FIFA Women’s World Cup ventures to Australia’s capital

FIFA Women's World Cup trophy

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was a special recent guest at Australian Parliament House, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup was presented in Canberra.

Joining him was Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, along with Football Australia Chair and CEO Chris Nikou and James Johnson respectively.

A meeting was held to discuss the hugely successful World Cup far, which has attracted record-breaking attendances and broadcast viewership. Already, over 1.8 million ticket sales have been made across Australia and New Zealand, an amazing result for tournament.

The meeting was followed by a trophy lift, as Infantino spoke to the attendees about his gratitude for the overwhelming fan support.

“Football is so important for society, for inclusion, for the community, for economic growth, for physical health, for mental health and for happiness,” the FIFA President said via a statement.

“It is important for children because through football and playing football, they learn. They learn how to play as a team, how to count on the team-mates, how to win, but also how to lose.

“And, most importantly, how to get up after defeat and go for the next game that we want to win, which is what happened to the Matildas. After defeat they all endured, and the whole country concentrated on the next game because you wanted to win that next game.”

“This tournament is a great event, and you are all really fantastic – a proud country, a country with a rich, rich history, a country which has put up the best FIFA Women’s World Cup ever.

“Thank you for having us here, for everything you do for football, for your children, for your girls, for your boys, in this beautiful country. And, thank you for uniting the entire world here in Australia and in New Zealand.”

The FIFA World Cup Trophy made its next stop to the University of Canberra, allowing the chance to get a photo with the famous silverware.

Football Australia Chair Chris Nikou outlined the role Football Australia has and the impact he wants the Women’s World Cup to have.

“As Chair of Football Australia, I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved so far. This historic edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been a testament to our dedication, teamwork, and passion for football,’ he said via media release.

“We’ve not only hosted an unprecedented global event but have demonstrated the powerful role football plays in shaping our society, especially in terms of gender equality and diversity. I strongly believe that the legacy of this tournament will continue to inspire and shape the future of football in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson echoed Nikou’s thoughts with how the Women’s World Cup will have a positive influence.

“This FIFA Women’s World Cup has proven that we can turn dreams into reality,” Johnson stated, highlighting the record-breaking 1.8 million tickets sales to date, a significant leap from the 1.1 million tickets sold in Paris in 2019.

“Envision the social and health benefits that would flow with 400,000 more women and girls playing the game. This is the aspiration driving our Legacy ’23 initiative, and with record viewership and national broadcast reach for our CommBank Matildas’ victories, it’s clear we’re on the right path.

“Monday night’s CommBank Matildas’ victory over Canada, was the most watched program on the Seven network in 2023 with a national broadcast reach of 4.71 million.

“We are witnessing a landmark moment in the history of football not just for Australia and New Zealand but for the world at large. This tournament has proven the game’s far-reaching appeal, underpinned by its power to unite people across age groups and backgrounds.

“Our journey is only beginning. We are committed to creating an environment that bolsters the growth of women’s football, fosters inclusivity, and nurtures an enduring passion for the game.”

The Matildas continue their FIFA Women’s World Cup tonight (August 7) against Denmark at Stadium Australia, in the Round of 16.

Staff Writer
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An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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