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ACT Government to invest $20 million into ‘Home of Football’

In a recent press release from ACT Football, it has been confirmed that the ACT Government will be investing $20 million into a new ‘Home of Football’ facility in the national’s capital.

This announcement comes only a week after the Victorian Government announced they would be investing a similar amount ($22 million) into facilities across the state.

Here’s a link to that story:

Victorian government to invest $22 million into state football facilities

With both Federations clearly confident of what the future holds for soccer in their respective state/territory, it will be interesting to see if more announcements are made across other states in the coming weeks and months.

Full press release can be found below:

Canberra will have a new ‘Home of Football’ following the announcement of a $20 million investment by the ACT Government, announced in Tuesday’s budget.

The facility, to be built at Throsby, will be the new headquarters for football in the ACT. It will feature multiple outdoor fields, indoor futsal courts, office space for Capital Football, and associated amenities.

With the ACT Government investing $20 million to the project, Capital Football will contribute $4.5 million to build the 24.5 million-dollar facility. It is expected to be operational during the second half of 2021.

Capital Football CEO, Phil Brown, says the organisation has been looking for a parcel of land in the ACT to establish a headquarters for the entire football community for some time as many facilities are already operating at capacity. He says, “This high performance and community facility is just as much about providing for the grassroots as it is about providing a training base for our elite teams, such as Canberra United.”

And Mr Brown says the establishment of futsal courts will contribute to gender parity in football; “In Canberra, 42 per cent of futsal players are female. This is more than double the national average for females of 20 per cent. With Futsal centres in Canberra at capacity, the new facility will provide opportunity to run more competitions that will support our work to achieve parity with male participation.”

Tuesday’s budget announcement sees the ACT Government partnering with Capital Football and Football Federation of Australia (FFA) to establish the headquarters for football in Canberra. Mr Brown sees this injection of funds as having significant benefit for the future of Canberra football, “The ‘Home of Football’ facility represents a real opportunity for strategic growth in football in the ACT.”

As part of the partnership, the FFA will be bringing three elite games to Canberra over the next 18 months, including Matildas and Socceroos matches. Further details around these games will be announced on Friday morning when an official Home of Football announcement will be held onsite in Throsby with representatives from the ACT Government, Capital Football and Football Federation of Australia.

*ENDS*

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Canterbury Bankstown Council waives field hire costs

The City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

With the ongoing impact of extended COVID-19 enforced lockdowns on NSW, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council have opted to waive ground hire costs in an effort to support community clubs.

For a second consecutive year, the Canterbury Bankstown Council have assisted both the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association and the Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Clubs who have been heavily affected by COVID.

The impact of COVID-19 has seen Football NSW forced into cancelling the remaining footballing NSW competitions seasons, with players, organisations and clubs state-wide left heavily impacted by the difficult situation.

As the state’s governing football body, Football NSW have hailed the move by the Canterbury Bankstown Council as a much needed and generous decision to aid community football in the area by reducing the financial burden created by the extended lockdown period.

Led by Mayor Khal Asfour, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council opted to waive ground hire costs for sporting clubs and associations with seasonal bookings at Council managed sports grounds and facilities for the winter 2021 season.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge voiced his support for the supportive actions being taken by the Canterbury Bankstown Council.

“Well done to Canterbury Bankstown Council for pushing its support behind our code in what have been tough times for the sport,” he said

“Decisions and moves such as this from Canterbury Bankstown Council go a long way to assuring our clubs and players are well supported and will continue to provide a positive and significant benefit to the community.”

Both Bankstown District Football Association’s General Manager Leanne Millar and Canterbury District Soccer Football Association CEO Ian Homes were grateful with the backing of the Mayor, elected Councillors and Senior Management of the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council.

Football Australia meets with AAFC to discuss National Second Tier

Football Australia consulted with the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) last week to discuss modelling and other considerations for a National Second Tier.

The Thursday night meeting was attended virtually by representatives from Football Australia, including CEO James Johnson, as well AAFC Chairman Nick Galatas and representatives from member clubs.

Within the meeting, the commercial, financial, and modelling aspects of the competition were discussed.

A Football Australia spokesperson stated that the meeting was an opportunity for clubs to voice their opinions and views on certain questions posed by FA, and considerations for a National Second Tier directly to the peak body.

Football Australia held a meeting with the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) and a number of representative clubs from around Australia on Thursday 26 August as part of a consultation to discuss the objectives and vision for a National Second Tier, commercial, financial and competition modelling considerations, the Domestic Match Calendar and access to and from a proposed National Second Tier,” a FA spokesperson said.

CEO, James Johnson and several other senior executives of Football Australia participated in the meeting and welcomed the opportunity to hear directly from the clubs on some of their views on these considerations and look forward to having further and more detailed discussions in the coming months as we move the conceptual discussions towards practical ones, and in turn the national second tier becoming a reality at the appropriate time.”

Galatas said the meeting was well received by the AAFC, and that it was held professionally and in good faith.

The next steps are firstly we will provide the material that Football Australia has requested, secondly we will finalise our report, and finally we will continue to liaise with Football Australia as they progress towards finalising their model,” he said.

The AAFC released the report in January as a framework for how they believe a second division could be structured, ran and implemented.

No timeline has been placed on the development of the competition by either Football Australia or the AAFC, according to Galatas.

“We didn’t think it was appropriate to press for a timeline, and instead work towards providing information for Football Australia to develop the right model,” he said.

“Getting it right in more important than imposing some sort of deadline. Clearly the intention that emerged from that meeting was that we now work as stakeholders to complete the tasks, so short term is better than long term but there is no specific timeline.”

Football Australia recently included a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition on its domestic match calendar.

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