Victoria leads bid to create the home of the Westfield Matildas
Football Victoria has launched a proposal to establish the Home of Football for the Westfield Matildas, following strong interest from a number of municipalities across the state to potentially host the facility.
The proposal by Football Victoria, formally endorsed by Football Federation Australia (FFA), follows a $200,000 grant late last year from the Andrews Government to fund a feasibility study into the establishment of a state-of-the-art facility that would host training camps and elite pathway programs for the Westfield Matildas, as well as other national and representative teams, and coaching and development programs. It would also serve as the new administrative headquarters for the state’s governing body.
Football Victoria has received expressions of interest from various local government authorities seeking to host the proposed development including the cities of Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, and Greater Shepparton. La Trobe University has also made a formal submission as part of redevelopment plans at its Bundoora campus.
Football Victoria President Kimon Taliadoros said the creation of the Home of Football for the Westfield Matildas would mark “the coming of age for women’s sport in Australia”.
“It’s an exciting initiative for the women’s game in Australia and would serve to inspire generations of female footballers who dream of following in the steps of their heroes”, he said. “Certainly, a dedicated facility would go a long way towards helping Victorian football meet our stated objective of 50:50 gender participation by 2027.”
FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said Victoria was well-placed to create a national training base and the Home of Football for Australia’s most-loved women’s sporting team.
“Victoria has embraced the opportunity and is taking the lead when it comes to bringing together the key stakeholders who can bring the concept to life. FFA is committed to making it happen and we’re working closely with the team at Football Victoria to secure government support for the proposal.”
Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos said the move to create a dedicated national training facility for the Westfield Matildas signals how far women’s football and women’s sport in general had come.
“It shows that football can lead the way when it comes to promoting and supporting women’s sport, and it’s about recognising the increasingly important place that women’s football is forging on the national sporting landscape.”
In announcing the bid to host the national Home of Football for the Westfield Matildas, Football Victoria said the facility would play an important role in hosting a newly-developed Emerging Matildas program that would create a development pathway for Victorian girls aiming to represent Australia.
Following the recent expressions-of-interest process for the Home of the Matildas, Football Victoria will select a short-list of potential partners as it seeks to progress plans for the proposed development.