Transforming community football: field stand out after turf renovation

Two south-west Victorian football grounds have had their playing surfaces transformed by a successful turf renovation project.


The Dunkeld and Glenthompson ovals were re-sown with Barenbrug Curator turf seed this year as part of a community support program by Barenbrug, formerly Heritage Seeds, and local supplier Gorst Rural.


The results, particularly at Dunkeld, have been a talking point across the league, with players saying the surface has never been better. Glenthompson-Dunkeld Football Netball Club president Paul Phillips said the grounds were fantastic, particularly Dunkeld which was “the best it has looked for as long as I can recall”. “We played an elimination final on it this year and everyone was commenting how good the ground looked,” Mr Phillips said.

Dunkeld hadn’t hosted a final since the clubs merged in 2003 because of the poor playing surface.

Mr Phillips said the improved surface had been a real boost to the club and rural community.

“The better surface has created a lot of interest. It makes it easier to attract players if they know they’ve got a good surface. The ground was very patchy and hadn’t been done properly like that for a long time. If it looked as good as that every year, I’d recommend it to every club and league,” he said.

The club plans to incorporate a seeded couch supplied by Barenbrug for summer and re-sow the ground again next year to avoid the costs of watering over summer. “Anyone who had a look at it was amazed at where it had come from to what it is now. It was a beautiful surface to play footy on and we’re looking forward to a good year in 2020.”


Curator Brad McLean said the response from players and spectators had been overwhelmingly positive.

Mr McLean said both ovals were seeded this year. “We have to sow Glenthompson every year because there’s no irrigation. Glenthompson was good but Dunkeld needed work done and had the best result because we could sow it earlier with irrigation,” he said. “The surface is always something people like to talk about; whether good or bad. There was a lot of positive talk about Dunkeld with the club and opposing teams saying it’s one of the best surfaces they’ve ever played on. “People say it’s great for a country oval to be in such good condition.”


Barenbrug Turf Manager, Matt Merrick said the support aimed to provide a quality surface in areas where farming communities come together to play sport.

“We wanted to upgrade a community sports ground to highlight the success of Barenbrug Curator turf and create a quality surface that made the game more enjoyable for players and spectators,” Mr Merrick said. “When you create a good sport surface it encourages you to play better and brings communities together.” Mr Merrick said it was hoped other rural clubs and communities could benefit from better playing surfaces. “We hope to use this as an example of the rewards when you do the surface right.


Barenbrug is a leader in turf research, quality and innovation in Australia.


(Below: Before & after shots of the Glenthompson and Dunkeld football grounds turf renovation project.)