The Bennett Avenue soccer field is scheduled for a long-awaited makeover in the spring.
It is especially welcome with the high numbers of youth soccer players noted last season as well as the resurgence of the men’s’ senior league which has not been active locally in more than 20 years, according to player Dean Simmons.
“We don’t want the river to take this, we want to ride the wave,” he said.
“The interest level for soccer is up. It’s been a long time coming. There are some really bad spots for slipping and sliding and a lot of low points. It needs a major overhaul. We’re looking forward to this being a new field.”
Junior Pinksen, recreation director for the Town of Deer Lake, said the revitalization of the playing area to match the renewal of interest in the sport is the logical step.
“In the past three years we’ve seen that grow to over 200 youth in capacity. Our senior soccer league has been revitalized … That field has been there for a number of years and there has been no upgrade,” said Pinksen.
He said the plan for spring is to level the holes and humps in the field, spreading a layer of topsoil on the area and reseeding it.
“We may have to move to another field for short term so we can let this field develop and mature and make sure it’s back to a good solid base there,” he said. “We feel that it has sort of deteriorated and we’ve got to get it back to where it’s good for the kids.”
He said with Deer Lake hosting the past season’s 4A provincials and developing the Powerhouse field for the event, he said the redevelopment of Deer Lake’s main soccer field will open the door for future competitions in the area.
“We are thinking in the next few years to host youth soccer tournaments here. We’ve got to make sure we’re up to the standard and we feel that by doing this, it would bring this field back because the demand is there for it,” said Pinksen.
Although the initial upgrade to the field will focus on the playing surface, Pinksen said a future goal is to acquire lighting for the area as well.
“Through the budget, we can hopefully get the field done and enhance it for 2011 so in 2012 it’s set ready to go. If we can get grants and put lighting up there. Perfect.”