The North West Sydney Koalas Women’s Football Club finally have prevailed in the battle of the pitches with Ryde City Council voting at Tuesday night’s council meeting for an allocation of grounds for the club to train at ELS Hall Park.
For many years the NWS Koalas have fought to get access to training fields at ELS Hall Park being the Clubs home ground. In 1999 when the Koalas was formed attempts were made to find a suitable training ground for this new squad of two senior teams which entered into the second tier of NSW Women’s football (then called State League).
At that time council advised that historical use of grounds was the criteria used for allocations and that they had no fields available for us.
After much haggling and dealing with clubs within the local association, the NWS Koalas finally got access to half a field at Meadowbank, with a disgraceful playing surface and worse lights, on Tuesdays and one third of ELS Hall 3 on Thursday nights.
After two years of struggling with this and after promotion into the top competition and addition of two junior teams it was decided that the situation was untenable and that an alternative had to be found. After using George Kendall Park for a pre-season tournament in 2001 we gained usage of this field for the next 12 years despite making application to Ryde Council throughout this period always with the same reply- we had no claim to grounds because we had no history with the council.
A Catch 22.
The Koalas were finally evicted from this George Kendall due to local club allocations which made the situation extremely difficult and this is why NWS Koalas players, families and supporters started lobbying Council for a fair go.
The NWS Koalas thank Ryde Council for finally recognising the club’s contribution and the importance of Women’s Football.
Council also resolved to move forward with the Synthetic Sports Fields action plan and will proceed to tender immediately for the construction of three synthetic surfaces in 2016 at ELS Hall Field 1 and Christie Park Fields 1 & 2 which ensures that Football in the Ryde area is allowed to develop with state of the art facilities.
– North West Sydney Koalas Media Release