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South Eastern suburbs continue to score goals with facility upgrade investments

A Covid-recovery stimulus funding of $2.75 million for Greater Dandenong has seen the State Government utilise $1.75 million of this package towards Ross Reserve.

Covid-recovery stimulus funding of $2.75 million for sports centres in Greater Dandenong has seen the State Government utilise $1.75 million of this package towards Ross Reserve, home to Springvale City SC and Sandown Lions FC.

Previously in April, the Frankston City Council funded upgrades to sport and recreation, where the Peninsula Strikers Junior Football Club benefited from. Now the cash splash by the State Government have made its way to Noble Park.

The crusade of bringing community sport to a higher standard is evident from the plans shared by the City of Greater Dandenong, where the funding to Ross Reserve will install a synthetic soccer pitch, 200-lux floodlighting for the pitch and landscaping, two coaches’ boxes with an additional technical box and perimeter fencing.

The City of Greater Dandenong will contribute $616,000 to the cause, with the remaining of the State Government package to be put towards upgrading the tennis courts of the Burden Park Tennis Club.

“This is a massive win for the Ross Reserve precinct and Noble Park – and builds on the other infrastructure projects that are currently underway including the New Sports Pavilion, the new All Abilities Playground and the new Health and Wellbeing Centre at the Noble Park Aquatic Centre (NPAC),” South Eastern Metropolitan MP Lee Tarlamis said, chair of the Noble Park Revitalisation Board.

“These important projects will deliver state-of-the-art facilities for our local community and for existing and future members of the clubs that use them for decades to come – as well as create local jobs in the short term.”

This is welcoming news as it comes from the back of the genesis of the Ross Reserve project in September 2020. The announcement of that time included a premium community standard sports pavilion that provides female and junior friendly facilities that would cater for Football Victoria, AFL and Cricket Victoria standards, an oval extension and a jogging/tank track.

Other infrastructures undergoing development at the reserve is an All-Abilities playground and streetscaping on Douglas Street, Noble Park, that the council have received a budget of $500,000 to get it up and running.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding which will have lasting benefits for the health of our community through new and improved sports facilities,” Greater Dandenong mayor Angela Long said.

“There is significant work underway throughout our city, and in particular through the work of our Noble Park Revitalisation Board.”

The projected finish of construction was originally tabled towards the end of 2021, but with additional funding towards new project works at Ross Reserve, it remains unclear. However, what is certain is the enhancement of the healthy local derby between the two football clubs while taking full advantage of the facility investments provided by the State Government.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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