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First proper football field in Newfoundland and Labrador unveiled in St. John's

The St. John’s Rams and Paradise Pirates under 14 teams scrimmage before the celebrations begin at the new football field on Saturday.
The St. John’s Rams and Paradise Pirates under 14 teams scrimmage before the celebrations begin at the new football field on Saturday. - Juanita Mercer

The province’s first official football field with upright goal posts was unveiled at Wishingwell Park in St. John’s Saturday.

The president of Football NL said it’s “huge” for the players.

“Before there was no clubhouse,” said Brian Hillier. “We were going from field to field.”

Greg Walsh
Greg Walsh

Hillier said that made it hard to find a home, and a sense of belonging, for the players.

“Now they come here, they know this is theirs.”

The field — complete with the brand-new uprights — was unveiled Saturday evening in a showcase of football talent across age groups, as well as a performance by cheerleaders and a drum group.

Getting the proper football goal posts was a collaborative effort between Football NL, Avalon Minor Football, the provincial government, the City of St. John’s, and Husky Energy.

It’s a first of what Hillier hopes will be many firsts.

The under-16 Atlantic Bowl is in New Brunswick in 2019, but if everything goes according to his plan, Newfoundland and Labrador will play host to the 2020 tournament.

Greg Walsh, an offensive guard and defensive tackle for the St. John’s Rams U19 team, has been playing football for three and a half years, and said it’s great to have, “our own field”.

Football NL features teams in St. John’s, Labrador, and Conception Bay North, with plans to introduce teams in Corner Brook.

“It’s great having something other than hockey, baseball, soccer, rugby and all that,” said Walsh. “It’s actually really nice to have a new sport.”

juanita.mercer@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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