Thirty-two nations, one dream, one trophy – forever world champions. Sometime in the late winter evening on Sunday August 20 we will know who the winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ is, but regardless of the outcome, the Central Coast will have played its part in helping two of the contending nations prepare for their shot at glory.
There was great excitement across the football community when news trickled through late last year that the Central Coast had been successful in enticing an international football side to choose the area for its team base camp.
Before the official announcement there was much speculation about the identity of the team and federation that had staked its world cup preparations on the Central Coast.
When it was finally confirmed at a press conference just who would be arriving to this part of the world in the lead-up to the biggest women’s football tournament on the planet, the news couldn’t have been bigger.
Germany and England – the combatants in the final of the most recent Women’s European Championships had chosen to base themselves at the Central Coast Regional Sporting and Recreation Complex at Tuggerah, and Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium respectively.
It was a huge vote of confidence in the Central Coast and its sporting facilities and heralded in what has been a tremendous period of success for the sport locally.
Since the announcement that the world’s number 2 and 4 ranked sides were coming, Central Coast Stadium has hosted the Matildas twice against Thailand and Czechia, featured a record sold-out crowd at a pulsating semi-final victory for the Mariners, who went on to be crowned champions of the Men’s A-League competition, and it’s been confirmed that from next season there would a Central Coast Mariners Womens’ team flying the flag in the W-League competition.
With the tournament now underway the hard work really begins for the German and England squads.
Council’s Director Community and Recreation Services Melanie Smith said both teams will be able to train, prepare and recover in world-class facilities.
“The pitches at the Central Coast Regional Sporting and Recreation Complex and Central Coast Stadium are looking sensational, we’ve had beautiful winter sunshine, and we’re perfectly located for easy access to match-day venues.
“Our staff have worked extremely hard to prepare a high-quality pitch and all reports we’ve received during the review process and high praise from behind the scenes has been absolutely fantastic.
“I am sure that the two teams will be very pleased with their decision to base themselves here in this beautiful part of the world, and I look forward to seeing how they perform during the tournament as well as the opportunity to show off what makes the Central Coast a very special part of the world” Ms Smith said.
Council Administrator Rik Hart said it’s heartening to see how the Coast has embraced the opportunity to support the two international teams.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ is a huge sporting event that will leave a legacy for the sport in this country,” Mr Hart said.
“I was delighted to be able to officially welcome the teams to the Central Coast and it is positive to hear of the enthusiasm from the young girls in particular, who play locally and get to see a world cup in their own country.”
Germany will have exclusive access to the Central Coast Regional Sporting and
Recreation Complex while the England Lionesses will be based at Central Coast Stadium from 1 July – 20 August 2023. Find out more about FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ including match day information, news, and ticket sales.