Players Chris Gooley (left), and Jesse Hartman grass up club president Matthew McNamara during efforts to re-turf Bill Harris Field.
Players Chris Gooley (left), and Jesse Hartman grass up club president Matthew McNamara during efforts to re-turf Bill Harris Field. Cathy Adams

Rovers turn attention to home turf

IT WAS meant to be a re-turfing of Ben Hur proportions, but turned out more like The Benny Hill Show as members of the Richmond Rovers soccer club took on 7000 square metres of grass yesterday.

Enthusiasm overcame a lack of labour as about 20 soccer players-turned-turf-layers gallantly approached the halfway mark on sunset.

Club president Matthew McNamara had hoped to lay the lot in one go three weeks ago with three times the manpower but has been frustrated by wet weather, forcing him to re-schedule several times since then.

“We’re calling it a bit of training variety for the boys,” he said.

“We’ll knock a bit more off (today) then finish off on Thursday.”

The drastic re-turfing just weeks out from the start of the season became necessary after two unsuccessful attempts by Lismore City Council to replant the field from seed.

“We’ve struck a deal with council where we combined this year’s and next year’s budget to fix the surface,” he said.

“River Oak Turf is one of our sponsors and they did us a special deal making the whole thing possible.

“It’s our 50th anniversary this year so we wanted to get the pitch up to scratch.

“The committee was a bit embarrassed by the state of the ground with all the past members returning for the celebrations next month.

Bill Harris Field is the home ground for the Rovers – the region’s biggest and most successful soccer club – which fields up to 30 teams a season.

The surface had deteriorated to the point of no return from wear and tear and Mr McNamara hopes the new surface will see the club set well into the future.

Members and past players interested in attending the anniversary dinner at the Lismore Workers Club on April 24 should call 6624 2398.



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