Ballarat City FC fills void as Red Devils disband

GONE: Ballarat Red Devils are no more - replaced by Ballarat City FC
GONE: Ballarat Red Devils are no more - replaced by Ballarat City FC

Ballarat has a new soccer flagship.

Ballarat City FC was officially launched on Wednesday night.

City will replace the former Ballarat Red Devils at all senior and junior levels in the National Premier Leagues next year.

In an exciting addition for the city’s youngest football fans, Ballarat City FC will also join the local MiniRoos competition.

City’s colours and new playing strip are still to be revealed. 

Red Devils members voted in September to disband the club and form a new entity.

The move removed the influence of the Ballarat Red Devils Investment Company, which is owned by former Red Devils chairman Duncan Smith and held three positions on the club’s board of management.

However, these seats had not been filled since a new board was formed early this year as part of a restructure.

Football Federation Victoria effectively sanctioned the change when it told the September meeting that it would transfer the NPLV licence which had been held by the Red Devils to the new entity for the 2017 season.

Ballarat City FC chairman John Livingston said the launch was an exciting time for the Ballarat region.

“Ballarat City FC is committed to the future growth of football in the region –  building a strong pathway for footballers from regional Victoria to play at the highest level in the state. Ballarat is a great city and perfectly placed to be regional Victoria’s premier football destination,” Livingston said.

“We are home to one of regional Victoria’s best football stadiums in Morshead Park and Ballarat City FC is a club Ballarat should be proud of and get behind,” he said. 

Junior academy director Michael Bardsley said the future of football in Ballarat was bright with the establishment of Ballarat City FC.

“The club’s structure will finally allow much improved engagement with community stakeholders and its members,” Bardsley said.

“The club’s philosophy of ‘One club, one city’ promotes teamwork and partnerships within the club and with its sponsors.

“We hope that supporters in Ballarat will get behind the club as we strive to grow the sport in the region.”