Renovation works on pitches in the region left Newcastle Jets with little option but to hold a stand-alone W-League match at McDonald Jones Stadium on November 17.
The club announced on Thursday the move of the round three W-League night clash with Canberra from the team’s training base at No.2 Sportsground because of the state of the pitch.
The Herald revealed a week earlier that the club was relocating this Sunday’s opening National Youth League game against Sydney from No.2 Sportsground because of the patchy surface. The NYL game is at Adamstown Oval from 4.30pm.
Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna, though, said it had proven difficult to find an alternative ground for the W-League match.
“No.2 is not going to be ready and there’s not really many other options,” McKinna said. “We spoke to Maitland council about the sportsground but they are having a renovation of the field, and that’s the same everywhere. The stadium pitch is in good condition and they are doing us a good deal.”
McKinna said only the bottom section of the western grandstand at the 30,000-capacity McDonald Jones Stadium will be opened for the 7.30pm match.
He said the grass at No.2 Sportsground was coming in well and they hoped to play the club’s next W-League home match there on November 29 against Roar. The November 17 game will be the first stand-alone W-League match at the stadium.
Newcastle played their first and only W-League game at No.2 Sportsground last year against Canberra but they were set to feature there four times this year. The other two homes games were to be part of double-headers with the A-League side at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“In having more games at No.2, the idea was to build up the support there and hopefully have crowds of 2000 to 3000,” McKinna said of No.2 Sportsground. “Hopefully we can have a crowd like that at the stadium next week.”