Upgrades bring exciting times

Albury councillor Ross Jackson, Thurgoona Football Netball Club facilities manager Bill Smith and Thurgoona Lions Club first vice-president Ian Crane finish off the upgrades. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

Albury councillor Ross Jackson, Thurgoona Football Netball Club facilities manager Bill Smith and Thurgoona Lions Club first vice-president Ian Crane finish off the upgrades. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

A makeover valued at $180,000 at the Thurgoona Football Netball Club was yesterday receiving its final touches.

Albury Council provided $150,000 for the upgrades, which have been planned since 2007. But councillor Ross Jackson said the project was a combined effort.

“It’s a community-council project, if clubs are willing to help with funding then the council is,” Jackson said.

The upgrades are the first stage in a 10-year masterplan which will cater to Thurgoona’s growing community.

“Like any club we are expanding, Thurgoona is growing and we need to accommodate for that,” Cr Jackson said.

Changes to the sporting ground include new lights, nets behind the goals, seating at the netball courts, a playground and the removal of the old courts.

Thurgoona Football Netball Club facilities manager Bill Smith said the improvements would make it a family-friendly ground.

“The new park will give kids a place to play,” he said.

“We get about 1200 people on Saturdays, which we expect to increase with Thurgoona expanding.”

Raising money was a combined effort between Albury Council, Thurgoona Lions Club and the Thurgoona Football Netball Club.

The council’s director of community and recreation, James Jenkins, said they would be of benefit in the long run.

“The lighting used to only be on one side, which wore down that side, so the new lighting, which is up to Australian standards, will ensure the ground remains in good condition.”

The club and the council have already started planning future projects, including a secondary smaller oval, a mound with shelter for better viewing and upgrades to the changerooms.

“We have a 10-year plan and are looking at putting in a small oval where the old courts were to take the stress off the main oval in winter,” Mr Smith said.

Cr Jackson said the council had a good relationship with the club and was already planning the next upgrades.

Mr Jenkins said there was a budgeted plan for Urana Road Oval, with courts to be finished by September, and other works to start next year.

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