Last updated on April 12th, 2023 at 01:08 PM
England have locked in another major step in their preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by finalising their first base camp in Australia.
After a send-off match in England in early July, with details to be confirmed soon, Sarina Wiegman and the squad chosen to represent the Lionesses at the finals will arrive Down Under on Friday 7 July.
The team will train at the internationally renowned Sunshine Coast Stadium and stay at the picturesque Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, with both located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast Stadium is part of a multi-sport facility that had a significant upgrade in 2011 and has played host to several elite Australian sports teams.
It is part of Brisbane’s plans for hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the 10,000-plus spectator capacity set to be increased. In addition, the venue has extensive media facilities around the main pitch and an additional ten pitches in close proximity.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “We can’t wait to get out to Australia. It is great we know where we will continue our World Cup preparations and we are very happy to have this perfect combination of training ground and hotel. The work we do in the last weeks before the tournament will be essential for making sure we get off to a good start on 22 July.
“I was very impressed with what I saw when I visited Sunshine Coast Stadium just after the New Year. We will have everything we need on the pitch, as well as high-performance gym and recovery facilities.
We had such a warm welcome from all the people there which is also important. I know everyone will be behind the host nation, but we felt Sunshine Coast will feel like a home away from home for us.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was thrilled to welcome the Lionesses. He said: “We’re excited to host the European champions at Sunshine Coast Stadium as they prepare for the World Cup and bring more football content to the region, particularly ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games where this same venue will co-host the Olympic Games football competition.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to further position the Sunshine Coast as a premier destination for high-performance sport and showcase our region and facilities to the world.”
Nic O’Donnell, General Manager at the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have the Lionesses staying with us at Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort as they prepare for the World Cup.
Our picturesque location, combined with our state-of-the-art facilities, will provide the team with the perfect environment to train and relax ahead of the tournament. We are proud to be part of their journey and wish them all the best for a successful campaign.”
The Sunshine Coast Resort, which sits on the edge of a lagoon and is nestled between the Maroochy River and the Pacific Ocean, is little more than 100km north of Brisbane where England will begin their World Cup campaign against Haiti on 22 July, with the team moving to the capital of Queensland five days before the big kick-off.
Following the opening match, England will head to Terrigal, an hour north of Sydney, and set up camp for the rest of their stay in the tournament.