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Why we need 'The Reserve'

Josie Fielding  September 15, 2017 2:18 PM

 - Brisbane Lions

Earlier this year the Brisbane Lions revealed plans to build a new training and administration facility that would cater to the demands of our two teams.

“The Reserve” at Springfield would be progressive and a first of its kind in Australian sport. It would provide equal facilities for both the men’s and women’s teams and a home ground for the Lions’ AFLW side, which is desperately needed.

The Lions currently train at the Gabba, amongst other venues, but in the AFL off-season compete with cricket and events. The Club has rapidly expanded since the introduction of the AFLW team and it’s difficult to find a space that can cater to all needs.

Jake Anson, Brisbane Lions Project Manager, explained to ABC Breakfast’s Craig Zonca this morning, that The Reserve is reliant on financial backing from Queensland’s State Government to get up off the ground.

“I think some people may not realise how infrequently or how hard it is for some of the players to get onto the field to train. They’ve only got a couple of hours a week to get onto the surface,” he said.

“We’ve got to book it in. Sometimes on the minute the training session is supposed to end the lights will go off or the players will have to go off because the grounds need to be curated.

 “We are very keen to get a space where the Club can train full-time throughout the week and throughout the year,” he said.

“Particularly also to service games such as the AFLW which we can’t get on during the summer months."

The Lions AFLW side, who reached the inaugural Grand Final, do not have a home ground. At some matches earlier this year they had as many as 15,000 spectators. No one predicted the juggernaut AFLW would be in its debut season, especially in Queensland.

“Next season we anticipate we won’t have a venue that will service the amount of people who will want to come and watch them. Certainly not with any shade or covers which is badly needed in the summer here,” Anson explained.

“We would love a $15 million dollar contribution from the State Government towards the community elements and the stadium. We’ve got the money to do the training stuff for the Club.”

“So we’re just looking for the community facilities, the seating, the spectator amenities and to do that in the western corridor where we can deliver a piece of infrastructure that will service people that will move out there in the next thirty years.”

When questioned by Zonca if the project was being used as a ‘political football’ ahead of a Queensland State Election, Anson responded with “we’d love to think that the project stands on its own merit, it just happens to dovetail with an election campaign. This is a project that needs to go ahead irrespective.”

Listen to Jake Anson on ABC Breakfast from 1.51.28.