Monday 21 February marked another milestone in the partnership between Casey City and Melbourne City FC, with the opening of the club’s new elite training ground at Casey Fields.
Championship-winning Melbourne City men’s side finalized preparations for their men’s A-League fixture against Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday night by hosting their first training session on the hybrid turf pitch.
City announced in December 2020 that they were moving all of the club’s operations to south-east Melbourne during 2021. Since the start of 2021-22 pre-season training last August, Patrick Kisnorbo’s team practice on the existing grass pitch at Casey Fields Football Center of Excellence.
The opening of the 115m x 115m ‘practice pad’ – designed in such a way that the location of the pitch can be changed frequently to promote the longevity of the grass – marks the first new infrastructure to be opened since the move. .
The occasion was marked with a small on-field ceremony after practice, attended by Casey City Administrator Miguel Belmar.
Mr Belmar said the opening of the ground was an exciting step in the Town of Casey’s historic partnership with the City of Melbourne.
“The board is committed to this partnership because of the benefits it will bring to our community through the talent pathways for young people and the positive role models the players and coaches provide,” Belmar said.
“I am already encouraged by the dramatic increase in the number of youngsters from the south east chosen for City’s youth teams this year and by the stories of positive interactions between players, coaches and members of the local community here at Casey Fields.
“Our community and the City of Melbourne have much to gain from this partnership and we look forward to seeing it flourish.”
Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse said:
“The new pitch is a visual representation of all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes. Special thanks to Casey Council who are a fantastic partner and have a real passion for making Casey Fields the destination for professional sports in the South-East.
“We are building a facility that belongs to all football enthusiasts and we want to work closely with the local football community to grow the game in the South East. We would love to see the kids who come down after school and play in the fields, one day run for Melbourne City.
Construction of the club’s two-storey training and administration building on the site is expected to begin within weeks.