In a historic announcement, Northern Demons Virtus Soccer Club will transform Byrne Park to become the most advanced soccer facility in the Mid North, thanks to $1.1 million in state government funding.
The grant will cover the installation of a state-of-the-art natural feel synthetic pitch. Eight clubs will share a portion of the $10 million state government fund, which is designed to help clubs cater for growing demand in the sport.
The club took to Facebook to confirm the announcement, which was made by South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and Deputy Premier John Rau in Adelaide last Wednesday.
A new irrigation system, grandstand, change rooms, medical facilities, canteen, training pitches and 'mini' clubhouse at Byrne Park will be covered by previously announced grants.
The upgrades will be the only ones of their kind in the Mid North, and will make Byrne Park the most advanced regional soccer ground in South Australia.
Northern Demons Virtus Soccer Club President Steve Gadaleta, on behalf of the board and club community, thanked the Football Federation of South Australia for negotiating with the state government to secure funding for the upgrades.
He also thanked the state government for allocating money to the state soccer community and Frome MP Geoff Brock for his support of the project.
“We thank both parties for giving us the opportunity to provide a soccer pathway for regional kids,” Mr Gadaleta said.
He said that the upgrades would create opportunities for young players both locally in Port Pirie and across the Mid North region, with the club expecting more players to join thanks to the attractive new facilities.
The latest funding announcement takes the Demons’ total funding allocation for new projects to more than $1.5 million.
Work on the Byrne Park redevelopment project is expected to start in the middle of 2018.
The club has also applied to the FFSA for a girls team in 2018, with the result of the application expected soon.
The Northern Demons were the only regional club to receive a share of the state government funding.