The West

WA home needed for Asian Cup
Perth glory lend trheir support to the campaign yesterday. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

WA soccer's proposed new headquarters has been included on the list of venues for pre-tournament camps for the 2015 Asian Cup.

Perth Glory and the State's peak soccer body Football West this month joined forces in a campaign to raise funds for a "Home of Football" to house the A-League club and elite development programs.

Football West are seeking a funding commitment from political leaders of up to $20 million for the facility, which would include training facilities, a boutique 4000-seat stadium and administration headquarters.

It would also serve as a base for visiting international teams and high-profile clubs from overseas.

Asian Cup teams will conduct warm-up camps for the 2015 tournament in December next year and Perth has three venues on the shortlist of 32.

But existing training facilities at nib Stadium and AK Reserve are not up to the optimum standard for Asia's showpiece soccer event.

Football West development officer and former Glory captain Jamie Harnwell said Perth would be an ideal base for international teams if the new facility got the green light.

"We could really offer something to Asian and European football teams who want to use Perth as a training base," Harnwell said.

"There are just so many good things that could come out of it.

"The players we're developing in spite of the conditions we've got at the moment, to give them the best facilities we can and see what sort of players we can develop would be huge."

Thousands of members of the WA soccer community have joined the campaign online, signing a petition at the website to send a message to political leaders.

Glory midfielder Travis Dodd joined the growing chorus of support, donning a "For Football's Sake" promotional shirt with teammates during yesterday's training session.

He said soccer needed a base similar to those recently built for basketball and rugby union.

"It's imperative that football in Western Australia has a home," Dodd said.

"If we look around the State at other sporting codes, rugby union's got a state of the art facility that we use on a daily basis and basketball's got a new facility as well.

"But where we are training today (Gibney Reserve in Maylands), this is football's facilities and to be honest it's not a lot.

"The players are right behind the push for a home of football."

A promotional video for the project featuring the likes of Glory captain Jacob Burns, Harnwell and West Coast legend Glen Jakovich has prompted an outpouring of support for the campaign via social media, with former Glory and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler and model Megan Gale among those offering their backing.

"But where we are training today (Gibney Reserve in Maylands), this is football's facilities and to be honest it's not a lot."" Glory's *Travis Dodd *

The West Australian

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