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China to get its first 'real' footy ground
enorth.com.cn   2008-10-17 10:13


A MELBOURNE-BASED company will build an Australian football ground in Tianjin, Melbourne's sister city in China.

Thomson Perrett, a golf course design firm, has design plans for the ground, the first purpose-built AFL ground in the world's most populous nation.

Tianjin, 137 kilometres south-east of Beijing, has a population of 10.43 million. Football games have been played on smaller sports grounds and parks because of a lack of appropriate venues.

AFL community facilities manager Ken Gannon said the ground would host Chinese and Asian championships.

"This provides a home for some of the activities that have been taking place," Gannon said.

The AFL was not contributing any capital to the development, he said.

China, along with Japan, were the only Asian teams to compete in the 16-nation AFL International Cup last month. In its first cup appearance, China finished 15th and Japan came eighth.

Gannon said the AusKick program was operating in China and about 10,000 junior footballers were participating.

Thomson Perrett principal Ross Perrett said different grasses (fescue rather than couch), irrigation systems and soils would be used at the Chinese ground to Australian grounds.

"We're intending to get the earthworks done before the winter freeze and following that, they're anticipating to be planting grass next April; ready to play on next August or September."


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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