Off the bench: Footy demand to boom in Armstrong Creek

June 5, 2021 BY

According to the strategy, the Surf Coast will need at least one and as many as three more footy ovals by the end of the decade. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

ARMSTRONG Creek and surrounds is expected to nearly double its number of footy players and field an extra 18 teams within four years, according to a new strategy now open for public comment.

The G21 and AFL Barwon Towards 2030: Strategy document has been developed by the five councils within the G21 region in partnership with AFL Barwon to guide planning and development of both football and netball over the next decade.

Due to the success and growth in football and netball across the G21 region, AFL Barwon, Netball Victoria, AFL Victoria and the G21 councils have undertaken a refresh of the initial G21 and AFL Barwon Regional Strategy in 2015.

The document notes successful outcomes from the 2015 strategy include completion of two ovals and two netball courts at the Armstrong Creek East Sporting Precinct, an oval and two netball courts at Sovereign Drive in Armstrong Creek, an oval at the Deakin University Elite Regional Sporting Precinct in Waurn Ponds, and an oval at Banyul-Warri Fields in Torquay North.

Population growth is driving the increase in new players and the need for more ovals, with Armstrong Creek, Marshall and Charlemont expected to have an additional 10,105 people between 2019 and 2025, with another 6,015 in Grovedale, Mount Duneed and Waurn Ponds.

Armstrong Creek, Marshall and Charlemont had 492 footballers in 2019, and this is forecast to rise to 945 (over 18 new teams) by 2025 and 1,356 (over a further 17 new teams) in 2030. Grovedale, Mount Duneed and Waurn Ponds are expected to have 11 new teams by 2025 and a further 10 by 2030.

Both the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire slightly exceed the AFL’s recommended oval-to-participant ratio of 1:160, sitting at 1:174 and 1:184 respectively as of 2019.

By the end of the decade, Armstrong Creek, Marshall and Charlemont will need at least three new ovals for football; Grovedale, Mount Duneed and Waurn Ponds another two; and the Surf Coast at least one and as many as three.

The key themes of the new strategy identify ways to increase diversity in participation, improve facilities and sustainability, build and retain football and netball participation and continue to support clubs and their people.

AFL Barwon Commission chair Craig Keating said Towards 2030: Strategy would build upon the success of the previous 2015 strategy, which delivered “exceptional outcomes for community clubs in the region”.

“It will provide a cohesive framework for community clubs and local and state governments to work together to build sustainable infrastructure that will support participation and growth where it is most needed,” he said.

To read G21 and AFL Barwon Towards 2030: Strategy or make a submission before July 11, head to G21’s website.