SOUTH Mildura Sporting Club president Kevin Burke admits it will be a bittersweet moment on Saturday when the final siren sounds on their Sarah Oval tenure.
The Bulldogs, who have called the Mildura Recreation Reserve No.3 Oval home since 1945, will be making the move to the new Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct (MSRSP) in 2022.
Their final home game on Saturday against Wentworth has been robbed of a capacity crowd under Victorian outdoor sports restrictions.
The match was meant to take place last week but was delayed with the most recent shutdown.
Sarah Oval has been the site of four senior Sunraysia Football and Netball League (SFNL) premierships since the end of World War II, and three A Grade netball flags since 1991.
Burke said it would be tough to say goodbye to the club’s home of 76 years, however they are looking forward to embracing a new era at the new purpose-built venue.
“We don’t get to play in front of our home crowd which is a bit disappointing, but in saying that we can only do what we can do under the circumstances,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to the move out to the precinct, everyone is pretty buoyant about it and obviously there have been some issues that have been documented but we’re working through them with council at the moment and we can’t wait to get out there.
“As a club we can see the direction we’re moving in with Ben Dalton as senior football coach and the future is looking good with some kids coming through.
“We’re looking forward to moving out to the precinct and starting a new era out there and hopefully we can garner some success.”
The Bulldogs’ senior football side sit fourth on the ladder, two points ahead of Mildura and six ahead of Wentworth, however this is their last home-and-away match as they have the bye next week.
Burke said the fate of the side was in their own hands against the Roos.
“We need to win against Wentworth to keep our finals hopes alive, and hopefully one of the other teams will do right thing by us and beat Mildura in one of the other games and we’ll be playing finals,” he said.
“There’s a couple of games we should have won and that’s put us in the position we’re in: hoping other teams lose.”
South Mildura will also be key promoters for the TAC Road Safety Round, which was scheduled to run three weeks ago before the latest round of COVID shutdowns.
“It’s important that we’re safe on the road and, like a lot of regional and country clubs and leagues, there’s a lot of travelling involved and we want to make sure the players and supporters who do travel, especially looking at clubs like Robinvale Euston and Ouyen United who travel most weeks, get home safe to their families,” Burke said.
Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily