Football history will be made in Geraldton this year when the first regional PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA match will take place between Sorrento and Perth Glory.
The game, which will be a key feature of a Festival of Football running from June 28 to July 2, will be supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation through a $10,000 Country Sport Enrichment Scheme grant.
Sorrento and Glory’s NPLWA team will clash for competition points under lights at the redeveloped Wonthella Oval.
Football West Chief Executive Officer James Curtis was delighted to have received support for the regional project, which underlined the organisation’s commitment to developing the game beyond the metropolitan borders.
“We know just how important the game is to regional footballers, their parents, officials and fans and recognise the potential for further growth in a number of areas,” Curtis said.
“The South West has long been a booming area for football, last year we had the country’s biggest MiniRoos Kick Off site in Broome, and Geraldton and the Mid West continue to attract strong participation growth.
“Regional players make up around 20% of Football West registrations and we expect the Geraldton NPL game and accompanying Festival of Football will be very well received by the locals.
“We also expect that a number of people will take the opportunity to travel up from Perth to Geraldton and experience everything that the area has to offer – including a PS4 NPLWA match.”
The game will be scheduled alongside a series of activities including school clinics, ALDI MiniRoos programs and coaching and refereeing workshops.
More than 3,200 players participated in football in Geraldton last year thanks to the commitment of local associations including the Geraldton Junior Soccer Association, Midwest Soccer Association and Football West.
The game, which is the first of a proposed three-year program, will provide a window to high-level football.
Glory has indicated A-League players will travel to Geraldton to assist in promotion and with the associated activities.