Brisbane Roar’s new training facility tipped for July opening

Brisbane Roar, in conjunction with the City of Moreton Bay Council, plans to open its new state-of-the-art football training facility in July this year.

The development of a new training precinct – the City of Moreton Bay Football Centre of Excellence – has been in the pipeline for nearly two years, but looks set to become a reality in Brisbane’s North.

Importantly, the new facility will bring its women’s and men’s A-League and NPL teams under one roof, in a move that will help increase club unity and enhance career pathways for its academy players.

The club is currently separated across the city, with its Liberty A-League side based at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in Brisbane’s South, whilst its Isuzu UTE A-League side trains at Meakin Park – a further 20 minutes away.

As confirmed by both parties, some of the features will include:

  • 5 training fields
  • A main changeroom with amenities
  • Gym, recovery, and physiotherapy rooms
  • Kitchen, lounge, laundry and bathroom facilities
  • Coaching offices and media rooms
  • Private boom gate parking

The precinct brings with it the much anticipated Women’s Football Centre of Excellence, that aims to provide a unique experience for Brisbane’s current and future female stars.

Queensland continues to be a massive provider of talent for women’s football in Australia, evidenced to its full extent during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where Mackenzie Arnold, Clare Polkinghorne, Katrina Gorry, and Hayley Raso all represented the Matildas.

However, many of these players endured several moves around the country to develop their game as youngsters, evidencing the finite provision of local and national resources available to the women’s game.

With the new Women’s Centre of Excellence, Brisbane Roar are offering its future Katrina Gorry and Clare Polkinghorne not just a state-of-the-art facility, but stability and comfort in their football journey.

Brisbane Roar have been working closely with the City of Moreton Bay Council and are firmly focused on opening the facility ahead of the 2024/25 A Leagues season. Speaking at the ribbon-cutting event, Brisbane Roar Chairman & CEO, Kaz Patafta, was elated about what the club and the council is set to achieve.

“Brisbane Roar are thrilled to extend our collaboration with the City of Moreton Bay Council, marking a significant milestone with the development of a world-class football high-performance facility,” Patafta stated via media release.

“The club eagerly anticipates unifying our team and offering our players access to a premier, top-class training environment later this year.”

Council Mayor, Peter Flannery, is enthusiastic about the prospect of growing the women’s game in Brisbane.

“It’s great to see the Women’s Football Centre of Excellence being completed after a long journey. Although the fields aren’t quite ready for use, the Roar have begun fitting out the facility with their equipment in preparation for the 2024-25 season,” Mayor Flannery added via press release.

“This will be one of the leading dedicated women’s sporting facilities in the country once the fields are completed over the coming months.”

The Roar’s investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure is sure to have a noticeable effect on its football operations. It will also hope to encourage participation at local junior level, with the facility serving as a place of aspiration for young players.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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