Words and photos by Wayde Petersen…
I ventured over to Mernda during its home opener against Epping, to witness the opening of the Waterview Reserve, the new home of the Mernda Football/Netball Club (as well as the Mernda Cricket Club, the Northern Dragons Masters FC the Mernda Callisthenics club).
Mernda spent 2015 at its former home Schotter’s Road after construction and funding delays prevented the Demons from moving into their new digs. They were relegated from Division Two after winning only one game for the season and started 2016 back in Division Three, where they faced off against local rivals, Epping, where the two clubs were playing off for the inaugural Patrick Chow Cup.
Patrick Chow (above left) from the Northern Suburbs institution Chow Gardens and long time sponsor of both the Epping and Mernda football clubs, generously donated a great trophy and a big cheque to the winners. A big crowd turned out to witness the three games between these local rivals, Mernda were victorious in all three grades against the Blues, (seniors: Mernda 11.12 (78) to Epping 7.11 (53); reserves: Mernda 9.9 (63) to Epping 7.9 (51); under 19s: 10.4 (64) to 8.8 (56).
The facilities themselves are state of the art, with two MCG sized grounds and change rooms capable of hosting two simultaneous football matches, along with a large patio giving great views and spectator comfort. It’ll be interesting to see how the grounds and spectators will cope on a wet day.
The scoreboard itself is one of those generic, all purpose electronic scoreboards, which isn’t a bad introduction, except for the fact that the numbers are tiny and nearly impossible to read and the scoreboard was installed in a place where it has the winter sun shining straight on it, making the tiny numbers (which are in dull orange) impossible to read, defeating the purpose of having a scoreboard in the first place.
Although this is a minor negative in a facility that’s first class, I only wished that they got this one right, hopefully with the second ground , they can install a scoreboard that functions like a scoreboard should.