Football Park, Canberra.

DeIulio2Pearce

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Apr 14, 2013
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Hi all. I've seen references in the past to matches being played at a 'Football Park' in Canberra, with things such as interleague games and interstate games supposedly played there. I can find next to no information on the place, who owned it, how many people could fit there, or whether it even still exists. I did find the attached photo which seems to show it as a fairly well set up ground though. Can anyone shed any light on this?
footbALL.jpg
 

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Crawb

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That's the oval in Phillip I believe.

They recently built a new pavilion at the ground just under a decade ago. The ground has got potential but it's been under utilised. But they've recently announced a $6mil upgrade to build facilities at the venue to provide a joint training and admin facility for AFL/Cricket.

I think the idea is that this could be the training base for a potential Canberra BBL team with matches at Manuka.
 

Garlic muncher

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That's the oval in Phillip I believe.

They recently built a new pavilion at the ground just under a decade ago. The ground has got potential but it's been under utilised. But they've recently announced a $6mil upgrade to build facilities at the venue to provide a joint training and admin facility for AFL/Cricket.

I think the idea is that this could be the training base for a potential Canberra BBL team with matches at Manuka.
I played there plenty of times, Football park it was called, built on a old rubbish dump in Woden, owned by the old ACTAFL, there was a clubhouse there with pokies etc, clubs were rostered on to play there exactly like VFL Park, the problem was because it was no ones real home ground, it did not get any great football patronage like normal football clubs, a few other sporting orgs had their headquarters there, well patronised by the local ice hockey mob amongst others as the ice skating rink was across the road.

Not sure when it was sold or closed down and who even plays there now.

I do remember going there for a few vote counts etc, and i do have a few photos of the old ground, but seeing i am actually in them playing i ain't going to post them :)

Even that jumper in the above photo looks a bit looks familiar, old ANU maybe, Woden Blues, but it is not a traditional ACTAFL team

Generally only ACTAFL teams played there, except for Monaro league GF's ( lower amatuer league) that photo in the OP is more than likely a photo of a team in what was called the Monaro league which these days is AFL Canberra 4th or 5th division
 

Garlic muncher

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Cheers for the answers guys. Strange as it may seem, this has been really bothering me for quite a while :p.
In the early days of playing there clubs such as Ainslie used to rub all the players down with dettol due to getting infections on knees etc from playing at a old rubbish dump, however the club i played for didn't worry about that :)

As with several other states, the ground was set up to make money for the league, but to also have bartering room with cricket who used to run Manuka oval.
 

Garlic muncher

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Was the ground at all on a comparable scale to Manuka in terms of the amount of people who could fit in?

Probably more at FP, Manuka was pretty small in those days, football Park had a main grandstand ( members) and a couple of smaller pavilions, grandstand was probably not the word i would use, Manuka was pretty small as far as seating went as well.

You are taking me back a fair way, i played at both in the early 1980's, Manuka had Cricket of course but it also had big rugby matches as well ( Not RL who had a ground in Braddon)

Footy likes to run its own race and if the cricket authorities were making $$ out of football season ( and i am not 100% sure they were) then FP justifies its birth and existence.

Canberra was like a big country town.

2 ACTAFL teams played out of Manuka, Eastlake and Manuka who were both within a good drop punt of the ground, there wasn't any ACTAFL teams near football park, maybe Weston Creek was the closest who at one stage were an ACTAFL team and then joined with Manuka to become Manuka Weston, they had their own club with pokies etc.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Its been completely resurfaced as of a couple of years ago. It was more weed than grass a few years back. The surface looks great most of the time now. No stands any more.
It hardly see any use though. I'm not sure who it is that uses it, but it looks like mostly juniors any time I go past and there is actually any use at all.
 

DeIulio2Pearce

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Its been completely resurfaced as of a couple of years ago. It was more weed than grass a few years back. The surface looks great most of the time now. No stands any more.
It hardly see any use though. I'm not sure who it is that uses it, but it looks like mostly juniors any time I go past and there is actually any use at all.
That's a real shame. Sounds like it was a facility with fair potential earlier and possibly in a better location than Manuka for top level footy.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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I don't know what it was like back in the day, it was in ruins when I moved up here. It looks like a very good amateur ground now, except they seem to work on it more than play any sport on it.
 

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3rd Grade Maggy

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I used to love the joint. You could park your car in there like an old country ground. I remember I won a few junior premierships there then lost a lot more senior ones! There was the social club with some seating up top, a main grandstand with changing sheds underneath and then on the other side of the ground was another set of sheds under the scoreboard with an open air patio on top that was great to sink a few beers on. There was a s**tty old beach volleyball setup in the corner as well but I can't remember anyone ever using it.

Once the old sports club burned down early 2000's it was all downhill from there. Footy moved onto Manuka and they let it totally run down until the government kicked some shekels in about 2008. They resurfaced and built a new pavilion a few years back but it's mostly used by lower grade clubs. I know there is funding in the wind to set it up with cricket as well but it will never be like it was back i in the day.
 

