Minister Martin Foley joins South A League Bid Team

Martin Foley, State Member for Albert Park and Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability, Ageing, Mental Health, Equality and Creative Industries, has officially joined the South Melbourne FC A-League Bid Team.

Mr Foley has worked closely with the club for over eight years and is South Melbourne’s number one ticket holder. He has been instrumental in a number of Club initiatives forging stronger ties with the Victorian Government and the local community. His influence and contribution was critical in the Club finalising its long-term 40-year lease at Lakeside Stadium.

South Melbourne Chairman Bill Papastergiadis spoke to smfc.com.au, highlighting that “South Melbourne FC have put together a bid team unrivaled in Australian football in terms of expertise and bi-partisan support. The addition of a Senior Victorian Government Minister to the A League Bid Team cements South Melbourne FC as the club with the talent necessary to win the next A League spot.

Attracting the best talent, who can make the best decisions for the game and for the Club reflects the maturity and strength of South Melbourne FC. We have a strong brand, almost 60 years of history and a solid and respected reputation both on and off the field.”

Mr Foley spoke highly of the community links South Melbourne FC has saying “the Club is located right  in the heart of Albert Park Reserve where it’s been part of the community for over half a century. It’s an integral part of this community, it drives right across the South East of Melbourne so much of the football ecology and it’s a really dynamic club. Not just locally but in increasingly internationally. Its ground breaking work with Chinese football is something to be admired. Its engagement with all of our schools, all of our kids and its work in women’s football is just inspirational. This is a club that has got its act together and has a bright future and that future is in the A League.

I’ve worked really closely with the Bid Board Committee, we have secured this site here at Albert Park for decades to come. There’s not many clubs in the A League that can point to the kind of security that this club has at this facility. Close to public transport, plenty of parking, close to facilities, this is a venue of the future and the South Melbourne Football Club is at the heart of this community right here. It’s the key tenant of this facility and it can only get better once the Club is in the A League.

This is a club with a really rich proud tradition and success, hence the Oceania Team of the 20th Century, it’s come back from adversity and now its future is secure. It’s well run, it’s financial and it’s got bold and exciting vision for the A League.”

South Melbourne FC has bought together an expert field of professionals to contribute to and review its A-League bid package. Chairman Bill Paperstergiadis reflected on the bid journey, saying “I’m really proud of the Club and the team we have put together to work on our A-League bid. We have such a long standing and dynamic involvement across football, sports, government and the corporate environment. Our team has leveraged its diversity to attract some very influential professionals. In the political sphere, our bi-partisan support is evidenced by having the former Federal Liberal Sports Minister Andrew Thompson and now Martin Foley, State Labor Minister, on our team. We all unite for what is best for South Melbourne FC and for the world game.”

South Melbourne FC has finalised the bid documentation and is in the final stages of review ahead of the Expression of Interest submission deadline.