FOOTBALL Mid North Coast (FMNC) general manager Bruce Potter is confident their vision for new state-of-the-art facility at Thrumster is more than a pipedream.
A report to the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council meeting on February 15 dealt with making better use of sports fields.
The report said engagement between sporting user groups and council staff had been positive with some groups, including FMNC, providing detailed options to support their immediate and future needs.
A site at Thrumster has been identified for future development as sports fields. The 6.7 hectare site is adjacent to St Joseph’s Regional College. The development of a multi-use regional sports precinct at Wauchope is also an important part of the council's plans.
FMNC said its proposed purpose-built facility would be used purely for football in winter and cricket in summer with the long-term goal of A-League clubs hosting matches in Port Macquarie.
In a letter of endorsement, Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna expressed an interest in bringing pre-season trials as well as competitive fixtures to the Mid-North Coast should FMNC gain the necessary backing.
FMNC chairman Mike Parsons addressed councillors saying its proposed future development for Thrumster represents a once in a generation opportunity to create a facility that will benefit thousands of players.
“FMNC propose a facility that provides a main field suitable for matches up to and including A League standard,” he said. “ Multiple training fields at the rear of the complex would be used year round by our 400 strong high performance programs, cricket over the summer and community football over the winter seasons.
“FMNC would seek to relocate our administration office to the site to provide the benefits of on-site security.”
Mr Parsons estimates a potential benefit of $2 million annually sports tourism just by basing the National Premier League and Women’s Premier League teams at Thrumster.
“Thrumster would provide a potential home for state carnivals and titles, trial matches and statewide gala weekends. It would certainly be highly attractive as a team base for future major international football tournament hosted by Australia,” he said.
“These events would bring many thousands of additional families to this region over the winter football season on a regular basis. The proposed development at Thrumster has significant ongoing economic benefit to the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
“It also provides a focal point for our sport and a regional centre of excellence that would directly benefit all of our 6,500 players from Bulahdelah to Kempsey.
“As a regional football facility, FMNC would be working with council to attract funding from state and federal sources. We ask that council prioritise the budget for detailed design of the Thrumster sports facility so that we can begin this process.”