Darwin’s big plans for football

Darwin could be a training base for nations contesting the AFC Asian Cup 2015, it’s been revealed.

Darwin could be a training base for nations contesting the AFC Asian Cup 2015, it-s been revealed.

FFA CEO David Gallop was in the Northern Territory yesterday to meet the Chief Minister Adam Giles as well as local football identities.

Gallop said Darwin-s location in relation to Asia and improved facilities could help it secure a national team base ahead of the Cup next January.

"It was a great opportunity to meet the local people running the game up here and see some of the facilities and get a feel for how they are travelling and they are travelling pretty well,” Gallop told NT News.

"Darwin is a gateway to Asia and that proximity to Asia may well assist (Darwin) with securing one of those teams," he said.

"That decision will be made over the next few months."

Giles was also named as the new patron of football at the launch of the 2014 NorZone Premier League season. "Increasing numbers of Territorians are getting involved in soccer and I'm pleased that I can play a role in promoting it through this ambassadorial role," he said.

"As part of this promotion, the Territory Government has started talking with football officials about the possibility of hosting the first ASEAN Football Federation general meeting on Australian soil."

The Northern Territory already has a link with A-League club Adelaide United thanks to a two-year deal with the Territory government.

The team will play an A-League pre-season game in Alice Springs in August 2014 and 2015. United will also run training camps for budding players and has based a fulltime development officer in Alice Springs.

"Under the deal, United will also play an Alice Springs representative side and from this match, two Territorians will be invited to train in Adelaide with the A-League and National Youth League teams for a week.

“We are currently talking to Adelaide United about the possibility of expanding this agreement to include a game in Darwin,” said Giles.

The Top End will also participate in the FFA Cup from 2015.

The AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 announced ticket prices for next year's tournament to be held on our shores on Wednesday. Click here to access their website.