Rockbank Football Club could be in for a major facelift, with the federal Labor Party pledging to upgrade the club’s outdated facilities if elected next month.
As part of the pledge, the club, which has been pushing for upgrades to its facilities for more than six years, will receive $1.8 million to go towards upgrading the social rooms, kitchen, changerooms and ground lighting at Ian Cowie Reserve.
The announcement came ahead of the May 18 election, with local MP Brendan O’Connor and opposition sports spokesman Don Farrell visiting the club last week.
“Rockbank is one of the oldest towns in our region and as the Rams celebrate their 100th year in 2019, Labor’s investment will help the club to keep up with facilities at new clubs in the new suburbs springing up nearby,” Mr O’Connor said.
New coaches boxes, a digital scoreboard and more spectator shelter are also on the cards as part of the planned upgrades.
Club general manager Gavin Sporle said the announcement was a massive boost for the club, which has suffered some huge losses on the field to start the season.
“We’ve put in a heck of a lot of work to get this funding,’ Mr Sporle said.
“We’ve had some poor results recently on the field, but we’ve put a lot of work into our juniors to build that up. So an announcement like this allows us to attract the community to come down and get involved.
“We’re 100 years old, but we’ve struggled to attract new players and investment to the club. The Rockbank area is growing, so an announcement like this will really help us build a successful sporting club moving forward.”
Caroline Springs’ Westside Strikers also received a funding commitment from Mr O’Connor and Senator Farrell, with a pledge for $1 million to go towards a new synthetic soccer pitch announced last week.
The new synthetic pitch will complement council plans to upgrade clubhouse facilities at the reserve to better cater for the heavy schedule of shared use.
“With the Strikers currently sharing Brookside Reserve with Sunshine George Cross Football Club, three cricket clubs, a tennis club and the local school, maintaining pitches and scheduling training and games is a real challenge for the club,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Labor’s investment will improve the club’s capacity to cater for current and future player numbers.”