Night lights success

Night footy comes to Shell Road: The Grubbers are keen to play more night fixtures at Shell Road. Ocean Grove played their first ever BFL home game for points under lights against Newcomb on Saturday. 153308 Picture: JAMIE CULLUM


PLANS are underway to host more games under lights at Shell Road next season after Ocean Grove’s successful first ever BFL home night fixture on 23 April.
Ocean Grove Football Netball Club (OGFNC) president, Tony Potter, said the local community response from Saturday night’s inaugural match played for BFL points had been positive.
“It has been fantastic, the Ocean Grove community have come out in force and supported the night and it is something we are going to look forward to do much more in the future,” Potter told the Voice.
Potter said the OGFNC committee would intend to lodge a request to AFL Barwon for more night games at Shell Road in 2017.
“Well that is up to AFL Barwon, but we are definitely going to apply for a (couple of night matches) next season I would say,” he said.
Despite a temporary outage of light globes at two of the Marlin Drive based-end light towers during the third term, a good turnout witnessed the Grubbers’ 120-point senior win over winless Newcomb.
Potter said City of Greater Geelong (COGG) had sent an electrician to resolve lighting defects at Shell Road after a club home practice night game against GFL club Lara last month.
“AFL Barwon also came down tested the lights and found they were 110 per cent (before the night game) against Newcomb,” he said.
“After the last practice match under lights, COGG sent out an electrician to fix some issues with the lighting.”
Ocean Grove senior coach Wayne Walsh has welcomed night footy at Shell Road if it was played in small doses to accommodate the mild weather start to BFL season.
He said the club’s BFL season opener held across the Easter weekend should stay as a day game.
“Last Saturday night was successful, but you don’t want to get too carried away with it,” Walsh said.
“The club has got to pick up a couple of games where it works, but you don’t want to have too many games (under lights) in winter.
“Earlier in the season (is good), but we don’t want to lose our Easter Saturday as a day game.”
Newcomb Football Club president Damian Mahoney said he would like to see the Anzac day long weekend Ocean Grove match held as an annual night fixture.
He said more stand-alone night games would allow Newcomb to gain more exposure in the BFL surrounds.
“We would not mind obviously this being an annual thing with Ocean Grove, we would be more than happy to do that with them,” Mahoney said.
“Our main objective is to be getting these (night) games, and be more competitive.”