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Lightwood Park set for major upgrade

Kingborough Lions United Football Club (KLUFC) has confirmed details of a new $6 million changeroom and clubrooms complex at Lightwood Park.

Kingborough Lions United Football Club (KLUFC) has confirmed details of a new $6 million changeroom and clubrooms complex at Lightwood Park, with imminent construction representing a big boost for football in Tasmania.

KLUFC President Brian Downes said that once the new complex is completed, it will contain eight changerooms on the ground floor with added club rooms, catering facilities and seating upstairs, making football more accessible for 558 players and thousands more that either play or volunteer each month.

“Kingborough Lions United FC takes very seriously its role within the local football fraternity and the broader Kingborough community as a provider of quality facilities and the provision of opportunity for men, women, boys and girls to play football at levels,” Downes said.

“The new building and improved facilities will enhance participation and delivery of all services the club offers to the Kingborough community for many years to come.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank the State Government for their support committed during the recent election campaign and through the Levelling the Playing Field program, as well as the Kingborough Council for their contribution.

“Following a tender process, we’re delighted to announce local company Maveric Builders will build Stage 1 of the project, which is expected to be completed by late November.”

Downes added that local business Clennett’s Mitre10 has also signed on as naming rights sponsors of Lightwood Park.

“As a proud member of the local community, Kingborough Lions United FC is actively working with the local business community to attain and develop long term partnerships in conjunction with the investment,” Downes said.

“We’re thrilled to announce we have partnered with well-known and much respected local business Clennett’s Mitre10 who will be the new naming rights sponsor of Clennett’s Lightwood Park.”

Downes elaborated that the club were seeking a further $3 million funding from the Federal Government to finish Stage 4 of the project.

“The additional funding from the Federal Government will not only allow for the total completion of the new building, but will also allow for further improvements around the main ground including an improved playing surface, new lights to 500 lux standard and improved security and fencing,” he said.

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley explained the improvements would greatly increase the likelihood of Lightwood Park being selected as a Base Training Camp for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“With world-class facilities for Australian rules and cricket just across the road at the Twin Ovals, it’s wonderful that football will soon be able to follow suit in the Kingborough region, giving Lightwood Park the very best chance of being selected to host World Cup content,” Bulkeley said.

“I’d like to congratulate the club, and thank the State Government and Kingborough Council for getting this exciting project off the ground.”

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Football Australia announce new home for Socceroos, Matildas and FFA Cup matches

Football Australia landmark deal

Football Australia have announced a landmark agreement with 10 ViacomCBS which will see Network 10 and its accompanying streaming platform Paramount+ become the new home of National Teams football and the FFA Cup.

In what is the largest Socceroos and Matildas broadcast agreement and the first ever direct commercial free-to-air broadcast deal for Football Australia’s National Teams, the deal will see all Westfield Matildas and Socceroos matches outside of the FIFA World Cup Finals – plus the next four seasons of the FFA Cup from the Round of 32 onwards – broadcast via Network 10 and Paramount+.

The agreement encompasses the media rights for all national teams (Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, Young Socceroos, Westfield Young Matildas, Joeys, and Westfield Junior Matildas) owned or controlled by Football Australia, as well as AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, AFC Asian Cups, and other AFC tournaments until 31 December 2024. In an effort to enable the creation of this compelling package of rights, Football Australia acquired the rights to the AFC competitions from the AFC.

The deal, signed and completed today and commencing from August 1, will cement 10 ViacomCBS, who are also the current rights holders of the A-League and Westfield W-League, as the new home of football.

For the fans, this means that extensive coverage of Australia’s National Teams and the FFA Cup (in addition to the A- League and Westfield W-League) will be available on 10, 10 Bold and 10 Play, as well as Paramount+, which will be available in Australia from 11 August, for $8.99 per month.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson was delighted to have reached an agreement with ViacomCBS in what comes as a significant moment for the domestic game.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Network 10 and Paramount+ to the Australian football family. This is an enormous vote of confidence in the future direction of football in Australia including the bold 15-year vision and strategic agenda we have set for the game,” he said.

“It is also an endorsement of both the strength in the Westfield Matildas and the Socceroos brands and recognition of the exciting international schedule they face over the next 3.5 years.

“This is a wonderful result for our game and after a challenging 2020, provides our sport with greater financial certainty in the years ahead and will ensure that our fans will be able to continue to watch our Westfield Matildas and Socceroos wherever they are and at the same time, provide a platform to launch a re-invigorated FFA Cup.

“All sections of the community and business have felt the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this partnership announcement today, along with other commercial announcements recently with Priceline, rebel and Commonwealth Bank, are symbolic cornerstone moments for our sport.

“This is the first time Football Australia has been able to secure a direct broadcast deal of this nature with a commercial free-to-air partner, which provides the game with vital exposure on the primary channels of Network 10 and a variety of other platforms, including the soon to be launched Paramount+.

“No sport has the power to unite all Australians quite like football can. The Socceroos and Westfield Matildas have created many magical and iconic moments for our nation over the years and this partnership gives us the ability to connect two of Australia’s biggest sports brands with Australia’s favourite national knock out community tournament, the FFA Cup by showcasing this content to a greater audience and across multiple platforms. This exciting partnership also unifies the sport, by bringing all parts of Australian football together, including the A-League and Westfield W- League, on Network 10 and Paramount+, making it easier for the Australian football fan and beginning a new era for Australian football.

