Dodd: WA needs a football home
Perth Glory midfielder Travis Dodd has backed the campaign for a Home of Football in Western Australia.
Dodd has become the latest high-profile sporting identity to support the cause of Football West, the state governing body for football in WA, who are seeking a funding commitment of around $20 million from the state government to create a purpose-built home for the game.
The Glory trained at the current dilapidated Gibney Reserve facility on Tuesday to highlight the desperate need for the proposal to be given the green light.
"It's hugely important for football in WA to have a home," said Dodd.
"If you look around at the other sports in this state, rugby has a state-of-the-art facility which we use on a daily basis and basketball has got a new facility as well.
"Where we're training today, this is football's facility and to be honest, it's not up to much.
"There's not even any hot water in the showers here, for example.
"You want to set a high standard on and off the park and that's not the case here.
"It would be great if football could have one base with everything coming out of it like the other sports.
"The Glory players are right behind the push for a Home of Football and whatever we can do to help, we will."
Current skipper Jacob Burns, former club favourites Bobby Despotovski and Jamie Harnwell, Matildas star Katie Gill and Aussie Rules legend Glen Jakovich all feature in a promotional video for the project which has prompted a vast outpouring of support via social media, with ex-Glory striker Robbie Fowler and supermodel Megan Gale among those offering their public backing.
And Football West chief executive Peter Hugg is optimistic that the state's decision-makers are listening.
"Hopefully, this will garner enough traction with the respective political parties for them to take notice and make a commitment," he said.
"To have everyone at Glory, some of our best Socceroos over in Europe and celebrities like Megan Gale give their support for the campaign is fantastic, not to mention the many mums and dads, fans, spectators, club members and general supporters of the game."
Hugg was also quick to emphasise that the Home of Football proposal would benefit the entire local football community, with the state-of-the-art training facilities made available to amateur, women's and junior sides as well as the state's elite A-League and W-League performers.
"Whilst the Home of Football will provide a training facility for the Glory men, women and youth teams, our various state representative teams and the National Training Centre development squads it will also enable us to provide facilities to the greater football family as well as the general public, schools and community groups," he said.
"With many of the playing surfaces proposed to be artificial grass and wanting to maximise usage of the facility, we will look to conduct sessions for a whole range of groups that want to play and train there."
A small competition venue with a capacity of around 5000, a WA football museum and an education and training resource centre would also be included in the development which Hugg hopes, if funding is forthcoming, could be completed as early as the start of the 2015 season.
Football West has received in-principle support for $500,000 from FIFA through its 'Goal' program and will be seeking support from the federal government as well as commencing its own fundraising activities.