POLITICIANS, council and sporting bodies all have a role to play as Port Macquarie looks to cash in on Australia's successful 2023 Women's World Cup bid success.
Football Mid North Coast will do everything in its power to attract international women's football teams to the region leading up to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The wheels are already in motion with a new facility earmarked for Thrumster hoped to be completed by the end of 2021.
Following confirmation last week that Australia will co-host the 2023 event with New Zealand, FMNC chairman Mike Parsons is hopeful the complex could be completed before then.
"The realistic approach is for the end of 2021, but if we can get the final build done by mid-2022 then any participating team can see 9/10ths or 10/10ths of a final project," Parsons said.
"Our vision and dream for then would be to have a football-friendly and dedicated facility for one of these overseas teams to base themselves at.
"Our vision and dream for then would be to have a football-friendly and dedicated facility for one of these overseas teams to base themselves at."Mike Parsons
"We are in the early stages of having those conversations, but Port Macquarie is an ideal location with its proximity to Newcastle, Brisbane and Sydney in particular.
"I think we'll be able to do a joint partnership hopefully with one of the local colleges in terms of using their facility and gymnasiums."
Earthworks have started out at Thrumster while Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and FMNC have started to draw up plans.
"There is no reason why it can't be fast-tracked," Parsons said.
"The government has openly told us we need to inject funds into capital growth and expenditure in order to help our economy.
"It's going to be an important piece of infrastructure for the future of sports tourism and future-proofing the needs of an increasing player interest and ever-growing population.
"This facility ticks all the boxes and then some."
"There is no reason why it can't be fast-tracked."Mike Parsons
FMNC is currently putting a proposal together with a number of stakeholders including local MP Leslie Williams and federal member Pat Conaghan with the complete proposal set to go to Football Federation Australia in coming weeks.
"Time is of the essence, but we're putting a professional prospectus together to build the case for Port Macquarie to be able to host one of these teams (before the World Cup)," Parsons said.
Should Port Macquarie win the rights to host any teams, the region as a whole would benefit.
"It's not just about promoting football, it's not about promoting our sport, it's about promoting our region for future tourism," Parsons said.
"It's about promoting our region as a place to come and live and it's a place to travel to while also promoting the great game of round-ball football and the opportunities for women."
Parsons said a successful bid to have an overseas team based in Port Macquarie would be a significant "shot in the arm" for the region.
"Coffs Harbour has demonstrated with their facility that there's a massive opportunity for sports tourism which gives a shot in the arm for the regional economy."
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