Codes to share Hancock Park

Rugby goalposts will share the park with football goals this season at Hancock Park.  Photo: ODT files
Rugby goalposts will share the park with football goals this season at Hancock Park. Photo: ODT files
The round ball will get an airing at Hancock Park this season.

The Caversham Football Club will play games at the park and will share the facilities at the sand-based ground, including functions in the club rooms.

Dunedin City Council parks and recreation manager Gareth Jones confirmed the council would put a football field and football goalposts up on the No2 two field at Hancock Park.

It would also have a multi set - for both rugby and football - of posts on the number No3 ground at Hancock Park. The No3 ground would have markings for both football and rugby.

Jones said a football field was obviously different from a rugby field and it would take time to adjust the field and bring it up to the required standard.

The football club, though, was understanding of what needed to be done and was keen to get on to the ground.

Jones said it was pleasing to see two sports come together and share facilities.

''From a sustainability point of view, it is a good move. There is an awful amount of green space throughout the city and it is great the facilities can be shared and used by different sports,'' he said.

The football club had been holding its pre-season training at Hancock Park although it would still play some games at its base at Tonga Park.

Caversham Football Club president Steve Fleming said it was great the progress had been made on the new field and the club was looking forward to sharing the Hancock Park facilities with Pirates.

He said it had been a long process to move to Hancock Park, requiring discussion with the council and the rugby club, but it had gone relatively smoothly.

The sand-based ground was a real asset to the city and when grounds get wet and muddy in the winter, the grounds at Hancock Park are still in good order.

The club would not renew its liquor licence at its Tonga Park clubrooms and would shift its after-match functions to Hancock Park. It shares the Tonga Park club rooms with the Carisbrook Dunedin Cricket Club.

It also had some club memorabilia which it would take to Hancock Park, including an honours board.

The club could play a premiership match at Hancock Park and other senior grades. It will also be training at the ground. It would also still have teams training and playing at Tonga Park and its lights would stay at Tonga Park.

Pirates club captain Mark Howat said discussions had been worthwhile and the club was looking forward to the season.

It was not a formal merger of the clubs but was a sharing of the grounds and facilities.

As Pirates had a large junior section, it would play Rippa rugby games as a last resort on the No2 ground on Saturday mornings.

He said the Otago Rugby Football Union had supported the concept.

Pirates had lost its premier team last year through a lack of playing numbers and was looking to field a senior grade men's team and a women's team this season.

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