Exciting times await football in Melbourne’s south-east with the commencement of works on the Casey Football Centre of Excellence at Casey Fields.

At a sod turning ceremony attended by local MP Pauline Richards, Football Victoria chief executive Peter Filopoulos, City of Casey Mayor Cr Amanda Stapledon and councilors Cr Gary Rowe and Cr Geoff Ablett, work has officially started on the $18 million facility set to be completed by the end of the year.

The Centre of Excellence, funded by $13m of council money and a $5m grant from the Victorian State Government, consists of three synthetic pitches, one turf pitch – all floodlit – and an eight-changeroom pavilion replete with all the amenities needed for the region’s footballing stars of the future to thrive.

The facility will be a community asset, available for use by local clubs, schools and academies.

The would-be home of the Team 11 A-League and W-League bid, the facility could yet one day be home to a local professional club competing in either the top flight or potential National Second Division.

A dollar-for-dollar funding partnership is still being sought by the City of Casey with regards to a $20m Stage 2 development of the Centre of Excellence. That investment would further expand the pavilion to include more high performance features and would also provide for the development of a fifth main turf pitch.

The main pitch would also act as a boutique stadium capable of hosting elite level sporting events.