CITY of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett has set a challenge for Fremantle Football Club’s men’s and women’s teams to be the first to add a premiership trophy to its new Cockburn Central West facility.
“All we need is a trophy or two in the cabinet as the Dockers settle into their new home.
“Will it be the men or women who prevail?”
Cockburn’s $109 million facility features the Docker’s administration and training facilities, AFL and community ovals, three 18m-high waterslides, six-court multi-purpose stadium, gym, crche and caf.
Project partner Curtin University use the lecture theatres, shared laboratories and testing facilities at the Cockburn Aquatic and Recreation Centre (ARC).
The Dockers moved from Fremantle oval to Cockburn in February, while the ARC officially opened to the public in May.
Fremantle Football Club chief executive Steve Rosich said it took a while to settle into the spacious and elite surroundings that were a “far cry” from Fremantle oval – the club’s original home of 21 years.
“Firstly, it is going to assist greatly with player attraction and retention, which is really competitive in the AFL landscape,” he said.
“Secondly, once we have access to facilities for a sustained period, it is going to impact our ability to get the most out of pre-season and then in-season type timetables.”
Mr Rosich said while it was a challenging decision to move away from Fremantle oval, there was far greater community interaction at Cockburn, which catered for 3000 fans at open training sessions.
He said it was unlikely AFLW games would be played at Cockburn Central West but the club was in talks to host a game at the new Perth Stadium, on top of two games at Fremantle Oval.
Mr Howlett said the elite athletes at the facility had given community members a real buzz.
“It’s amazing to see people of all ages engaging with the Dockers men’s and women’s squads or even to hear the conversations about who they saw or spoke to – it is creating a wonderful story that will be repeated over and over,” he said.
Cockburn ARC manager Brett McEwin said more than 20,000 people visited the ARC each week, which equalled about a million visitors in its first year of operation.