Bendigo VFL match move
AFL Victoria wishes to advise that Victorian Football League matches will not be played at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval until the ground is deemed fit for play.
AFL Victoria recently commissioned the AFL’s turf consultants Australian Golf Course Superintendant Association to inspect the condition of the QEO.
Its preliminary report found the QEO surface was inconsistent in its firmness, its grass cover and had different grass types and therefore was unsuitable for VFL matches.
Consequently, this Monday’s Bendigo Bombers versus Box Hill Hawks clash has been moved to Essendon’s Windy Hill.
AFL Victoria Operations Manager John Hook said the VFL had made the call to look after the interests of its clubs and players.
“We had real concerns expressed to us by VFL clubs who had played there recently,” Hook said.
“There is uncertainty for a player’s footing and this can lead to a greater risk of injury.
“The welfare of the players is paramount.”
Hook said it was disappointing that matches had to be moved from a Victorian football stronghold.
“It’s putting enormous pressure on the Bendigo Bombers and it’s not their fault,” Hook said.
“We are disappointed for the Bendigo Bombers as they have sponsorship commitments to fulfill at the ground and they would like to play at the QEO in front of their home fans.
“Bendigo is an important Victorian football region and an important part of the VFL competition. It’s disappointing VFL games cannot be played there.”
The next match scheduled for the QEO is the Sunday, July 12 round 13 clash against Geelong.
Hook said the ground would be monitored and hoped it would again be fit for VFL standard.
“The possibility of future games will be discussed with the City of Greater Bendigo and determined by what can be done,” Hook said.