Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne says the Western Australian football community needs to start “banging on parliament’s door” again to find a home of football.
Coyne’s side were forced to shift Wednesday’s 2-0 FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Melbourne Victory away from home ground Frank Drago Reserve due to inadequate floodlights.
The match was played at the WA Athletics Stadium in front of 1650 fans, who were at least 40 metres away from the action due to the running track around the field.
Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey commented after Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Stirling Lions at the same venue, that the gap between the field and crowd eradicated the home ground advantage due to the lack of atmosphere and Coyne agreed.
“Kudos to everyone who turned up tonight, they made a big effort,” Coyne said. “But Mike Mulvey made the comment last night as well, when they’re 40 metres away you can’t really hear it.
“The atmosphere would’ve been better if it was at one of the smaller grounds with the stand on top of you.
“We’re grateful for Venues West for putting it on but I don’t think it’s the right venue for the rectangular game.”
In February last year, Football West launched the Home of Football campaign which aimed to garner political support for a central training and administration headquarters for the game in the state.
So far the campaign, which wanted a $20 million funding pledge, hasn’t succeeded, but this week’s FFA Cup matches may have reignited the debate.
Coyne added: “They’ve organised it well, but as a state we need to have a look at ourselves and try to get something.
“Whether it’s a home of football or it’s in the northern suburbs or southern suburbs, I don’t know the answer, but we need to look at it and start banging on parliament’s door and getting things done so we’ve got floodlights and facilities. It’s imperative.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the next generation and building the game in WA.
“For whatever reason we’re behind the times. We’ve got to get with the program.”
Victory coach Kevin Muscat refused to weigh into the argument, but surprisingly admitted he was pleased the game was played in Perth for the integrity of the FFA Cup.
FourFourTwo revealed this week that Bayswater and Victory had tried to swap the venue for the game to Melbourne, but failed to receive FFA approval.
“I’m grateful the game was played here,” Muscat said.
“It would devalue it if home teams can move the games from state to state. It certainly would have set an awkward precedent.
“It’s unfortunate it wasn’t at their home ground, but the safety of the players is paramount.”2 comments