Northern Inland Football president Tim Coates has put an all-weather playing surface at the top of his wish list for Tamworth if the association, in conjunction with council, are able to secure a piece of the $100 million Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund.
Coates said a synthetic field would not only benefit the soccer community but most field sports.
“It would suit multiple sports. We’re not that naive or greedy to want it just for football,” he said.
“Sports like league, union, oztag, or if it’s big enough, it could host Aussie rules.”
Coates described the fund as a great opportunity for individuals, organisations and councils to work together to benefit the region.
Northern Inland Football have a meeting scheduled with Armidale Regional Council on Tuesday, with Coates set to discuss the potential of applying for the fund.
He will then aim to speak with other councils.
“There’s a need in Armidale to upgrade the football fields and in particular lighting for training and game play,” he said.
“We’ll look to explore the options there with the council staff. We would also look to do that in any other local government area where projects have been identified.
“In Gunnedah, we have already identified the need for upgrades to the Geoff Morgan Fields in Talibah Street and would love to progress that through the Gunnedah association as well.
“The $100 million isn’t going to go far but we’d like to see as much as possible go into our regional area.”
The fund allows areas outside of Sydney to apply for a portion of the funding to improve local tracks, fields and pitches.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall encouraged communities within the region to apply to help develop more professional sporting facilities.
“The funding will also work to improve the experience for those on the sidelines – which will help draw more professional and amateur events visitors to our regional centres,” he said.
“With many of the nation’s top sportspeople coming from regional NSW, this funding will help foster their development, build communities and put the spotlight back on our sporting successes.”
Applications are now open and more information can be found at www.nsw.gov.au/regionalsportsinfrastructure