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Football West commits to improved facilities access for TSP players

Football West has signed an agreement with the Mid West Academy of Sport in a bid to unearth and develop talent in and around the Geraldton region.

The deal will give players in Football West’s Hyundai Mid West Talent Support Program (TSP) access to a number of extra facilities. As well as receiving additional football training throughout the season, players based in the area will now have access to further strength and conditioning sessions, gym and physio, physical screening and testing and other services.

Football West Chief Football Officer Jamie Harnwell was pleased to announce the news.

“This is a great opportunity for our talented footballers in the Mid West to continue to develop without the constant burden of having to travel to Perth.”

“By making these services available, Football West and the Mid West Academy of Sport are providing a high quality, professional environment the equivalent of any metropolitan program.”

Mid West Academy of Sport CEO Darren Winterbine echoed Harnwell’s views, stating that this will help bridge the gap between football’s pathways and other sports in the region.

“It’s very exciting that we are now able to provide the services and specialised programs which we do for athletes from other sports”

“We have some really talented footballers in this town and we can give them an opportunity to get the highest level they can and access to facilities on par or better than metro kids have.”

Hyundai is the name sponsor of the TSP, which is an elite training program for talented boys and girls in metro and regional Western Australia.

The TSP is a pathway for players to be identified by coaches for national teams such as the Joeys and Junior Matildas.

Will Melbourne City eventually move all of their games to the south east?

Melbourne City were the benchmark in the A-League last season, lifting the Premiers Plate in May and eventually the Championship in late June.

It was their first taste of A-League success after years of hard work on and off the pitch.

The club has invested heavily since City Football Group (CFG) took over the Melbourne Heart in 2014, initially building a $15 million City Football Academy in Bundoora, in the city’s north, which has housed the club for the past few years.

In what seems like a strategic investment however, the club revealed late last year that they will move from their Bundoora headquarters and relocate to Casey Fields in Melbourne’s south east.

Earlier this month, the club announced construction had begun on the new elite City Football Academy facility within the 84-hectare Casey Fields Sporting Precinct.

“The first stage of construction includes the central elite training pitch, with its 115m x 115m hybrid grass surface, and is due for completion by the end of 2021. The new pitch is adjacent to the site’s existing four full-sized pitches – one grass and three synthetic – which will be primarily used by the Club’s Academy teams and for City in the Community programs, as well as for City of Casey school and club programs.

“The next stage of construction will see the development of Melbourne City’s new two-storey administration and high-performance building at Casey Fields, currently in detailed design phase. Construction on that phase of the facility is due to commence in the coming months, with completion estimated for mid-2022,” a Melbourne City FC statement read.

Stage three of construction will look to implement a 4000-capacity mini stadium in a significant space in the precinct.

With the club’s A-League players to officially begin training in the facility in August, recent developments in regards to the possibility of a 15,000-capacity stadium in Dandenong may see the end of the team playing all of their games at AAMI Park, in the years to come.

The Victorian Government has already pledged $100,000 in funding for a feasibility review and development of a business case to build the 15,000-seat boutique stadium, with the City of Greater Dandenong also set to match that contribution.

According to Cranbourne Star News, The Greater Dandenong Council is lobbying for $110 million to build the stadium, which will also host festivals, concerts, rugby matches, alongside hosting future Melbourne City games.

While of course at this stage there is no guarantee the stadium will be built, Melbourne City head honchos may have to grapple with the idea of permanently leaving AAMI Park behind, the stadium they have hosted games at since their inception.

With Victory ditching their deal with Marvel Stadium to move all their games back to AAMI Park next season and Western United set to play the majority of their games at AAMI for at least the next two seasons, the 30,000-capacity rectangular stadium is not short of regular football content.

If the proposed stadium does get the go-ahead, City may look to move all of their home matches to Dandenong, and alongside their new academy location, this can prove to be beneficial in establishing a clear geographic identity.

They will have a stronger presence in the local areas and will have the chance to better connect with the local football community and grow their membership base.

City should also still have a reasonable chunk of members who live in the south and south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, with a report from 2018 stating 28% of their members came from those areas.

Adversely, a move away from AAMI Park has the possibility to alienate members and fans who may not want to travel to the proposed stadium for reasons such as proximity.

