City of Hobart begin $1.3 million project to support women’s football

Football Tasmania

A $1.3 million City of Hobart project to help level the playing field for young women and girls has kicked off at the home of the New Town White Eagles Soccer Club with a major overhaul of the team’s change rooms and sporting pavilion.

The significant upgrade will see the old, separate toilet block demolished and replaced by new public toilets attached to the new sporting pavilion.

The project is expected to take up to five months to complete and has been partly funded through the Tasmanian Government’s Leveling the Playing Field Grants Program, which provided $450,000 for the project.

The City of Hobart is contributing another $850 000 to the project as part of its commitment to levelling the playing field for young girls and women and people with disabilities.

“Participation in women’s sport is surging across Australia, and the number and quality of sporting facilities plays a key role in encouraging and sustaining this growth,” City of Hobart Acting Lord Mayor Helen Burnet said in a statement.

“The New Town White Eagles Soccer Club, which calls Clare Street Oval home, is no exception, but the ability for more girls and young women to get involved with the club is hampered by the current condition of their change rooms and sports facilities.

“The current change rooms, which were built in the 1970s, have no accessible toilets or lockable showers and are poorly lit.

“This project will create a new, beautifully designed sports pavilion with four modern change rooms, two accessible toilets and ten lockable shower cubicles – it will also see two separate change rooms created for umpires with their own showers and toilets.

“The City of Hobart encourages greater participation in sport by everyone who wants to play and the upgrades to the Clare Street Oval change rooms will support this.”

Clare Street Oval is home to the New Town White Eagles Soccer Club, and is used by Sacred Heart School, New Town Cricket Club and the local community.

“Some young sports people, including girls and people with disabilities, may have felt excluded previously because of less than welcoming facilities,” Burnet added via Football Tasmania.

“Everyone deserves safe and secure sporting facilities that help them be the best they can be at their chosen sport.

“The City of Hobart is pleased to partner with the state government to level the playing field for everyone.”

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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