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Ballarat to host Festival of Football

The City of Ballarat is excited to announce the Festival of Football with Western United’s first two Ballarat games set to take place at the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility in September.

The Festival of Football will see Western United play against current FFA Cup holders Adelaide United and current A League champions Sydney FC in the space of six days.

The two friendly games will be held on:

Saturday 21 September at 3pm – Western United v Adelaide United

Friday 27 September at 3pm – Western United v Sydney

The Saturday 21 September game will take place ahead of Ballarat White Night while the Friday 27 September game will take place on the public holiday for Grand Final Eve.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh says this is a fantastic opportunity for Ballarat soccer and Western United fans to see top level soccer in their own backyard.

“Soccer is one of Ballarat’s fastest growing sports. We know our work to attract Western United here will only strengthen grassroots level soccer while bolstering Ballarat’s position in the state’s major events scene.”

WUFC Director of Football Steve Horvat says: “Ballarat Festival of Football is an important milestone in our relationship with the region. As someone from the Western corridor of the state, I sense what football means to the local community. With our commitment to the football family of Ballarat, these pre-season games provide the opportunity for football fans, within the region, to connect with their own professional football club.”

WUFC Head Coach Mark Rudan says the club is looking forward to playing two pre-season fixtures in Ballarat. “The games against Adelaide United and Sydney FC in Ballarat come at an important time in our pre-season preparation ahead of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season. From a football perspective, a competitive hit out against A-League opposition is vital at this time of year.”

Adelaide United Director of Football Bruce Djite looked at this fixture against the A-League’s newest club as a great opportunity to keep building momentum. “We’re very excited to be bringing Adelaide United to Ballarat. The game against Western United will be a great test for our boys and we’re looking forward to this key part of our pre-season preparations as we edge closer to the A-League season commencing.”

This will be the second time Sydney FC will be playing in Ballarat and current head coach Steve Corica can’t wait. “We are looking forward to facing Western United. It’s exciting to be playing the new team which will give us a chance to see what they are about before the seasons starts. I’m also keen to increase the standard and quality of opposition as we get closer to the start of the A-League campaign in order to hit the ground running, so this is a good test for our players.”

Western United will also play four games for points in 2019-2020 at Ballarat’s premier multi-sports and events facility Mars Stadium, providing the region’s soccer fans with the chance to see their favourite players in action right here in Ballarat.

The friendly matches are a coup for the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility, which has a capacity of 4,000. While the games for points are expected to attract more than 5,000 fans and will be held at Mars Stadium, which can cater for more than 11,000 spectators, the friendlies are expected to attract strong but smaller crowds.

The City of Ballarat has been working to attract the A League’s newest side, Western United, to play matches in Ballarat.

Earlier this year, City of Ballarat officers met with Western United CEO Maurice Bisetto and facilitated a venue tour of both the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility and Mars Stadium.

The City of Ballarat also acknowledges the support of Ballarat City FC Coach James Robinson for assisting to bring these fantastic events to Ballarat.

The City of Ballarat also extends a special welcome to Western United members to Ballarat. Western United members will receive free entry into both games on the presentation of their membership ticket.

Festival of Football tickets will go on sale today through hermaj.com

Milos Ninkoovic – Photo by Jamie Castaneda.

2020 Dockerty Cup Final to be Held in Ballarat

The final of Victoria’s most historic and enduring football (soccer) competition, the Dockerty Cup, will be held in Ballarat in August, 2020.

Football Victoria (FV) and the City of Ballarat have agreed in principle to host the 111th Dockerty Cup final at the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility at Morshead Park.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos announced the decision at today’s 110th Dockerty Cup final between Melbourne Knights FC and Hume City FC in Melbourne.

“It’s fantastic to have the final of Victoria’s most historic football competition held in one of Victoria’s most historic and significant towns, Ballarat,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“Ballarat and district has a proud and strong footballing heritage, led by Ballarat City FC currently in the National Premier League Victoria’s NPL2 West competition,” he said.

“We look forward to working very closely with the City of Ballarat over the next 12 months to ensure it will be a memorable occasion in August 2020 when the 111th Dockerty Cup final is decided at Morshead Park.”

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh says the announcement cements yet another elite level sport for Ballarat.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Ballarat soccer enthusiasts to experience this incredible historic competition right here in Ballarat.”