Former Socceroo and decorated national league goalkeeper Clint Bolton has signed on as an ambassador for Team 11’s A-League and W-League bid.
The four-times capped international won two National Soccer League championships – one each with Brisbane Strikers and Sydney Olympic – and two A-League championships with Sydney FC before finishing his career with Melbourne Heart.
The now media pundit lives in Berwick, 10 minutes from Team 11’s proposed training base at Casey Fields and 15 minutes from the site for Dandenong Stadium.
And it is time spent in Melbourne’s south-east that has convinced the 42-year-old he needs to lend his shot-stopping hands to Team 11’s bid.
“It’s a region that’s largely untapped as far as professional sport goes. It’s a large area, a lot of people and football is at the heart of it with a lot of different cultures and backgrounds represented,” Bolton said.
“It makes sense because there’s a clear geographic divide, which I think is important in terms of setting up new clubs.
“Key to the bid is obviously the stadium. There has to be an emphasis on clubs having priority, and that would be the case for Team 11 at Dandenong Stadium.
“And then having a facility like Casey Fields it is clear that, for the level of professionalism needed, Team 11 is ticking the boxes. It just fits on so many different markers.”
Bolton’s signing was announced at Casey Fields on Monday morning, where the City of Casey’s $23.8 million commitment to Team 11’s training base and a regional football centre of excellence was confirmed.
Also present at the ceremony were footballers from Cranbourne’s St Peter’s College.
Schools such as St Peter’s will benefit enormously from the establishment of the community facility at Casey Fields. Principal Chris Black said an A-League and W-League club in the south-east would also be a huge boost to the local community.
“Without question football is the No.1 sport of choice for the large majority of our students, and I would say that is the case for so many other schools in the region,” Mr Black said.
“We know that actively engaging in team sports, and for that matter any form of organised sport, has the mutual benefit of building community whilst also providing opportunities to promote living a healthy lifestyle.
“Couple with that a brand new football facility at Casey Fields, I believe the whole Team 11 project has an opportunity to transform our region in regards to soccer, sport participation and the general fitness and wellbeing of our youth.”