A multi-million dollar upgrade of Collingwood’s spiritual home, Victoria Park, will transform the iconic venue into a first class centre for female football.

A refurbishment of the Sherrin Stand will provide elite facilities for both Collingwood’s AFLW program and community levels of the women’s game.

The upgrade, which is expected to be completed in September, has received $2 million of funding from the Victorian Government and contributions from the AFL, the City of Yarra and Collingwood.

The project is part of a $45 million Victorian Government program to upgrade facilities for female footballers.

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The Sherrin Stand is to be thoroughly modernised. State-of-the-art change rooms and recovery facilities are replacing amenities that have not been meaningfully improved for almost 50 years.  

Collingwood’s AFLW and VFL teams play their home matches at Victoria Park. The Magpies Community Centre also operates out of the historic venue.

Apart from new facilities, the redevelopment gives the Collingwood AFLW program a degree of autonomy and flexibility. Much of the AFLW training program can be based at the ground, strengthening the relationship with Victoria Park the club has maintained for more than a century.

The Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, visited Victoria Park on Friday to inspect progress on the project, which commenced in May.

He was joined by Collingwood AFLW All-Australians Jaimee Lambert and Chloe Molloy, Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson and Collingwood living legend Peter McKenna, who ruled the goal square at the ground in the 1960s and 1970s when it was a VFL venue.

“Elite players deserve elite facilities regardless of their gender and it’s great to see the progress being made in the transformation of these old rooms at this famous ground,” Minister Pakula said.

“This will help to drive the growth of the game and bring a new generation of supporters to Victoria Park.”

Collingwood president, Eddie McGuire, thanked the Minister and the Victorian Government for its support for women’s sport.

“I commend the Minister and the Government for their leadership, commitment and investment in sport for women in Victoria,” McGuire said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Yarra City Council for its foresight and contribution. Club and council have worked together since 1892 to ensure that Victoria Park remains a wonderful community asset. 

“Collingwood seeks to be a leader in women’s sport and we are tremendously proud to field teams in the AFLW and VFLW competitions.

“Victoria Park will always be our club’s spiritual home and it’s exciting to have our AFLW side continue the black and white tradition at the venue in modern, state-of-the-art clubrooms.”