Team 11 has been shortlisted by Football Federation Australia as one of the potential recipients of a licence into an expanded A-League competition.
Team 11, the official bid of south-east of Victoria, was today named alongside nine other bids to advance to the final stage of the expansion process.
Shortlisted applicants now have until August 31 to submit their final expansion proposals, with a decision to be made in October on the two new licences to be handed out for the 2019-20 season.
Team 11, currently backed and run by the Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Cardinia Shire councils, will spend the coming months finalising its investor group and ownership structure as it prepares to transition into a privately-owned entity.
But Team 11 can confirm that iconic Australian businessman Gerry Ryan has pledged financial support to the club.
Ryan’s name is synonymous with the City of Greater Dandenong – where Team 11’s proposed home stadium would be built – with his hugely successful Jayco Caravans business born out of the region in 1975.
The entrepreneur is no stranger to the A-League either, having previously had stakes in the-then known Queensland Roar and Melbourne City.
South-east Victoria, one of the fastest growing regions in the country, has a population base in excess of 1.5 million people and boasts more than 22,000 registered football players.
It is also diverse community. Greater Dandenong alone is the most multicultural council in the country, with more than 60 per cent of its population born overseas and 160 nationalities represented within its resident base.
Ryan said his passion in regards to Team 11 lies in the transformative effect it can have on the local community.
“No force can unite quite like the round ball can,” Ryan said.
“The south-east region has been very good to me. This is an exceptionally multicultural community that would be incredibly supportive of a club representing it, as football is the game that many here know and love most.
“I’ve helped put together a few clubs in my time. But this bid is about more than just football, it is about community and must seek to increase social wellbeing and prompt economic growth – which I think it can and will.”
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop said the process remained highly competitive.
“FFA’s job is to get the best outcome for the Hyundai A-League and football as a whole,” Gallop said.
“That means granting licences that will complement the existing Hyundai A-League clubs, link back into fans and the football history in their local community, help to develop football pathways for more players, increase interest from sponsors and broadcasters, have solid financial backing and operate sustainably.
“Expansion has created enormous interest and attracted 15 groups to come forward from around the country. Once we get these two new clubs established for the season after next we intend to add more clubs in future years.”