Home away from home . . . England Women’s Head Coach Sarina Wiegman at Industree Group Stadium (Central Coast Stadium) with Venue Manager Kath Casey (right) and Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp
The mighty England Lionesses will call the Central Coast home for the duration of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Head Coach Sarina Wiegman was impressed with what she saw in a tour of the Stadium and the region.
The Euro Champions will train and prepare at Industree Group Stadium, which will revert to its generic name Central Coast Stadium as part of FIFA World Cup requirements, while their accommodation will be the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel.
Head Coach Wiegman led a delegation of the England squad to meet with Venue Manager Kath Casey and members of her VenuesLive team as they continue planning for this year’s tournament, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
“We received a really warm welcome in Australia,” Wiegman told website englandfootball.com. “The people at the Stadium and the hotel were really nice and are really happy for us to be on the NSW Central Coast. The Stadium looks really good and the surrounding area is fabulous.
“They will be preparing the pitch for when we get there but it already looks really good so I’m convinced it will be a good place for our base camp and I’m really happy with it all. The pitch has been voted as the best in Australia in the past few years.
“It’s good to have somewhere special like the Central Coast to base ourselves. Yes, we have to travel but we don’t have to travel to New Zealand back and forth so it means we can have a base camp in Australia, otherwise it would not be convenient because you want to keep your travelling as low as possible.
“We’d also like to create a home away from home feeling on the Central Coast.”
Industree Group Stadium Venue Manager Kath Casey says excitement is building on the Central Coast ahead of the England team’s arrival at Gosford for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 will be the sporting highlight of the year and we are thrilled that our beautiful Stadium will host one of the most celebrated teams in women’s football,” said Ms Casey.
“The people of the Central Coast will see the England players in and around Gosford and Terrigal and their presence at the Stadium will leave a lasting legacy for women’s football on the Coast.
“The interest in football is huge in our region with our Central Coast Mariners men performing so well in the Isuzu Ute Men’s competition and the club ready to launch its women’s team in the 2023/24 Liberty Women’s premiership. Add to that the excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and The World Game has a really strong presence on the Coast.”
England Head Coach Wiegman travelled to Australia with members of the support staff and took the opportunity to talk through the logistics and look around the facilities, such as the pitch, dressing rooms, gym and meeting areas.
“We were able to get a good picture of what lies ahead but it also gave us a chance to get connected with the people there and talk through our needs, what they can provide us and now we’re able to work through our plans,” Wiegman said.
“We can really get our preparations ready now and can inform them of what we are looking for so they can help facilitate our needs.
“Everyone was very accommodating and very helpful, and wants to be on this journey with us, so we are happy and we had a very good trip.”
It was an amazing year for the England Women as they lifted the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO title.
Champions of Europe . . . England captain Leah Williamson lifts the trophy with teammates after winning the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
It capped off a historic year for England Women, after they lifted a first major tournament at the UEFA Women’s EUROs. It means they will now take on Brazil in the inaugural UEFA-CONMEBOL Women’s Final on 6 April.
The England Lionesses are strongly tipped to be among the contenders for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.