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‘Football needs a home’: FFA to lobby government for new base

The organisation will lobby the state government to help fund a training and administration centre that will serve as the long-term home for the Socceroos, Matildas and junior national teams down to under-15 age groups, as well as coaching and refereeing training centres.

“We are a football organisation at our core and we must be in a place which reflects that. Our Socceroos Coach Graham Arnold recently asked me, ‘How can we build our culture, if we don’t have a home?’ This is what it means to us,” FFA chief James Johnson said.

Socceroos Coach Graham Arnold recently asked me, ‘How can we build our culture, if we don’t have a home?’ This is what it means to us.

FFA chief James Johnson

The hope is to build a facility similar to Coverciano in Italy, St George Park in England or Clairefontaine in France. It will have a number of training fields that can be used for community programs, miniroos and multi-cultural engagement events when the national teams aren’t in camp. While talks are at a preliminary stage, it’s hoped that a facility could be up and running by the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which Australia is bidding to host. FIFA’s council will vote on the winning bid on June 25.

“Australian football has never had a place to call ‘home’ – we are the only major sporting code in Australia not to have one. If we look around the world, there are a number of countries which have built a home for their national teams. Brazil, England and in our region, Malaysia, all have a home for their national teams and broader game where they call home,” Johnson said.

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“In addition to the potential commercial benefits and savings it might derive for our game, a ‘home’ for Australian football will allow us a create a place where our people can gather to celebrate our history and to collectively forge a path towards the future we envision for our game.”

FFA are also seeking to include an Australian football museum in its home of football, having previously discussed opening one inside a redeveloped ANZ Stadium.

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