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Brisbane Roar score new home in Moreton Bay Region

Posted: 7pm 03 Jul 2020

The Moreton Bay Region will soon be home to Brisbane Roar Women in a move that’s going to make South Pine Sports Complex a centre for excellence.

In fact, Brisbane Roar Women will have a new home and facilities when they relocate to the new $18 million state-of-the-art Women’s Centre of Excellence and Youth Academy at South Pine Sports Complex (SPSC).

Mayor Peter Flannery says the major investment will come just in time for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted in Australia and New Zealand and could even be an Olympic venue.

“The new football precinct will be kitted out with a high-performance facility, clubhouse and fields ready for the 2023 season, which will support some of Australia’s best players in their tilt at World Cup success with the Matildas,” Mayor Flannery says.

“It’s massive news for football lovers across southeast Queensland and we are particularly excited to bring the Roar women and Queensland’s elite youth to our booming region.

“This is a coming of age for female sport here in Queensland and I’m proud that Moreton Bay already has a strong track record in that regard and will continue to lead by example. By delivering the dedicated facilities our female players deserve, we are strengthening the pathway for young local girls to one day represent their region, state and country.”

Benefits for the whole region

“This is also massive news for local businesses, who will have a whole new wave of visitors flocking to our region for regular youth tournaments and events,” Mayor Flannery says.

“The facilities could be used to host elite sports players and international teams for major events like the upcoming World Cup and if we’re successful in a 2032 southeast Queensland Olympics bid. It’s just another way council is driving visitors to our region to support our local economy.

“I hope this announcement provides businesses and locals with the certainty of knowing that their Council is actively hunting new economic opportunities to help us recover from coronavirus.”

Councillor Cath Tonks (Div 9) says the facilities will provide a pathway for juniors, and especially women, to participate in sport.

“With the surge of interest in the women’s game nationally, we hope Moreton Bay will soon become a home for the next generation of Matildas and Roar players,” Cr Tonks says.

“The Matildas have achieved some amazing results on the international stage, in recent years, including a Round of 16 appearance at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and recent qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“Personally, I hope this partnership will see a massive influx of young girls taking up football locally with dreams to one day become the next Clare Polkinghorne or Katrina Gorry.

“It’s exciting to consider the benefits that having Queensland’s premier women’s team in our region will deliver for local players, coaches and clubs including the mighty Albany Creek Excelsior FC and Moreton Bay United. And for the local clubs, there will also be dedicated new change facilities as part of the overall project.

“Moreton Bay Region has a great relationship with the Brisbane Roar, having successfully hosted home Hyundai A-League matches and after boasting some of the largest Westfield W-league crowds at Dolphin Stadium, Council wants to build on that success.”

Growing women’s football

Roar Vice-Chairman Chris Fong says a dedicated training facility for the women’s team sets another benchmark in women’s sport.

“We hope that with a bit of hard work on-field, this off-field decision will help rocket our already fantastic women’s program back to the top of the W-League,” he says.

“Moreton Bay is the third largest council region in Australia and its population is only set to grow further – so we see this as an exciting opportunity to cement our women’s program within an emerging community and help contribute to the growth of the region for years to come.

“Our women’s football team is passionately supported by many people throughout the region. We’ve had thousands of members and fans visit Moreton Bay Region to support our W-League matches and this next important chapter will not only strengthen women's football, but further unite a community with a hope to share future success together.”

Stamp of approval

Brisbane Roar captain and 125-game Matilda Clare Polkinghorne says this announcement is a giant leap for women’s football in Australia.

“The development of this new facility in Moreton Bay Region is terrific news for both the Brisbane Roar and football in Queensland,” Polkinghorne says.

“Striving to be the best and at the top of the Westfield W-League is a core component of Brisbane Roar and to have a state-of-the-art facility to call home will only help us achieve those goals.

“Female football continues to go from strength-to-strength in Queensland and across Australia and this is another big step forward.”

Local reaction

South Pine Sports Association finance director Gerry See says the project is great news for the local sporting community at Brendale.

“Having high-level athletes and positive role models based at our facility is a great inspiration for all our junior sport clubs, teams and players to look up to,” Mr See says.

“We have a multitude of sports within the complex and that number is growing rapidly. SPSC has already hosted AFLW fixtures and we’re excited by the prospect of having some of the nation’s best football talent permanently on hand to lead the way for our local juniors.

“And an unexpected but welcome benefit of the Roar’s arrival is that the new dedicated amenities will be fast-tracked for our existing football clubs.”

Moreton Bay United Chairman Ben Parkin says the announcement is big step forward for the club.

“The additional field space and clubhouse will really help Moreton Bay United to take more steps in strengthening our own identity and provide our players with top class training facilities,” he says.

“The relocation of the Brisbane Roar is also a massive coup for the region and the complex. To have a professional organisation based so close to our club has many benefits, both on and off the park.”

Albany Creek Excelsior President Tony Dooley says the announcement is a pleasant surprise.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to share facilities with Brisbane Roar. Hopefully there will be areas where our coaches and players can learn about things like preparation, training and executing their football skills,” he says.

“It’s no secret we have had to cap our player numbers for three or four years. This will enable us to extend those numbers and give our players more space to train.”

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