Melbourne Victory welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews Labor Government confirming it will commit $10 million to assist in developing the home of Melbourne Victory’s W-League as well as its Academy squads.
The facilities, to be located at Maribyrnong’s Footscray Park and Robert Barrett Reserve, will provide the club’s womens and Academy programs, consisting of Victoria’s best young male and female players, with world class training and playing facilities, less than five kilometres from the CBD.
Melbourne Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro said, “This is a very proud day for our football club and certainly one of the most significant in its history.”
“The facilities at the two sites, will not only be home to our elite program for women, they will also form a major part of our Youth Academy for talented juniors – both male and female – where we hope to shape the careers of future Matildas and Socceroos.”
“Football participation levels have never been higher, so this facility is going to have an incredibly positive impact on the community and we thank the Andrews Labor Government and Maribyrnong City Council for their support,” Mr Di Pietro added.
Footscray Park will feature three flood-lit pitches, one with a natural surface and two hybrids, 6 male and female change rooms, match day areas for all stakeholders, including undercover viewing areas for 500 spectators, as well as administration and education areas for coaches, staff and players. Robert Barrett Reserve will add a further two training pitches, to support the club’s expanding women’s and youth programs.
Minister for Sport John Eren said, “We know we need to do more to support women and girls in professional sport, so we are proud to be providing a home for Melbourne Victory’s fantastic W-League team.”
“We are levelling the playing field for women’s sport – upgrading changerooms, grounds and elite facilities across Victoria.”
By having the football facilities adjacent to Victoria University Sports Precinct, Victory's Women's and Academy teams will have even more access to the University's Sports Science staff, students and resources. "Victoria University's High Performance Sport partnership with Melbourne Victory has been in place for a decade," said a delighted Professor Hans Westerbeek.
"This development will enhance it even further and also increase our community engagement."
Blue Light Victoria, an organisation dedicated to facilitating positive engagement between young people and Victoria Police, will also be located at the Footscray Park site. Melbourne Victory and Blue Light Victoria will work together to engage young people, demonstrating another very important partnership that will deliver significant community outcomes though the facility.