State of city's grounds cops a red card

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 20/05/2014

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Manawatu's backup football grounds have been called into use lately because the top venues haven't been up to scratch.

Skoglund Park and Memorial Park haven't been at a playable level recently and in the past few weeks, games have had to be moved.

Central Football's Manawatu-Wanganui operations manager Shannon Smith said Palmerston North City Council did maintenance pre-season, but in the past three weeks they have had to shift games anyway.

"We've had to move games left, right and centre off those parks," she said. "The start of the season has been a bit bumpy. The parks haven't been up to scratch."

Smith said Memorial Park had a patch in one of the goalmouths with no grass and Skoglund Park had unauthorised use when it was raining during summer, which "left it in an absolute state", with lots of bumps and ridges in the ground.

She said work had been done to repair Memorial Park and she was hoping Skoglund would be done soon, too.

Colquhoun Park has also had games moved this season, and Monrad Park still had touch markings on them which have come from the overlapping sport seasons.

Games have been moved to backup grounds, Bill Brown Park and Ashhurst Domain.

Smith had wanted to play the big games two weekends ago, Palmerston North Marist's Chatham Cup game and Massey's national women's knockout cup game, at Memorial Park, but both were transferred to Ashhurst.

The other problem last weekend was the grass at Skoglund Park was "ridiculously long", Smith said.

North End coach Garry Hodge described the pitch at Skoglund as an "atrocious field not up to standard" after their game against Red Sox-Manawatu at the weekend.

The council did not respond to a request for comment.

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- Manawatu Standard

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