Field of dreams for football youngsters

April 12, 2017

Field of dreams for football youngsters

Construction has begun on the all-weather pitches at Metro Football Club. Photo: James Michie

After a soggy season last year, Mt Albert footballers can look forward to playing without the weather raining on their parade.

Metro Football Club is upgrading its pitches at Phyllis St Reserve to enable players to use the grounds all year round.

First team coach, Michael Taylor, said the new pitches would be a great development as they offered the chance for the club to grow and expand.

Metro uses numerous parks around Mt Albert and neighbouring suburbs as training grounds due to the lack of space available at the club.

Mr Taylor said the fields would allow his team to train consistently throughout the winter without fields being closed.

“We didn’t train for eight sessions in a row last year because the fields were closed. The all-weather pitches will allow us to train right through winter.”

Ben Hughes, 19, a striker at the club, believed the improved facilities would help him, while attracting young talent to the club.

“It will allow myself and my team to train all year round. In winter with the grounds how they are, you can often go two or three weeks without training due to the fields being closed.”

Mr Hughes said it would benefit younger players and give the club more chance at improving all their teams.

“I think it will bring more professionalism to it all as you can have kids training even in the summer when the club is being used for softball grounds on the grass fields. The turf will offer places for school holiday programmes to be run.”

Auckland Football Federation has also endorsed the new fields.

Spokesperson Gordon Watson said, “They are literally multi-purpose resources that can be used in a variety of ways that can be of benefit to a club and its local community.”

Mr Watson hoped that by clubs building the all-weather fields, clubs will be able to reach out to people who weren’t necessarily involved in football.

“You can stage more activities to promote football on an all-weather surface, and that is a positive.”

Construction is to be completed in early 2019.

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