Memorial Park has been pencilled in as a training venue for
the Fifa Under-20 World Cup next year.
It could provide a massive boost for the Taieri football
community and lead to a spruce-up of the Mosgiel ground.
Tournament competitions director Michelle Hooper said a Fifa
site inspection team had checked Memorial Park during a
recent tour of the South's match and training facilities.
The group promoting Memorial Park's attributes impressed the
inspection team, she said.
''The delegates were impressed with the enthusiasm of the
club delegates towards hosting team training sessions, and
the training pitch and facilities were assessed in
consideration for this purpose.
''The venue was selected as a preferred training venue for
The ground's use is subject to a final turf inspection being
conducted by Fifa turf consultant STRI in May.
A final agreement will also need to be signed between the
local organising committee and contracting authority for the
training venue and facilities.
Mosgiel club president Pat Howell hopes the park will tick
all the boxes.
''We'd be quite excited about the prospect of being involved
in the tournament,'' Howell said.
''It's a fantastic opportunity to see some of the best
players in the world. For Otago football, in general, it's
The Mosgiel club celebrated its centenary last year. The
clubrooms were in good shape and the grounds were in
reasonable nick, Howell said.
''There's probably not much more to be done ... But we'll
just wait and see what happens when they come out and have
Memorial Park also featured the last time Otago played a role
in hosting a world football tournament.
In 1999, before the Fifa Under-17 World Cup kicked off at
Carisbrook, the Mosgiel ground hosted a warm-up game between
the Junior All Whites and Paraguay. It finished in a 2-2 draw
and attracted about 3000 fans.
The under-20 tournament, Fifa's second-biggest, features the
absolute cream of world football's young prospects.
The tournament kicks off on May 30, 2015. Otago Stadium is
hosting seven games.