Canberra has ramped up its A-League expansion footprint and partnered with previously shortlisted bid the Wollongong Wolves.
Canberra are one of six bids left in the expansion race, with a new-look Football Federation Australia board set to name two new clubs in the coming months.
The Wolves were axed by the FFA when the shortlist was reduced from eight to six last month but Canberra have committed to playing at lease one A-League game per season in Wollongong.
Canberra bid leader Michael Caggiano said the clubs will share resources, players, coaches and their elite pathways programs.
“Wolves have a rich history of playing national league football and they deserve to be there again,” Caggiano said.
“This partnership is a natural fit, Wollongong is its own city, with its own football identity. We want to work with them not replace them.
“Having Wolves join the A-League would create a derby for us, and really fulfil the games potential in southern NSW.”
Wollongong spokesperson Luke Wilkshire said the partnership would help them be ready for the next round of expansion and threw his support behind Canberra's bid.
“This agreement will help us build our juniors, our players, our club and our region,” Wilkshire said.
“They are going to help us in terms of developing facilities for our juniors, which is really lacking in our region.
“Canberra is a location we believe is beneficial to the league going forward.
“The city already has a W-League team and world-class facilities, and the people involved with the bid have the right intentions for the game."
More to come.
Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times