More than 94 teams and 500 young players from the Gladesville Hornsby Football Association (GHFA) were on hand on Sunday 3rd June to see the official opening of the Christie Park football facility and the naming of the administrative headquarters after GHFA stalwart Ross Iredale.
The formalities were part of the GHFA Festival of Football, which involved a fun 4v4 tournament for U8s & 9s and a 5v5 tournament for U10s to U12s.
The matches were refereed by players from the GHFA Spirit SAP and NPL Youth teams, and the aim of the day was to provide a fun experience with lots of football activity.
More than 2000 family and friends were there to support the players in a very positive environment.
The redevelopment of Christie Park involved the installation of two FIFA accredited synthetic fields that were fully funded by the City of Ryde.
Councillor Bernard Purcell was on hand for the opening, and presented the Ross Iredale Building plaque to Ross and members of the Iredale family.
GHFA Chair Mrs Helen Armson was delighted with how the day unfolded.
“It was fitting for Ross to be recognised on the same day as the opening of the fields as he had played an integral part in the original development of Christie Park when it was established in 1990 and he had also played an important role in lobbying the Council for the synthetic fields over many years”.
Iredale had also seen the Association grow from 6,000 members to over 12,500 to this day.
Also in attendance on the day were representatives from the 30 GHFA clubs, and 14 GHFA Life Members, most of whom had worked alongside Ross over the 36 years of his involvement and Peter Hugg representing Football NSW.
Mrs Armson was overwhelmed with the reception the opening received.
“Seeing over 2,000 people at Christie Park , including the 500 players, demonstrates what the project has done for community football in our area.
“It shows how the synthetic fields can provide more opportunities for grassroots participation. Since the fields were completed, as well as hosting NPL and AYL fixtures, we have been able to schedule a large number of GHFA club matches which just was not possible previously.”