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Huge upside for all at Cockburn Central West: Demetriou

From left to right: Ross Holt (CEO Landcorp), Stephen Cain (CEO City of Cockburn), Andrew Demetriou (AFL CEO), Logan Howlett (Mayor, City of Cockburn) Steve Rosich (FDFC CEO).
AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou has visited the green field site where Fremantle’s new Elite Training and Administration Facility will be built at Cockburn Central West – and he liked what he saw.

While it’s mostly sand and scrub at the moment, the AFL boss envisioned what the site would look like when the project is completed in 2016/17.

And he praised both the Fremantle Dockers and the City of Cockburn for working together to come to an agreement.

“There’s been a lot of thought gone into it,” Demetriou said.

“It’s a great commitment by the City of Cockburn, and having Fremantle based out here is going to be wonderful.”

The club’s decision to move from its traditional home base in the heart of Fremantle has drawn some criticism.

But Demetriou cited St Kilda and Essendon as great examples of club’s that have successfully relocated their facilities.   

The Saints left Moorabbin, their home since 1965, to move to Seaford, while Essendon had been at Windy Hill as far back as 1922 before moving to Tullamarine, near the airport.

“If you can find a good partner and work with them, and get something developed that looks at a 20-30 year horizon, it’s quite visionary, so I congratulate the Fremantle Dockers,” he said.

Demetriou said there would also be significant benefits for the community once Freo’s facilities were complete.

“We’ve seen what’s happened to the clubs that have done this sort of thing, you engage the community, you increase community involvement and the facilities can be shared and utilised,” he said.

“It’s also great to see elite players training, you get to learn from them.

“And once the ground’s built, there’s no reason why we couldn’t play NAB Cup games or regional challenge games here.

“There’s huge upside for everyone.”

Demetriou admitted that state-of-the-art training and administration facilities were beneficial to a team’s on-field performance, but it wouldn’t guarantee success.

“In the end, nothing beats hard work,” he said.

“You can have the most beautiful facilities in the world, but unless you’re prepared to put the hard work in, it doesn’t mean anything.

“However, this club has got a great culture now, it’s on the up and it’s got a great coach.

“And I couldn’t imagine there would be anything but hard work under Ross Lyon.”