Campbelltown to boast Australia's first indigenous soccer academy

The Macarthur FC Bulls are looking for the region's best indigenous talent to follow in the footsteps of Australian soccer stars Lydia Williams and Jade North. Pictures: Daniel Munoz and Tim Clayton

The Macarthur FC Bulls are looking for the region's best indigenous talent to follow in the footsteps of Australian soccer stars Lydia Williams and Jade North. Pictures: Daniel Munoz and Tim Clayton

Macarthur could be home to the next Jade North or Lydia Williams following the launch of Australia's first indigenous soccer academy.

The Macarthur FC Bulls will work with Campbelltown Council, Walker Corporation and Western Sydney University to create the first-of-its kind project.

The academy was announced when the A-League's newest club unveiled its name, logo and colours at the Campbelltown Catholic Club's The Cube yesterday (May 15).

Macarthur FC was named following extensive community consultation over recent months, which included an online survey and several public events.

Club director Gino Marra the academy's details were still being finished, but the new facility would be based in Campbelltown.

He said local indigenous boys and girls would be invited to take part in the program.

"We want to build something special, find find the region's hidden talent and help them achieve their goals," he said.

"We will work with the indigenous community, which is what the community wanted in our feedback."

The new Macarthur club will sit on the land of the Dharawal people in south-west Sydney.

The Bulls will also establish an indigenous advisory council, to be chaired by author Professor John Maynard.

Professor Maynard said at the club launch that Macarthur FC was "showcasing the way of doing things and [working] with indigenous communities".

"It is the club's target to have a national Indigenous development strategy that is not just focused on sporting success, but prioritising the importance of health, education and well-being outcomes for community," he said.

"These things are critical if you want to have success working with Aboriginal people in the community."

Professor John Maynard addresses the crowd at Wednesday's Macarthur FC Bulls launch event in Campbelltown. Picture: Chris Lane

Professor John Maynard addresses the crowd at Wednesday's Macarthur FC Bulls launch event in Campbelltown. Picture: Chris Lane

The club's new name acknowledges the region's founders, Elizabeth and John Macarthur.

The new Macarthur club's colours are black, white and ochre (earthy yellow).

The black and white represent the diverse culture within the region, while the ochre colour honours the traditional colours of the local Dharawal indigenous community.

The bull on the logo was chosen to acknowledge a momentous moment in local history. A runaway herd of cattle was discovered in the region in 1795.

The logo's three stars of the Southern Cross symbolise the club's links with grassroots soccer, the national premier league and A-League.

The new club's slogan is "One Voice. One Vision".

The new team, based in Campbelltown, will join the Hyundai A-League in the 2020/21 season.

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