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The City of Casey has committed up to $23.8 million to ensure Casey Fields becomes one of Australia’s premier football development centres.

Boys and girls from the south-east of Victoria will have a pathway to professionalism like never before with the creation of the Casey Fields Regional Football Centre, which will also house the region’s very own A-League and W-League club.

A two-stage training base at the shovel-ready Cranbourne East site will begin to take shape later this year, in preparation for the potential kick-off of an A-League and W-League club in October 2019.

Stage 1 is an $18 million community facility, boasting three synthetic pitches, a main turf pitch – all floodlit – and an eight-change room pavilion.

The City of Casey has pledged $13 million to stage one, dependant on a successful application to the Victorian Government’s Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) Fund, which is nearing completion.

If successful, the turf pitch would be scheduled for completion by July 2019, with the synthetic pitches and pavilion due to be erected by November 2019. Temporary accommodation will be on site by mid next year.

Stage 2, predicated on the success of the Team 11’s A-League bid, is the elite training facility that will house the men’s, women’s and junior academy sides.

The high-performance centre, which will be the rival of any professional sporting base in the country, is projected to cost $20.8 million, with the City of Casey committed to matching dollar-for-dollar funding from either government or private sources.

An application has been made to the Australian Government’s Regional Growth Fund, with a detailed design process currently underway.

City of Casey Mayor Geoff Ablett said the funding announcement epitomised his council’s determination to see Team 11’s A-League and W-League bid succeed.

Councillor Ablett said the Casey Fields Regional Football Centre would be of benefit to the entire community, with accessibility from all corners of the south-east far greater than other current professional pathways.

“This elite standard facility is for the entire regions soccer community, to shared by community clubs and schools, providing our kids with the best possible opportunity to become the next Socceroo and Matilda,” Cr Ablett said.

“Football is booming in the south-east and we are struggling to cater for the demand.

“The only thing missing is an elite facility and an elite club to represent them and provide a tangible pathway to the highest ranks of the game.

“To house an A-League and W-League club here will also further establish Casey Fields as the home of sport in the south-east of Victoria.”

The Casey Fields announcement comes on the back of the release of plans surrounding Dandenong Stadium, where Team 11’s A-League side will play its matches.

Federal Member for Holt Anthony Byrne said he supports the development of Casey Fields.

“The Team 11 concept is an exciting one for our region,” Mr Byrne said.

“To have the club’s elite training facility at Casey Fields will be of great value to the local community.

“School groups and local players will rub shoulders with the professionals, serving as further inspiration to emulate their path to the A-League, W-League, Socceroos and Matildas.”