Season stalled

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This summer’s unprecedented rainfall has saturated soccer grounds giving the Nepean District Soccer Football Association (NDSFA) little choice but to delay the start of the season.

The first matches of the competition were supposed to take place last weekend, but after reviewing several local grounds with Penrith City Council staff, NDSFA made the decision to postpone the start of the season until April 21.

NDSFA Operations Manager, Linda Cerone, said whilst delaying the season’s start is disappointing for players and clubs, the fields are in no state to be played on.

“I surveyed several grounds and they can be best described as walking on set porridge or on a jumping castle,” she said.

“Blacktown has also postponed the start of their season but did so three weeks ago – we have left this decision to the last possible moment in hope that the grounds would dry up but it just will not be possible.”

Even though the rain has eased in comparison to January and February this year, the main concern is that if the fields were to be used they would sustain considerable damage that could cost the Council and clubs thousands of dollars to fix.

“It costs about $5,000 to top dress a field – so if we had two days worth of games played we would be looking at $50,000 worth of damage,” Ms Cerone said.

“Only 40 per cent of our games could have been played last weekend, which means that 60 per cent of people would miss out and have to have matches rescheduled – it is more convenient for everyone to delay the season.”

Fortunately due to Easter, keen players only miss one match despite the three-week delay.

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