Just weeks after the club lamented having to turn players away because of a lack of grounds, the State Government, City of Melville and Murdoch University agreed to jointly fund the new $3.75 million multi-purpose sporting facility.
The facility will include changing rooms, floodlights and spectator seating, paving the way for a rebranded University Soccer Club to join the National Premier Leagues (NPL).
It also has an integrated synthetic cricket pitch, meaning the grounds will be used year-round.
Melville City president Dave Kindness said the new grounds would likely accommodate both the men’s State League team and the junior teams making their NPL debut this season.
“It’s great for the club because synthetic pitches can support a far higher volume of games without the grass getting ripped up,” he said.
“New pitches is an issue we’ve been working on with the City for a couple years, so it’s fantastic that Murdoch University has come on board and we’ve got a great result.”
Murdoch acting vice chancellor Andrew Taggart said an expansion of the pavilion and creation of a synthetic multi-purpose sports field would provide a valuable asset for the community.
“Murdoch’s growing commitment to community |engagement will see Melville City Football Club become the host soccer club and |will be renamed to become the University Soccer Club,” Mr Taggart said.
“Melville City FC is the largest boys and girls community soccer club in the State, with over 1400 members and growing.
“The facilities will also provide a base for teaching and research and further community engagement opportunities between the City of Melville and the university.”
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said that like other built-in local governments, the City faced the ongoing challenge of increasing demand for sporting facilities and a projected shortfall of playing fields, further exacerbated by the extreme dry climate of Perth.
“Our sports reserves across the City have been running near capacity for some time, and the issue of how we cater for the continued growth of sport, while balancing access and amenity for the community is one the City has been working through for a number of years,” he said.