Dear Members,

Following our first bye of the year, we head into the next block of the season with 4 wins under our belt and in a fantastic position to attack what lies ahead. I hope the way in which our players and staff have gone about these last few weeks has made you all proud to belong to the red and blue.

Having had the opportunity to take a short breath from a footy perspective, I’d like to take the opportunity to update you on the feasibility study the club is undertaking to investigate Caulfield Racecourse Reserve’s potential viability as a central training and administration base for the club.

We are currently in the stakeholder engagement phase of the study. This phase is focused on gathering a clear and thorough understanding of the local community and will include meeting with key stakeholders, including Glen Eira City Council, local sporting clubs and schools, and various other community organisations. This will ensure that any future Melbourne Football Club facility would align with the local community’s needs from a sport and recreation resources perspective.

Our connection with the Glen Eira community is already strong. It is part of our traditional Heartland and so many of our members and supporters live in the area. It was also an historical and very successful recruiting zone for the Demons, with the likes of Robbie Flower, Greg Wells and Stan Alves all joining the Demons from the region.

Our goal is to not only provide a homebase for the Melbourne Football Club, but to also contribute positively to sport and recreation opportunities for the wider community. We are currently commencing our initial community stakeholder meetings and will look to update you all on our progress when we can.

The below image from the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Strategic Management Plan outlines the key areas of the Reserve which form part of the feasibility study. While we are far from a design phase, we wanted to share the image with you to hopefully help you visualise the proposed location of any potential training and administration facility. The map outlines the potential location for the club’s training and administrative headquarters on a disused horse training site, as well as the proposed location of multiple sporting fields, which includes two training ovals. While these ovals would be utilised by both our AFL and AFLW football programs, the wider community will also have access to the ovals. It is important to note that the club would utilise the site for training and administrative purposes only, with no matches to be held at the Reserve which will keep built form to a minimum inside the track.

As previously communicated the club is leading the feasibility study with support from specialist consultants and in consultation with the Victorian Government and other relevant stakeholders including Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust and the Melbourne Racing Club.

We are incredibly excited to be taking a step towards realising the club’s dream of a permanent homebase for the club and are excited by the prospect of doing so in Melbourne Football Club heartland, at a location with close ties to the local community.

I look forward to seeing you at the football. Let’s make sure we pack out the MCG for our next home game in Round 8 against the Cats.

Go Dees.

Gary Pert