Brighter Fields, Brighter Future for Gunners Soccer Club

a large green field with trees in the background

In the world of football, the success of a club extends beyond the triumphs on the pitch; it lies in the infrastructure that supports its growth.

Gunners Soccer Club, a thriving and rapidly expanding club, recognised the need for additional support to accommodate its ever-growing membership. 

Campbelltown City Council, with the support of Gunners SC, successfully applied for financial support through the NSW Football Legacy Fund, securing $60,000 to help facilitate a comprehensive lighting upgrade at Hazlett Oval. 

Club President, Gary Phillips, spoke about the importance of the upgrade that the Legacy Grant has enabled.  

“We are very blessed to have such a great and successful club, however more than doubling our capacity over the last ten years to over 650 members has put a massive strain on our fields,” he said. 

“Weekly training and so many competitions, State Cup and Australia Cup games considerably wears out our fields. By improving the lighting at our training ground across the road, we can utilise this oval so much more and reduce wear and tear to our main playing fields used for playing.” 

The grant, which contributed to an overall project expenditure exceeding $135,000, was seen as a lifeline to alleviate this strain and enhance the overall experience for the players. 

Gary continued, “I want to thank the Infrastructure Grant team, Football NSW and Campbelltown City Council, in particular Patrick Williams, for all his assistance and hard work chasing this successful grant application.” 

“This will truly make a massive difference to our club.” 

The focal point of the grant was the improvement of lighting at Hazlett Oval, the club’s training ground located just across the road from the clubs main field. Gunners Soccer Club recognised that investing in quality lighting at the Oval would unlock its potential for night training, thus significantly reducing wear and tear on the primary playing fields.  

The improved lighting at Hazlett Oval not only enhances the safety of night training but also elevates the overall quality of the sessions throughout the week. The ability to spread out training across 45 teams ensures that the main playing fields endure less stress, resulting in a superior playing surface for all season matches. 

Furthermore, the unlocking of Hazlett Oval for night training allows Gunners Soccer Club to reserve Field 1 exclusively for games during the season. This strategic move enhances the playing experience for all members and visitors, particularly in the later stages of the season when field conditions can significantly impact the game. 

The cooperative efforts between the club and council underscore the significance of positive relationships, resulting in an advantageous outcome for football. This accomplishment aligns with the NSW Football Infrastructure strategy, specifically focusing on the pillars of ‘Improving Existing Venue Capacity’ and ‘Planning For Growth & Demand.’ 

James Spanoudakis, NSW Football Legacy Facilities and Grants Officer, provided insight into the successful funding collaboration. 

“It is fantastic to witness both the club and Council recognising a need and collaboratively advancing with a plan, leveraging crucial funding from the NSW State Government to realise it,” he said. 

“Lighting stands out as one of the most efficient methods to increase capacity and safety at football venues and projects such as the one underway at Hazlett Oval are bound to leave a lasting benefit to all who utilise the ground.” 

NSW Football Legacy Program 

The NSW Football Legacy Program is a $10 million investment from the NSW Government, which aims to support female football through new community facilities, participation initiatives, development programs as well as tourism and international engagement.  

Find out more about the opportunities and achievements of the NSW Football Legacy Program.