The finishing touches are still being applied to the new Cowboys Community, Training and High Performance Centre but the $40 million venue has already secured its first user partnership agreement for 2021.
The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have struck a deal with Football Queensland that will see the regional soccer body take advantage of the state-of-the-art training facilities for their junior talent identification program.
Under the user agreement, Football Queensland North will share facilities with the North Queensland Cowboys NRL team and Gold Stars women’s rugby league team on a rotating roster over a twelve-month calendar.
The Centre, in completion phase beside Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, will be the new home of the Cowboys from early February 2021, with a phased move culminating in the arrival of the team mid-month.
For Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel, the new agreement marks the beginning of the Centre’s future as a high performance hub for sporting codes.
“We’re excited to be opening our new home to Football Queensland North's Talent Identification Program and the region’s junior players in what is a milestone for our club and new Centre,” Mr Reibel said.
“It reinforces our vision for a multi-purpose facility that attracts a range of sporting codes and sets us up for new opportunities as we build awareness and interest in our fantastic new venue.
“As a region, we have a real opportunity to boost our local sporting talent under similar co-sharing arrangements and look forward to showcasing our facilities when we open early next year.”
Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci said the agreement will create a regional ‘home base’ for the Football Australia/Football Queensland Talent Identification Partnership.
“Our talent identification partnership is a program for Under 9-16 players in North Queensland, providing opportunities for 9,000 registered participants from Burdekin to Weipa,” Mr Cavallucci said.
“We’ll host junior training and clinics at the new Cowboys Centre, incorporating the indoor training zone and team facilities into our program."
Football Queensland North General Manager Declan Carnes said: “We’re also excited to be incorporating the venue in our upcoming bid for Townsville to become a training hub for the FIFA Women’s World Cup teams in June 2023."
“These amazing new facilities have the potential to create many opportunities for our sport and others, and for our region.”
The Cowboys Community, Training and High Performance Centre combines community areas, multi-sport high-performance training spaces, sports medicine and sports science laboratories on a 5,000m² parcel of land.
Funding was secured through the Federal Government ($15 million grant), Queensland Government ($5 million grant) and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility ($20 million loan).
The Cowboys will share the space with partner James Cook University and have a long-term development lease with Townsville City Council for use of the land, which includes a user agreement for the adjacent 12,000m² community training field.