Bunbury is preparing to host two of the Westfield W-League soccer competition’s biggest sides next year.
Perth Glory and Canberra United will play their W-League Round 12 clash at the Hay Park Multi Sport Pavilion on Saturday, January 20.
The weekend will also include community engagement programs backed by the City of Bunbury, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Football West.
Bunbury, Busselton and Dunsborough will play host to free juniors soccer clinics, featuring players from the Perth Glory side.
Perth Glory chief executive officer Peter Filopoulos, team coach Bobby Despotovski and star player Sam Kerr joined Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray and City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan for the announcement on Tuesday, November 14.
Football West general manager, strategy and partnerships Jonathan Cook said the plan greatly benefits the South West’s soccer scene.
“The metropolitan area is now very well-serviced for soccer, but down here in the South West you’ve got some really good clubs doing great things,” he said.
“The opportunity for a national league competition, the Westfield W-League, to come out to Bunbury I think is another opportunity to showcase the top end of the game.”
Mr Filopoulous said the move illustrated the Glory’s commitment to women’s sport in the state.
“Kerr is one of the top women’s footballers in the world and her profile in Australian sport – let alone football – is very high, so the fact that we’re able to bring her to Bunbury in January is a big win for the South West region,” he said.
“Not only that, but Perth Glory is one of the favourites to win the competition this year.
“This region is a big winner for that and we’re delighted to be here.”
The move was made possible through the country sport enrichment scheme.
Mr Murray said the program assisted in getting major sporting events out into regional areas and keeping people engaged in sport.
He said the state government worked closely with the City of Bunbury to assist sporting facilities and resources.
Mr Brennan said collaboration between the City of Bunbury, Football West, Perth Glory and the WA Government helped make the event possible.
“That’s what we’ve been focusing on for some time now, that collaboration between the state government and the associations and clubs,” he said.
“It further enhances our reputation as a sporting capital, we have this magnificent Hay Park facility as well as the other sporting grounds we’ve got.”