Albury United to benefit from $150,000 NSW Football Legacy Fund grant.


Albury United’s facilities are set for a $500,000 makeover.

That figure includes a $150,000 grant from the NSW Football Legacy Fund and will see club rooms at Jelbart Park upgraded to female-friendly facilities as well as light towers being installed as part of major improvements to ground three at the Lavington venue.

Football NSW CEO John Tsatsimas was at the club on Tuesday to meet with United officials and AWFA president Greg Scott as well as Albury MP Justin Clancy and Albury mayor Kylie King.

“This is the perfect outcome,” Albury United president Justin Stevens beamed.

“To win two league championships and two cup finals last season (senior men and women) and then back it up with an email stating we’d just won $150,000 for the club, to benefit our grounds and our local community, it’s pretty outstanding and it really touches your heart.

“We’re very lucky we got the top amount, which is $150,000, and we’re very thankful for that because it’s going to go such a long way for our club.

“At the minute, ground three is pretty much rendered useless for training at night.

“There are no lights at all, so when we lose one field it starts to impact other teams when we’re such a big club with huge numbers.

“We’re going to get two light towers on ground three and with the remaining money, we’re going to dip in ourselves a little bit and put an electronic scoreboard up onto ground one, which is our main pitch.

“Then we want to put some money into our facilities and hopefully we can push the council to do some leg work for us there.”

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup being held in Australia and New Zealand this year, Tsatsimas was thrilled to see NSW Government money being injected into the game at grassroots level.
“The legacy fund provides every opportunity for participants here to get more involved,” he said.

“I’m very proud to be here at Albury United to celebrate $150,000 in grants for projects in excess of $500,000.

“It will assist in lighting, surface irrigation, the canteen, female-friendly dressing rooms and storage areas.

“It’s all part of the greater package to incentivise females to be involved in leadership programs, playing and administrative elements.

“Regional football is paramount in terms of what we do, it’s an important part of our fabric at Football NSW and the legacy fund incorporates regional areas.

“We’re very proud for Albury United to be the beneficiaries of that.

“Female football participation rates are increasing and there’s no greater illustration of that than here in Albury.”

Scott was delighted to see AWFA benefitting from some much-needed funding coming into the competition.

“Only $5million has been made available in this legacy grant round for the state so for this club to get $150,000 is a big achievement.

“It is going to improve the facilities here significantly, the ground is going to get some much-needed work and some lights so there can be some extra training.

“This ground struggles to cope with the amount of use it gets because Albury United’s such a big club, Albury City’s a big club and with all the miniroos we have coming through – which is amazing – to be able to get them all training and playing can prove very difficult.

“So to have an extra ground with lights that can be used for training is going to be sensational for this club.

“It’s very rare you get the opportunity to have the CEO of Football NSW in your back yard so it’s certainly not lost on us how important it is to build the relationships we have with John and his team.

“To have them down here, doing training for our reps players, our goalkeepers and our referees as well, those sort of opportunities don’t come along every day so we’re keen to take advantage of that and build those relationships and get some more visits happening.”

Scott knows AWFA must capitalise on the buzz created by Sam Kerr and the Matildas during a huge year for the sport.

“We need to grab hold of all those people that get interested because of the World Cup,” he said.

“We’ve reduced our women’s fees to help attract those people that might have some interest to be able to come and join a team.”

Justin Stevens, John Tsatsimas and Karen Rannie-Milne at Jelbart Park. Picture: by MARK JESSER

Albury-Wodonga Football Association president Greg Scott with Football NSW chief executive John Tsatsimas at Jelbart Park, where a grant of $150,000 is about to transform Albury United’s facilities. Picture: by MARK JESSER