Talks keep Metro’s hopes on the field

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Hope could be on the hori­zon for ju­nior foot­ballers at the Mt Al­bert­based Metro club.

Metro is set to lose Alan Wood re­serve, where many of its young­sters play, to the new Water­view mo­tor­way con­nec­tion.

But club chairman Wil­son Irons says re­cent dis­cus­sions with the New Zealand Trans­port Agency and the Auck­land City Coun­cil have been pos­i­tive.

He says re­place­ment grounds could in­clude de­vel­op­ing sur­plus land at the club’s Phyl­lis St home or find­ing an al­ter­na­tive base.

But Mr Irons says re­place­ment grounds need to be in the lo­cal area, where most club mem­bers live.

“If the new grounds aren’t in Mt Al­bert we might as well close up.”

While time is an im­por­tant fac­tor, with new fields po­ten­tially tak­ing years to de­velop prop­erly, Mr Irons re­mains optimistic.

“It’s been good to have NZTA and Auck­land city in the same room.

“I think the fu­ture looks brighter for peo­ple who play foot­ball in the area.”

If the ex­tra land at Phyl­lis St is devel­oped, Mr Irons says more in­vest­ment will have to be made in ap­pro­pri­ate fa­cil­i­ties.

‘You’ve got to have ex- tra chang­ing rooms and toi­lets.”

Agency spokesman Ewart Barns­ley says it is work­ing closely with Metro and the coun­cil to come up with a so­lu­tion.

Along with pur­chas­ing new land or de­vel­op­ing ex­ist­ing coun­cil land, he says the agency could trans­fer land it cur­rently owns, but is sur­plus to re­quire­ments af­ter the project is fin­ished.

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