Forum topic

1 post / 0 new
Last post
Slammin Sammy Says
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 01/04/2010 - 11:25
Bendigo Bombers glad to be home

I don't know how to post news articles the way Robbo does but here it is from the Bendigo Advertiser:

Bendigo Bombers glad to be home
23 Jun, 2011 04:00 AM

JUST over 12 months ago a frustrated Bendigo Bombers chairman David Joss branded the Queen Elizabeth Oval the “laughing stock” of football in country Victoria.
That was June 17, 2010, when the Bombers had just learned their upcoming match at the QEO against arch-rivals North Ballarat was to be shifted to Essendon’s Windy Hill.

The problem: the QEO’s surface was deemed unsuitable to host VFL football as it had been chopped up by a heavy workload.

And not for the first time either. In July, 2009, the QEO’s surface was also considered unplayable for VFL football by AFL Victoria, forcing the Bombers’ last four QEO games to be shifted to Windy Hill.

While initially it was only the North Ballarat game that was to be shifted last year, the Bombers ultimately never returned to the QEO in 2010.

While they did play two games at Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane in the second half of last season, the Bombers haven’t graced the QEO since May 30 last year when they lost to the Casey Scorpions by a goal.

Whether you like them or not, over the past two years the Bombers have brought the issue of a QEO resurface very much back into the spotlight after initial plans of an overhaul were scrapped in 2002 because of a lack of water caused by the drought.

And that much-needed resurfacing – among other upgrades at the QEO at a cost of $2.2 million – has now been completed, freeing the Bombers to return to their home ground.

This Saturday from 2pm the Bombers will host Williamstown at the QEO in the VFL’s match of the round, and Joss can’t wait to see his Bombers once again playing in Bendigo.

Playing at the QEO has certainly been somewhat of a rarity for the Bombers in recent years.

Since the start of 2009, only six of the Bombers’ 47 games have been played at the QEO.

“Obviously, that’s a huge issue for a Bendigo-based football club,” Joss said yesterday.

“Effectively, we’ve been exporting our games to Melbourne, which isn’t something we’ve ever wanted to do.

“So we’re rapt to be back this weekend playing where we should be.

“If you go back to 2009 when we had issues with the QEO, we almost fell off the radar completely in Bendigo, although we weren’t helped by having a winless season.

“Having turned our performances around and become a lot more competitive, that has certainly assisted in keeping our brand alive.

“Our footy club has always been about the development of pathways and the role we can play in creating more Stewart Crameris, but at the same time, you have to be competitive and win more games than you lose.

“On those sort of fronts we’re going along OK at the moment.”

After 12 rounds the Bombers are in a strong position to reach the VFL finals for the second year in a row.

Under the guidance of coach Shannon Grant, the Bombers sit fourth with a 7-3 record.

While Joss is pleased with the redevelopment works undertaken at the QEO so far, he believes there’s scope for much more to be done.

“What we have now is a good-quality playing surface and some improved spectator facilities,” Joss said.

“There’s no secret we’d like to see it go a bit further. I think the spectator facilities can certainly come on a bit more.

“And Bendigo’s VFL club is the only club in the VFL, and probably in Bendigo, that doesn’t have its own facilities.

“We don’t have any social facilities, we don’t have any changerooms, we don’t have an office, we’re basically nomads.

“If the QEO is our home ground, then we need to have a building there.

“I think it should be a community-based building, but certainly, the Bombers don’t have anywhere to build a club at the moment.

“Basically, what we have at the QEO now is a playing surface, so it’s a significant issue when you’re talking about what the essence of a club is.

“You need to have somewhere to exist, not just play.”

Edited by: Slammin Sammy Says on 25/06/2011 - 11:04