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Felton Industries: Supporting the infrastructure needs of football clubs across Australia

Sporting infrastructure continues to be an important topic to address amongst community football clubs across the country.

Felton Industries is one of Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture, specialising in premium seating solutions for sporting clubs and environments.

The company have recently entered into an agreement with Football Queensland, becoming the state governing body’s official Shelter and Grandstand partner, as well as being the preferred supplier to the Queensland football community.

Through this partnership, Football Queensland released a Shelter and Grandstand Facility Guide earlier this year with support from Felton.

The guide outlines information, recommendations and viable solutions for clubs and local councils to install shelters and suitable seating at football facilities.

“All sporting clubs in Queensland face sun safety and weather-related challenges at their venues,” Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“FQ has addressed this through the Shelter & Grandstands Facility Guide, the newest inclusion among our suite of in-depth resources for clubs, sport and recreation consultants, and local councils.

“Together with Felton, we are supporting our community with improved access to high-quality, infrastructure that transforms both the spectator experience and the atmosphere at matches.”

The planning and implementation process of infrastructure upgrades are also detailed in the guide, alongside suitable grants and methods that may financially assist clubs with purchases.

“Felton are proud to be FQ Preferred Supplier for Shelter and Grandstands and to support the infrastructure needs of Queensland Football clubs and football communities Australia-wide,” stated Gus White, National Sales Manager for Felton Industries.

“We work closely with clubs to deliver premium quality grandstands, bench and changing room seating. We are also thrilled to announce that we will be launching football dugouts at the end of this month.”

A list of Felton’s most popular grandstand and shelter solutions for football clubs are shown below:

 

Sunsafe Select Grandstand 

Structurally engineered all-in-one unit that provides sheltered seating for up to 40 people.

$13,850.00 ex. GST

Technical specifications

  • Seats up to 40 people
  • Structurally engineered all-in-one roof
  • Footrests & backrests with extra safety support bar
  • Built to last durable fabricated aluminium frame
  • Cyclone Rated Category C
  • Coloured Safety End Caps available in red, blue, green, purple, yellow and orange
  • 7-year warranty

Roof Coverage: 5150mm W x 3540mm D

Seating Plan: 2250mm D x 4000mm L x 900mm H (4th Tier)

Overall Plan: 5150mm L x 2400mmH (4 Tier) x 3540mm D

 

Select Grandstand 

Popular portable spectator seating that can be easily moved around venues and added to existing shade areas.

$6,180.00 – $9,270.00 ex. GST

Technical specifications

  • Bolt down or move around as a portable spectator seating unit
  • Available in 4m and 6m lengths.
  • 4m fits up to 40 fans and 6m up to 60 fans in the stands for your next game
  • Most popular grandstand 3 years running!
  • Coloured Safety End Caps available in red, blue, green, purple, yellow and orange
  • 7-year warranty

4m Overall Plan: 4000mm W x 1270mm H (900mm H 4th tier) x 2250mm D

6m Overall Plan: 6000mm W x 1270mm H (900mm H 4th tier) x 2250mm D

 

Eco-Trend Sheltered Park Setting

Sheltered seating perfect for canteen areas at football clubs.

$3,750.00 ex. GST

Technical specifications

  • Seats up to 8
  • Maximum weather protection with Colorbond Roof – Deep Ocean as Standard
  • Powder-coated frames – APO Grey
  • Seats up to 8 people comfortably
  • Latest in sleek design
  • Bolt down lugs for maximum stability and safety
  • Choice of colours available
  • Coloured Safety End Caps available in red, blue, green, purple, yellow and orange
  • 7-year warranty

Table Top: 2020mm L x 765mm W x 747mm H

Overall Plan: 2215mm L x 1975mm W x 2570mm H

 

Double Plank Seating 

Double plank bench seating designed for changing rooms and high-use wet environments like pools and surf clubs.

$515.00 – $1,029.00 ex. GST

Technical specifications

  • Fully aluminium – will not rust
  • Bolt down or free-standing options
  • Hose down for cleaning purposes
  • Coloured Safety End Caps available in red, blue, green, purple, yellow and orange
  • Choose from 2m, 3m, 4m or custom sizes available
  • 7-year warranty

Overall Plan: 500mm W x 450mm H

Felton’s wide range of products have fit the needs of many football clubs in Queensland, but also all across Australia, including clubs such as Port Kembla FC, who are based in NSW.

Located eight kilometres south of the City of Wollongong, the grassroots club needed a seating solution for members to watch the team’s home games.

After they secured the appropriate funding through the grants processes available, the club can now seat up to 160 members after purchasing equipment off Felton.

“Our club recently purchased 4 shelter units to provide a protected environment for our spectators to watch our teams play football,” Anthony Timilero, president of Port Kembla Pumas Football Club, said.

“From our initial inquiry to installation, Felton Industries were always focused on delivering exceptional service.”

To learn more about Felton Industries visit https://felton.net.au.

 

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Victoria cancels competitions in Melbourne for 2021

The City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria to further plans for a regional soccer centre.

Football Victoria (FV) have announced the cancellation of all metropolitan Melbourne competitions for the remainder of the 2021 season.

In a letter to the football community, FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros and FV President Antonella Care explained that the decision was made in the best interests of those who make the game what it is in Victoria.

“FV’s vision is to provide Football For All, Anywhere, Anytime, and alongside the valuable feedback of our stakeholders, this has continued to shape our decision making process. Importantly though, the safety of our community sits above all else, as our most important consideration for all football decisions throughout the pandemic.

