As Melbourne City FC continues preparations for its Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Final, we take a look at the proud home ground of opponents Heidelberg United – the Olympic Village.
Located in Heidelberg, the Olympic Village was constructed for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, primarily serving as an official warm-up venue for competing athletes.
The venue has been the home of Heidelberg United for 32 years, with the club’s first recorded home match being played on Anzac Day in 1982.
Surrounded by the decaying athletics track used during the Games, the Village remains an iconic landmark of Australian sport, with two grandstands and undercover standing room providing an estimated venue capacity of 10,000.
Founded by Greek immigrants in 1958, Heidelberg United initially plied its trade as Fitzroy Alexander United in the Phillips National Soccer League, until negotiations began with the Heidelberg City Council to move its grounds from Fitzroy to Heidelberg in 1977.
An industrious committee – led by ex-player James Mangopoulos – managed to complete the club’s relocation in 1982, securing the lease of the prestigious Olympic Village venue for thirty years.
Heidelberg United’s rich history and loyal support from their passionate fans makes Olympic Village one of the most difficult venues for any opposition to visit. The club have already enjoyed FFA Cup success on home soil this campaign, booking their passage to the Quarter Finals against City with a memorable 2-0 win over Sydney United 58.
In what will be the first FFA Cup clash between a member federation team and an A-League club both based in Victoria, the unique atmosphere at the Olympic Village is set to add magic to a historical night in Australian football.