparation work required at Wodonga in past years and was confident of providing top notch facilities.

‘‘The biggest challenge is they are ovals being prepared to be a tennis court,’’ Reid said.

‘‘The court has got to last the week, it’s very important that the base lines get through without wearing down to bare earth and (players) can’t see the lines.

‘‘The ovals are in fantastic condition, they haven’t been played on, so they should go in very well prepared and fresh and hopefully should last the distance.’’

Preparations began 18 months ago, but Reid’s involvement has only been for the past 10 months and he was quick to praise the work of council parks and gardens workgroup co-ordinator Tim Zak and the team at Greater Shepparton City Council for laying the groundwork.

‘‘The council has been fantastic to deal with and Timothy Zak, who is responsible for all the ovals, deserves a huge congratulations on a magnificent job,’’ Reid said.

‘‘His willingness to produce quality playing surfaces has been first class.

‘‘They had already sprayed out the kikuyu grass on the ovals and relaid the appropriate couch grass. The preparation has been spot on.’’

Fences and nets are to go up during the weekend, with play to begin Monday morning.

Country Week is open to players of all ages and abilities and is tipped close to 200 teams from across the state will take part.

‘‘It’s the biggest teams event in the world, anywhere from 1000 to 1300 players for the week and I think everyone in Shepparton will be very impressed with what they see,’’ Reid said.

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