Tanunda oval remains a playing field in 2018 season

The veterans of Tanunda and Barossa District Football clubs over 35s ‘Vintage’ match clash in August played on Tanunda Oval.
The veterans of Tanunda and Barossa District Football clubs over 35s ‘Vintage’ match clash in August played on Tanunda Oval.

Football and cricket matches will continue to be played on Tanunda Oval this season, newly elected Tanunda Football club president Danny Westhoff has confirmed.

The affirmation comes after comments surfaced over possible disruption to games due to the oval and surrounds’ redevelopment overhaul, managed by The Barossa Council.

“We will still be playing on the oval,” Mr Westhoff said.

Concern among local footy clubs ignited after the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association season fixture, approved by the association in December, was changed.

Normally released each year in late December to early January, the fixture is still not available.

Concerned parties have spoken to Barossa Herald regarding time frames on the improvements for the redeveloped Tanunda Oval holding up the fixture, and causing angst for clubs keen to cement their 2018 calendar of events, including major fundraisers.

This week, BLGFA called for a special meeting on February 4.

The gathering is believed to provide clarity about the football fixture, including its release date.

Prior to this, another meeting headed by the council with Tanunda Football Club committee and the BLGA was held early this month.

BLGA president Mick Brien declined to comment when questioned by the Herald.

While Mr Brien mentioned he was in attendance, he firmly stated “no comment” regarding any questions, one which asked why there was a hold up in the football fixture.

Yet Mr Westhoff, who took over Tanunda’s leadership reins from Dan Eggleton during the club’s AGM in November 2017, willingly shared how the new committee was working closely with the council.

He explained meetings were being held between the club, BLGFA and the council to keep the committee informed of the redevelopment’s progress.

“We are working with them (the council) who are keeping us up-to-date,” Mr Westhoff said.

Meanwhile, council repeated the redevelopment would include improvements to lighting, electrical and boundary/fencing changes.

Council chief executive officer Martin McCarthy said these works were still at planning stage and the purpose for the recent session was to “ensure good communication” between each stakeholder. 

During the council’s December 19 meeting, elected members approved drainage at the site for June/July this year, however the council did wish to answer specific questions, including how these works would affect play on the oval.

The works will make way for an increase in the size of the oval – currently it does not comply for insurance purposes, which state the boundary must be three metres from the fence for AFL pre-season games. 

This will require moving the goal and point posts.

“Council is looking for these works to be implemented by June 30, 2018, but is aware that there are a number of constraints that may impact the timing,” Mr McCarthy said.

Constraints could include procurement and supply timelines, consents and contractor scheduling, for example completing the electrical upgrade is dependent on SA Power Networks lead. 

“Tanunda Oval is the home ground and we will continue to work with the club and the association on the scheduling as details become clearer,” Mr McCarthy said.