Upgrades to boost club

QUEANBEYAN City president George Spaseski believes upgraded facilities at Riverside Oval will assist in the club’s push to earn re-entry to the ACT Premier League.

Queanbeyan City Council on Wednesday night approved City’s request for an additional $250,000 in funding to upgrade its Riverside Oval clubhouse.

The grant, coming on top of $500,000 in already secured council and Federal Government funding, means construction on the clubhouse’s long-awaited second storey is expected to begin almost immediately.

The proposed clubhouse upgrades will include a new kitchen and bathrooms and will provide an area overlooking the ground for spectators.

Riverside serves as the home ground to both Queanbeyan City and current Premier League outfit the Monaro Panthers.

Acknowledging Riverside’s current facilities fall below standard, Spaseski said the upgrades were vital if the club is to return to the top-tier of ACT football.

“The idea is for us to get back into the Premier League within three years and having a home ground up to scratch will definitely be a bonus for is,” he said.

Queanbeyan City FC last competed in the ACT Premier League in 2009 before dropping down to the lower tier ACT State League 1 competition.

The construction work has been long in the planning with roughly $400,000 having already been spent on general upgrades at the ground over the past few years.

Spaseski, meanwhile said he was confident the $750,000 in new funding would be enough to see completion of the clubhouse project.

“I’m confident that the money allocated will be able to get things up to scratch, otherwise we’ll be in trouble,” he said. “We’ll end up with an unfinished building just sitting there that we can’t use and it would probably take us years to get more funding.”

All going to plan, the clubhouse should be complete in time for the start of the 2014 season with Spaseski estimating construction time at between 6-12 months.

But while the current funding allocation is expected to cover the entirety of the planned clubhouse upgrades, Spaseski said the club would continue to push for more funding to further improve facilities at Riverside.

“We can’t stop here, we need to keep lobbying,” he said. “Lighting and the seating needs to be upgrading and landscaping as well there is plenty of work still to be done. This at least is a starting point.”

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