10-year milestone of Australia Cup achieved with ongoing benefits for semi-professionals

The Australia Cup is the nation’s premier knockout cup competition which has reached its 10th year of existence.

The competition was founded as the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Cup and has been won by five different clubs, with nine unique sides appearing in its respective finals down the years.

Knockout cup football before the reintroduction of it was something which remained an unappreciated element of Australian football with the first attempt of sustaining a competition occurring back in the 1960s with the Australia Cup – the first and only national club knockout competition which was held from 1962 until 1968.

The FFA Cup was ultimately renamed to the Australia Cup in 2022, suiting as a more fitting title for what has become an important piece of silverware within Australian football.

The competition has contributed immensely to the sport in a variety of aspects. Semi-professional clubs across the country have the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best upon their entry in the round of 32, providing spectators with the possibility of witnessing a David and Goliath like matchup. The ‘cupsets’ provide a sense of urgent, frantic football in which fans are jubilant to receive.

Those at the business end of the competition are recipients of prize money, with the winners claiming a cheque worth $131,000. As of 2021, competition winners are placed into continental football play-offs within Asia. Due to the consistent restructure of Asian continental club football, winners of the Australia Cup from 2021 were eligible to qualify for the Asian Champions League via a playoff position, in 2022 the AFC Cup playoffs were up for grabs, with the latter to be changed to the third instalment of Asian football being the newly founded tournament, the AFC Champions League 2.

10 years of cup magic within Australian football has complimented the competitiveness across the sport. The mind races back to all the ‘cupsets’ witnessed throughout the years including the notorious Green Gully victory over the Central Coast Mariners in 2015 where Liam Boland scored from his own half. Not to mention in more recent history, in the cup run Sydney United 58 had gone on.

For lower-ranked clubs across the nation to have the opportunity to compete with professional established clubs has not only provided fans with nostalgic moments, but has opened the another gateway into competing across the continent. The Cup has established itself amongst a trophy of significance in that has also acted as an attraction for international marquee players to venture to Australia from overseas, knowing there’s now three different titles within the sport they can compete for.

The more frequency of football – combined with the magic of the cup – will only serve to open more financial and beneficial opportunities within the sport across the nation.

Based upon its first decade, it’s safe to say its presence has been palpable.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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