Monday 21 February marked another important milestone in the partnership between the City of Casey and Melbourne City FC, with the club’s new elite training pitch at Casey Fields opening for business.
Melbourne City’s championship-winning men’s team finalised preparations for its A-League Men’s match against the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday night by conducting its first training session on the hybrid turf pitch.
City announced in December 2020 that it was shifting the club’s entire operations to South East Melbourne over the course of 2021. Since beginning the 2021-22 pre-season training last August, Patrick Kisnorbo’s team has been training on the existing turf pitch at the Casey Fields Football Centre of Excellence.
The opening of the 115m x 115m “training tablet” – designed in a way in which the placement of the pitch can be frequently changed so as to aid the longevity of the grass – marks the first new piece of infrastructure to be opened since the move.
The occasion was marked by a small ceremony on pitch after training, with City of Casey Administrator, Miguel Belmar attending.
Mr Belmar said the pitch opening was an exciting milestone in the City of Casey’s historic partnership with Melbourne City.
“Council 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 that the players and coaches provide,” Mr Belmar said.
“Already I am heartened by the dramatic increase in young people from the south-east being chosen for City’s junior teams this year and by stories of positive interactions between the players, coaches and members of the local community here at Casey Fields.
“Our community and Melbourne City both have a lot to gain from this partnership and we can’t wait to see it flourish.”
Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse said:
“The new pitch is a visual representation of all of the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes. A special thanks to Casey Council who are a fantastic partner and have a real passion for turning Casey Fields into the destination for professional sport in the South East.
“We are building a facility that belongs to everyone who is passionate about football and we want to work closely to with the local football community to develop the game in the South East. We would love to see the kids who come down after school and play on the pitches, one day running out for Melbourne City.”
Construction on the club’s two-storey training and administration building on site is set to commence within weeks.