National Premier Leagues Victoria side Pascoe Vale FC has responded to opposition from locals to their proposed plans for Moreland’s Hosken Reserve pitch.
Plans to refurbish Hosken Reserve have been considered in the past, however Moreland City Council’s Hosken Reserve Masterplan represents the most recent effort to revamp the ground, with Pascoe Vale FC putting forward a plan to develop synthetic pitches for football use.
Assessing the options for The Hosken Reserve Masterplan refresh are a consortium group – theCommunityCollaborative, who will be considering which pathway is best to ensure a balanced approach to sport, community health and wellbeing.
Facing opposition from members of the public who fear the loss of space for their own recreational activities is Lou Tona, a spokesperson for Pascoe Vale FC. He acknowledged that the club is disappointed by the opposition they have faced throughout the consultation process.
Pascoe Vale FC are a staple of the Moreland community, not just as a provider of grassroots development for younger generations, but in exemplifying the values of the city itself through its practices, education of young people and their dedication to community growth.
Tona has cited that the attitudes of residents of the proposed plans have been nothing short of disappointing. Comments have been made by members of the ‘Keep Hosken Reserve Accessible for All group’ on social media, which Tona believes flies directly in the face of the values of Moreland as a city.
“We had a pop-up recently where there were many kids playing and parents there too, and they referred to us as ‘mafioso soccer goons’ online,” he said.
“In this day and age, we’re quite disappointed that this is what’s happening. As a club we are fully understanding of the consultation process, we’re fully invested in it and we fully believe in it. And we’re happy to move forward with whatever the outcomes are for the reserve and we’re looking forward to positive outcomes for the whole community.
“From day one of it heading to consultation we embraced and accepted that it needed to go that way. We’re all for freedom of speech and for working with the community. We want to be great neighbours; however, we just feel that some of our neighbours are throwing racist remarks, anti-football remarks and antagonistic remarks towards us as a club.
“Our submission & plans are to do with us as a football club and it being a sports reserve, and to be treated in that way has been extremely disappointing.
“The club stands for what the city of Moreland stands for – ‘One Community, Proudly Diverse’.”