KICK: Harper Steenbuck, 4, tries out the half finished AFL Mount Isa "Legend Oval". Picture: EMMA CILLEKENS

Complex sprouting

31 Dec, 2009 09:02 AM
THE seeds have been sown on the Mount Isa AFL "Legend Oval" which is due to hold its first game in March.

Small blades of grass are already surfacing ahead of the season - an accomplishment AFL Mount Isa president Maddo Fidler said was long overdue.

"Huge amounts of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the oval's development," he said.

"We've had thousands of hours of volunteer work and could not have done it without the support of the local business's and their owners and managers who kindly donated their plant, equipment, materials and personnel. Obviously the $100,000 contribution of Joseph Gutnick from Legend was a huge help as well."

Fidler said the completion of the $1million oval on Sports Parade was the beginning of a new era for AFL Mount Isa. But it wasn't always smooth sailing.

It's been a rocky road for the sporting group to get to where they are today.

They spent 10 years without a "home" losing the purpose built Alexandra Oval in 1998.

After moving several times over the years, Fidler said it was good to have a "piece of dirt" on Sports Parade to call their own.

"It took a lot of effort, negotiating with the council to lease the land and getting local businesses and the community on board to fund the project but we finally did it," he said.

One AFL fan who just couldn't wait to take to the field was four-year-old Harper Steenbuck.

Even without grass or any facilities he said he thought the new home of Mount Isa AFL was great.

"I love playing football," he said. "Kicking balls is fun."

Harper's father Mick said his son was a mad keen AFL player.

"I love my AFL and I wanted to get him started when he was young," he said.

"He was so keen to come out and try the new field."

Fidler said it was great to see locals enjoying the grounds - even if it was just a "pile of dirt" at the moment.

"It's only about half finished, but we finally have a place to call home," he said.

"I just can't wait to see the first game."

He said three local teams and one from Lake Nash would be able to enjoy the grounds next year.

The first game will hit the field on March 27.



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