Fence, mini pitch need urgent repair


The assessment team Asian Football Confederation sent to Saipan has identified parts of the NMI Soccer Training Center that need repair as soon as possible.

AFC development consultant Domeka Garamendi and consultant for infrastructure Baltazar Avelino, after meeting with Northern Mariana Islands Football Association officials and assessing the damage at the training center in Koblerville, listed six priorities: fence, artificial turf equipment (cleaning and maintenance), pitches equipment (goal posts/nets), mini pitch, floodlight, and NMIFA transport vehicle.

The AFC team believed that construction of the fence should be fast track for security purposes. The secondary/mini pitch should also be prioritized, as many age group matches and grassroots activities are hosted in the area. The artificial turf at the secondary pitch, which also serves as a venue for futsal games and small-sided matches, was ripped off by the strong winds from Super Typhoon Yutu. Before the secondary pitch was damaged, girls U16 games in the 2018 NMIFA Fall Youth League were played there, while teams in the boys U18 also warmed up at the facility.

As for the fence around the entire facility, it was torn down, as two containers flew over and landed on the street, while cars of NMIFA officials also hit the fence and turned turtle due to the Category 5 typhoon that slammed Saipan and Tinian last month. The fence protecting the main and secondary pitches was also not spared from the wrath of Yutu, while broken glasses from the portable players/officials dugout were all over the main pitch. The goals from both pitches flew over and were found on the street in the residential area.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. The secondary/mini pitch was totally ripped, while the fence has to be replaced,” said Garamendi, who compared the destruction left by Yutu on Saipan to the one that happened in Leyte, Philippines when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the province in 2013.

“The damage was massive and rebuilding is definitely needed. We will work with the FA to ensure that the facility will be repaired,” he added. “We’re just asking the public to be patient as we go through the AFC process.”

Besides the fence and secondary pitch, AFC and NMIFA are also expected to team up in fixing the minor damage at the main pitch, portable dugouts, and the bleachers.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.