Football Australia’s announcement of Domestic Match Calendar sets up National Second Division inclusion

Football Australia have today released the Australian Football Domestic Match Calendar (DMC) for the 2021/22 competitive year which will commence on October 29, 2021 and conclude on October 28, 2022.

The start of the A-League season will kickoff proceedings on the DMC, with the 2022 FFA Cup Final acting as the conclusion.

By establishing the DMC 2021/22, the Australian football community have made a major step towards securing a firm connection within the domestic football pyramid by further aligning seasons and setting transfer windows that are accessible by all the relevant competitions.

For the first time, Football Australia has reached agreement with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) that the A-League and Westfield W-League will break for the applicable FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows, as specified in the IMC. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID, exceptions to this principle will be applied if needed.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson identified the DMC 2021/22 as an essential initiative and significant regulatory function of Football Australia following the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from Football Australia.

“The release of the DMC 2021/22 marks the culmination of an extensive process of dialogue with stakeholders, involving the APL, Member Federations and Professional Footballers Association (PFA),” he said.

“Developing the DMC 2021/22 in a COVID environment has presented challenges, however the process has underscored the importance of the DMC 2021/22 and the role it plays in bringing all parts of the game together.

“Notably, we believe that the DMC 2021/22 places Australian football at its core.  It opens with the commencement of the A-League and concludes with the FFA Cup 2022 Final as the last match of the Football Australia Season – two (2) iconic moments in the season which all fans can look forward to.

“We have also, for the first time, agreed with the APL that the A-League and Westfield W-League will cease play in FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows allowing the football community to focus on key events in the calendar without conflict.  This doesn’t, however, preclude Westfield W-League matches being scheduled during men’s FIFA international windows, nor does it preclude A-League matches being played in women’s FIFA international windows.

“The alignment of finish dates for NPL competitions and the introduction of a finals weekend for NPL competitions across the country (NPL Men’s on 11 September and NPL Women’s on 25 September), is also a significant achievement of the DMC 2021/22.  We believe this helps to lift the profile of the NPL competitions in each Member Federation and will over time, also increase the prestige and value.

“The DMC 2021/22 also incorporates a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition (NST), noting that the format of this competition has not yet been finalised. The placeholder is an important first step towards the creation of this competition, allowing for its ongoing development and subject to finalisation of the model, can be adjusted within the DMC framework.”

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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