Football Victoria’s Community in Business event returns with star-studded lineup

Football Victoria’s Community in Business event on Friday May 21 was headlined by two star-studded panels, featuring former footballers, personalities, and A-league CEOs.

The event, held at the San Remo Ballroom in Carlton, was hosted by ABC journalist Catherine Murphy and featured a keynote speech by FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros.

Taliadoros commented on the recent funding of community projects through the World Game Facilities Fund and the new home of the Matildas in Bundoora. He said equality of opportunities between men and women is an important goal for Football Victoria.

“This is a significant turning point for our sport in Victoria. You’ve all been around to understand what a battle it has been for us to secure funding on any level, let alone in a meaningful way,” he said.

“We aren’t going to be invisible anymore, this sport has a home and hope. We have an incredible platform to build the awareness and focus for women and girls, and football, in this state. That is a tremendous achievement.”

Michael Zappone hosted a panel made up of former Socceroos legend Mark Bresciano, comedian Santo Cilauro and his father – former Victorian Soccer Federation Chairman and Football Australia of fame inductee, Vito Cilauro.

Bresciano, who is on the Football Australia board, said that a second division would bring a level of excitement to revitalise the game.

“it is very important. It will bring that extra excitement, and hopefully, down the track, we can get to a promotion and relegation situation,” he said.

“I only just realised how much work went into football in Australia now that I am on the board. You don’t realise the hard work that goes into the game, whether it’s a national top-level or grassroots.”

Another panel featuring the CEO’s and chairman of the three Victorian A-league teams was hosted by Murphy, with the theme ‘leadership through adversity’. 

Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro, Western United FC CEO Chris Pehlivanis, and Melbourne City CEO Brad Rowse discussed the challenges of running a football club during a pandemic and the future of the Australian professional league. 

When asked what the biggest challenge his club has faced Di Pietro made light of Melbourne Victory’s struggles this season. 

“Someone has flipped the table upside down,” he said.

Pehlivanis appealed to the football community to show a united front, and all three agreed that the clubs were in survival mode during the pandemic.

The event created networking opportunities for those who support the footballing community within Victoria, while celebrating the hard work of those who ensure the continuing expansion of the sport.

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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