Football West has taken a significant step towards the development of a State Football Centre following a Liberal Party pledge of $37 million for the construction of facilities at Ashfield Reserve.
Football West Chairman Liam Twigger was pleased with the funding commitment to a facility that will deliver significant benefits to players, officials and football fans.
“The development and construction of a State Football Centre is crucial to the ongoing growth of the sport,” Mr Twigger said.
“We have an unprecedented number of registered players and participation is at an all-time high with more than 230,000 people engaged in the game.
“Access to better facilities and a purpose-built administration and training centre will ensure Football West can continue to cater for the demand for our sport from all areas of the community.
“We will be better placed to deliver benefits to clubs, players and volunteers, and to provide improved development pathway opportunities to young players.
“The football community should be delighted with this funding commitment, which will be the catalyst for the development of a long-awaited facility to service all aspects of the game.”
In October, Football West endorsed a Department of Sport and Recreation Business Case that identified Ashfield Reserve as the preferred location for a State Football Centre.
The State Football Centre will provide administrative headquarters for Football West, space for Perth Glory, two floodlit playing fields, with at least one artificial surface, and a boutique grandstand.
Premier Colin Barnett said the State Football Centre would lay the foundations for strong competitions at all levels and ultimately feed into State, National and International competitions.
“It will provide a dedicated football facility to host key local, State League and National Premier League matches, W-League games, and women’s internationals and also provide a centre of excellence for talented junior players,” Mr Barnett said.
“Importantly, it will also provide training facilities to support international matches to be played at Perth Stadium and nib Stadium and ensure the broader community will be able to experience and engage with international sides.”
Football West Chief Executive Officer James Curtis welcomed the funding pledge.
“Football West has worked closely with various stakeholders in reaching this point and we are grateful to the Premier for this commitment,” Mr Curtis said.
“The development of a State Football Centre, which recognises the sport’s incredible growth in WA, will improve Football West’s long-term sustainability and provide direct benefits to community clubs.
“We will continue to work closely with clubs, as well as Local, State and Federal Governments, to ensure the best outcomes for the sport and all its participants.”
Football West is the sole governing body for soccer in Western Australia and represents all levels of competition, development and coaching in metropolitan and regional areas.