There’s nowhere to run

WODONGA’S shortage of sporting venues reached crisis point yesterday when a string of major grounds were shut after less than 25 millimetres of rain.

Wodonga Football Club’s preparations for its wooden-spoon battle with Myrtleford on Saturday were thrown into chaos when the Bulldogs were forced off John Flower Oval at 2pm.

The winless Bulldogs have been left in the lurch after the council closed facilities because of rain.

Wodonga hosts the struggling Saints this weekend in what shapes as the biggest game of the season for both clubs.

Hollands said the Bulldogs’ lead-up to that game was now looking far from ideal.

“It’s an absolute nightmare to get something else organised — we were looking forward to having a solid week on the track, so it has a bit of an impact,” Hollands said.

“We saw it as a great opportunity to prepare for the conditions but we’ve just got to deal with it.”

Soccer grounds Willow Park, Kelly Park and La Trobe were also shut, with Wodonga Raiders advised against using their surface at Birallee Park.

A council spokesperson said yesterday the closure was standard procedure due to the amount of rain in the area — it was to protect the surface and safety of players.

The closures will be re- assessed this morning.

Hollands understood there were reasons for the closure at Martin Park but said his club needed other options.

The surface at Wodonga Senior Secondary College is regarded as one of the best in Albury-Wodonga but is unable to be used by clubs once daylight saving ends, as there are no lights.

While John Flower Oval is home to the Bulldogs, several other clubs play on it when Wodonga isn’t there.

Tallangatta and District league club Wodonga Saints plays its home games at the ground, despite training on adjacent Les Cheesley Oval.

The pitch used by Wodonga’s cricket club on the second oval remains cordoned off in winter months.

It’s an absolute nightmare ... We were looking forward to having a solid week on the track, so it has a bit of an impact.