FOOTBALL Mid North Coast has urged Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to support their proposal for a purpose-built football facility.
Following the success of Newcastle Jets visit to the region two weeks ago, FMNC general manager Bruce Potter said they were simply awaiting the green light from council.
The proposed purpose-built facility would be located at Thrumster and could be co-shared with cricket in the summer.
That site has been identified for future development as sports fields. The 6.7 hectare site is adjacent to St Joseph’s Regional College.
“At the moment there is over $100 million available in regional infrastructure funding for sports facilities,” Potter said.
“We think that our plans for a regional football facility ticks all the boxes for us to have a slice of that.”
Potter said the facility would be a hub for the world game, including their 7000 registered members on the Mid-North Coast which would benefit players from Kempsey to Bulahdelah.
“The facility would be a home for Football Mid North Coast and would free up space on Wayne Richards Park for our Port Macquarie-based community clubs,” he said.
“It would generate significant economic benefit to the local community.
“Just by basing our Women’s Premier League and National Premier League sides in Port Macquarie would bring in over $2 million a year into the local community over winter with visiting teams.”
At the moment there is over $100 million available in regional infrastructure funding for sports facilities.Football Mid North Coast general manager Bruce Potter
Should the facility be given the go-ahead, Potter said it would be an ongoing source for the area which would then become an ideal venue for special events.
“Australia is quite a reasonable chance of getting the Women’s World Cup and we will definitely get another Asian Cup at some stage in the future,” he said.
“Those are massive international events that have competing teams looking for regional bases and places where the team can stay.
“Port Macquarie, with its easy access by air to capital cities, is a perfect hub for a team to base itself when in New South Wales or even in Australia.”
The recent visit by the Jets to the area, which attracted a midweek crowd of over 4000 people, shows the underlying support for high-level football in the region.
“The developers have indicated they are in a position to hand the land over very quickly to council and would be prepared to do some of the ground work to achieve that,” Potter said.
Just by basing our Women’s Premier League and National Premier League sides in Port Macquarie would bring in over $2 million a year into the local community over winter.Bruce Potter
“What we’re after is some kind of acknowledgement from council that we can utilise that land and a letter so we can put the process in place to start the grant applications.”
Council have been contacted for comment.