By TONY WHITE
THE NSW Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation has approved a $34,000 grant to upgrade lighting and watering facilities at the Grafton Ghosts home ground, Frank McGuren Park.
The project will be jointly funded by the government and the Ghosts senior and junior rugby league clubs.
"The Government is putting in $17,000 and the remainder will come from cash donations from the juniors, cash and in kind donations from the senior club and financial and in kind assistance from the Clarence Valley Council," Ghosts Junior committeeman and grant protagonist Phil Waghorn said.
"We applied for the grant last year and have recently been notified of its approval.
"We are very grateful for the government and Council's assistance and support."
Waghorn said work on additional lighting would commence shortly and hopefully be in place within a month.
Currently Frank McGuren has a bank of four light poles which are not suitable to stage night fixtures.
A much-needed underground irrigation system will be constructed at the end of the football season.
"In terms of the lighting it will allow the possibility for night games for both the seniors and juniors," Waghorn said.
"Currently the system is really only suitable for training purposes.
"For some time the juniors have wanted some night games and with the new Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League structure, it will allow the seniors the same option.
"It's a viable proposition for away teams like Cudgen and the Seagulls.
"It gives a wider option in the scheduling of matches.
"The new lighting will double the current capacity."
Waghorn said having a modern watering system was important, especially from a juniors point of view.
"It will help provide and maintain a safer playing surface," he said.