ECB Shortlisted by FIFA as training venue for Women’s World Cup

27 Sep

Following the BIG news that FIFA has shortlisted East Coast Bays AFC as a training ground for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup (pending a final decision next month), we now have some information to share in terms of this will mean for our members and our club.

As a host training venue for FIFA, the benefits for our club will be significant because of the investment to bring our club facilities up to meet FIFA’s required standards for training venues. FIFA aims to leave a lasting legacy for local clubs, and this opportunity means our facilities will be some of the best in New Zealand and fit for generations of footballers to come.

While the upgrading of facilities and the use of our club during the tournament period will cause some disruption, we hope our members agree that the significant investment will be well worth it.

Some background

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in New Zealand and Australia on 20 July 2023 and runs until 20 August 2023. In the Auckland region, training venues for 20 teams are required, and our club has been selected as a shortlisted venue.

For our club to be a host venue, there is a requirement for facilities to meet FIFA standards and this will include modernising ageing facilities and meeting gender neutral objectives.

What does this mean for ECB?

Funding from FIFA, NZ Football, Auckland Council, Lotteries Commission and other grants and funds will be invested in our club to bring facilities up to FIFA standard, including upgrades to the lower fields, lighting and club facilities. The upgrades include:

  • the lower field brought up to international playing standard and lighting installed
  • changing rooms upgraded – expansion of two changing rooms and the upgrading of others, including plumbing, electrical and engineering, new paint, flooring, fixtures and fittings, lighting and showers.
  • upgraded public toilets
  • heating installed in the clubrooms.

What is the disruption going to be for games & trainings?

Work to upgrade our facilities and install lighting is due to begin next month (October) and continue through to March. This will cause some disruption to the upcoming summer football programme, so our seniors will be playing six-a-side up on the top field and juniors have been invited to play at the Albany Football Fix venue.

If selected, we know there will be disruption a month prior to the World Cup getting underway on 20 July. We are not yet clear on the level of access we will have to our fields or club until the team we host is confirmed. However, we may lose access to fields, the clubrooms and change rooms throughout this period. If this is the case, we have plans to move games and trainings away from Bay City Park to our surrounding venues for this two-month period.

We realise the construction period and World Cup tournament period will cause some short-term disruption for our club and games. However, we hope our members all agree that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create long-term benefits. The legacy that FIFA leaves will set us up for the future. 

It’s an exciting time for our club and with our continued drive to lift the number of females playing football, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will shine a spotlight on the sport and have a positive impact for all of our current, new and potential female players.

We look forward to providing you with more information as it comes to hand.

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