The project, jointly funded by Moreland Council, Department of Education and Training, and Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure includes not just a new grandstand, function room, kitchen, kiosk, change rooms and media room, but also functions as a flexible learning space. During the school day it will be used by John Fawkner College (JFC) students for physical education classes and senior sports pathway programs.
“We already had very comprehensive programs established, but now we also have the infrastructure in place,” Gus Napoli, JFC Principal, said. “We have the Melbourne City College of Football, as well as a Sports Industry Pathway program, and these facilities are like an annexe of the school which can provide for that specialisation. These are genuine pathways which are also avenues to engagement – and if kids are engaged, they’ll learn.
“The response from our local area and beyond has been fantastic. This is a magnificent example of smart infrastructure development, and it is not just locked up once school hours are over. It is great for our school, and more importantly great for the whole community.”
Clubs from the National Premier League and State League will play home games at CB Smith, taking advantage of the new pitches, irrigation, lights and scoreboard.
Lou Tona of Pascoe Vale SC said, “It is an unbelievable quality surface at an unbelievable stadium. We get to have one of the best facilities in Victoria as our home. We honestly believe that the outstanding quality of the new playing surface will mean a significantly better quality game for our spectators, and that is what we want to provide.”
Joe Sala from Moreland Zebras FC concurred. “We’re really excited to be here,” he said. “It is an opportunity to showcase our footballing wares and promote this great game in a pristine environment. It’s a great thing for our club and for the sport.”
Fawkner SC spokesperson Tony Schipano said, “For this club, that was founded by my father and his brothers in 1967, it is what we have waited a long time for – a return to our home. Already this year we have had 100 extra kids come along to get involved, and i think that’s because they have seen the venue. It’s a proper home for soccer in Moreland, it is surrounded by beautiful parks, and it will be great for the game and our municipality.”
The official launch of the facility was on 6 March 2015, which was followed by an NPL clash between home side Pascoe Vale and rivals Northcote in front of an enthusiastic crowd.