“Our NPL and Competitions teams have worked day and night to produce an extraordinary body of work, planning multiple scenarios for every competition. This work is detailed, well-considered and milestone driven.

“We would like to express our gratitude to our football community, who have engaged in roundtable discussions, completed surveys and provided direct feedback to the team, all of which has been absolutely essential for us to best align with the needs of our community.

“Many of the planned scenarios have been eliminated in recent weeks, due to the key dates passing with extended lockdowns across the state.

“Unfortunately, the most recent Government announcement means our options to complete the 2021 season for our metropolitan Melbourne competitions have now reached an end.”

“We know this news is disappointing, particularly following last year’s abandoned season.

“Winter sport has borne the brunt of lockdowns and in turn, the impact on our football community has been immense. Our Clubs, Associations, Officials, Administrators, Volunteers and Players have bravely weathered the storm, rallying through each round of restrictions, showing a resilience that I know will keep our community strong through yet another challenge.”

As a result of the cancelled competitions in Melbourne, there will be no outcomes in regards to promotion and relegation between divisions. No premiers or champions will be crowned as well, as a result.

FV are still optimistic of a return to football for participants in Regional Victoria, subject to the easing of government restrictions and the governing body’s outlined conditions.

The organisation will also engage with clubs involved in the NIKE F.C. Cup and Dockerty Cup finals, to determine whether these games are able to be completed by the end of the year.

More information in regards to FV’s Fee Refund Policy will be sent out to the community by Friday, 17 September.

For further developments and to access other resources visit: https://www.footballvictoria.com.au/

What will a National Second Tier mean for the NPL?

As the concept of a National Second Tier becomes a reality in Australia, there are questions on what the removal of the biggest clubs will mean for the State League competitions.

Football Australia are still discussing and workshopping the format of the concept, and how it operates and coexists with the National Premier Leagues (NPL) is one of the biggest questions.

When the NPL was created in 2013, the aim was to standardise the State League competitions across Australia and serve as a second tier to the A-League. The competition has been the top division in each state outside the A-League, with the winners playing off against each other at the end of the season.

The NPL hasn’t managed to bridge the gap between the State League clubs and the A-League, shown by the push for a true National Second Tier.

We know that the current NPL clubs would jump at the chance to join a National Second Tier, however, what would this mean for the State Leagues moving forward?

There is certainly commercial value to having South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights play off in the Victorian State League. Without the traditional powerhouse clubs in there, the Victorian NPL would struggle to attract sponsors and fans that drive the clubs, allowing them to perform at a semi-professional level.

Determining what the value of the NPL is without traditional clubs is a question that will be asked across every state competition if a National Second Tier drags them away.

Football Australia has previously floated a Champions League-style competition idea, with 32 teams competing in a group stage format followed by a knockout stage.

The allure of this concept is to reduce the cost of travel and the financial burden on the clubs at the league’s inception while allowing the clubs to continue to play in their respective state NPL competitions.

However, this is a stop-gap solution to get the competition off the ground, with the intention of easing into the transition from semi-professional into a fully professional second tier with promotion and relegation down the track.

There are certainly positives to this structure. Using the Champions League-style format to get the competition off the ground and running before evolving into a traditional league format could be the best way for a National Second Tier to launch.

The reality is that the first few years in a National Second Tier will be difficult for the clubs if the competition is a complete home and away league featuring at least 18 games. It is a distinct possibility clubs will fold, or flee back to the relative safety of their state competitions.

This isn’t a reason not to proceed with the competition, however, it is a danger that the clubs must recognise. To alleviate this danger, clubs can play in their state competitions while featuring in a parallel Champions League-style competition.

Some of the NPL’s biggest clubs would prefer a traditional style home and away season. South Melbourne President Nick Maikousis outlined in an interview with Soccerscene that a National Second Tier could mean some of the biggest clubs depart the State Leagues.

“We don’t agree that a Champions League-style competition is a National Second Division. Our views are that it needs to be a stand-alone competition. The challenge for the state federations is potentially losing some of their biggest member clubs,” Maikousis said.

“If you take South Melbourne, Melbourne Knights, and Heidelberg out of the NPL Victoria competition, it becomes a different conversation.”

He also pointed out that reluctance to lose these clubs from their respective state leagues by some stakeholders is similar to arguments raised against the formation of the National Soccer League in the 1970s.

Fears of losing the State League’s biggest clubs aren’t new. At the NSL’s inception in 1977, the Victorian Premier League forbid its clubs from joining the new competition. Mooroolbark SC, an unremarkable Eastern Suburbs club, broke the deadlock, paving the way for South Melbourne, Heidelberg and Footscray just to follow in their footsteps.

Mooroolbark unfortunately found themselves relegated out of the NSL in their only year in the competition, before ending up in the provisional league at the bottom of the football pyramid by the 1980s.

Eventually, any national second tier competition must become a stand-alone league if Australian football is to have a proper pyramid of competitions featuring promotion and relegation. The state NPL competitions will lose their biggest clubs to this, but it creates opportunities for other clubs to forge ahead and take their place.

Australian football needs to be brave in its attempt to create something that will outlast us all. Countries like England, Spain, and Italy have built their football not only on heritage, but also a deep talent pool developed playing in the leagues below their top division.

Promotion and relegation must be the end game for football if it’s to reach its full potential in Australia. For a club to climb from State League 5 to the A-League, from amateur to professional, is the ultimate expression of the beautiful game.

The state leagues will survive losing their biggest clubs, like they did at the NSL’s inception. The question is what value these competitions still have without their biggest assets.

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