Maitland Saints will be without a home training base for up to a month after vandals left a large section of Max McMahon oval a muddy mess.

The club is hoping to transfer this Saturday’s Black Diamond AFL Second Division game against Newcastle City to the leagues

headquarters at No. 1 Oval Newcastle.

The other alternative will be to transfer the game to Singleton, where the club has already played three transferred games including last week’s impressive 155-point victory against Singleton, with several under-16 players included in the Saints team.

Saints coach Steve Mitchell said the club discovered motorcycle tracks and a large area stripped of grass 30 metres from the school end of the oval.

Mitchell said an alternative

training venue would be needed for the next three weeks to a month.

“We are hoping to get this Saturday’s game transferred to No. 1 but it will depend on scheduling,” he said.

“We will have to find a temporary base as well, but there’s no

alternative as we would do long-term damage to the surface if we trained on the ground as it is.”

Mitchell said he hoped to know by Friday where the game would be played.

The Saints are expecting a

different look Newcastle City to the team they defeated by 122-points in round eight.

Boosted by a number of

experienced players Newcastle City lost by eight point to fourth placed Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Mitchell said the Saints were just about to celebrate having a full-list of players when they learned work commitments may deny them of the services of key swingman Justin Smith for the rest of the season.

“We will certainly miss Justin but the rest of our squad, barring injury, will be available from now on,” he said.

“We were really impressed with the effort of the under 16s who

came up to play and if they train opportunities may open for them.

“We have to manage the development of the youngsters

carefully, because they are the future of the club.

“But the young players who have come up from the beginning of the season in Patrick McMahon and Damon Taylor have come along in leaps and bounds and will be the long-term leaders of this club.”

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