Football Australia and Football Victoria have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement to invest in a world-class Home of The Matildas at La Trobe University in Bundoora.
After the 2020 commitment of $15 million from the Federal Government, this latest announcement will pave the way towards constructing the Home of The Matildas and Home to Football Victoria – situated in a purpose built, state-of-the-art State Football Centre, alongside a State Rugby Union Centre at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus.
The most significant investment into a community football project in Victoria was made by Acting Premier, the Hon. James Merlino and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, the Hon. Martin Pakula, at the future site of the facility.
The precinct is expected to be ready for the Westfield Matildas before the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
The facility will be available year-round to provide access to elite training and match facilities for Victorians, suitable for both junior and senior players with five natural, hybrid and synthetic pitches and a purpose-built futsal court.
The announcement that is three years in the making was met with excitement by key members of Football Australia, Football Victoria and the Matildas.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:
“This substantial commitment from the Victorian Government, combined with the Federal Government’s earlier $15 million contribution to the project, will have a significant impact on the development of women’s football, and football overall, in Victoria and Australia for decades to come. This commitment is also a good launching pad for the Facilities and Infrastructure pillar of our ambitious Legacy ‘23 plan which was recently launched.”
“The high-performance environment that will spring to life on the La Trobe University grounds in Bundoora will feature world-class facilities and amenities that will ensure Victoria can regularly play host to the Matildas, as well as other youth and senior national teams and touring international nations and clubs.
“Crucially, The Home of The Matildas at La Trobe University will not only be a space that caters for the elite levels of the game, but the community and grassroots, too. The site will become home to Football Victoria’s Administration, ensuring consistent, year-round use by the football community through football, futsal, all-abilities, multicultural, and social programs.”
Football Australia Chairman, Chris Nikou:
“Football Australia extends its thanks to everyone that has contributed to this important project – particularly the Daniel Andrews’ Government, the Federal Government, Football Victoria, and La Trobe University. Through true collaboration and partnership, football will soon have a home to be proud of in Victoria – one that is fit for our inspiring national teams, and that our large and diverse participation base deserve.”
Westfield Matildas captain, Sam Kerr:
“This is wonderful news for the Westfield Matildas and the prospect of having a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed for our use is very exciting.”
“The team loves playing in Melbourne and we really look forward to having a dedicated base where we
can train and prepare for matches when we are in Victoria.”
FV President, Antonella Care:
“This is a milestone day for our Victorian football community. The Matildas have captured the imagination
of our nation, establishing themselves as one of Australia’s most loved teams.”
“The team are the ultimate ambassadors for our beautiful game, providing inspiration for football fans of
all ages to step off the sidelines and get in the game.
“FV and Football Australia’s target of 50/50 male/female participation by 2027 is ambitious, but this
announcement provides us with the ultimate launchpad to make that ambition a reality for Victoria.”
Football Victoria CEO, Kimon Taliadoros:
“We’re excited to provide vital infrastructure that will not only support the Matildas, but also support our entire football community, of all ages and all abilities, to follow their football dreams.
“Whether you prefer to play socially with friends, or are on a high-performance pathway, this facility will deliver the platform for all Victorians to live and love football.”
“We thank the Daniel Andrews Government, the Acting Premier of Victoria, The Hon James Merlino, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, The Hon. Martin Pakula, Minister for Women, The Hon Gabrielle Williams and Minister for Community Sport, The Hon. Ros Spence, La Trobe University Chancellor and former Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, and Vice Chancellor, John Dewar, for their ongoing commitment to this vital project. This shared vision will build an enduring legacy for football in our state.”