Percel

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Even that jumper in the above photo looks a bit looks familiar, old ANU maybe, Woden Blues, but it is not a traditional ACTAFL team
Its the traditional armed services/ADFA colours. We used to play them in rugby in the lower grades. Fit as hell, but couldnt catch a ball.
 

Garlic muncher

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I used to love the joint. You could park your car in there like an old country ground. I remember I won a few junior premierships there then lost a lot more senior ones! There was the social club with some seating up top, a main grandstand with changing sheds underneath and then on the other side of the ground was another set of sheds under the scoreboard with an open air patio on top that was great to sink a few beers on. There was a s**tty old beach volleyball setup in the corner as well but I can't remember anyone ever using it.

Once the old sports club burned down early 2000's it was all downhill from there. Footy moved onto Manuka and they let it totally run down until the government kicked some shekels in about 2008. They resurfaced and built a new pavilion a few years back but it's mostly used by lower grade clubs. I know there is funding in the wind to set it up with cricket as well but it will never be like it was back i in the day.
Hmmmm, are you ex Belconnen or West Canberra ?
 

Garlic muncher

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Its the traditional armed services/ADFA colours. We used to play them in rugby in the lower grades. Fit as hell, but couldnt catch a ball.

Same as their footy teams, although ADFA had a couple of teams and also from memory RMC duntroon, they were different clubs perhaps one was junior officers or cadets and the other normal serviceman ( memory)

Harman was another seperate club again
 

ziad

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Same as their footy teams, although ADFA had a couple of teams and also from memory RMC duntroon, they were different clubs perhaps one was junior officers or cadets and the other normal serviceman ( memory)

Harman was another seperate club again
definitely not ADFA in the photo. Could be Westlakes?
 

Garlic muncher

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definitely not ADFA in the photo. Could be Westlakes?
From memory RMC had Melbourne type jumpers, although dark colours perhaps not exactly like Melbourne, I honestly can't remember ADFA but that jumper pictured does not ring a bell, it could either be a team visiting Canberra or a old Monaro league team that has changed jumpers, Westlakes I am not sure of.

I wonder what jumper the old Canberra Gallopers who I believe ran out of the old Charnwood Inn wore.

I think the Gallopers roughly turned into Gungahlin
 

3rd Grade Maggy

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That image is the Australian National Services Team (google searched it).

RMC definitely wore a Melbourne Demons strip but they aren't in the comp any longer. Harman gone as well now - re-badged as Googong but realistically there were no Navy blokes in there for ages before they made the jump.

I'm both by the way (Belco and West Canberra).
 

Garlic muncher

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That image is the Australian National Services Team (google searched it).

RMC definitely wore a Melbourne Demons strip but they aren't in the comp any longer. Harman gone as well now - re-badged as Googong but realistically there were no Navy blokes in there for ages before they made the jump.

I'm both by the way (Belco and West Canberra).
Thanks for that, you had to be one before the other :), i played juniors at Westies, actually i think when i first played they were called West Canberra/Acton.

But i also played seniors with both clubs.
 

Percel

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Same as their footy teams, although ADFA had a couple of teams and also from memory RMC duntroon, they were different clubs perhaps one was junior officers or cadets and the other normal serviceman ( memory)

Harman was another seperate club again

Youre bang on with Duntroon, they played as RMC and then joined with Easts in the rugby. Nots sure if that relationship lasted.

The Australian National Services AFL team at Football Park, Canberra

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/bill-3.jpg/5967410
 

Garlic muncher

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Youre bang on with Duntroon, they played as RMC and then joined with Easts in the rugby. Nots sure if that relationship lasted.

The Australian National Services AFL team at Football Park, Canberra

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-15/bill-3.jpg/5967410
Meh- relationships never last.

Glad i am right about something, on another board in another time and place, everyone told me i was wrong about everything.:)

Just on that photo, i wonder who the National Services team were playing ? ( i don't actually ) :D
 

Percel

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Glad i am right about something, on another board in another time and place, everyone told me i was wrong about everything.:)

Just on that photo, i wonder who the National Services team were playing ? ( i don't actually ) :D
I dont think you were ever truly appreciated over there, you were before your time.

I cant find any info on that team, I'm still searching.
 

Garlic muncher

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I dont think you were ever truly appreciated over there, you were before your time.

I cant find any info on that team, I'm still searching.
Id like to think that :D

I actually was in the Navy, and i had sort of heard of this team,but it was really only open to blokes who were not posted away O/S or isolated bases, or at sea etc, so probably only a select bunch were available to be picked.

The ship i was on during the 80's played games against other ships etc but we also played footy against PNG Army teams while up in Moresby and got absolutely flogged, it was good fun actually, but even more interesting was the ships rugby team who played a Fiji team - boy, now that was painful to watch.
 
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