St George City will host Sydney FC in the first match at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah under a new deal that makes the ground more accessible to local teams.
Georges River Council resumed direct management of the stadium this month from the St George Illawarra Dragons, though the NRL club retain priority access to the ground for this season and beyond for games and training requirements.
The new agreement will make the stadium more accessible to other sporting clubs and codes in the area, with council hopeful of ensuring greater use of the stadium to establish a more vibrant sporting precinct in the area while also improving the long-term commercial viability of the stadium.
St George City, who represent the St George Football Association in the Football NSW National Premier Leagues 3 competition, will host Sydney FC’s under 18s, under 20s and first grade NPL 1 teams on Sunday in trial matches as part of their pre-season preparations.
St George City won promotion to NPL 3 this season after winning the State League premiership before edging out Hurstville FC on penalties in the grand final.
Sydney FC’s first grade side also double as their National Youth League side and are coached by former Sutherland coach Robbie Stanton.
It will be the first time sporting clubs other than the Dragons have been able to use the ground since the council resumed direct management of the stadium.
SGFA general manager Craig Kiely said being able to play at the stadium presented a unique opportunity for local players to experience playing on the same ground that some of the best domestic and international players have enjoyed previously.
“The venue provides a professional, state-of-the-art facility that is unmatched in our district,” he said.
“Players are able to play on one of the best pitches in the country and spectators can enjoy the comforts of a first class venue.
“We hope to see the venue hosting our local finals matches and also potentially the future home games for St George City.”
Georges River Council general manager Gail Connolly said it was free entry for Sunday’s match and hoped for lots of families and local football fans to attend.
The under-18s match kicks off at 1pm, with the under-20s to follow at 3pm. First grade is scheduled for 5pm.
Credit: John Veage/The Leader