Sharing the home games between the stadiums could be a viable option, but also brings on the challenge of not having a singular home ground, as well as match scheduling conflicts.

A big call from City administrators may need to be made in the end and not all members and fans will be pleased.

Hosken Reserve Master Plan released for final feedback

Moreland City Council has released an initial Hosken Reserve Master Plan to the community, in preparation for a final round of feedback before a green light towards the upgrade.

Hosken Reserve serves as the primary ground of Victorian National Premier League team Pascoe Vale FC.

The plan features an upgrade to the two pitches at Hosken Reserve, as well as the development of a hybrid grass-synthetic soccer pitch to be used by Pascoe Vale FC. In addition the clubrooms, lighting and car park are being upgraded. 

In December 2020, a report was tabled at the Moreland City Council meeting recommending a new master plan developed through an in-depth community engagement process. Since then, several rounds of development and community consultation have occured.

Pascoe Vale FC President Lou Tonna explains that the plan is a result of years of consultation and it should satisfy all constituents. 

“There was a master plan in 2009, and unfortunately a lot of it hasn’t been activated. There was some community pushback in regards to that plan, and it went to community consultation. There were a few things adopted by the council and it went to a refresh group, who aimed to get a reasonable outcome for the entire community,” Tonna said.

“This being the school, the Tennis club, the football club, and also the residents. I believe this master plan has hit the mark.”

In May Moreland Mayor Cr Annalivia Carli Hannan believed the plan would satisfy members of the local community.

“Our community health and well-being is strengthened by sport participation as well as by general community use of open space. Inner metropolitan councils have increasing demands on our limited open space, with competing needs and uses. I want to thank community members, including sports clubs and local residents, for their feedback and contribution,” she said.

Tonna says that the development should be finished within three years and that the outcome is a positive one for the community.

“It’s going out to community consultation, and we are hoping it will be finished in the next one to three years,” he said.

“We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the refresh group. We are very happy with the outcome of the master plan, and believe it’s great for everyone involved. This isn’t just about Pascoe Vale, it’s about the whole community.”

You can read more about the development of the Hosken Reserve plans, or find out how to make a community contribution, here.

Football Tasmania receives backing from Glenorchy Acting Mayor

Football Tasmania receives support

Football Tasmania’s plans for upgrades to infrastructure have been boosted by the support of Glenorchy City Council’s Acting Mayor and mayoral candidate, Bec Thomas.

Upgrades at KGV Park and North Chigwell are set to occur with procurements for the design and construction of new changerooms and a grandstand at KGV initiated this week.

Thomas demonstrated her commitment by confirming the upgrades that are set to occur.

“I am pleased to confirm we received the final funding agreement for signing this week and the project team have now hit ‘play on’, issuing the procurements for both the design and construction of the new changerooms and grandstand at KGV and for temporary change rooms,” she said.

“We are also about to issue the request for tender for the first stage of the North Chigwell project, which is to evaluate options for the design and management of the facility to ensure the football hub is fit for purpose and sustainable into the long-term future.”

Thomas went on to indicate that Glenorchy City Council has always been committed to prioritising the Northern Suburbs Football Facilities development projects, which is to be achieved through a funding allocation of $14.3 million.

“This is made up of $12.8 million from the Australian Government’s 2018 election commitment, an additional $1 million from the Australian Government’s Community Development Grant Program and $500,000 from the Tasmanian Government’s Levelling the Playing Field Grant program,” she said.

“Since the funds were promised, we have been working closely with all stakeholders to combine and leverage funding sources to get the best possible outcome for the football community and ratepayers and residents of Glenorchy.

“These projects represent significant investments, with $8.96 million allocated to the North Chigwell Hub and $4.84 million to the KGV upgrades, so it’s important we get them right and make sure the facilities are sustainable into the future.

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley acknowledged the enormous benefits that the upgrades are to have foe the local community and wider football community.

“I’d like to thank Ms Thomas for recognising the importance of both the KGV and North Chigwell projects,” he said.

“It’s great to see progress is being made and that we can expect to see action at the sites soon now the funding agreement has been received.

“Football participation is bursting at the seams in the state and upgrades at both KGV and North Chigwell will help even more Tasmanians enjoy the World Game safely and comfortably.”

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