Football Victoria set to benefit Dockerty Cup Final move in Ballarat

It’s the most historic and long-lasting soccer competition in Victoria, but the Dockerty Cup Final in 2020 will pave the way for future growth for the game.

For the first time in its 110 year history, the competition’s final will move to a regional Victorian venue, the inaugural one being Morshead Park in Ballarat.

Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos announced the decision at the 2019 final between Melbourne Knights and Hume City, which could be the start of an exciting change up to capitalise on what the whole of Victoria has to offer.

Holding a cup final in a regional city like Ballarat is something we haven’t seen before, but the possibilities are endless to attract greater exposure to NPL Victoria clubs.

With most clubs based in metropolitan areas, going far and wide to regional areas is a positive switch which can clearly mix things up.

And in turn, those in the regional areas will get a rare chance to see the very best of NPL Victoria right in their own local ground.

While it may be seen as a one-off or an experiment, this is definitely something that can be prolonged as one of the showpiece games for FV.

Before the next final takes place in August, FV have committed to work with the City of Ballarat to get themselves ready for a groundbreaking occasion.

When you think about it, you’ve got to think this can be a real success with the neutrals from Ballarat and fans travelling from far and wide to support their club.

Take the Western Bulldogs in the AFL for example, who play a couple of home-and-away games each season at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

It’s been proven that locals in Ballarat can get behind a team and sport, so for FV’s Dockerty Cup Final it shouldn’t be any different.

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Football Victoria celebrates establishment between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC

A striking partnership has been established between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC, with the Western United affiliated club to play 11 home fixtures at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Club Changer Club Development Program, an incentive created in 2023 to assist clubs fostering and strengthening inclusive environments for multiple diverse communities within society to participate in football, supports the growth of women’s football, among many other ranges of football within the country.

Last year, all federation members dedicated a strong focus upon women and young females in football as a main element of their Legacy 23 campaign. This enables club development officers across the state to work in conjunction with clubs in order to foster a positive football experience within female football, both on and off the field.

In this facility sharing partnership, Sydenham Park SC vice-president Davis Lisolajski showcased his clubs enthusiasm.

“When we learned that they were without a home venue, it was an obvious choice for us to reach out and assist,” he said via press release.

“Women’s football holds significant importance for us at Sydenham, and we believe this partnership will benefit our young girls and both senior women’s teams. They will witness professionalism first-hand during match days.”

Calder United SC President Amanda Stella expressed excitement towards developing a sustained and effective partnership to spearhead National Premier League Women’s football to Sydenham Park in 2024.

“The support from Sydenham Park President Nick and Vice President David, along with the broader Sydenham Park community, is greatly appreciated, and we eagerly anticipate playing our senior and 20s home games for the 2024 season at Sydenham Park,” she added via media release.

“A special acknowledgment to Football Victoria’s Josephine La Pila for her work with both clubs to achieve an outcome that promotes collaboration among football clubs for the betterment of our beloved sport.”

Football Victoria have endorsed the partnership between these two growing clubs within female football across the state.

With Calder United establishing themselves as a competitive club amongst the NPLW competition, the partnership allowing the club between the Western United sister club and Sydenham puts a focus upon both sides allowing their playing and coaching staff to use one of the best pitch surfaces within the north-western district of Melbourne. The use of these highly elite facilities will allow them to have an advantage, perhaps being the difference in furthering themselves away from their competitors.

All Abilities Gala to continue the increase in inclusivity

Melbourne Victory have partnered with Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to host the second edition of the All Abilities Gala on Saturday April 20 to shine a spotlight upon the importance of inclusivity within football.

The inaugural event in 2023 occurred as the curtain raiser to Melbourne Victory’s ANZAC round fixture against Macarthur FC. The event held at Gosch’s paddock consisted of training clinics and engaging activities, concluding with a 5v5 round robin all abilities tournament.

This year, the event has increased in capacity. Two sessions for different age ranges will commence. From 3:15pm to 3:45pm, children aged between 4 to 12 will have their session, with the older contingent aged from 13 to 18 to participate in their session from 4:00pm to 4:30pm.

Upon declaring their involvement for the event, all participants are offered a free ticket to attend the round 25 A-League Men’s fixture, where Victory will host Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park. TAC have been one of Victory’s key sponsors since their inception in 2005 with the partnership nearing its 20th anniversary that is scheduled for next year.

Inclusivity within society has become a point of focus for sporting codes across the globe – none more so than football. Members of society who face the difficulties of having special needs should have an engaging outlet. This allows for those to have a joyful and fulfilling, outdoor experience.

Amongst other codes of football, the globally renowned variation tends to be far simpler and palatable, especially in terms of building skills and understanding general rules. Therefore, parents and guardians of those who have a disability may lean towards electing soccer as the sport that their kids can participate in, aware of the unique subtlety and non-aggressiveness that surrounds it when in comparison to the likes of Australian Rules football or rugby.

The community event hosted by Victory simultaneously contributes to the community across Melbourne, while also increasing participation and appreciation for the sport of football within a state where it remains down in the pecking order of preferred sports.

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