OVENS and Murray football and netball matches will not be played at Lavington Sports Ground next season.
Vehicle access requirements for the $11 million redevelopment of the venue means Lavington will be forced to find a new ground for its home matches in 2019.
Training will be able to continue to be held at the oval with three-quarters of the ground remaining open.
Albury Council managers met Panthers committee members on Tuesday night to tell them the oval would be off-limits for games next year.
Lavington club president Peter Barwick said it was unclear where the Panthers would play in 2019.
“The council have put up Urana Road (oval) to us, but we need to look at what’s most feasible for us and suitable for us,” Mr Barwick said.
His committee will meet on Wednesday night to set out a timeframe and strategy for the shift.
Urana Road Oval is the home of Hume league club Murray Magpies.
Its president Ted Miller said his organisation would be willing to entertain sharing its ground with Lavington, if it was approached.
He said council parks and gardens staff would probably need to invest more time in maintaining the oval if it was hosting matches weekly.
Mr Barwick also flagged the possibility of Lavington playing out of Bunton Park, home of fellow Ovens and Murray club North Albury.
Since being admitted to the Ovens and Murray in 1979 as the Blues, Lavington has always played matches at the sports ground.
The oval upgrade, which will include a grandstand facelift and expansion, also means the Ovens and Murray grand final will not return to the venue until 2020.
In a council media release accompanying Tuesday night’s decision, Mr Barwick acknowledged there would be a long term benefit.
“It’s inconvenient to lose games at our home ground for the season but we understand the sacrifice is worth making, given the redevelopment will give our players and supporters the best home ground anywhere between Canberra and Melbourne," he said.
New turf will soon be laid on the oval to utilise the looming warmer months.
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