Football West lament lack of state football centre funding in state budget

Federal sports minister Bridget McKenzie with Football West CEO James Curtis and board member Jason Petkovic at Maniana Park.
Federal sports minister Bridget McKenzie with Football West CEO James Curtis and board member Jason Petkovic at Maniana Park.

THE State Budget has provided no clear path to progress Football West’s desired home of soccer at Maniana Park in Queens Park.

Despite both Federal Labor and Liberal promising funding ($20m and $16m respectively) for the proposed state football centre within the past fortnight, the State Government made no similar commitment on Thursday.

Football West chief executive James Curtis admitted he was disappointed with the lack of State funding given both major parties at federal level had pledged their support.

“The State Government has the power to close this project. It’s sitting in their lap, the ribbon is there to be cut, but I don’t know whether they want to cut it,” he said.

“We’ve had this bipartisan support at national level and we’re yet to see indication of how the State Government is going to progress to close this facility out.”

MORE: ‘Show me the money’: Football West call for state football centre funding

A State football centre has been long-sought after by Football West, who do not have training and administration facilities despite being WA’s top team sport in terms of participation numbers.

When complete, the centre would act as a training base for Perth Glory’s men’s and women’s teams, have the ability to host international touring sides and act as an administrative home for Football West.

With Football Federation Australia set to finalise their bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup by the end of the year, a state football centre could be integral to Perth’s chances of hosting games.

However, Mr Curtis said any funding commitments in future state budgets could be too late.

“It’s a three-year project from my understanding, a year and a half build and a year and half planning. We’ve got to move on this quickly,” he said.

“We’ve got to put in a Women’s World Cup bid later this year. A future budget is going to be too late to say a state football centre will be part of it.

“If the State Government are committed to being part of the Women’s World Cup, we’ve only got a couple of months to be able to flag this as a facility within the bid.”