Scholarships for talented young footballers would become available under plans for a Campbelltown City Council community partnership with Macarthur South West United A-League football club.
The proposal for a five year partnership will go before a full council meeting next Tuesday, May 14.
Council would need to invest more than $2.7 million over the five years if it agrees to accept the invitation from the club.
A report to council says Campbelltown is the only council in the region offered the opportunity to become the club’s local government community partner.
“The club has advised that there are already two other partners confirmed from within the region who will enhance and complement council’s involvement in the community partnership,’’ it says.
Councillor Paul Lake says that while he is happy we have an A-League club which will use our stadium, he would like more information before supporting the plan for a community partnership.
“It’s going to be great to have our stadium fully used at last, it’s going to be great for local fans but also for business in Campbelltown having a full time tenant for the stadium,’’ he said.
“I think it’s important councillors have more information before making a decision to spend so much of ratepayers’ money,’’ he said.
“I certainly would like to know more about it and I am sure all of the councillors have questions to ask.
“I would like to see it deferred and brought back with more information and exactly what council will be getting for its investment and so on.
“Plus I don’t think there is a deadline, there’s no rush I don’t think from what I can see.’’
Liberal councillor George Greiss told the South West Voice in Macarthur he did have some concerns on the proposal that he would like to see addressed with some more information.
Cr Greiss however will not be attending Tuesday’s meeting as he will be attending a graduation ceremony.
He said he hoped the matter may be deferred for more information.
The officer’s recommendation is that that council accept the invitation to become the local government community partner of the Macarthur South West Football Club for a five year term.
“Should Council decide to take up the opportunity to become a community partner, it is proposed that funding be sourced from the City Hosting Fund reserve, which will contain $600,000 at 30 June 2019, to fund the first year commitment, with years two to five dedicated in future budgets,’’ says the report to council.’’
Fund money is intended for deals that enable the use of Campbelltown Sports Stadium by elite club from various codes.
The reports says that the aim of the community partnerships is to “provide a strong foundation for young and upcoming football players and increase player participation at grassroots level.”
“The community partners will help the A-League team link with local schools, the football community and community groups,’’ it says.
The second part of the community partnership is the academy programs of the club.
“These will provide children and young people unique local skill development opportunities and access to high performance coaching without having to leave the area,’’ says the report to council.
“For council’s investment in the community partnership, children living in the Campbelltown Local Government Area who are selected to be part of the academy will be provided with a scholarship to participate in the elite pathway. This will provide equitable access for Campbelltown children to the programs irrespective of socioeconomic circumstances.’’