Light up the stage for women’s foot­ball

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Adam Poulsen

NIGHT games and women’s foot­ball could be on the cards at North Fre­man­tle’s Gil­bert Fraser Re­serve after Fre­man­tle Coun­cil voted to ap­ply for an $86,667 State Gov­ern­ment grant to up­grade light­ing at the oval.

If the ap­pli­ca­tion is suc­cess­ful, the City of Fre­man­tle will match the money in its 2020-21 bud­get and put it towards the $260,000 pro­ject.

It would in­volve re­plac­ing three north­ern 20m tow­ers with two 30m tow­ers, to match the two ex­ist­ing south­ern 30m poles on site, and a switch to LED light­ing.

Gil­bert Fraser Re­serve is home to North Fre­man­tle Am­a­teur Foot­ball Club, Fre­man­tle AFL Mas­ters Foot­ball Club and Fre­man­tle Mos­man Park Cricket Club.

Fre­man­tle AFL Mas­ters Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Stephen Ross said ex­ist­ing light­ing at the park was suf­fi­cient for train­ing but prob­a­bly not good enough for night games.

“I think we need to be able to play night footy to get the most out of that ground,” he said. “We do find that the cur­rent light­ing does tend to be in your eyes a lot if you’re in the wrong spot.

“Ob­vi­ously you want as good light­ing as pos­si­ble for games, be­cause there’s a bit more on the line.”

One of four 20m tow­ers on the western side of the re­serve was re­moved last year due to struc­tural weak­ness and risk of col­lapse.

In his re­port to coun­cil, the City’s as­set man­age­ment man­ager Craig Best said ex­ist­ing flood­light­ing at the re­serve was “at the end of its use­ful life” and re­strict­ing the use of the oval.

“Up­grad­ing the light­ing will max­imise the use of the re­serve and sup­port the clubs in ex­pand­ing their mem­ber­ship and pro­vid­ing ac­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties for the City’s res­i­dents,” Mr Best said.

“The dif­fer­ent heights and types of the lights have re­sulted in poor uni­for­mity of light and a high level of glare.

“Past at­tempts to ad­just the light­ing to im­prove the glare and light lev­els on the ground has re­sulted in light spill from the fa­cil­ity im­pact­ing lo­cal res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

“The new light­ing sys­tem will al­low use of the en­tire play­ing sur­face and pro­vide a larger train­ing area.”

Mr Best said this would open the door to women’s foot­ball, which was pre­vented by cur­rent sched­ul­ing of train­ing and matches, be­ing played at the re­serve.

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