Sydney FC, Sydney Olympic Battle Over Joint Centre Of Excellence With Newington College
The battle between A-League side Sydney FC and semi-pro side Sydney Olympic over a site to build a Centre of Excellence training facility has drawn in Sydney private school Newington College, "which is emerging as a crucial backer to both clubs' tenders to build a permanent home in Tempe Reserve," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The school is in the middle of a tug-of-war between the two football clubs, "who are seeking Newington's financial backing and community influence to bolster their applications to build a state-of-the-art training and playing facility." Sydney FC's Centre of Excellence "will be the single largest off-field investment in the club's history," and Chair Scott Barlow said establishing its headquarters in the inner west would also allow it to strengthen its community engagement in a "key strategic area." It is understood that "members of Sydney FC's senior coaching staff met with officials from the school this week" to outline its plan for the training center and training program with the school's sport department. But it is competing with Sydney Olympic, which first approached Newington "over a joint application based on strong cultural and community ties between the two." The school "has an existing relationship with Olympic regarding ground use of Tasker Park in Canterbury and past and present players have attended the school" (SMH, 4/2).