Northern Falcons FC boosted by lighting upgrades from World Game Facilities Fund

Northern Falcons Football Club will receive a substantial lighting upgrade at their home ground in Preston, through a grant received from the Victorian Government’s World Game Facilities Fund.

The World Game Facilities Fund committed $3.8 million to 11 community football facility projects this year, one of them being the lighting upgrades at GH Mott Reserve.

President of the Northern Falcons Football Club, Frank Pizzo, explained the process behind the club’s push to secure the funding.

“We were advised of the grants being available by our local Darebin council,” he told Soccerscene.

“We were discussing with the council (along with Darebin Falcons Women’s Football Club – who we share the facility with) for quite a number of months about how we could get the lighting upgrades. Both clubs were screaming for extra training and facility space for our players.

“There are currently no lights at that facility, so during the winter you can’t train on it. It just doesn’t get the use we could get out of it.

“The council eventually said put in a proposal with the World Game Facilities Fund and see how we go with that, so we started that process with their help and the rest is history.”

The works are set to begin next month according to Pizzo, with a completion date of March of next year.

He believes the upgrades will have a whole range of benefits for not only the club, but also the local community.

“The benefits are going to be amazing,” he said.

“To put it into context, we probably knocked back in excess of 80 kids last year – boys and girls, who we couldn’t accommodate at our main venue.

“There are just no other venues available, so basically the kids weren’t able to play. The massive benefit is that we can get more kids to play the game we love.

“We are also now looking to use the revamped facility as a base for our intellectually disabled team. Currently, that team trains on Tuesday night in a little area on the pitch, which is not really enough.

“We’re now going to be able to give them the facilities they need. A safe facility with recently renovated clubrooms, but now also a pitch with good lighting to train on.

“In terms of the community, they will be able to use the facility as well – it is not just our ground, it is a community facility. There will be a spill over of football activities and other activities at the ground such as cricket. For the community, it’s great for them that they have access to a facility on a 24-hours a day, seven days a week basis.”

The club itself has a strong history and reputation in the local area, something which Pizzo himself has been a huge part of.

“I’ve been involved in the club since its inception in the late 80’s,” he said.

“I was a player at the club, then an administrator, a coach, and I’ve been president for the last 10 years. I’ve got a really strong emotional attachment to the club; my dad was one of the founders of the club. My involvement as president is a fairly consuming, but rewarding role.

“The club has grown in the past five years, from just having seniors and a couple of junior teams, to having 21 junior teams including five women’s teams. It’s grown from being a club with 200 members to a club with 550-600 members, it’s a massive job but I love it.”

The club wants to continue its growth and hopes further pitch redevelopments at its home sites will help with that.

“We would like to have a pitch redevelopment at GH Mott Reserve and we’ve had discussions with council about that already,” he said.

“At our main reserve at Hayes Park, we would love to have some sort of artificial pitch put in there somewhere and we hope we can continue having positive discussions across the board to reach both of these outcomes.”

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

White City SC to continue supporting its esteemed youth system

White City Soccer Club are a Serbian Australian community football entity based in south-west Sydney that is a successful recipient of the Local Sport Grant Program.

Founded in 1982, synonymous within the south-west Sydney community, the club has boasted an esteemed grassroots and junior football repertoire.

Driven on the ambition of providing players within the community its rendition of the best possible opportunity.

The development of potential and existing players to grow, prosper and develop their raw ability has been symbolised through the talent WCSC have produced.

Throughout the tremendous contributions the club made within its grassroots programs, which culminated in those players emerging for clubs across the top tiers of Australian Football.

It was through Futsalroo legend Radovan Filipovic, who is most notably the clubs highest achieving alumni, given his contribution to the nation as a Futsalroo captain.

The club have experienced fruitful tenures within football across Sydney, having climbed to the first tier of NSW Football throughout the 1990s.

Currently the club are custodians of the Southern District Football Association, with the spotlight purely on the youth in whom have relished within their respective age-group competitions.

In conjunction with the Fairfield City Council, WCSC have successfully applied and received financial support on behalf of the NSW government, under the Local Sport Grant program initiative.

In accordance to the Local Sport Grant Program website, the club have received a grant of $9,340.00.

The statement in the Local Sport Program Grant website disclosing the following press release:

“By purchasing 4 sets of quality portable goals that can be used by all teams for training and which will facilitate us hosting gala days for juniors.

“We will improve our programs and enhance the experience of all WCSC players and coaches to grow and maintain active sports participation.”

The newly founded financial influx will be targeted towards the investment of portable equipment in which can be used to improve player training sessions, and allow for the facilitation of gala days.

Variety Children’s Charity guiding kids within the community

VCC are a charitable organisation dedicated in pathing a future filled with prosperity for children, regardless of ability or circumstance.

Elevating children who experience disabilities, difficulties and illnesses, VCC act as a support system for those in need when they require it most.

VCC NSW and ACT have invited schools and non-for-profit organisations to apply for a grant of up to $10,000, to allow these respective entity’s to acquire sport equipment.

In an effort to promote accessibility and inclusivity in the community for children aged from birth until early adult-hood, the grant requested must relate directly to the benefit of young citizens within the region of application.

As of 2023, VVC Australia had positively impacted 181,281 kids in need.

The grant of up to $10,000 provided by VCC NSW/ACT has effectively impacted football entities within both regions.

Despite NSW providing funding to 579 successful sporting entity’s across the state under the Local NSW Sports Grant umbrella, the opportunity for further or a newly established influx of finance has the capacity to occur.

New training equipment, coaching and player development programs are attainable by such community clubs who are fuelled by volunteers.

Acknowledging the ever-growing participation of football amongst young participants within the NSW and ACT, a grant can always enable a club of any level to prosper.

Through the installation of new equipment and development programs, young participants become further involved, immersed and tantalized by the idea of football.

Confidence is instilled through the natural progression of each youth participant, equating to better outcomes related to the improvement of a players technical ability, fitness and skill-level.

Culminating in football entity’s growing through the newly reinvigorated youth teams.

Although the grant may not be of large proportions, the ripple effect it may have upon a club has the potential to lay upon a new foundation of a clubs success moving forward.

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