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Football West welcomes $35m major investment from WA Government

Football West have welcomed the West Australian Government’s announcement of a major investment into football.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has revealed that HBF Park – the home of Perth Glory – will receive a $35 million upgrade in preparation for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, following the commencement of works for a $32.5m State Football Centre in Queens Park.

The upgrades at HBF Park will include replacing the halogen lights with a shift to modern LED lighting, upgrading the pitch through removal, levelling and turf replacement, new player bench areas, and upgrades to the existing power supply – including a new switch room.

In addition, the funding will cover temporary infrastructure, such as additional seating and facilities for players, media and supporters to cater for the World Cup.

The range of upgrades will allow the historic Perth venue to meet FIFA requirements to be a host venue in the upcoming World Cup, as well as providing benefits for future events.

The State Government also confirmed that work on the State Football Centre had commenced, with the $32.5m facility jointly funded by Federal and State Governments.

WA’s first ever Home of Football is due for completion before the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The elite facility will be the capable of hosting visiting international teams as a training ground, as well as grassroots football and junior development programs. It will also be the new headquarters for Football West.

McGowan spoke on the potential positive impacts of the planned improvements to HBF Park.

“Securing games in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is a massive win for Western Australia. This investment in HBF Park will provide some much-needed upgrades to our premier soccer and rugby venue, while also enabling further temporary fit-outs for the World Cup games,” he said.

“This will be the biggest football event Perth has ever seen – providing global exposure for Western Australia and giving fans, young and old, lifelong memories of the world’s best in action.”

Football West CEO James Curtis added: “The State Football centre will support all players across Western Australia as they progress on the pathway. Hopefully we can see future players like Sam Kerr come through and train at that facility and make their way to the Matildas.”

“When we look at the investment for HBF Park, we know that when the Women’s World Cup comes here in 2023 the experience for football fans across WA will be something else. What it is all about is seeing some of the world’s best footballers come here to play in Perth, and we are looking forward to hosting them and having the community turn up and really get behind the sport.

“We know on the back of the Olympics, we know how popular women’s football is, and people are very excited for 2023 to happen.”

Artist Sketch
A detailed artist’s impression of the State Football Centre was released along with the announcement.

Sydney FC links with SEDA to run Sport & Business Program

Sports-Business

Sydney FC are now accepting applications for the Sport & Business Program, with a one-year dual-diploma on offer.

Powered by SEDA Group, the Sydney FC Sport & Business Program will give students a chance to study in a practical and hands-on environment at Sydney FC.

The diploma will cost students around $14,000 for the year, with four face-to-face days of training and assessment set to take place each week, inclusive of facilitated online delivery for some subjects. Students are also required to complete 80 hours of practical placement in the industry.

Among the benefits, students will develop skills and knowledge across a variety of areas including sponsorship, project and event management, talent identification, social media and marketing. They will connect and learn from Sydney FC’s sports industry experts, coaches and elite players, providing a glimpse into the business elements involved in running a football club.

Students can study a curriculum matched to their interests, complete a practical placement, run major projects, and participate in football-specific high-performance activities which are all designed to further develop skills and experience.

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend believes the program will open the door for some of the best young business minds in the country to come through.

“We’ve been working with SEDA now for a long time in a secondary school education program, and we felt that providing a tertiary extension to that would allow for more young, aspiring sports people to get into the game,” he said.

“We’re in the process of building our Centre of Excellence at Macquarie Park, and now we are able to utilise that facility to deliver this program in partnership with SEDA.

“We felt that it was the right time to do it, particularly with the Women’s World Cup coming, to also give young females the opportunity to engage in sports business.

Townsend was excited to use the new program as a tool to engage with and identify talent outside of their current way of recruiting stuff which was dependent on volunteers or internships.

“They will come out of that program with an understanding of the club’s inner workings and therefore be able to integrate if we need a role filled,” he said.

“But equally, we see it as a pathway to get some of these students into university.

“We are fortunate that we have a great relationship with the University of New South Wales and we’re working with them to determine how this program can bridge into a full-fledged degree.”

In comparison to what’s already available for sports-business education, Townsend sees more that can be done in specific areas.

“Academic education is great, and it’s important, but equally, having that practical experience goes a long way to really rounding future employees for any sporting landscape.

“Being able to do a course like this gives you exposure to every component of the runnings of a professional sporting club.”

Applications are open to all eligible year 12 graduate students, with the program set to begin in January 2022. You can find all details and register here.

Queensland football legend Matt McKay appointed to FQ Board of Directors

McKay announcement

Football Queensland has announced the recruitment of former Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay as an Appointed Director to the Football Queensland board.

A former Socceroo who was capped a total of 59 times for his country, McKay enjoyed a stellar playing career at both international and domestic level.

McKay’s time with the Roar saw him lead a historic Brisbane team to their first-ever A-League Premiership and Championship in 2011 under Ange Postecoglou.

Spells with Scottish giants Rangers, Korean side Busan IPark and Chinese side Changchun Yatai preceded a second Premiership and Championship double with the Roar in 2014. McKay is currently the Roar’s record appearances holder in the A-League.

McKay shone on the international stage with the Socceroos as he took on the likes of Spain at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and won the Asian Cup on home soil in 2015, having continued to thrive within the Postecoglou setup that he had come to know earlier in the decade.

McKay’s earliest footballing roots can be traced back to playing youth football with the QAS and AIS. From there, McKay went on to feature in the National Soccer League for current NPL Queensland side Brisbane Strikers before eventually excelling in the A-League.

“Matt is a proud Queenslander and brings extensive knowledge of the football landscape and the player pathway in our state, as well as his unique experience as a player on the national and international stage,” FQ Chairman Ben Richardson said.

“We’re delighted to welcome Matt to the FQ Board, and his appointment is timely as Football Queensland implements new league structures to connect competitions across the state as part of the Future of Football 2020+ reforms.

“The FQ Board is confident that Matt will play an instrumental role as we strengthen community clubs, player development and opportunities for aspirational clubs by connecting the football pyramid in Queensland, and we look forward to working with him.”

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