Premier Roger Cook has today announced that the State Football Centre is Queens Park will be named after WA’s superstar Sam Kerr.
The $50.8million facility will be named the Sam Kerr Football Centre.
The announcement came on stage at the State Football Centre Festival to mark the official opening of the venue.
Kerr, who scored her 65th international goal last night in the Matildas’ 2-0 win over Iran at HBF Park, was joined on stage by a number of her CommBank Matildas teammates, including Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Lydia Williams.
“As a proud West Australian, I am incredibly privileged to have this amazing State Football Centre named after me," Kerr said.
“It fills me with pride to think that football in WA is growing so rapidly in popularity and that children, at a grassroots level, as well as world-class sporting teams will be able to access these impressive facilities.
“Football centres such as this create opportunities for kids that enable them to reach their full potential, and that is the ultimate goal.”
Mr Cook said: "Our very own Sam Kerr is a global football superstar and truly a sporting icon. But most of all, she’s an incredible role model for West Australians," he said.
“In naming our new world-class facility after Sam, my Government hopes that her contribution to football and impressive legacy will continue to inspire our future Matildas and Socceroos and help grow the game locally.”
Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell also spoke, contrasting the huge popularity of the Matildas to the days when he coached Kerr, Arnold, Kennedy and Foord at Perth Glory.
“Football West is delighted that the home of football in Western Australia will be named the Sam Kerr Football Centre. As well as being one of the best players in the world, Sam is a fantastic role model and a proud West Australian,” he said.
“I watched with interest, as I’m sure many of you did, the docuseries of the team and more recently 60 Minutes on Sunday. That one really resonated, where Mackenzie Arnold spoke about her first football contract of $1,000 for the season and moving to Perth to play.
“It resonated as I coached that team, where we trained in a suburban park and played games where there were no female change rooms. Players trained full-time but needed to have jobs to support them.
“To fast forward less than a decade later and witness the changes that have occurred have been incredible and driven by some fantastic players and people.
"It is why I am extremely proud to stand here today and have the Sam Kerr Football Centre as the home for Football West and more importantly for all of football in Western Australia.
“The Sam Kerr Football Centre will provide for all levels of the game, from Sam’s CommBank Matildas to the grassroots players and will provide a platform for aspiring young footballers to reach the world stage.
“There is no more fitting choice for a name than Sam Kerr.”
The naming of the Sam Kerr Football Centre comes on the same day Premier Cook announced a $9.3m package for grassroots football in WA.
The investment includes:
• $6.1m towards an expansion to the recently completed State Football Centre
• a $2.4m grants program to improve facilities and infrastructure for clubs participating in Football West’s NPLWA - Women’s competition
• significant investment in grassroots football to ensure a lasting FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand legacy