It’s been dubbed the “Home of Football” on the Northern Beaches; Cromer Park has recently completed its $2 million redevelopment of its famous precinct thanks to a collaborative effort from the Manly Warringah Football Association, Manly United FC and Manly Warringah District Football Club.
The building at Cromer Park, originally opened in 1983, had been in desperate need of redevelopment for many years.
Thanks to Mr Jason Falinski, Member for Mackellar, securing a $500,000 via the Community Development Grants Program, a $20,000 grant through the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership via the State Member for Wakehurst, the Hon Brad Hazzard, as well as money raised by both the MWFA and Manly United, the dream of upgrading the facility was realised.
“The redevelopment of the Manly Warringah Football Club has been on the agenda for the best part of a decade with various projects and plans considered to rejuvenate the facility,” said Manly Warringah Football Association Chief Executive Officer David Mason.
“The latest plans started three years ago when all football bodies on the Northern Beaches came together to prioritise the project. Funding from the football community was put in place and when we received a $500,000 from the Australian Government through the Community Development Grants Program it gathered serious momentum. Construction on the project started in January 2021 and was completed on time and on budget in 6 months.
“We have designed and constructed a facility that makes Cromer Park the true “Home of Football” on the Northern Beaches.
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy identifies ‘Homes of Football’ as one of five key infrastructure priorities over the next ten years. Homes of Football improve access to football programs, pathways, and development services across the association.
“The Manly Warringah Football Club includes a modern Social Club that will be for the use of the entire Manly Warringah football community and the general public with café, bistro and bar facilities as well as function and meeting rooms for the MWFA clubs, Manly United and registered footballers.
“We have also constructed a first-class physiotherapy, injury rehabilitation and gymnasium for the Manly Warringah football community and upgraded the administration offices for the MWFA and Manly United.
“The Manly Warringah Football Club is now a first-class community facility providing a focal point and meeting place for the football community for years and generations to come.”
The project was under-pinned by a Memorandum of understanding between the Manly Warringah Football Association, Manly United Football Club, and the Manly Warringah District Football Club (which owns the land) and was conducted in a professional manner with a robust funding model, reporting procedures and a thorough tender process, which ultimately saw COWYN Building Group contracted to construct the facility.
In conjunction with this agreement, the members of the football community also contributed to the project.
That has seen a combination of members of the football community offering their professional services and a passionate group of volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves in putting the finishing touches on the building.
“Football on the Northern Beaches is so fortunate to have a passionate group of volunteers who have put their blood, sweat and tears into driving this project in the same way they have been the fabric that has held football together and worked hard to ensure the entire football ecosystem is connected and working collaboratively,” said Mason.
“It is the reason why the MWFA has 20,000 registered players, Manly United is a stable National Premier Leagues NSW club that is helping to produce players at the highest level and is the reason why we now have a true “Home of Football” for everyone to enjoy.”
The new building will benefit the entire football population in the Northern Beaches.
This project is a great example of collaboration between state and federal government and community sport all working together for the common good of assisting with the promotion of Football in NSW.
“This project has been the culmination of many years of planning and collaboration from all members of the Northern Beaches football community that has been made possible by funding from the Australian and NSW Governments as well as money that has been raised and contributed by the football community,” said Mason.
“It is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when football works cohesively and collaborates with all stakeholders in a unified way to bring to life a vision and dream.
“Football clubs in the Northern Beaches footprint will now be able to hold fundraising events, presentation nights as well as host regular club meetings.
“Registered players, coaches and officials will also have access to the facility for functions and events as well as utilising the physiotherapy and injury rehabilitation service at a discounted rate.
“Parents and friends attending training sessions and matches at Cromer Park will now have somewhere to gather, relax, eat, drink, and socialise
“The MWFA, its clubs and volunteers will have a community space and function room to hold their regular meetings that continually help drive the sport to where it is today.
“We will also continue to host W-League and Pararoos matches to assist with the growth of football in those areas.”
Cromer Park No.1 will also receive an upgrade to the synthetic surface prior to the 2022 season after Northern Beaches Council were successful in the recent Greater Cities Sports Facility Fund – Round 1.