HOCKEY: There are fingers, toes and all extremities crossed at the Grafton Hockey Association as they move one step closer to resurfacing the main field at the Clarence Valley Regional Hockey Complex - Brent Livermore Field.
The turf which hosts all junior and senior grand finals each season was installed in 2004 and with a standard eight year life-cycle is well past its use-by date.
After spending the last few years scraping together as much finances as possible the association is ready to undertake the roughly $435,000 task with the support of the Clarence Valley Council.
GHA have put in a request to council for financial assistance for a $150,000 loan which will cover the remainder of the re-turfing costs.
The loan was discussed at the Corporate Governance and Works Committee meeting this week where it was unanimously recommended to Tuesday's council meeting.
The timing of council's decision on the matter has become of high importance for the association as time is running out for them to book the replacement process in time for the 2017 hockey season. With the 2017 NSW Mens Masters State Championships and the Womens State Championships (North) coming to the hockey complex in May and July respectively it will be a timely replacement of the premier field.
The association was represented by treasurer Maria Felton at the committee meeting who gave a stirring deputation as to the need for replacement turf and president Lyn Newby could not have agreed more.
"(The turf) definitely has come to the end of its lifespan," Newby said. "It has been looked after well so we have been able to make it to 12 years but we definitely squeezed the last legs out of it this season."
Brent Livermore Field hosts upwards of about 30 matches each week of the hockey season and Newby is hoping with a replacement they could aim at becoming a training facility for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"We are looking at putting a proposal to the Games committee," she said.
"We have the right facilities with the Bunkhouse accommodation, we will have premier turf, in fact it will be the same turf used at Olympic level."