FFA Cup match to kick-start first class games in Ballarat

David O'Brien (Western Victoria MP), Josh Marris (Mayor), Scott Munn (CEO Melbourne City Football Club) announcing the game to be held in Ballarat. PICTURE: Dylan Burns

David O'Brien (Western Victoria MP), Josh Marris (Mayor), Scott Munn (CEO Melbourne City Football Club) announcing the game to be held in Ballarat. PICTURE: Dylan Burns

THE FFA Cup match between Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC could be the start of a host of first class soccer matches in Ballarat, according the city's mayor. 

Confirmation on Wednesday of the round  of 32 match, to be played on August 12, follows on from a recent pre-season match between Melbourne City FC and the Ballarat Red Devils and was mooted in The Courier last week. 

"It is really coup for Ballarat," mayor Josh Morris said. 

"This (Ballarat) facility attracted Bahrain here for the Asian Cup, so the fact we are able to attract international quality teams here says great things about this facility," he said.  

"So we have the opportunity to leverage off this and get a lot more games here, whether it be A-League games or FFA cups games." 

While Cr Morris admitted to having no soccer skills, he said he did enjoy having a kick of a soccer ball in the backyard with his children, who are fans of the world game. 

"Well, it is a great opportunity for people to be coming to Ballarat and looking at those opportunities for overnight stays, particularly when we are going to be playing these sorts of games," he said.  

"People are travelling, so thye have the opportunity to come to Ballarat and not only see the game but see some of our other great attractions."

Soccer fans from across the state are expected to descend on Ballarat with Melbourne City FC chief executive Scott Munn saying he had already been told supporter groups were organising buses to head to the city for the match. 

"To have the best players in Australia playing to win in a match for legitimate points is wonderful," he said. 

"We have been lucky enough to play in many regional venues now and most of them we have been lucky to return to. 

"I think we will get a pretty good crowd, it is a Tuesday night, but it is a great opportunity for the people of Ballarat to embrace local football." 

The Victorian Government contributed $10,000 to assist in delivering the event in the city. 

Western Victoria MP David O'Brien was on hand yesterday for the announcement, however, wasn't able to say specifically what the money would be spent on. 

"That will be up to organisers, we are not going to micro manage the event, I am sure they will put it to good use," he said. 

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