The Central Coast Mariners FC Trust has welcomed news of the Federal Government delivering its election commitment of $10 million toward the development of a world class Centre of Excellence at Tuggerah.
Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean has made the announcement in Canberra today.
“This $39 million facility is the result of a partnership between the Australian Government, Central Coast Mariners, Football Federation of Australia and Wyong Shire Council. It will ultimately build a stronger Central Coast regional economy,” Mr Crean said.
Chairman of the Mariners FC Trust, Peter Turnbull, has expressed his delight at the news.
“The complex is very much full steam ahead,” said Mr Turnbull.
“Building experts have been on site over the past few weeks as we look to get the first stage of the Centre of Excellence well and truly off the ground, and today’s announcement will only further facilitate the prompt completion of what will be a wonderful facility for not only the Mariners, but for the Central Coast region as a whole.
"We lodged the application for a Construction Certificate two weeks ago and hope to have council approval of stage one construction by Christmas. Construction work would then start in February."
Along with full sized football pitches, including a main stadium with a capacity for 3,000 spectators, the state-of-the-art development will also house Sports Science facilities complete with a heated indoor pool, gym and fitness centre, which will be utilised by the wider community.
“It’s going to be a real centre for sporting excellence here on the Central Coast, and that’s great as well, it’s setting an example for everyone here about getting out, being fit and healthy, so from a preventative health issue it is a terrific leader for us,” said Member for Dobell Craig Thomson MP.
His Federal Labor counterpart on the Central Coast, Member for Robertson, Deborah O’Neill, has echoed Mr Thomson’s sentiment.
“It’s a $40 million dollar project so there are going to be jobs here in building and construction, and there are going to be ongoing jobs. It’s the first of its type in Australia by an A-League club, it’s great news for the Central Coast and great news for the Mariners,” said Ms O’Neill.
The facility, whilst in its embryonic stages, is already being utilised by the Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League club, who, for the first time in six seasons, have a training base to call home after previously enduring a nomadic existence.
“It’s fantastic news,” said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold.
“We’ve set up a good training facility at the moment with two training pitches, but to have a wonderful training facility as well as a centre for the community come and use as well will be fantastic for the local community.”
The Mariners Sports Campus, to be built in Tuggerah, will include:
- two full size football fields and a grandstand for up to 3,000 fans
- a function, event and reception centre for club and community use
- up to 10 all-weather courts for five-a-side soccer and other sports
- a heated indoor pool and hydrotherapy centre for community use
- a gym and fitness centre for community use
- facilities for delivering educational learning programs
- a sports medicine centre, and
- amenities, car parking facilities and an upgrade to the Wyong Rd roundabout.