Devonport’s Meercroft Park facility now complete

Devonport’s new Meercroft Park Facility has been officially opened by Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce MP, Deputy Premier of Tasmania the Hon. Jeremy Rockliff MP and Mayor of Devonport, Annette Rockliff.

The new facility was made possible by $1.5 million in funding by all tiers of government, as well as Football Tasmania and the Devonport Junior Soccer Association.

Devonport Mayor Annette Rockliff says there are new change rooms and toilets that are accessible for all abilities, coupled with a meeting room and canteen resources. Council provided the land and the supplies to manage the project – they will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance.

“Council is pleased to see this facility already being utilised by the hundreds of junior soccer goers and also running groups and athletics training,” Rockliff said.

“Meercroft Park can now cater for state and national sporting events and will host the 2021 Devonport Cup this June long weekend, which attracts thousands of visitors to the region. We already have a record 85 teams from around the state competing.”

Devonport Junior Soccer Association patron Mike Gaffney was a catalyst behind securing the $1.5 million in funding for the club.

“With more than 900 competitors in this year’s junior soccer roster, the new facility will not only be advantageous for the local community, but may also attract national and potentially international competitions,” Gaffney said.

Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce MP, said the Federal Government is committed to supporting the region’s sporting communities, adding $1 million in funding to the facility.

“With the growth of soccer across the North-West Coast, Meercroft Park is a popular weekend destination for our junior soccer players,” Pearce said.

“The Federal Government is proud to support this important community asset, which will not only benefit the region’s strong participation in junior soccer, but our next generation of athletes.”

Deputy Premier the Hon. Jeremy Rockliff said the Tasmanian Government is proud to give over $450,000 to the project, under the Levelling the Playing Field Grant Program.

“We are committed to increasing opportunities for participation in sport and active recreation in our regional communities, and the new Meerfcroft Park facility is an added bonus to an already popular sporting precinct,” Mr Rockliff said.

The Devonport Junior Soccer Association contributed $40,000 and Football Tasmania provided $10,000 to the project.

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Dandenong Thunder to enjoy $700,000 LED lighting upgrade at George Andrews Reserve

Dandenong Thunder lighting upgrade

Greater Dandenong Council and Dandenong Thunder have recently confirmed that works have commenced for new powerful lighting towers to be built at George Andrews Reserve.

The upgrade will cost $700,000 and is being jointly funded by Greater Dandenong Council ($500,000) and the State Government ($200,000) with a plan to improve the ground’s overall quality for both training and matches. They formerly had 200-lux LED towers and they will be replaced by 500-lux towers.

For the Greater Dandenong local council, the focus was to improve the facility for the community to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits through the increased amount of playable hours at the reserve.

Importantly, the project ensures that the Thunder have a ground that is up to professional competition and broadcast standards which means they can broadcast and host games that are viewed by a national audience, a huge step forward for the NPL Victoria club.

This broadcast upgrade also opens up the possibility to expand to national matches involving the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City A-League women’s teams and an even more ambitious goal of hosting a Matildas game. The ground can easily hold 5000 people and the lighting and broadcasting standards will be fantastic after this upgrade.

Dandenong Thunder shared the positive implications this light upgrade has for the club.

“The new lights mean the club will be able to host a number of games, not only that but it’s a step forward to the clubs ambition to be part of the NSD (national second division),” a club spokesperson told Soccerscene.

“The support from local council has been nothing but fantastic, Dandenong want to be a sporting hub for the south east suburbs.

“With the FA cup we have seen A-League clubs play at local level clubs, having these new high powered lights we will be able to broadcast at a higher quality, no more yellow light broadcast.”

This news presents an exciting future for Dandenong Thunder and the matches played at George Andrews Reserve. The quality of training, matches and broadcasts has improved tenfold and it matches the size of the NPL Victoria side that have big ambitions.

CPKC and Kansas City Current’s major stadium naming rights deal a win for women’s sport

CPKC Stadium design

The world’s first professional female-football dedicated stadium – home of the NWSL’s Kansas City Current – will be known as CPKC Stadium, after an historic naming rights deal was agreed with the North American rail network company.

Formed as a merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern rail networks in July this year, CPKC represents the first trans-North American rail network between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

CPKC has been a leading investor for women’s sports in the state of Kansas, and CPKC President & CEO, Keith Creel, was proud to announce the stadium naming rights deal.

“We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Kansas City Current and support this history-making project here in the city that is at the heart of our North American rail network,” Creel said via press release.

“CPKC has been a long-time champion of women’s sports and of investing in our communities. This stadium and this partnership with the Current will build on that legacy as together we write a new chapter here in Kansas City.”

CPKC will also hold naming rights to the stadium’s outdoor space for fans, which will be known as CPKC Plaza. This area provides entertainment for all CPKC Stadium attendees, including the KC Current’s official merchandise store.

It is hoped that the naming rights deal will kickstart further investment in women’s football across the region, which has been the cornerstone of the KC Current’s existence according to co-founders and owners, Angie and Chris Long.

“Our [KC Current & CPKC] organisations share a commitment to strive for excellence, invest heavily in our communities and raise the bar with global influence. We are extremely excited to work with CPKC on this historic agreement and know our partnership will create a long-standing positive impact!”

Further to its substantial investment in women’s football, CPKC’s establishment of a direct line between Canada, the United States and Mexico is expected to have substantial benefits for football supporters attending the 2026 Men’s FIFA World Cup.

Presently, though, the stadium naming rights deal demonstrates CPKC’s intention to be a key investor in women’s football across Kansas and North America.

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