Liberals pledge to invest in synthetic pitch for Launceston

FINEST HOUR: Michael Ferguson, Football Federation Tasmania director Mark Jefferson, FFT chief executive Mike Palmer and Albert van Zetten. Picture: Paul Scambler.

FINEST HOUR: Michael Ferguson, Football Federation Tasmania director Mark Jefferson, FFT chief executive Mike Palmer and Albert van Zetten. Picture: Paul Scambler.

Launceston’s soccer community could be set to do away with its grassroots in Launceston.

The Liberals have pledged to invest $400,000 towards the development of the region’s first synthetic pitch, if re-elected.

Planned in conjunction with Football Federation Tasmania and City of Launceston, the first step of the project will be a feasibility study to explore possible locations for the pitch, which include Churchill Park, Inveresk, NTCA, Windsor Park, and school grounds.

FFT chief executive Mike Palmer said a new surface could have a positive influence on all levels of the game in Launceston.

“It gives us a pitch we can use all year round, no matter what the weather is doing, or what other sports are on,” he said.

“Our aim is to get a central pitch available to all clubs and players in the North.

“It also has the potential to create strong links between the junior and the senior teams, which will hopefully mean players will stay in the game longer.

Mr Palmer said of the 10,000 junior players in the state, a quarter move into the senior ranks.

Preseason is well underway for clubs in the area, with competition set to officially begin next month.

Bass Liberal MHA Michael Ferguson said the project was about helping Launceston’s young players develop their skills in their home town.

“It’s been well worked through, in terms of the concept and the vision,” he said.

City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten said he expected to the project to move faster once a location was confirmed.