FIELD UNDER FIRE: Action during the A-League pre-season football match at North Ipswich Reserve.
FIELD UNDER FIRE: Action during the A-League pre-season football match at North Ipswich Reserve. David Nielsen

Melbourne Victory coach says Ipswich field not up to scratch

MELBOURNE Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has rated the A-League pre-season game at North Ipswich Reserve a waste of time because the field wasn't up to scratch.

He said the bumpy pitch, which experienced high traffic in the Ipswich Rugby League finals last weekend, served no benefit to his side's preparation in the lead-up to the season kick-off on October 11.

Ipswich councillor David Morrison defended the grounds, saying Postecoglou's comments were over-the-top.

"I wouldn't go as far as saying it was a waste of time," Cr Morrison said. "I spoke to him after the game and explained since we have

rebuilt the field, it hasn't had 12 months to settle.

"It might not have been great but it will be better."

A crowd of more than 2500 turned out on Saturday afternoon to see the Roar and Victory go head-to-head in the pre-season match.

The Victory went down to Brisbane Roar 1-0 but it's not the first time Postecoglou has criticised the playing field. He has voiced similar concerns about the Ipswich Jets' home turf when he was coach of the Brisbane side.

He said the last thing he wanted was players getting hurt on surfaces that weren't up to standard. Roar coach Mike Mulvey said he had no serious qualms over the quality of the pitch, but admitted it wasn't the smoothest surface his team had played on.

Cr Morrison said it was too early to use the cylinder mower council had purchased for North Ipswich Reserve, which would make for a better surface next year. He said if an Ipswich side was considered in the A-League expansion, council would consider the option of a dedicated soccer field separate from the Ipswich Rugby League.

"We would like North Ipswich Reserve to become a mini Suncorp where all A-grade teams come to play," he said. "Once the field has completely settled it will be much better."



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