JOONDALUP UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB would like to express disappointment and dissatisfaction with the City of Joondalup.
In 24 years of existence, JUFC have gone through testing times without a genuine home to call our own, a stark contrast to other sporting clubs in the City.
Over this time, hundreds if not thousands of players have donned the club colours as either a junior or senior player and any necessary upgrades to facilities have been self-funded to keep JUFC alive and competitive on the sporting field.
As a Community based organisation that caters for all levels of football, JUFC are the only club currently to have teams competing in both the State League and the Amateur Premier Divisions, as well as having masters, women and a healthy number of juniors. JUFC have always strived to provide a better and safer environment for players at all levels of the game.
However, over several years, numerous assurances from the City of Joondalup around our situation have not been followed through and the club still operates across numerous parks with insufficient lighting and storage amenities. Meanwhile, other clubs are celebrating their upgrades and/or new facilities.
The latest in a long line of unacceptable situations has arisen in recent weeks. Since early January, JUFC’s State League home ground at Forrest Park has not been accessible for training due to preference being given to another club. This has had a significant effect on the squad’s preparations for the 2023 season, being forced to use an inadequate venue at a cost to the club.
As well as that, the City has informed JUFC that the State teams cannot utilise Forrest Park until after 7:30pm during the week, an hour later than previously agreed. Given some of the players impacted are 16 and 17 years of age with school the next day, as well as jobs for others, we believe this is unacceptable. The reason for the change is to make room for the other club who have recently become a tenant.
JUFC have been a respectful club under the City of Joondalup’s management and over many years have followed the direction given by the administration, doing everything possible to secure improved facilities for our hundreds of members. However, with over 20 years of producing football talent and a healthy junior set up to our name, JUFC are being treated poorly yet again.
“I have had promises from all levels at the City saying they will assist JUFC but to date, nothing has materialised,” said JUFC President Ghaz Ramli.
“In 2017, my predecessor John Stone came close to achieving a potential home base from which to operate the club collectively. A complete facility fully backed by the City’s administration was overturned overnight and since then, the council have ignored our pleas for assistance. Only recently a number of our members gave up their time to attend workshops with the City in 2022 so they could guide us in the right direction but once again to no avail.
“Our issues are wide ranging across all venues – no storage or canteen facilities at our junior parks and outdated, poor floodlighting at Beldon Park that has proven dangerous and been the cause of injuries to players during training over the years. This is deemed the club’s ‘home’ by the City and it is one of the worst facilities in the local leagues.
“Forrest Park has been a stop gap for the club in order to meet Football West’s competition requirements and without it, our status as a State League club would come into question.”
JUFC calls on all its members to show their displeasure at the lack of support from the City and also to highlight with their elected representative(s) a situation that calls into question the club’s future.
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