Football — 05 December 2013

The Gawler Central Football Club is hoping to play a football game under lights next season.

It would be the first night match played in the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association.

Rod Knight, president of the Gawler Central FC, said the Anzac Day game against Willaston on Friday, April 25 was the preferred match.

“There is still a lot of things that have to happen but we are confident we can cross all the bridges,” Mr Knight said.

“Firstly, there will be a $120,000 upgrade of the lights around the oval.

“We have a $60,000 grant and will match it dollar for dollar.

“There will be four light poles erected to replace the current two and our understanding is that the light strength will be enough to play a night game.

“While the program for next year is yet to be ratified, in all scenarios we are scheduled to play Willaston at home on Anzac Day.

“We have already had contact with the Willaston Football Club, and they have, in principle, agreed to play the game at night.”

Mr Knight said once the lights have been erected and were in operation, the directors of the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association would be invited to see them in use to grant a final seal of approval.

The program for the day would also include the traditional Anzac Day ceremony involving the Gawler RSL.

Junior Colts, Senior Colts and Reserves game would still be played on the day with later starting times and the A grade match would start at 6.30pm, finishing around 8.30pm.

Mr Knight said an after-match function was also planned.

Wayne Smith, president of the Willaston Football Club, said the proposed night match was an exciting development.

“We believe it would be good, not just for the two clubs, but the association in general,” Mr Smith said.

“We played all our trial matches this season under lights, and they were excellent games.

“One of our trials was at Kilburn and the lights there were fantastic.”

Mr Robin Symes, outgoing president of the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association, said it was an exciting concept.

“I think it would be good for our football,” Mr Symes said. “We have to keep improving our product and night matches would be good.

“But I’m sure the directors will want to see the lights operational to make sure they are up to standard for a game.

“Also we have to confirm that Central and Willaston will be playing on the Friday under the league’s program for next season.

“The program is still yet to be finalised but under all options it would  appear they will.”

Leanne Songer, president of the Gawler Central Netball Club, said her club had written to the Willaston Netball Club asking if it would be happy to play games on Anzac Day.

“We are still waiting for a reply,”Mrs Songer said.

“I’m not sure our court lights are good enough to play a night game or games.

“That is an issue we can look at if Willaston are happy to play on the Friday.”

Bridey Lewis, president of the Barossa, Light and Gawler Netball Association, said a night netball match was “an interesting concept.”

“Gawler Central has approached us about playing on Friday and our association is supportive of the idea,” Ms Lewis said.

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Paul Barnet

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