Melbourne City announce minor league baseball partnership

The Premier League and Minor League Baseball (MLB) Network today announced that Major League Soccer’s Melbourne City are in advanced discussions with Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to partner on a multi-year, community-based housing program…

Melbourne City announce minor league baseball partnership

The Premier League and Minor League Baseball (MLB) Network today announced that Major League Soccer’s Melbourne City are in advanced discussions with Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to partner on a multi-year, community-based housing program for experienced and newly-recruited young players on trial.

The partnership, under the leadership of Melbourne City ownership, will deliver a dream opportunity for each of the eight most promising players selected to call Melbourne home and will extend beyond their time with Melbourne City on a senior national or international level.

The program will ultimately support the expansion of the Major League Soccer program to Victoria and open the doors to Major League Soccer players living in Melbourne, where IMG Academy director Olivier Goudet will scout the best local prospects available and connect them with MLS scouts who will bring the best and most promising young players together to train and work out at Melbourne City FC training facilities.

“Becoming part of the Minor League Baseball Network with MLB does something special for Minor League Baseball and Major League Soccer,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. “Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball make great strides together in this country and this partnership is an example of the strength and success of the partnership.”

“Melbourne City FC’s first goal is to develop the next generation of players for Melbourne City FC,” said Head Coach Tim Cahill. “Any initiative that we can do to add to that is something that we are very interested in and that is why we are working with Minor League Baseball on this initiative. Having the chance to offer a dream opportunity to any players that come to Melbourne would be huge, and to be able to do so alongside some of the greatest players and clubs in the world would be amazing.”

“As an owner of Melbourne City FC, the opportunity to partner with MLB and MLB Network to deliver housing for some of the best young talent in the competition is an absolute win-win-win for all,” said Football Federation Australia (FFA) Board Chairman Chris Nikou. “We are looking forward to seeing the benefits to our elite players, as well as the benefit to the area of Melbourne as a whole.”

“Just like Aussie Rules players have an opportunity to develop their game on-field with the AFL and NHL players have the opportunity to develop on the ice with the NHL, Melbourne City FC has a chance to develop some of the best young players on the international stage within the ranks of Major League Soccer and Minor League Baseball,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This partnership between Major League Soccer and Minor League Baseball Network presents a fantastic opportunity for the Australian youth player to further their development, as well as the opportunity for Major League Soccer players to come to Australia and experience playing and training with their Australian partners.”

“Minor League Baseball provides a platform to showcase our rising stars and encourage more participation among our members,” said MLB Properties President Bob LaPeter. “This partnership marks a crucial step forward for Minor League Baseball, as we continue to grow the game globally and develop more players.”

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