In a major coup for South Coast football, the A-League All Stars will prepare for their match against Italian giants Juventus with a six-day training camp at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
The camp – from August 1-6 2014 – is seen as a huge step to promote the football credentials of a region long touted as the next home base for an A-League team.
As part of the training camp, the All Stars will hold a fan day at WIN Stadium from 9.30am on Sunday 3 August, prior to the NPL NSW 1 match between South Coast Wolves and St George FC (kick-off 1pm (20’s) and 3pm (first grade).
Following the open training session, fans will also get the opportunity to get autographs and photos with their favourite players from the Foxtel A-League All Stars squad.
The All Stars will then play a training match against the Young Socceroos at WIN Stadium on Tuesday 5 August (kick-off 7pm).
Entry will be free to both the fan day on the Sunday and the friendly match on Tuesday.
FFA chief David Gallop thanked WIN Stadium and Football South Coast for their support of the All Stars.
“Last year we saw the successful creation of the Foxtel A-League All Stars concept,” Gallop said.
“This year we will see one of the great club teams in world football, Juventus FC, face the best players from the Hyundai A-League in a mouth-watering clash.
“The decision to take the Foxtel A-League All Stars pre-match training camp to the Illawarra is a mutually beneficial one which allows our Head Coach Josep Gombau to prepare his team for their important challenge utilising world class facilities and to reward football fans in the Illawarra region by having world class players train on their doorstep.”
Following a successful tour to Sydney by English Premier League Champions Manchester United in 2013, the NSW Government in partnership with Football Federation Australia, secured a visit by one of the world’s oldest football clubs, Juventus.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Andrew Stoner hailed the decision.
“The Illawarra region is a passionate sporting corridor of NSW and this is a great opportunity for local fans to be part of the action and hopefully catch the All Stars as they prepare for their clash against Juventus,” he said.
General Manager of the WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres, Stuart Barnes, added: “This represents further confidence in WIN Stadium as a ‘Football Venue’, by the FFA.
“We are particularly pleased that the FFA have accommodated the Wolves game against St. George, on Sunday 3 August, in their training schedule, offering the opportunity for fans to watch and meet the best players in the A-League and support the South Coast Wolves game, on the same day.
“This year WIN Stadium has hosted a wide range of Football, fully demonstrating the versatility of WIN Stadium, its playing surface and player, media and patron facilities, with news of more Football events to be released very soon, for later this year and next year”.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Football South Coast, Ann-Marie Balliana, believes that having the Foxtel A-League All Stars in Wollongong is fantastic for football in the region.
“To host the Foxtel A-League All Stars as they prepare for their historic match against Juventus is a huge honour for Football South Coast,” Balliana said.
“Over the past few years, we have made great strides in the promotion and development of football in the region which includes the unification of the various bodies into a united association.
“This is another significant event in our region's rich football history for all to celebrate,” concluded Balliana.
In addition to the fan day and friendly match, members of the All Stars will conduct coaching clinics at selected schools and football clubs in the local area.
The A-league All Stars face Juventus on Sunday August 10 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Tickets are available from www.a-leagueallstars.com.au/tickets