State kicks in $650,000 for soccer hub

Premier Denis Napthine enjoying a kick of the soccer ball at the Emerald Road site. 108997 Pictures: REBECCA BILLS


SOCCER enthusiasts across the Yarra Ranges are one step closer to emulating their A-League heroes after a $650,000 announcement yesterday.
The Victorian Government will be providing $650,000 to develop stage one of the new $9.8 million regional soccer hub on Emerald Road, Monbulk.
Premier Dennis Napthine joined mayor Jim Child, Evelyn MP Christine Fyffe, and Eastern Victoria Region MP Edward O’Donohue to announce further funding for the new soccer precinct – to be known as the Yarra Ranges Regional Soccer Centre.
“The world game is one of the fastest growing sports anywhere in Australia and that includes Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our philosophy as a government is we want more people, more active, more often and that’s people who are juniors right through to the senior players.
“This will results in a healthier and much better community.”
Stage one developments of the site will commence shortly and will deliver two new synthetic pitches, training lights, a new pavilion, changerooms and a car park.
Dr Napthine said the government was very pleased to be able to assist in making sure people could participate in these important activities in the community.
“I know that the Yarra Ranges Council is one that rolls up its sleeves and gets the job done,” he said.
“This is a great project that involves the local council, the Federal Government and the State Government working together.
“I know that the Monbulk Ranges Soccer Club will benefitted enormously by this facility, but it’s not just about the Monbulk Ranges, it’s about the growing community for people who are interested in soccer.”
Dr Napthine thanked the funding partners in the $9.8 million project that includes Yarra Ranges Shire Council for its contribution of more than $7.1 million and the Commonwealth Government for its $2 million commitment.
Chairman of the Monbulk Ranges Soccer Club Lisa Doolan said the planning of the regional soccer centre started around seven years ago as the club kept growing and expanding.
“Especially with the World Cup at the moment we get more and more children wanting to play soccer,” she said.
“We are a club of around 650 people now with around 40 teams so we are just bursting at the seams and this is just such an exciting project.
“There were times we thought maybe it wasn’t going to happen but we just kept saying ‘yes it will’, as there is a demand and a need for it.”
Ms Fyffe said the Soccer Centre was the latest in a long list of government investments into Yarra Ranges sporting facilities.
“Whether you call it soccer or football, it is a great way to stay fit, have fun and socialise,” she said.
“From Mooroolbark to Monbulk and beyond, football has become very popular among people of all ages.
“This is great news for football fans and for the Monbulk community.”