A-League expansion bid secures base, funds

Ben McKay

The case for a third A-League team in Melbourne is solidifying, with a multi-million dollar Council training base commitment.

The City of Casey has locked in up to $24 million of support for the south-eastern Melbourne expansion bid, nicknamed "Team 11".

Former Socceroo and A-League winner Clint Bolton has come on board the bid, declaring football to be the sport of choice for the region of more than one million people.

"It's a region that's largely untapped ... a large area, a lot of people and football is at the heart of it," he said.

Casey Fields, which hosts AFLW and pre-season AFL matches, has been identified as the future training base for an A-League and W-League team should the bid be successful.

The Council will spend $18 million developing it for soccer and future funds should FFA award the region a team.

League chiefs have declared their intentions to add two teams to the competition next year, with a decision to be made in October.

The Casey Fields site would also host league matches in the 2019/20 season until the completion of a mooted $180 million stadium in nearby Dandenong.

Bolton, who lives in the area, said the Council's commitment is a major boost.

"Having a facility like Casey Fields it is clear that, for the level of professionalism needed, Team 11 is ticking the boxes. It just fits on so many different markers," he said.