Brisbane Roar’s elite new A-League Women’s and Academy home will soon become a reality after major work officially began on the $22 million Moreton Bay facility.
Head Coach Garrath McPherson, midfielder Hollie Palmer and the club’s Vice-Chairman Chris Fong joined Moreton Bay Region mayor Peter Flannery in Brendale on Thursday to turn the first sod on the Women’s Centre of Excellence and Youth Academy.
The site will become one of the best women’s sports facilities in Australia once complete and a great new breeding ground for Queensland football talent.
“We’re thrilled to turn the sod today and bring us one step closer to this brilliant new base in Moreton Bay,” Mr Fong said.
“The people of Moreton Bay are proud and passionate supporters of football and especially women’s football, so we can’t wait to bring our A-League Women’s program and our youth academy to this part of South East Queensland.
“This will be a huge advantage and benefit to our players, and it’s a big part of our strategic plan to not only reclaim our place at the top of the A-League Women’s competition but to grow the sport in Queensland.
“I’d like to thank the Moreton Bay Regional Council for delivering this amazing new facility and hope to have a long and successful partnership.”
Construction is set for completion in early 2023, in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil.
The Roar will benefit from three natural turf fields plus dedicated recovery spaces, a gym and training room, three changerooms and a clubhouse incorporating coaching and administrative offices as well as spectator amenities.
Mayor Flannery said the deal between Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Roar would see hundreds, if not thousands, of aspiring young footballers take up the sport and emulate their heroes.
“Moreton Bay is positioning itself as an up and coming sports capital of Australia, especially for women, fresh after hosting the history-making 2022 NRLW Grand Final,” he said.
“Participation in women’s sport is sky rocketing and we want to be at the forefront of developing facilities that will help grow women’s sport locally and nationally.
“This $22 million investment comprises state of the art high performance facilities for the Roar as well as brand new facilities to support growth of our existing local clubs.
“The Roar facility will have the best modern features for a professional squad to be competitive like a high-performance gym, ice baths, coaches’ offices, and changerooms modelled on Manchester City club rooms, as well as architectural design features to make it a welcoming space to be in.”
Cr Cath Tonks (Div 9) said this $22 million centre of excellence is situated within the massive 86-hectare South Pine Sports Complex at Brendale, which is fast becoming one of the biggest multisport precincts in Queensland.
“Work is underway to have the women’s centre of excellence completed and ready for kick-off for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which is being hosted right here in Australia with the intention that one of the many international squads will use it as their training base,” Cr Tonks said.
“I’m just thrilled that two popular local teams – Moreton Bay United Football Club and Albany Creek Excelsior Football Club – will score a brand new club building and fields alongside some of the best footballing talent in the state, which will create a direct pathway for locals into the top flight.
“Every aspiring young Moreton Bay footballer will have a chance to be the next A-League star or be here in 2023 for the World Cup action to rub shoulders with some of the best in the game.”