“We sent out a mass email and I had meetings on the field,” DiCocco said, before reiterating, “I want to make this better. Without Southern Fields, there is no soccer club. Where will the kids play?”
Park concerns being addressed
After The Courier Sun ran a story about how some community residents are concerned about alleged parking on lawns, double parking and a general disregard for rules at some local parks, the president of the Woodhaven Soccer Club and the president of the 106th Precinct Community Council had a “very positive conversation.”
“I told him that we are a community soccer club, and that I want to make this better,” said Anthony DiCocco. “I wanted to let him know how much we do for the community.”
“I was happy Anthony DiCocco reached out and we’re hopeful it will work,” said Frank Dardani, president of the Community Council.
The issues in question are at Ozone Park’s Southern Fields, on North Conduit Avenue and 114th Street, where the club holds a permit from Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to closing and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The 510 players – ages four to 17 – have been playing there for four years and are mindful of the field – and the residents, he points out.
“I explained to him that I am aware of the issues with parking, and I pledge to correct this,” DiCocco told The Courier. “And I tried to explain our side and point out the positives.”
In fact, he said, “Every one of my members knows that once the game is over we pick up our refuse.”
A Parks Department spokesperson did say that the agency is working with the NYPD regarding the illegal parking, and the teams have been putting cones out to keep cars off the grass.
“We have had no complaints this year,” she said at the time of the article.
Dardani pointed out that Parks has said it will have more weekend personnel at the field.
On Saturday, June 5, DiCocco said, Parks Supervisor Russell Erickson even went down to Southern Fields and saw how “well behaved” the teams were.
“It was parents rooting for their kids,” he said.
DiCocco also told Dardani that he does understand the concerns regarding parking, however, there is no lot at the location, and he said he has been working with Aqueduct racetrack for spaces.
He is also in touch with parents, who became upset over the fact that Dardani has said, “We need Parks to pull their permits and act very strongly when [problems] are brought to their attention.”