ECHUCA’S Victoria Park is hosting tomorrow’s Goulburn Murray Cricket (GMC) B grade grand final and the venue is in magnificent condition — courtesy of an award-winning curator.
Jason Harling has been preparing the turf wicket this season and his efforts have been recognised with GMC’s Coolabah Turf Curator of the Year award.
Harling is in his second season as the ground’s curator after volunteering for the job in 2016/17.
He is no stranger to the venue having captain-coached Echuca in the 2001/02 season and has represented the club in C grade this season as well as helping the juniors.
Harling praised the help of Campaspe Shire turf specialist Ben Lloyd in preparing the turf wicket each week.
‘‘Picking Ben’s brain, asking a lot of questions on how to do it and getting his advice,’’ Harling said when asked the secret to his success.
‘‘We spent a lot of time on the phone and it’s worked out well.’’
Harling started preparing the cricket pitch in September last year and has spent up to two hours a day at the ground, seven days a week to ensure it is ready for matchplay.
Harling was honoured to receive the award.
‘‘It’s great,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a bit of recognition for what you do.
‘‘I couldn’t do it without asking a lot of questions and doing what Ben tells me.’’
Harling said attending a function where Adelaide Oval curator Les Burdett was guest speaker was also helpful.
Harling received his award at GMC’s recent presentation dinner.
‘‘Hearing your name get read out is a bit of a shock but it’s reward for a long hard year,’’ Harling said.
And the year is not over yet.
After tomorrow’s B grade grand final, Harling will be working to prepare the ground for the Over 60s cricket week which will see Victoria Park host four of the five matches being played.