Following a historic inaugural A-League championship and premiership double, Melbourne City have confirmed that construction has begun on the brand-new Etihad City Football Academy Melbourne.
A formal ‘groundbreaking’ ceremony attended by senior executives and community leaders from the City of Casey, the City of Greater Dandenong, Cardinia Shire Council and Melbourne City FC formally kicked off construction at the 84-hectare sporting precinct in South East Melbourne.
The first stage of construction includes the central elite training pitch, with its 115m x 115m hybrid grass surface, due for completion by the end of 2021. The new pitch is adjacent to the site’s existing four full-sized pitches – one grass and three synthetic – which will be primarily used by the Club’s Academy teams and for City in the Community programs, as well as for City of Casey school and club programs.
The next stage of construction will see the development of Melbourne City’s new two-storey administration and high-performance building at Casey Fields, currently in detailed design phase. Construction on that phase of the facility is due to commence in the coming months, with completion estimated for mid-2022.
The Club’s Academy teams started training and playing at Casey Fields in February, while administration staff will begin working from Casey Fields next month. Melbourne City’s championship-winning A-League team and four-time Westfield W-League championship winning side commence 2021-22 pre-season training on site in August and September respectively.
Melbourne City CEO Brad Rowse and City of Casey CEO Glenn Patterson were on hand to put the first spade in the Casey Fields ground.
“This has been a momentous season for Melbourne City FC – starting with the announcement of our move to South East Melbourne and right up until last weekend’s grand final win,” Rowse said.
“Both moments are just the beginning of an exciting future for the Club, the fans, the staff, players and the wider community.
“The welcome we have received in the South East has been extraordinary, and we cannot wait to see the Etihad City Football Academy come to life. This is more than an elite training facility, it’s a home for football in South East Melbourne.”
City of Casey Chair of Administrators Ms. Noelene Duff PSM celebrated Melbourne City’s firm establishment in the South East of Melbourne.
“The commencement of construction on the City Football Academy at Casey Fields is another exciting milestone in this wonderful partnership that is developing between the City of Casey and Melbourne City Football Club,” she said.
“The December announcement of Melbourne City’s move to South East Melbourne was met with great enthusiasm in our community, and to now see signs of life in the development of the next stage of what will be a truly world class facility will only increase that level of excitement.
“The impending move of some of Australia’s best footballers, coaches and sporting administrators will be a wonderful addition to our community, providing positive role models and engagement opportunities on many levels.”