New City Football Academy complex unveiled at La Trobe University


The City Football Group has today unveiled its new Australian training and administration facility – the City Football Academy, Melbourne – which will house the new headquarters of Melbourne City FC and become the City Football Group’s centre for football operations in the Asia Pacific region.

Established on the campus of La Trobe University, the CFA Melbourne features advanced new training pitches for the Melbourne City FC first team, two elite youth team pitches, dedicated community pitches, world-class medical and sports science facilities and expansive new office space. 

Employees of Melbourne City FC, the anchor tenant of the CFA Melbourne, moved into their new headquarters last week while the Club’s first team has commenced training at the CFA Melbourne in advance of Friday night’s match against Adelaide United. 

To celebrate the formal commencement of operations at the CFA Melbourne, members of the Australian football family, media, local government and City Football partners were invited for an official tour of the facility conducted today by Simon Pearce, Vice Chairman of Melbourne City FC and Board Director of the City Football Group, Professor John Dewar, Vice Chancellor of La Trobe University, Brian Marwood, Managing Director of City Football Services and Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC. 

Speaking about the unveiling of the CFA Melbourne, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of Melbourne City FC and the City Football Group, said:

“These facilities have been built to exactly the same standard as those in Manchester because we fundamentally believe in the provision of a world-class environment for the training and development of young players and coaches.  It’s something that we also believe can be a competitive advantage for all of our clubs.

He added: “The CFA Melbourne has been designed to help evolve, transform and sustain the sporting, commercial and community capabilities of Melbourne City Football Club while also serving as a strong centre of operations for the City Football Group in the Asia Pacific Region.”

Following the move to the CFA Melbourne, the Melbourne City FC first team will now train on the only “DESSO GrassMaster” pitch in Australia – making it the most advanced football playing surface anywhere in the country and ensuring the squad is given the best possible chance to perform optimally every week.  Meanwhile, the Club’s youth teams will now have access to the improved training pitches and facilities the first team has vacated. 

For the first time, the Club’s players will benefit from purpose-built medical facilities for treatment and rehabilitation, including a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy suite, and a custom-designed fitness centre tailored to their needs I n preparation, recovery and rehabilitation.

The inclusion of dedicated community pitches as part of the CFA Melbourne will also allow Melbourne City FC to run additional school holiday programs while offering local football clubs and visiting community groups the opportunity to tour the facility and watch the A-League team train.

Simon Pearce, Vice Chairman of Melbourne City FC and Board Director of the City Football Group, said: “The CFA Melbourne will give Melbourne City FC year-round access to an elite facility that matches the Club’s ambitions and can support its long-term goals.  The inclusion of dedicated community pitches at the heart of the campus will enable the Club to continue to expand its award-winning community programs.

The CFA Melbourne shares elements of its design and functionality with the landmark City Football Academy in Manchester that opened in December 2014 and houses the headquarters of Manchester City FC.  As a result, Melbourne City FC players and coaching staff now have access to facilities designed according to the same research-based philosophy that underpins the CFA in Manchester and built by the same team.

Ferran Soriano, CEO of the City Football Group, said: “The CFA Melbourne is connected directly to our main facility at the CFA in Manchester, operationally, philosophically and aesthetically.  It will enable Melbourne City FC to fulfill its significant potential both on and off the pitch while deepening its ties to other clubs in the City family.”

Scott Munn, CEO of Melbourne City FC, said: “The establishment of the CFA Melbourne is great news for Melbourne City FC.  It allows us to bring all of our football, commercial and administrative staff together under one roof for the first time in a space designed and built to meet the needs of a professional football club.”

Brian Marwood, Managing Director of City Football Services, said: “All of our facilities are designed to provide our players, coaches and clubs with the ingredients they need to perform at their best.  For a talented young player deciding on where he or she wants to play their football in the future, the opportunity to train in a world-class facility like the CFA Melbourne could be a decisive factor.”      

It is expected that the CFA Melbourne will form an integral component of the dedicated Sports Precinct envisaged in the La Trobe University Campus Vision. 

Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University, said: “La Trobe University is the number one sport university in Australia and we are proud to host Melbourne City FC on our campus, partnering with them in both academic and community activities. The benefits are numerous; our students learn and work with world class administrators and sports professionals through internships and placements. Our researchers team up with players and coaches to ensure they are performing to their full potential.  Plus, the partnership is also building capacity and creating opportunities for people in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.”

About Melbourne City FC

Melbourne City Football Club is a professional football club that competes in the major Australian domestic competition, the Hyundai A-League. The Club was formerly known as Melbourne Heart FC. Melbourne City FC is owned by a consortium involving the City Football Group (80%), which also owns English Premier League club Manchester City FC and Major League Soccer club New York City FC, and the ownership group of Australian National Rugby League side the Melbourne Storm (20%). Based at La Trobe University, Melbourne City FC’s home ground is AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

About City Football Group  

City Football Group is the owner of a number of football related businesses with global relevance.  These include high profile professional football clubs, academies, technical support and marketing companies. CFG’s clubs include Premier League Title Winners 2013-14 Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC of the A-League and MLS Franchise New York City Football Club, due to begin its inaugural season in March 2015.  CFG is also a minority shareholder in Yokohama F·Marinos of the J-League. The common aim across all clubs is to provide the best possible experience and an unmatched opportunity for fans and communities to participate in, and benefit from, football at both a local and global level.

The Group’s support companies – City Football Services and City Football Marketing – operate from a number of offices around the world in support of the Group’s clubs, associate organisations and customer organisations.

City Football Services shares footballing IP and “know-how” to recruit, develop, train and win.  City Football Marketing creates media, marketing and fan engagement properties to support the commercial development of clubs and their partners.

City Football Group is wholly owned by Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG). ADUG is an investment and development company privately owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


About La Trobe University

La Trobe University is Victoria’s third oldest University. More than 167,000 students have graduated from the University since it opened the doors of it Melbourne campus at Bundoora in 1967.  The University is the number one university in Australia in sport in a range of measures including courses, student first preference data, research income, elite athlete policies and programs, and partnerships.

La Trobe is also the largest provider of university education in regional Victoria, with more than 7,000 student enrolments at our campuses in Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton. It is among the top 100 universities in the world under the age of 50 (Times Higher Education 2014 rankings), ranked 38 in the world for subjects in history and in the top 100 for communication, media studies, linguistics and sociology (QS World University Rankings by Subject). It is also Australia’s best university for research in microbiology and equal best in biochemistry and cell biology, and veterinary science.