CORNER BROOK No matter which way you slice it, the local soccer association controls the agenda for soccer pitches owned by the City of Corner Brook.
The Corner Brook Soccer Association has a contract with the City of Corner Brook for the maintenance of the Wellington Street sports complex, Monarchs Complex, Ambrose O'Reilly Memorial Soccer Pitch and the George (Daddy) Dawe Memorial Pitch in Curling. According to Paul Barnable, who is the city's director of community services, the city takes care of the infrastructure issues for the pitches, but the scheduling of games and practices, as well as regular maintenance, is the responsibility of the user group based on the contract in place.
Getting the fields in tip-top shape for the summer has been a work in progress and it appears work hasn't started on Dawe Pitch just yet.
"It's in their world when to do it, contrary to what people believe," Barnable said. "I'm assuming they just haven't done it yet, but they are doing it."
Barnable is quick to point out that the soccer association has the power to dictate how much soccer is played on what field and what level of play, whether it be women's, men's or the summer minor soccer programs.
How much activity will take place at Dawe Pitch depends on the local association, which has expressed concerns about drainage on the field for a number of years.
"That's up to the soccer association," he said. "We're not saying what it can and can't be used for. We're just saying that right now there's no plan to go in there and do a major retrofit of the field, but the everyday maintenance of the field will continue."
Barnable surmises that the soccer association took care of business on the other fields because they had plans to use them before anything was pencilled in for Dawe Pitch. He figures the work hasn't been done yet because there's still a few more weeks to go before area youth say goodbye to another school year and start summer vacation.
No plan to close pitch
There is no plan to close down Dawe Pitch, according to Barnable, but he acknowledges that drainage has been an issue for some time at Dawe Pitch so it will be the association's call on whether senior games will be played on the facility. The Curling Rangers of the senior men's soccer league would dearly love to be using the field as a home pitch and Barnable totally agrees that the team should be allowed to play there when the field is in good shape.
"I think it's only when they get inundated with a bit of rain that they can't," he said. "So, we haven't said no to senior games or any minor games, that's in their world."
Doug Sweetapple, technical director for the Corner Brook Soccer Association, said the grass was cut on Dawe Pitch last week and further work is planned, but the lawnmower for the facility is in for repairs. It's been a challenge for the association to keep up with the work since opting to take back control of the grass cutting from a contractor who provided the service last year, according to Sweetapple, but he feels the association is still ahead of the game because there is no scheduled activity for Dawe Pitch until early July.
The association is only responsible for the cosmetics of the inside of Dawe Pitch and not the outer surface that includes an unpaved parking lot. Barnable noted that he received a call from somebody expressing concern about the poor condition of outside of the facility and he passed on that concern to the soccer community.
Making Dawe Pitch look pretty is a priority for the soccer association, but Sweetapple said there was no rush to get work done on it when there was nobody slotted to use it at this time of the year. The expense that comes with mowing the grass is something the association can do without out when nobody is going to be using the field any time soon, according to Sweetapple.
"The reason nobody is using it is because at this time of the year it was always bogged down with water," he said.