New High Street facility spells new future for Monaro Panthers and Queanbeyan City

The Monaro Panthers' Ole Stegavik and technical director Adam Firych kick around with Mr Firych's daughter Hanna at the High Street ground. Photo: Elliot Williams
The Monaro Panthers' Ole Stegavik and technical director Adam Firych kick around with Mr Firych's daughter Hanna at the High Street ground. Photo: Elliot Williams

The decades long rivalry between Monaro Panthers and Queanbeyan City FC may have finally simmered after an announcement from Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Friday.

Mr Barilaro announced the government would be providing Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council with $640,000 for new facilities at the High Street Playing Fields.

The member for Monaro was particularly pleased to announce the funding as a die-hard football fan and former president of Monaro Panthers.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro presents Deputy Mayor Trevor Hicks with a cheque with representatives from Monaro Panthers and Queanbeyan City FC. Photo: Supplied

Deputy Premier John Barilaro presents Deputy Mayor Trevor Hicks with a cheque with representatives from Monaro Panthers and Queanbeyan City FC. Photo: Supplied

“Both these clubs have a proud history,” Mr Barilaro said.

“They both champion Queanbeyan as the heart of football in the region.”

He recalled the difficulties in securing fields and organising Monaro during his tenure and being told to use ACT facilities with nothing available locally. He hoped this funding would help resolve some of those issues.

The upgrades to High Street include new change rooms, public toilets, a canteen, storage and a club meeting room.

The facility is intended to be the new permanent home of Queanbeyan City which first team coach Goran Josifovski said was a source of pride for the club as the ground was where the club originated.

He described the figure as “mouth-watering” and said the investment would allow Queanbeyan City to continue to grow.

Monaro are currently the much larger club with more than 100 teams expected to be registered in the upcoming season comprising some 1200 players.

Monaro technical director Adam Firych said with so many players it was impossible to keep everyone happy.

But he added he was looking forward to putting the club rivalry in the past and working together with Queanbeyan City because ultimately they all operate for the love of football.

Mr Barilaro also announced $400,000 for the Queanbeyan River walk.

QPRC’s head of urban landscapes Tim Geyer said the money would go towards completing the loop around the river with the section from the Morisset Bridge to Ray Morton Park the next to get attention.

He said the long term plan is to allow people to be able to walk or ride from Barracks Flat to the CBD along the river.

Mr Barilaro described the river as the heart of Queanbeyan and commended the council’s work to upgrade the area.