The A-League may have had one of its 'lesser' seasons in 2017-18 - putting finals aside - but that's not stopping the bullishness around the bids for expansion teams. 

FFA CEO, David Gallop, has previously stated that he's had contact from “at least” ten potential expansion teams, thought to include Brisbane Strikers, Brisbane City, Gold Coast United, Southern Expansion, South-West Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, Victoria Patriots (Geelong), South Melbourne, We Are Team 11 (Dandenong) and Hobart.

The latest to stake their claim today is We Are Team 11, which purports to represent the south-east of Melbourne centred around a new 15,000 seat stadium to be built at Dandenong, approximately 36 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD where both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City are based. 

The proposed new stadium, with concepts designed by Cox Architecture – designers of Melbourne’s AAMI Park – has Dandenong Stadium capacity initially slated in the range of 12,000-15,000, with the ability to expand to 20,000 in the future.

The site is less than 100m walk from Dandenong train and bus station and within five kilometres of the Monash Freeway and EastLink.

Not surprisingly, backers of Team 11 said the new stadium would be a “game changer” for Dandenong, not least through the creation of job and injection of capital and commercial investment.

“We want to provide our children – and all members of our culturally diverse community – a cause they can unite behind, be inspired by and feel connected to. A football team playing out of a venue such as this would do just that,” said Gerry Ryan, Dandenong local and owner of Jayco Caravans. 

“To also have community and education programs running from the stadium in partnership with local tertiary, training and not-for-profit organisations would ensure our residents benefit significantly from this development.”

Dandenong-born Simon McKeon, chair of the South East Melbourne group of councils, said south-east Melbourne is crying out for a professional sporting club to train and play here with more than 1.2 million people living in the area - thus meeting Gallop's metrics - who would value having their own sporting team. 

McKeon said the region provides a large, ready-made army of diverse, enthusiastic supporters who already love the world game.

“It’s a no-brainer,” McKeon said. “The beautiful game would find a perfect home among a massive group of professional supporters at an easily accessible location next to Dandenong Train Station.”

Various funding options for the stadium build are being explored, with Development Victoria, Ernst and Young, Cox Architecture and Greater Dandenong Council working together on development plans for the site.

The stadium build is predicated on Team 11 being admitted into the A-League, on land owned by the City of Greater Dandenong.

The unveiling of the plans must help position the Team 11 bid amongst the favourites for one of the two new teams. The bid is also backed by ambassador Vince Grella. 

Categories: News | A-League

a-league expansion, team 11

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