Perth Glory to relocate headquarters to Fremantle Oval
The Perth Glory will relocate their training and administration headquarters to the historic Fremantle Oval, while it's hoped the A-League squad will eventually train at an upgraded venue nearby.
The A-League club will initially share facilities with the South Fremantle WAFL Club (including gym, changeroom, medical & physio services), before moving into the ground floor of the former Fremantle Dockers administration building, once the Fremantle Council vacates the facility to move into their new digs.
The Glory presently houses their administration under the same roof as the Western Force, in a building adjacent to the Bendat Basketball Centre in Floreat, however RugbyWA earlier this year refused to renew their lease, forcing the club to look at alternatives.
While A-League home games will continue to be played at the 20,500-capacity HBF Park, it was initially thought Fremantle Oval could see some W-League home games and pre-season A-League fixtures, however it appears it’ll ideally only be used for as a training ground for the club’s W-League and NPL teams.
There have been ongoing discussions about the club utilising Ken Allen Field in Beaconsfield once the Fremantle Roosters Rugby League Club departed in 2022 as a training field for the A-League squad and match day venue for the W-League and NPL teams.
Perth Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said, “First and foremost, we need a pitch for our A-league players train on. W-League and NPL will be training on Fremantle Community Bank Oval and we’re having a good relationship with South Fremantle Football Club, we’re going to be happy to share and coexist,”
“Ken Allen Field needs a lot of work to take it up to a standard we could have our players train on it, but that’s as far as we’ve got. Nothing’s signed or formalised; it’s just a discussion.”
Fremantle Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said Glory moving to Fremantle Oval would strengthen the case for the redevelopment of the historic ground.
“The opportunity to bring Perth Glory to Fremantle Oval is an exciting prospect that would be beneficial for both the City and Glory,” Cr Sullivan said.
“Our masterplan for the redevelopment of Fremantle Oval is to attract a compatible mix of sports, education, festive and community uses, as well as connect the under-utilised green spaces to both the hospital and the city centre.
“While WAFL football will remain the core activity for the oval, the addition of the Fremantle Dockers AFLW matches and Glory’s training and administrative headquarters would provide year-round sporting usage of one of the best ovals in Perth.”
Perth Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata said the club was delighted to be entering into an exciting partnership with the City of Fremantle.
“The elite-level facilities at Fremantle Oval will be hugely beneficial for our A-League and W-League squads, and this move will therefore play a major role in reinforcing our drive to bring sustained success to the club,” Mr Pignata said.
“We are also excited by the opportunity to engage with what is a very vibrant and diverse local community.
“The City of Fremantle has been hugely supportive and proactive throughout our relocation process, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them in the coming years.”
Fremantle Council endorsed a $37 million Fremantle Oval Redevelopment Masterplan earlier this year, which includes new clubrooms and grandstands, improved spectator facilities and lighting upgrades.
The masterplan was prepared by the City of Fremantle in collaboration with South Fremantle Football Club, Fremantle Football Club and the WA Football Commission, with assistance from the state government’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Since 2018 the City of Fremantle’s administration has been temporarily based in the former Fremantle Dockers building at Fremantle Oval, but the Council is due to move out in November when the new Walyalup Civic Centre is complete.
The Fremantle Dockers moved their headquarters from Fremantle Oval to the $110m Cockburn ARC in 2017, but continue to host AFLW home games at the historic ground.
The move to Fremantle suggests the A-League is not interested in moving to the new WA State Football Centre which is due to open before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, at least in the short term.
The $32.5 million facility will feature two pitches and include grandstand seating for 700 spectators, able to be boosted to 4000 with temporary stands. The sport’s WA governing body Football West will move to the new facility once complete.