Major soccer stadium for Geelong still in play
THE long-awaited soccer stadium for Geelong is still in play, with the City of Greater Geelong committing $50,000 for a feasibility study and Football Victoria supporting the concept.
A major facility dedicated to soccer has been in the works since at least mid-2012, when it was listed as one of the recommendations of the most recent version of the G21 Regional Football (Soccer) Strategy.
The strategy highlights the lack of a regional-calibre soccer venue that is A class (the level required for Men’s Victorian Premier League).
It notes GMHBA Stadium could be used for events needing a major stadium – and it has hosted several Melbourne Victory and Western United A-League games – but there is “a gap in provision with no venue suitable for smaller scale events such as national/international matches including W-League, National Youth League, Matildas, Joeys, Olyroos, A-League friendlies, national/international training and higher league matches for clubs requiring A class venues”.
“A regional venue can include the facilities required for these types of events, including 500 covered seats and a total 2,000 to 5,000 capacity.”
In an interview with the SoccerScene website last week, Cr Kylie Grzybek said Football Victoria had recently committed to supporting the concept of a Geelong regional soccer centre.
“They have committed with us to engage with us throughout the entire process in terms of statistics, player numbers, and those types of things,” she said.
She said the state’s governing body for soccer wanted to update the plans to evaluate and renew Geelong’s football facilities.
“They’ve also looked to how they engage and renew the G21 soccer plan, which was done in 2010, and that is the document for Geelong concerning what venues have, what types of facilities are available, and what the overall vision for soccer in Geelong is.
“There are two different things there, the new facility and the G21 soccer plan, but they link together quite nicely.”
The City of Greater Geelong council is also reaching out to the Geelong Regional Football Committee (GRFC).
“While councillor Eddy (Kontelj) and I are spearheading this at the moment, we feel there is an opportunity for GRFC and Football Victoria to play their part in promoting football in Geelong,” Cr Grzybek said.
Football Victoria club and regional ambassador for Geelong Foddy Kyprian said the plan had the full backing of his organisation.
“We are having all the relevant government relations staff working with Kylie and Eddy,” he said.
“The CEO Kimon Taliadoros has given his full backing to co-operate in every single way they can when working with local and state government.”