Australia’s first environmentally sensitive synthetic pitch to be built

A first in Australian football was announced by Sydney’s Lane Cove Council with the construction of an environmentally sensitive synthetic football field set to take place at Bob Campbell Oval.

The project will be crucial in satisfying the impressive demand and use of football fields across metropolitan Sydney. A synthetic surface has the advantage of being able to absorb intensive and extensive use throughout all weather conditions, enabling more people to be more active more often.

The proposed surface is a fully woven product made of one polymer family (polyolefin). The woven construction results in the grass fibres and backing structure being produced as one combined product, with superior tuft lock and filament bind to traditional tufted grass. The final product will significantly reduce the likelihood of lost fibres migrating into the environment.

“This is a significant step forward in environmental performance and I’m pleased that Lane Cove Council will be kick-starting an Australian first,” Lane Cove Council Mayor, Pam Palmer stated.

“If our efforts enable a faster take up of this new technology, then it’s a win-win for the environment and the community.”

Ed Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Suburbs Football Association, was delighted by decision from the Lane Cove Council.

“We are excited to hear news of the installation of a synthetic field at Bob Campbell Oval. Local community football has grown by 1,200 players in 2021, now totalling 18,100 participants in the NSFA region which places more stress on our current facilities,” he said.

“The Bob Campbell Oval development will increase the capacity of the sports field meaning more players will be able to safely participate for more hours each week, not to mention the benefit towards local community users for their informal activities.

“I commend Lane Cove Council and Mayor Pam Palmer for diligently investigating how they can create a best practice field that services the community and mitigates environmental concerns. NSFA and our members are proud to be aligned with a council that takes this approach.

“The field will provide a suitable home for Greenwich Sports Club who have the largest female player representation in the region of 50%. Ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in just over two years we anticipate this trend to continue, meaning Greenwich can continue to be a home of female football participation.”

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge acknowledged how the installation of the pitch aligned with the state’s footballing body’s goals.

“The proposed synthetic field directly relates to the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy and the key pillar, ‘improve existing venue capacity’. Maximising the carrying capacity and activation of existing football grounds and venues is a key objective of the strategy as football continues to grow particularly post COVID-19,” he said.

“Infrastructure developments such as Bob Campbell Oval not only enable growth in the game, but they also enable broader community development. Ensuring communities have adequate spaces where people can actively and safely engage in sport and recreation can provide improved social, health, educational and cultural outcomes for all.”

German football ends 70 years with Adidas for Nike deal

The German Football Association (DFB) has inked a mega eight-year deal with American sportswear giant Nike and move on from incredible 70-year partnership with Adidas.

The deal commences in 2027 after the next World Cup and runs to the end of 2034 with the company securing kit rights for at least two World Cup campaigns.

Nike were able to blow away Adidas’ offer and the deal was one they simply couldn’t refuse. It is reportedly worth AU$169.3 million a year, exactly double the amount Adidas currently gives the DFB which is $84.6 million.

Adidas has been a DFB partner since the 1950s and has been synonymous with the success of Germany’s men’s and women’s national teams, who have supported the company’s logo during 14 World Cup and European Championship triumphs.

This deal has caused huge public backlash from German fans and politicians who believe it goes against the traditions and history of the sport.

However, the DFB has defended its decision to drop Adidas as Nike made the better financial offer which would help the federation fund the future of German football as it would be invested into the grassroots game.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf explained the controversial decision and gives his well wishes to Adidas.

“We understand every emotion. It’s also a drastic event for us as an association when it becomes clear that a partnership that was and is characterised by many special moments is coming to an end after more than 70 years. That doesn’t leave us cold,” Neuendorf said in a statement.

“The DFB has to make economic decisions against this background. Nike made by far the best financial offer in the transparent and non-discriminatory tender process.

“The federation will do everything we can to achieve shared success with our long-standing and current partner Adidas, to whom German soccer has owed a lot for more than seven decades.”

It is a huge loss for Adidas’ legacy, losing a long term relationship with the country’s biggest sporting team to its main rival and ultimately showcasing the bargaining power Nike has over the company.

However, the company still has a huge standing in football despite this issue and won’t be too affected by it. At the international level, Adidas has deals with higher-ranked Argentina and Italy and will still supply Germany’s kits at the 2026 World Cup – a tournament which it will also sponsor.

This new deal allows more money to tackle issues in the grassroots game in Germany and help stabilise the system as it looks towards returning to long-term international success.

Football Victoria celebrates establishment between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC

A striking partnership has been established between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC, with the Western United affiliated club to play 11 home fixtures at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Club Changer Club Development Program, an incentive created in 2023 to assist clubs fostering and strengthening inclusive environments for multiple diverse communities within society to participate in football, supports the growth of women’s football, among many other ranges of football within the country.

Last year, all federation members dedicated a strong focus upon women and young females in football as a main element of their Legacy 23 campaign. This enables club development officers across the state to work in conjunction with clubs in order to foster a positive football experience within female football, both on and off the field.

In this facility sharing partnership, Sydenham Park SC vice-president Davis Lisolajski showcased his clubs enthusiasm.

“When we learned that they were without a home venue, it was an obvious choice for us to reach out and assist,” he said via press release.

“Women’s football holds significant importance for us at Sydenham, and we believe this partnership will benefit our young girls and both senior women’s teams. They will witness professionalism first-hand during match days.”

Calder United SC President Amanda Stella expressed excitement towards developing a sustained and effective partnership to spearhead National Premier League Women’s football to Sydenham Park in 2024.

“The support from Sydenham Park President Nick and Vice President David, along with the broader Sydenham Park community, is greatly appreciated, and we eagerly anticipate playing our senior and 20s home games for the 2024 season at Sydenham Park,” she added via media release.

“A special acknowledgment to Football Victoria’s Josephine La Pila for her work with both clubs to achieve an outcome that promotes collaboration among football clubs for the betterment of our beloved sport.”

Football Victoria have endorsed the partnership between these two growing clubs within female football across the state.

With Calder United establishing themselves as a competitive club amongst the NPLW competition, the partnership allowing the club between the Western United sister club and Sydenham puts a focus upon both sides allowing their playing and coaching staff to use one of the best pitch surfaces within the north-western district of Melbourne. The use of these highly elite facilities will allow them to have an advantage, perhaps being the difference in furthering themselves away from their competitors.

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