Football NSW and Northern NSW Football have released a state-wide football infrastructure strategy, which will address the need for investment in facilities over the next ten years.
The governing bodies have begun working on a plan of action that will see crucial upgrades in infrastructure be implemented across the state, including improved lighting, pitches and changing facilities.
A statement on Football NSW’s website detailed that over 270,000 people currently play football at 1000 clubs on 2250 playing fields in the state, however, half of those pitches have poor drainage.
CEO of Football NSW, Stuart Hodge, believes the continued rise in participation numbers of people playing the game needs to be adequately supported by appropriate investment in facilities.
“Identifying and understanding the infrastructure required to support and sustain community football over the coming decade is imperative to our communities,” he said.
“The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy was commissioned in response to an independent audit of almost 1000 community football facilities, comprising 2200 individual pitches throughout 2018 and 2019.
“The audit identified the acute need for investment in football facilities to ensure the game has the capacity to cater for the projected boom in participation, particularly following the announcement that Australia will co-host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
Northern NSW Football CEO, David Eland, added: “Female participation in football continues to exceed expectations and will only increase amidst the excitement of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Developing new facilities and improving existing infrastructure which ensures that the nation’s largest club-based sport is inclusive is crucial.
“This strategy will be central to the NSW 2023 FWWC Legacy Strategy, which will be developed in conjunction with Football Federation Australia and the NSW Government to ensure football has the capacity to embrace thousands of new female participants inspired by the exploits of the mighty Westfield Matildas on home soil.”
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy can be found here.