SAINTS WOMEN GO MARCHING IN AT MOORABBIN

St Kilda’s history-making AFLW players will hit the ground running thanks to new high-performance facilities delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s unprecedented support for women’s football.

The Saints are one of four new teams due to join the AFLW in 2020, and they will do so after a summer of training in elite surrounds.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula was joined by inaugural St Kilda AFLW coach Peta Searle, president Andrew Bassat and chief executive Matt Finnis at RSEA Park today to officially open stage one of Moorabbin’s $13 million AFLW-ready redevelopment.

The new facilities include changerooms designed specifically for women and girls, player meeting and match committee rooms and a player lounge.

The next part of the redevelopment will deliver an undercover grandstand and a lap pool, plus a hydrotherapy pool for use by players and the local community.

In total, $25 million in Victorian Government funds have been committed to help St Kilda re-establish its headquarters at Moorabbin, which it did last year.

The Labor Government is delivering for female footballers across the state by supporting quality, accessible facilities from grassroots to the elite level, so more women and girls have the opportunity to get involved.

The Government’s investment in elite female football facilities totals $45 million, also taking in major works at Ikon Park, Casey Fields, Whitten Oval and Victoria Park.

St Kilda’s VFLW and VFL teams play at Moorabbin, but the 2020 AFLW season will see the first national-league games played at the oval in 27 years. The AFLW will become a 14-team competition in early 2020 when the Saints, Richmond, West Coast and Gold Coast join the league.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“These terrific new Moorabbin facilities will provide female footballers at both the elite and grassroots level with the opportunity to be their very best.”

“We’re proud to be bringing elite footy back to Moorabbin Oval, the home of the St Kilda Football Club, as the AFLW Saints prepare to join the national league.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos

“The stories of the St Kilda Football Club and the bayside region are so intertwined and this is another great chapter that will set the foundations for the next generation of women and girls coming through the ranks.”

Quote attributable to St Kilda AFLW coach Peta Searle

“It’s really important for us to create an environment where our players feel like they belong. This facility gives the girls a place of their own and the space to carve their own paths here at the Saints.”