By Nick Creely
The bid to bring an A-League and W-League club to the south-east of Victoria has received the overwhelming backing of many local Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong clubs.
In total, 43 clubs from all different regions in the south-east have provided Letters of Support to Team 11’s bid, which was conveyed to Football Federation Australia and Deloitte as part of the bid team’s Expression of Interest submission.
Of the 43 clubs, 21 of those fall within the local region of Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong, with larger clubs such as Berwick City, Dandenong Thunder and Pakenham United all getting behind the bid.
Team 11 Project Officer Matt Windley said the bid would work with these clubs – and as many others as possible in south-east Victoria – in the coming months to establish what a formal working relationship would look like if and when the A-League push is successful.
“This club will be nothing without the backing of the local football community,” Windley said.
“The support received thus far has been incredible and we can’t thank enough the tireless efforts of the volunteers who run these clubs to help Team 11’s bid.
“We would love to have working relationships with all clubs in the south-east of Victoria.
“This is a club that has to be of benefit to its local football community. It goes beyond simply playing A-League and W-League matches locally, it has to be a genuine positive presence in the community and provide a genuine professional pathway for our young boys and girls.
“These Letters of Support are an indication from our community that we are building this bid in the right way thus far.”
The clubs that have provided letters of support so far are: Afghan Victory, Aspendale, Berwick Churches, Berwick City, Bunyip and District Strikers, Casey Comets, Casey Panthers, Chelsea, Dandenong City, Dandenong South, Dandenong Thunder, Doveton, Endeavour Hills Fire, Endeavour Sporting Club, Endeavour United, Gippsland FC, Hampton Park Sparrows, Inverloch Stars, James Cook FC, Keysborough, Knox Churches, Korumburra City, Langwarrin, Mazenod Victory, Mornington, Mount Martha, Newborough-Yallourn, Old Mentonians, Pakenham United, Peninsula Strikers Junior FC, Peninsula Strikers Senior FC, Sandown Lions, Skye United, South Springvale, Southern United, Springvale City, Springvale White Eagles, Trafalgar Victory, Traralgon City, Warragul United, Westernport, White Star Dandenong, Wonthaggi United.
Pakenham United president Lisa Forster said that bringing an A-League side into the region will benefit everyone.
“It’ll benefit all of us in the south-east by having a stadium in Dandenong and the training base in Casey,” she said.
“It will give all of our kids in the region the opportunity to have a go because those facilities are in their community.
“It doesn’t matter where they are, so long as they’re in the south-east, we’re all getting access to the professional game like we never have before.”