Issued Friday 2 June 2017
SE Melbourne A-League bid launched
The push to bring A-League and W-League football to Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs is on in earnest after an official bid launch event in Dandenong last night.
As the race to become Melbourne’s third A-League club heats up, a crowd that included local club representatives, members of local councils, local business leaders, State Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams MP and Victorian Premier Hon Daniel Andrews MP were given detailed plans about the vision of an A-League Club in south-east Melbourne.
Those plans include:
- A boutique stadium in Dandenong;
- A state of the art training and administration base at Casey Fields;
- Youth teams that will be almost the exclusive domain of players who have risen through the ranks at our local clubs, and;
- Mutually beneficial partnerships with our local clubs no matter their size or what level they play at.
The name Team11 was also unveiled as the official name given to the community’s bid to bring the 11th A-League Club to the region. Team11 is a joint initiative of Greater Dandenong City Council, City of Casey and Cardina Shire Council, who last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to work together to bring an A-League/W-League Club to the region, in partnership with the community of south-east Melbourne.
Former Socceroo and Springvale City junior Vince Grella is the official Team11 Ambassador and current day Socceroos Jackson Irvine and Bailey Wright have featured in a video promoting the bid’s cause.
Grella said he is confident that Team11’s bid contains all the right ingredients.
“This bid ticks all the boxes that Football Federation Australia would want from an expansion club,” Grella said.
“In Melbourne’s south-east we represent more than 1.2 million people, a number that is growing rapidly. We are one of the most multicultural regions in the country and we boast almost 100 local clubs and more than 12,000 registered players.
“Anyone I’ve spoken to at our local clubs are intensely passionate about uniting behind this bid. The training base at Casey promises to be exceptional and I know there are many people behind the scenes working to ensure the Dandenong Stadium plans come to fruition.”
Plans for a stadium and training facility were unveiled at the bid launch event.
“Our Club envisages playing out of a boutique stadium in the heart of Dandenong with an initial capacity of 10,000 seats. But with the demand for tickets expected to be great, the stadium will be built with a view to easily expand in the years to come,” Greater Dandenong City Council Mayor Jim Memeti said.
“And while this stadium will provide the region with even greater opportunities to attract other sporting and entertainment events, it is the intention that local clubs will also have access to the ground for marquee matches throughout the year.
“We are in talks with the State Government regarding potential funding for the stadium and with several private investors, who may also be helpful in realising our vision,” Cr Memeti added.
A training and administrative base known as the Casey Centre of Excellence is also planned for Casey Fields.
“The preliminary plans for this facility include a main training pitch with 4,000-seat stadium facilities in place to make it capable of hosting W-League matches, Youth Team matches, A-League pre-season matches and marquee games for our local clubs,” City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz said.
“It will have a secondary turf pitch, which will be utilised by our youth teams, as well as three synthetic pitches which will be of huge benefit for our local clubs, many of whom are struggling to cater for the booming demand of this sport and our growing population,” he said.
Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Brett Owen said “to provide these opportunities for our local players is to provide inspiration for all of the region’s youngsters as they know that a golden opportunity to become a professional footballer exists right on their doorstep.”
“They will know that regardless of what club they currently play for or what league they play in, they will get spotted if they are good enough,” he added.
Ms Williams also gave a rousing speech expressing her support for the bid and promised to do what she could in the halls of Victorian Parliament to turn the Club’s dreams into reality.
The main feature of the night was a keynote speech delivered on behalf of the bid by Casey Comets president Dawn Stone and Berwick City president Joe Di Iorio. The speech detailed a week in the life of the Club in its debut season.
There were attendees from more than local 35 clubs in the room last night, whose collective playing base represents more than 65 per cent of the region’s registered players.
The Club’s name and colours are yet to be established, with fan forums involving the Club’s future supporters to be held to establish community consensus on its identity.
Media and members of the community can learn more by visiting the official bid website.