Just very quickly, as I have a throbbing headache and am feeling a little nauseous.
Was there from about 12:45 until the end of the last game. It was by turns chilly and warm, but the rain held off, and it was a pleasant day overall.
Bought my membership, and got a Coke ball and Coke plastic 'glass' as part of some sponsorship arrangement. Was told that memberships were selling well, but they say that every year now, don't they?
Our stand is looking fantastic. New seats, new lights, new facilities. I'm not sure exactly how they're going to patrol and make sure only Gold members will have access to the padded seats, but they were comfortable. The view, while of course distant, is more than adequate. The media/scoreboard room is terrific.
The opposite stand is a bit more bare bones compared to our side, but the view is just as good, though leaving design holes in the back of the stand at the top will mean it gets a bit chilly during winter time. The setting sun still gets in your eyes, overall making our side the better choice.
Behind the goals is problematic, though those who insist on being part of the behind the goals faction will still probably soldier on. Standing room in between our stand and the track is not too bad. I managed to get a lap around the track before security got a more serious with that kind of thing.
Food wise, you're probably better off bringing something from home, or bringing your cheque book. Pricey and mainstream for the most part. Will have to wait and see what kind of fare the social club offers when its renovations are complete. But we do have vending machines!
The scoreboard is visible from outside the ground, but is angled more towards our stand, again making our stand a better choice. Its software crashed at one point, but the potential is there for some awesome usage. Hell, even having a match clock is something to be proud of.
The lights came on, but weren't really needed. Nice that we can do that now, and hopefully there's the possibility of a couple of night games there in 2012. The surface itself looked a treat, and seemed to play just as well.
Believe it or not, there was actually a game on as well - well, several to be precise, as our juniors took their turn to christen the stadium. The main game got off to a lively start, as one of the Trifiros scored within the first 30 seconds after some sweeping play across the ground.
We could have scored a couple more in the early stages, but then Olympic woke up and played the better for the rest of the half, deserving their 2-1 lead I suppose. They were a little too keen for my liking in their attempts at the tackle, and it ended up costing one of their players a trip to the hospital.
Both sides threw on some young players in the second half. We managed to get it back to 2-2, had a blatant onside called offside, copped a late goal, and the match finished 40 minutes into the second half. Then most of the estimated 3,500 crowd left while another junior side played for some reason.
Geoff Lord turned up, as did apparently several belly crawlers from bygone eras. Dom Barba, coach of Whittlesea Zebras was there. Clarendon Corner was there... or was it over there... or perhaps over there, as they struggled to find consensus about where to place themselves. The Olympic Ultras, if they were there, were barely noticeable.
All in all a good day, and now with only the AGM to go before the new year, the people responsible for providing the entertainment - and this wonderful facility - can rest a little easier, knowing that their efforts were worth it.
Pity that one of my preferred Clarendon Street eateries has changed branding/hands and I can't get a club sandwich there anymore.