By LAWRENCE MACHADO
Kellyville’s new purpose-built rugby league facility is taking shape as the Hills Shire Council aims to get Parramatta Eels boots on the pitches by early next year.
The Premium Rugby League Facility, as the council calls it, will be the training and administrative home for the Eels when it is completed. It will also boast two additional NRL standard playing fields.
A council spokeswoman confirmed that turf is being laid on these new fields, with final drainage works commencing when the grass has been sufficiently established.
“Whilst the project has experienced some impacts from NSW Public Health Orders, the project remains on track,” the spokeswoman said. “It is anticipated the fields will be available for use in January 2022, which is in accordance with the original construction schedule.”
She said the council has entered into a licence agreement with the Eels for the joint redevelopment and use of Kellyville Memorial Park as a Premier Rugby League Facility.
The Eels, who count many fans in the Hills Shire and surrounding suburbs, are also building a $40 million Centre of Excellence here, making it arguably the largest community rugby league facility in Australia. Parramatta Eels Chief Executive Officer Jim Sarantinos said earlier that “this will become the best rugby league facility in the country”.
According to the Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne, it is a great outcome and that they have been working hard to deliver these sporting fields for the residents.
“I can’t wait for our Premier Rugby League Facility to come to fruition and see our community using these fields very soon,” Mayor Byrne said.
“It’s great to see work continuing on this project. This means we can continue to keep people employed, while also supporting businesses and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It also means we can deliver a facility that will provide our residents with the opportunity to access and play elite rugby league.
These works are in addition to the construction already completed as part of the council’s Master Plan for the park which includes a new playing field, refurbishment of two existing fields, construction of a new car park and access from Stone Mason Drive.
“The project is testament to the great relationship our club has with the council, and we look forward to seeing the precinct develop further for the local community over the coming years,” Mr Sarantinos said.