“We thank Network 10 and Paramount+ for backing the game in such a profound way and we look forward to a prosperous partnership where we can connect and engage with the biggest club participation base in Australia, and inspire them with our Westfield Matildas and Socceroos via a unique viewing experience. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that Patrick Delany and Fox Sports have made to Australian football over the last 15-years. Fox Sport’s commitment, leadership and significant investment has helped evolve our game to where it is today, and for that we will always be grateful”.

Under this agreement, 10 ViacomCBS will be granted media rights to the following content:

  • Matildas Friendly Internationals (home and away)
  • Socceroos Friendly Internationals (home and away)
  • U23 Men’s Friendly Internationals (home)
  • Socceroos’ 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier Round 2 matches (home)
  • Other Football Australia controlled Youth National Teams matches (home)
  • FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Asian Qualifiers – Round Three (including prospective Play-Off matches)
  • AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals
  • AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Finals
  • AFC U23 Asian Cup Finals 2022, 2024
  • AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Final Round) for Paris Olympics 2024
  • AFC U20 Asian Cup Finals 2023
  • AFC U17 Asian Cup Finals 2023
  • AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup Finals 2022 and 2024
  • AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Finals 2022 and 2024
  • AFC Futsal Asian Cup Finals 2022, 2024
  • AFC Solidarity Cup 2024
  • A-League Club Play-Off matches to enter FFA Cup Round of 32
  • All FFA Cup matches played from Round of 32 onwards, including the Round of 16, Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals and the FFA Cup Final
  • All non-Australian matches across AFC competitions, including Round 3 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches and AFC Asian Cup matches

AFF Suzuki Cup gains enhanced coverage alongside digital platform Goal

AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 has joined forces with Footballco, allowing their flagship digital platform Goal to become the Official Football Website Partner. 

AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 has joined forces with the world’s biggest football content and media business Footballco, allowing their flagship digital platform Goal to become the Official Football Website Partner of the tournament.

The exciting partnership will mark the first time that South East Asia’s top football tournament will collaborate with Goal to increase the Championship’s reach.

Goal will be given exclusive access to the tournament, involving behind-the-scenes access and rights to use archive videos, capturing and producing compelling content. The tournament is expected to reach 10 million website and app users throughout Southeast Asia, while a social reach extends to more than 50 million for fans in the region.

Andy Jackson, VP of Media for APAC, Footballco:

“We are delighted to partner with the AFF Suzuki Cup which will undoubtedly allow us to bring the 50 million South East Asian fans Goal reaches each month, much closer to the tournament that they care about the most. We have a number of new and exciting editorial initiatives in the pipeline leading into this year’s tournament that will build excitement and anticipation amongst fans by celebrating the rich history of the tournament, shining a light on the emerging stars as well as presenting Suzuki Cup sponsors with the opportunity to benefit from the unrivalled scale we offer in the region.”

Tilman Wendt, Executive Director, Digital & Brand Marketing – SEA, Sportfive:

“We know that football fans in ASEAN have been anxiously waiting for football to return after the pandemic. With the AFF Suzuki Cup centred around the thrilling regional football rivalries and the great passion of fans, the partnership with Goal is a great opportunity for us to not only amplify the tournament campaign #RivalriesNeverDie but also a chance to create unique stories to engage with Goal’s digital audience across South East Asia. By combining Goal’s and Sportfive’s capabilities, we are confident that we can maximise the content for the benefit of our fans.”

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 is scheduled to take place from December 5 2021 to January 1 2022, due to the tournament being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of Australia’s football family honoured for Queen’s Birthday

OAM Recipients

This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List saw 1190 exemplary Australians recognised for their outstanding contributions, with four significant figures of Australian football receiving Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) merits.

Former Socceroo star Robbie Slater, former Sutherland Sharks President George Hurley, Football Australia board member Joseph Carrozzi and former Marconi Stallions star Eddie Krncevic were each awarded OAM’s.

Slater, originally born in Lancashire, England, came to Australia and made a name for himself after kicking off his footballing career with St George Saints and Sydney Croatia before moving abroad to take on an incredible journey through the top tier leagues in European football.

The 56-year-old played in Belgium, France and England, where his tenure with the infamous Blackburn Rovers saw him become an English Premier League Champion in the 1994/95 season. In addition, Slater represented the Socceroos 44 times and upon his retirement became an analyst and commentator for Fox Sports.

Football NSW also have a medal in Slater’s honour with every National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Grand Final Man of the Match award named after him.

The 84-year-old Hurley, a former complex manager at Seymour Shaw Park, coached local teams Engadine, Heathcote, Miranda and Kirrawee in the Sutherland Shire Football Association.

A veritable ‘football man’ at heart, the former Sutherland Shire Councillor has served on more than 30 committees and devoted his entire time to the world game at both Community and NPL level.

Hurley, a life member at the Sutherland Sharks Football club since 1959, played football himself against Fiji in front of 4000 spectators at Seymour Shaw in 1969. Moreover, Hurley served various positions at the Sharks as President and is currently Vice-President and General Manager of the club in addition to founding an education and training scholarship which saw young footballers in the Shire area head overseas.

A major lover of football and significant contributor to the development of the Western Sydney region, Carrozzi was recognised for his significant service to business and to the community through multicultural and not-for-profit organisations.

Krncevic, a lifetime servant of football, was recognised for his undivided loyalty and dedication to the world game. He was the first Australian to play in Europe and the first Australian-born player to be top goal scorer for a European league at Anderlecht – Belgian First Division A in the 1988/89 season.

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