It is rumoured that soon football in Western Australia will see the announcement of the venue for the proposed “Home of Football” that Football West seems hellbent on creating. The word is that rather than creating a totally new facility it is in fact going to be a case of Football West moving into an existing facility, at the home of Ashfield Sports club in the City of Bassendean.
This should come as no surprise as previously Football West were looking to base themselves at the home of Floreat Athena in Mount Hawthorn. Both of these venues have a great deal of open space alongside the existing football clubs that would mean Football West could utilise this space for their own needs. However where does that leave the needs of the existing club and the other sports and clubs who use this space?
If the announcement is made one has to ask why Football West are not casting their eye on Belmont Park Race track. Last week it was announced that it is surplus to requirements for WA Racing. This would be the ideal location for such a venture. It would be a brand new facility and brand new pitches for football. It is close to public transport easily accessible and is also very close to the new Stadium being erected at Burswood. So an ideal training facility close to the stadium and close to the hotel that most visiting teams will be expected to stay at. It would also mean new pitches and facilities for football, rather than taking over existing ones.
Very rarely does an area of Open space such as this become available so close to the city, so Football West should be banging down the doors of the Government to be allocated a section of it. This would appear a far better option than simply latching onto an existing club and their facilities.
Even though this would be a great opportunity as stated in”Time to Leave Home” we questioned the investment in a Home of football ahead of making facilities across the state better. With the current state of the game in Western Australia one has to question why the Board are still pursuing this vision, surely there are far more pressing issues at hand?
It would also appear that Football West intend to announce the location of the “Home of Football” before they have the finances to fund such a thing. Is that really a wise move? Surely it is best to have the finance committed, and have a location locked in before any announcements are made?
No doubt more details will be revealed in time, but one has to hope that Ashfield do not lose their home because of this move, and that the council do not move them on. That would be detrimental to the game as Ashfield has always been one of the more professionally run clubs in the State competition, and a friendly ground to visit as a player or a spectator.