Perfect pitch

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Daniel MacEachern
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New mini-soccer field at King George V complex bolsters local soccer community's resources

The new mini-soccer pitch at the King George V Soccer Complex will help put more players on the field, say local enthusiasts.

The province chipped in the $75,000 for the new pitch, which is already in place behind the main soccer field at the complex. The pitch, constructed using artificial FieldTurf over natural grass, is all but complete save for some landscaping and fencing that needs to be finished.

Local minor soccer players sit on the new mini-soccer pitch at the King George V Soccer Complex on Tuesday. The province announced $75,000 in funding for the new FieldTurf pitch. Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram

The new mini-soccer pitch at the King George V Soccer Complex will help put more players on the field, say local enthusiasts.

The province chipped in the $75,000 for the new pitch, which is already in place behind the main soccer field at the complex. The pitch, constructed using artificial FieldTurf over natural grass, is all but complete save for some landscaping and fencing that needs to be finished.

Bryan Murphy, treasurer of the St. John's Soccer Club, said they've known for years that they needed to use the empty space behind the bleachers to help get more of the city's 1,600 registered soccer players on the field.

"Back in 2006, when we built this facility, as soon as we had it built and open for a month, we realized that we needed to do something with this area in behind," he said.

Murphy added that the project got underway when the complex was undergoing repair work after being flooded in the fall of 2008. He said a big benefit of the pitch is that it keeps field space available even when the main field is being used.

Local soccer player Marcy Whelan, 8, said she's excited about the new field.

"I think that it's a good place for other little kids to go if there's bigger kids out there (on the main pitch) and have fun here for the little kids."

Soccer camp organizer Scott Betts - also the Holy Cross Kirby women's and Memorial University men's coach - said the new pitch provides a great resource for older players as well.

"This is huge," he said. "If there's a game out there - especially with MUN - and then another game right after, come back here and you've got a training setup, somewhere to warm up. It's great for that."

Following a soccer exhibition on the new pitch featuring local youths attending soccer camp, Terry French, the provincial minister of tourism, culture and recreation told the crowd soccer has grown into one of the most popular sports for children in the province.

"With the addition of a mini soccer pitch, King George V is becoming one of the best soccer fields, indeed, in the country," he said. "This new field will most certainly provide young players a high-quality playing surface to use and enjoy every single day."

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Soccer Club

Geographic location: St. John's, MUN

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