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Football Victoria short-lists bidders for national Home of the Matildas

In a statement made this week, Football Victoria announced the short list of bidders to secure the rights to be the national home of Australia’s senior women’s squad, the Matildas.

The Matildas, now tearing it up in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, have been in need of a permanent base for some time.

The short list includes La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus as well as the municipalities of Darebin, Casey, Brimbank and Maroondah.

The press release can be found below in full:

The establishment of the proposed national Home of the Matildas has moved a step closer with Football Victoria nominating five locations as the potential base for the state-of-the-art facility.

The short-list comprises the municipalities of Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, and Maroondah, along with La Trobe University as part of redevelopment plans at its Bundoora campus.

The process now moves into the next stage of discussions with the respective municipalities and/or landowners, as part of a feasibility study underway to determine the preferred location for what will also serve as the State Home of Football. Concept plans and cost estimates will be developed once a preferred site has been identified.

Football Victoria received $200,000 from the Victorian Government for the feasibility study, along with a $15 million commitment from the Federal Government towards construction.

Football Victoria CEO, Peter Filopoulos, said the sport would continue to work closely with governments at all levels to create a dedicated, world-class facility that would be a “game-changer for women’s football in Australia and across the Asia region”.

“Just as the Matildas are doing Australia proud on the world stage, it’s incumbent on us as a nation to provide them the high-performance home base that will help them stay at the forefront of international football and ensure the game keeps developing the stars of tomorrow”, he said.

Among a range of features, it is proposed that the Home of the Matildas would include elite training facilities to cater for the senior and emerging Matildas programs, including leading-edge medical and sports science facilities, strength and conditioning areas, an aquatic zone, indoor futsal facilities, and offices for FFA/FV technical staff. It is also proposed that the facility would house a training and education hub for non-playing roles including specialist programs for girls and women as coaches, referees and club administrators.

“The creation of a national Home of the Matildas will go a long way towards helping the game in Victoria meet our stated objective of 50:50 gender participation by 2027.”

Today’s announcement comes as the Westfield Matildas move to the knock-out stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Football Federation Australia, with the support of the Commonwealth Government, is bidding to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

*ENDS*

Where would you like to see the Matildas call home/base of operations?

Feel free to discuss this on social media, it’s an interesting scenario, that’s for sure.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Diamond Valley United receive $650,000 facility upgrade boost

Clubs in Queensland will need to transition from EVA Check-In to the Queensland Government's Check In Qld app.

Diamond Valley United are set to receive new female-friendly change rooms in the coming weeks, after receiving a significant amount of funding from Banyule City Council and the Victorian Government.

The local council has put $400,000 towards the upgrades at Partington Flats, whilst the Victorian Government has put forward $250,000 through their World Game Facilities Fund.

The works are set to begin in the next couple of weeks, with the upgrades to be ready for the new season in 2022.

President of Diamond Valley United, Mark O’Shea, explained the growth of the female side of the game at the club helped the cause for the eventual upgrades to the clubrooms.

“The overall push for female facilities was pretty much driven by the local Banyule Council,” O’Shea told Soccerscene.

“The team at Banyule Council came down to speak with us, and asked what we needed as a club around 3-4 years ago. At that time, new changerooms were our number one priority, alongside other facilities which needed to be upgraded.

“Four years ago, we had one female team, but now we have around seven – so I guess the growth over time on the female side of the club drove the council to take action and get the clubrooms upgraded.”

O’Shea believes the upgrades will have a huge benefit for females involved in the club, who don’t feel comfortable in using the amenities currently.

“The changerooms we have been using are about 35 years old and aren’t really female friendly at all,” he said.

“So, we are turning our changerooms from two into four.

“It allows us to have much more appropriate female friendly facilities. They are all currently old-school open showers and females can’t shower there and use the changeroom properly.

“Having the four changerooms will allow us to cope with the number of teams we have on the female side, but also they will be great spaces for everyone at our club.”

The hope is that the new facilities will create new opportunities for the club to further connect with the wider community.

“We share our club with schools and other groups, so having those female friendly facilities opens up some new avenues for us to share our facilities with new community groups and schools,” O’Shea said.

The pandemic has affected the club in recent times, like most sporting organisations across Australia, but a strong rebound is expected according to the club president.

“There’s no way we could afford to do the upgrades ourselves, COVID has had a massive effect on all sporting groups in the last two years,” he said.

“Our numbers have gone down around 30-40% when it comes to juniors, but in saying that we do expect a big bounce back from a lot of kids at the other side of the pandemic.

“I think parents are keen to get kids out of their homes and off their iPads. Having those facilities at our club will also allow us to take on another 5 or 6 more female teams, which is fantastic.”

Alongside the new clubrooms, further upgrades will look to leave Diamond Valley United in good stead in the long term.

“We’ve been working with council and we are looking to do a lighting upgrade which is due for the next financial year,” O’Shea said.

“Following that, we are getting our ground reconfigured and resurfaced. These upgrades will be great for the future of our club.”

 

 

$1.5 million in fee relief provided to Football NSW Associations and Clubs

Football NSW

To help consolidate losses related to the premature cancellation of the 2021 Winter Football season due to COVID-19, Football NSW has announced $1.5 million in fee relief for its Associations and Clubs.

The Football NSW Board identified the need to provide support to its Associations and Clubs to ensure their ongoing solvency and assist them through these challenging times.

And in spite of the difficult circumstances for all stakeholders involved in the game, Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge credited the strength of football in coming through previous Covid-enforced lockdowns.

“As we have stated previously, our player numbers can only continue to grow, and football can only remain the most popular participant sport in NSW, if there is sustained financial viability at each tier of the game,” Hodge said.

“The sustainability of a healthy Association and Club framework is fundamental to our continued development and maintaining our capacity to progress and achieve our lofty ambitions.

“With this in mind, and on the recommendation of management, the Board resolved to provide a discount on the Football NSW Capitation Fee for the 2021 Winter season.

Hodge acknowledged the hardworking efforts of each of the Associations and Clubs who have been resilient in the face of the COVID-affected season.

“I want to acknowledge the dedication of our volunteers, administrators, players, referees and coaches that enabled us to still deliver part of a football season,” he said.

“Once again, the Football NSW community has come together to support each other and keep our participants and their families safe, something I feel that’s been truly inspiring.

“Football is a vital part of the lives of our players and other participants, but also vital to our communities.

“Thank you all for your work to keep things going through this period of disruption.”

Football in NSW played a leading role in ensuring the community, and sport as a whole, did their bit in fast tracking a return to sport via the recent NSW Health initiative, ‘Super Sport Sunday’.

“Our collective commitment to a safer community was evident in our recent initiative to offer our facilities as vaccination hubs to the NSW Government,” Hodge said.

“What started as an offer of facilities quickly evolved into a request from NSW Health for football to mobilise its community in certain regions where vaccination rates were desperately needed to be increased.

“Answering the call, we led a campaign for football participants in those regions to get vaccinated and engaged other sports to join as we created a ‘Super Sport Sunday’ for vaccinations at Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA).

“We have since been briefed that the campaign helped set a new single day record of vaccinations at SOPA, with many people wearing the jerseys of their favourite football clubs.

“This is another good example of how, as a code and a football family, we are leaders in our communities and, when we work together, we can achieve great things.”

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