AFL 2019: Carlton reveals big plans for Ikon Park
Carlton president Mark LoGiudice says the club’s ability to back in coach Brendon Bolton and one of the deepest rebuilds in AFL history will soon begin to pay off.
The Blues are planning to turn Ikon Park into the home of AFLW football after receiving $15 million of Federal Government investment.
Carlton president Mark LoGiudice has spoken of the club’s ambitious plans after receiving $15 million from the federal government to turn Ikon Park into a high-performance hub of women’s football.
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Combined with $25 million of state government cash and the Blues’ own investment, they will transform the venue into a high-performancehub for women’s football.
Not only will it house the club’s AFL, VFL, AFLW and VFL teams under one roof, it will incorporate a women’s coaching educationhub and a sports injury prevention and research centre.
The heritage-listed Gardiner Stand will remain, but the city wing will be torn down.
LoGiudice announced Ikon had signed up for a further five seasons as naming rights sponsor of the ground.
He said the new facility was the culmination of a club rebuild that started in 2015 and has stripped more than 50 players from its senior men’s list over five seasons.
“We have got a review we have done and we have rejigged the football department of the club, and we are expecting some big things,’’ LoGiudice said.
“We are very happy with the way (coach) Brendon (Bolton) has been managing the strategy from 2015 onwards.
“No doubt we had a tough year (in 2018, winning only two games), but we are expecting bigger and better things this year.”
LoGiudice revealed club legend Robert Walls, who has joined the Blues in an official capacity, was already making his mark.
“Robert Walls is basically a mentor for Brendon,” he said.
“He will come along to training, come along to games and really he’s a mentor for Brendon and all the coaches.
“And that’s what the role was for, it’s interesting the players have taken a liking (to him).
“There is a lot of history there.
“Robert Walls has got a lot of history about the Carlton football club, a lot of experience in AFL, he has watched a lot of AFL through the media and Robert Walls is a great, inspiring person and a great mentor for all our coaches.”
Originally published as Carlton announces big plans for Ikon Park