Community win: Titans FC to have their own home ground

Community the winner: Titans FC players and parents with Stuart Ayres and Eleni Petinos at the announcement the club will move next season to a new home ground at Coachwood Reserve, Alfords Point.

Community the winner: Titans FC players and parents with Stuart Ayres and Eleni Petinos at the announcement the club will move next season to a new home ground at Coachwood Reserve, Alfords Point.

Three years after being close to collapsing, Sutherland Shire Titans Football Club has been given a home of its own to cater for ever increasing player numbers.

The club, which caters for junior and senior players with a disability from the shire, St George and other areas, will move next season to Coachwood Reserve, Alfords Point.

Having a ball: Stuart Ayres and Eleni Petinos with young Titans players.

Having a ball: Stuart Ayres and Eleni Petinos with young Titans players.

Titans FC plays in the mainstream competition against teams with a bye, which club officials say provides a positive experience for both sides.

Sports Minister Stuart Ayres, with Miranda MP Eleni Petinos, announced a $200,000 state government grant to Sutherland Shire Council to upgrade Coachwood Reserve.

The Titans have outgrown their previous base at Sutherland Shire Football Association’s headquarters at Harrie Dening Football Centre, Kareela.

Founded in 2005, the Titans were in danger of folding in 2013 until the state government provided a $10,000 lifeline and local businesses gave extra support.

The club has “kicked on” since then, fielding 11 junior and senior teams, with 135 registered players, this year.

Titans FC president George Lazarou said player numbers were growing at 10-15 per cent a year.

“This move will give us us the ability to play nearly all day Saturday without restrictions and, eventually, we can expand to Sunday,” he said.

Mr Lazarou said it was “a positive story for the whole community”.

“It is not just about our teams, but about everyone on both sides having positive game time and going away feeling good about themselves,” he said.

Sutherland Shire Football Association general manager Jeff Stuart said Coachwood Reserve had been used for training and as an overflow field” for competition.

“It will still be used for training by a couple of teams, but it will be the Titans’ home ground,” he said.

“The Titans is a great concept and they are continuing to grow and evolve.”

Ms Petinos said, with just over 19,000 players, Sutherland Shire Football Association, was the largest grass-roots sporting association in the southern hemisphere.

 “Competing against mainstream football clubs is beneficial for the sportsmanship of both teams,” she said.

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