The Matildas have received a major boost in the lead-up to a home World Cup in 2023 with a state-of-the-art facility to be purpose built for them in Melbourne’s north in a project worth $116 million.
Construction on the Home of the Matildas will begin in December and be completed before the Sam Kerr led Australian host the world’s best on home soil in two years.
The multifaceted complex located at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Sports Park in Melbourne’s north will also boast Football Victoria’s high-performance program and its administration base plus a new rugby centre.
The federal government had already committed $15m towards the project while Victoria’s state government set aside $101.1m in its budget for the soccer hub which will include a marquee pitch with grandstand seating, four other pitches, a gymnasium and wet recovery area, medical and rehabilitation centre, meeting areas and a player lounge.
FFA CEO James Johnson said he was delighted by the investment into football at all levels.
“This substantial commitment from the Victorian government, combined with the federal government’s earlier $15 million contribution to the project, will have a significant impact on the development of women’s football, and football overall, in Victoria and Australia for decades to come,” he said in a statement.
Matildas ♥ Melbourne
“The high-performance environment… will feature world-class facilities and amenities that will ensure Victoria can regularly play host to the Matildas, as well as other youth and senior national teams and touring international nations and clubs.”
“Crucially, The Home of The Matildas … will not only be a space that caters for the elite levels of the game, but the community and grassroots, too.”
Kerr was excited by the developments.
“The team loves playing in Melbourne and we really look forward to having a dedicated base where we can train and prepare for matches when we are in Victoria,” the star striker said.
Australia and New Zealand will co-host the first 32-team Women’s World Cup in July-August 2023 with 1.5 million fans expected to attend matches across 12 cities and 13 stadiums.
Five World Cup games will be played at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, including a quarter final.
The Victorian state rugby centre will have a show pitch with grandstand seating plus two additional pitches, along with high performance facilities and be a training and match day home for the Melbourne Rebels’ Super W team.
“In 133 years, Victorian Rugby has never had such a wonderful opportunity to grow the game and share its benefits with all Victorians,” Rebels chairman Paul Docherty said in a statement.