By George Kouroumalis & John Kyrou
It has been a long four year wait, however with the recent announcement that the Club has been granted a 40 year lease at Lakeside Stadium, construction of its Social club, Futsal centre and Administration offices will now commence and the dream now becomes a reality.
Last Tuesday afternoon, all stakeholders involved in the signing of the 40 year lease met inside the newly constructed Greek Community of Melbourne building in the CBD. Speaking exclusively to smfc.com.au and SMFC TV, The Honourable Matthew Guy (Minister for Planning) was elated that construction could now commence at Lakeside Stadium. “Firstly, I wish to thank the South Melbourne fans for remaining patient as they waited for this moment. We are pleased that a resolution of the 40 year lease has been achieved and that an iconic Victorian sporting club in South Melbourne FC can thrive in facilities that it deserves.” Minister Guy added that “we are also very pleased to honour the promises made to the Club.”
South Melbourne FC legal representative and Head of the Greek Community of Victoria, Bill Papastergiadis, was also thrilled at the resolution. “South Melbourne is not only an iconic football club, it is part of the Greek community of Victoria and its long history. I am very pleased that the Club has now secured itself at Lakeside Stadium for the next forty years and given itself a fantastic base in order to grow.”
Full interviews with both Minister Matthew Guy and Bill Papastergiadis, along with South Melbourne FC President Leo Athanasakis, Chairman Nick Galatas and SMFC Director for Youth Development Andrew Mesourouni can be seen exclusively on Tuesday night on SMFC TV on Channel 31 at 7PM.
It is expected that the Social Club area will have the capacity to seat close to 300 people and provide South Melbourne members and fans alike with an area to enjoy pre and post-match, as well as during the week. Part of this exciting new facility will be large screens showing many sporting events from around the world, as well as a new modern museum featuring the highlights, trophies and memorabilia of South Melbourne’s 55 year history.
The Club’s futsal court to be built in the remaining space, will be state of the art, which will be enjoyed not only by the club and its members but the local community.
South Melbourne FC is keen to have construction completed by early 2015 in preparation for the new National Premier League season