It was announced today (Monday) a new $32.5 million State Football Centre will be located in the Perth suburb of Queens Park.


Huge $32.5m football academy to be built before 2023 World Cup

Western Australian football is set for a transformative football infrastructure development, with the state government confirming construction of an elite football facility.

In July 2019, Premier League royalty Manchester United trained and played in Perth for a week. 

A year earlier, another big Premier League side Chelsea visited Perth, also playing against local A-League side Perth Glory. 

Both Premier League clubs attracted over 50,000 fans at the spectacular new Optus Stadium in Perth's CBD location Burswood. 

The glitzy Perth stadium officially opened in early 2018 and is considered by many as one of the nation’s finest and most eye-catching venues, despite it being configured in an oval shape for cricket and Aussie Rules. 

Today’s announcement now means English Premier League tours will have access to a professional base to continue their pre-season training in Perth. 

The Premier League in Perth has been a massive hit in recent years

And fans could also watch the Premier League teams train in Perth, with the venue announcing 700 permanent seats could be extended to 4000 in temporary seating.  

"Perth has a comfortable climate for preseason period for traveling teams from the UK and EU,” Lou Sticca, the FIFA match agent of those English Premier League tours to Perth tells FTBL. 

“These clubs focus heavily on preparation for their season ahead.


"Perth has become extremely astute at putting themselves on their radar as a pre-season destination and with now new improved training facilities, it adds more value,” says Sticca, the match agent who brought to Australia Juventus and David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.

The world-class facility is set to be ready for 2023 when, potentially, Australia and New Zealand co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Additionally, Perth is a shorter flight from Asia and Europe than east coast Australian cities such as Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

And with Qantas still hoping Perth becomes a hub for non-stop flights to Europe, Perth is an attractive logistical option for European and Premier League clubs (though COVID-19 and an ongoing stoush between Perth airport and the national carrier are muddying those plans for now). 

"With the world-class Optus Stadium and great hotels, the teams have a professional environment in Perth,” added Sticca.

“And for traveling fans, a variety of entertainment such as Rottnest Island, Fremantle, Scarborough Beach, and numerous wineries, it’s easy to see why Perth will grow even more as desirable for big clubs such as those from the Premier League to prepare for their new season.

Football West CEO James Curtis said the facility will also attract overseas investment through training camps and exchange trips leveraging Football West’s Asian Engagement Strategy.

Premier League giants Manchester United toured Perth in 2019



"That revenue will be pumped back into the sport and will be hugely important for our clubs because the money generated will help us provide assistance and reduce the burden on clubs, players and the broader football community. 

"The knock-on effect of that is facilities elsewhere will improve," he said. 

Football is the most popular team-based competitive sport in WA, with more than 45 percent growth in participants since 2006.

Facilities for football in Australia have traditionally been one of the structural problems holding back the game. 

Football’s administrators have seemingly been unable to grasp the importance of a policy platform squarely aimed at government at all levels. 

However, today’s announcement from Perth is another sign that administrators see the value in engaging with government, leveraging Australia’s enormous numbers at grassroots to achieve fantastic outcomes for grassroots up to big Premier League tours. 

Another example of a change in approach is in Melbourne, where a new government-funded elite women’s football facility is set to feature a 5,000-seater stadium and be capable of hosting training camps and elite pathway programs for the national women’s team the Matildas. 

There the state governing body Football Victoria has been actively lobbying government at all levels for better facilities to cope with the game's extraordinary growth in numbers.