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.

Perth Glory CEO Tony Pignata steps down

Tony Pignata

Perth Glory has announced that Tony Pignata has resigned as the club’s CEO following a successful four-and-a-half-year stint in the role.

During his time at the club, Glory won its first ever A-League Premiership and made its debut in the Asian Champions League.

He will officially leave on September 30 and following a transition period, Glory will confirm his replacement shortly. Pignata cited his desire to move back to Victoria in order to be closer to his family.

Club Owner and Chairman Tony Sage was quick to acknowledge the contribution that the outgoing CEO made to the club following his arrival in 2018.

“On behalf of everyone associated with Glory, I would like to sincerely thank Tony for his hard work and dedication over the past four years,” he said in a statement released by the club.

“The club enjoyed some truly historic moments during his tenure which will never be forgotten.

“Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tony made some huge sacrifices in terms of being away from his family for extended periods and enduring numerous spells in home isolation and hotel quarantine.

“During this unprecedented time, Tony steered the club and ensured not only the continuation of the season, but also the well-being of the players and their families.

“As he returns to Melbourne and his family, we bid him a fond farewell and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Pignata reflected fondly upon his time at the club.

“It has been an amazing four-and-a-half years and I have loved every minute of it,” he said via Perth Glory.

“I want to thank Tony and Lucy Sage for giving me the opportunity to work at Perth Glory and also thank all of our Members, fans and sponsors.

“Your support has been unbelievable, especially over the last couple of years.

“I wish our Head Coaches Ruben [Zadkovich] and Alex [Epakis] and the players all the best for the upcoming season. The squads are developing nicely and signs are very good.

“I leave with treasured memories and Perth Glory will always have a special place in my heart.”

Football West announces ‘A’ Licence coaching courses in Perth

Football West has announced the upcoming schedule of Football Australia/AFC ‘A’ Licence Courses to be held in Perth.

The course is for coaches already holding an accredited Football Australia/AFC ‘B’ Licence or recognised equivalent qualification.

The course sets out to educate candidates 18 years of age and older with a specific focus on the 11v11 aspects of the game. Furthermore, the course gives coaches a chance to apply the National Curriculum holistically to develop semi-professional, State, and Institute/Academy and National Youth League teams.

In addition, the course is set to allow coaches to understand and utilise the Coach Expertise Model, in the improvement of the Performance Phase, Building Blocks and development of the key coaching competencies of Training, Match and Management.

The focus of the coaching competency on the ‘A’ Licence is on the collective tactical aspect of teaching players how to apply the Principles of Play.

This is usually referred to as ‘systems of play’ and/or a ‘style of play’ and involves teaching players in ’the big picture’. There is more emphasis on analysing effective ways of attacking and defending and teaching player behaviours in practices involving the whole squad and in games ranging from 9v9 to 11v11.

The ‘A’ Diploma is a minimum of 180 hours in duration and will be delivered mostly in blocks of 2-3 or 4 days, online and face to face over a period of 12 months.

The first two days will cover the Strength and Conditioning component of the course. This will be held on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November 2022 at Perth Soccer Club, Dorrien Gardens, Lawley Street, from 9am to 5pm. The remaining venues are to be confirmed.

Registrations can be made here.

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