Football West has endorsed a proposal to develop a State Football Centre at Ashfield Reserve at a cost of around $45 million.
Chairman Liam Twigger said the Board of Football West had agreed to pursue the preferred option identified in a Business Case that was developed with Department of Sport and Recreation support.
A range of locations were considered, including Burswood and Subiaco, for the development of training and administration headquarters to cater for football’s booming popularity.
“We are currently in the process of negotiating and securing funding from both the State and Commonwealth Governments to develop the much-needed facility, with football remaining the only major sport in Western Australia not to have a training and administrative facility,” Twigger said.
“We met recently with Premier Colin Barnett, who is supportive of the State Football Centre, and we hope to secure financial support from the Government in the very near future.”
The Department of Sport and Recreation part funded the development of the Business Case, which was completed in January 2015. Ashfield Reserve, the current home of All Flags State League side Ashfield Sports Club, was considered the most suitable option.
“Football West will work closely with local, State and Commonwealth governments, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure the best possible outcome for the sport and the Ashfield Reserve precinct,” Twigger said.
Football West Chief Executive Officer James Curtis said the facility would serve football’s needs as well as contributing greatly to the local community and the city’s growing eastern corridor.
“The location is easily accessible, given its proximity to the Perth Stadium, Perth CBD, Tonkin and Roe Highways, the Perth Airport and the adjacent Ashfield Train Station,” Curtis said.
“With over 200,000 participants in Western Australia, the development of a State Football Centre is crucial in supporting the growth of the game from grassroots to the elite level. As much as it will accommodate the needs of our local participants, it will also provide a high-quality training facility suitable for visiting teams from interstate and overseas.”
Twigger said Football West, which recently announced its intention to work towards establishing a second Hyundai A-League team in Perth, would work to build stronger relations with Asian neighbours through matches against the WA State team.