2020 Annual Report released by Football Queensland

FQ Annual Report

Following a momentous year of challenges and growth across the state, Football Queensland (FQ) has published their Annual Report for 2020.

In spite of the tumultuous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FQ were proud to have delivered a full season of National Premier Leagues football and to have been the only Member Federation to record an increase in participation across last year.

Improvement across four key areas – governance, administration, competitions and affordability – was at the forefront of FQ’s attention, and plenty was achieved despite the unprecedented obstacles the year presented.

Through their determination to inspire Queenslanders through football, FQ were successful in the following areas and initiatives:

  • The publishing of the Future of Football 2020+ document and Opportunities Paper which were produced in consultation with FQ’s stakeholders
  • The release of the 2020-2024 Strategic Infrastructure Plan in September which set out the organisation’s commitment to meeting the growing demands of the 127,627 participants across the state.
  • The establishment of a Regional High-Performance Centre in Townsville through a partnership with the North Queensland Cowboys
  • FQ launched NPL.TV, an industry-first over-the-top streaming service which broadcast all NPL Men’s, NPL Women’s and FQPL games live
  • FQ rolled out a suite of initiatives to support referees and foster ongoing growth in referee registrations including: the introduction of the pink armband for match officials aged under 18, new ‘sin bin’ rules, an e-learning platform, the inaugural FQ Referee Academy and the launch of the Futsal Referee Information Pack
  • FQ outlined its bold vision for futsal in the state with the release of the 2020-2022 Futsal Strategy, which has identified a clear focus over the next two years on growing participation, strengthening futsal clubs, improving access to infrastructure and building capability and capacity of administrators.

FQ President Ben Richardson acknowledged the immense work done by the game’s stakeholders through the challenges of 2020.

“Thank you to all our valued partners for supporting us to administer and grow the beautiful game here in Queensland.

“Thank you in particular to the Queensland Government for their ongoing support in providing funding to help us deliver the game across the state.

“Thank you to all the staff at FQ for their ongoing commitment to delivering the best outcomes for football in Queensland.

“Finally, thank you to all members of the football community across the state for your support throughout a year which was extremely challenging for us all.

“Despite its challenges, 2020 truly demonstrated football’s incredible ability to unite.”

Football SA extending Development Centres throughout regional and metropolitan areas

Football SA Development Centres

Football South Australia (SA) announced the expansion of its Development Centres for boys and girls from ages nine to 13.

This expansion will offer more football and more opportunities for players in the Barossa, Noarlunga, Port Lincoln and Metropolitan Adelaide.

The five new centres add to the four currently located in the Limestone Coast, Whyalla, Riverland and the Adelaide Hills, taking the total up to nine centres in 2024.

Much of the talk has been the incredible impact that the home soil FIFA Women’s World Cup has had on football participation in the country across all age groups. There has been a notable uptick in player participation in regional areas , registering a 16.5% increase. Across the entire state, there is overall growth of 9%.

The key goal of the Football SA Development Centres expansion is to lay the grassroots foundation in place and create a suitable environment for kids so that their talent is recognised and captured by coaches.

These added sessions as a result of the expansion are designed not to conflict with existing club activities and will enhance players’ fundamental footballing skills.

Football SA Technical Director Michael Cooper touched on the opportunity this opens up for player development at the early ages.

“When we started the original program in 2023, we had the vision to implement a state-wide program that provides equal opportunities for players to progress to our State programs and offerings, which are highly regarded nationally,” Cooper said via Football SA press release.

“Taking our programs to regional South Australia has prevented the need for young players to travel week in week out to Adelaide for specialised coaching. This illustrates our support for regional associations and pathways we collectively offer.

“We are excited to see all players come together at events such as the State Development Carnival in July and I am confident more players will be identified from regional areas in the future.”

An issue Football South Australia touched on in their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan was the lack of regional players making the transition into state and regional squads.

The key function of Football SA, as mentioned on their website, has always been player development and to increase participation. This Development Centre expansion will service the regional communities and allow potential talented players, who weren’t recognised before, to grow through a natural pathway up until they represent state squads.

Cádiz CF outlines plan for new sports technology centre

Cádiz Sportech City

LALIGA football club Cádiz CF has unveiled plans to construct a brand-new sports technology centre which will be known as ‘Sportech City’.

The centre is expected to deliver significant results in the sports technology industry, and assert Cádiz’s position in the top-flight of Spanish football.

In addition, the centre aims to make a positive impact in areas outside of the football club, most notably in health and education. A short video released on its official YouTube channel helped outline the proposed facilities within Sportech City.

These include:

  • A 7,500-square-metre data centre.
  • A dedicated sports university.
  • 5,600 square metres dedicated to laboratories and prototype validation for user experience.
  • An events/congress centre.
  • A technological business incubator centre with 6,100 square metres of offices.
  • Health and medical services.
  • A designated retail zone.

Sportech City is the latest plan to be announced since La Liga introduced its ‘Impulso’ agreement with CVC Capital Partners in 2021. The agreement provided nearly two billion euros (3.3 million AUD) for Spanish football clubs to invest in technology, innovation, internationalisation, and sporting growth initiatives.

Plans for the centre are being coordinated between the club and professional services firm KPMG, who believe the centre will stimulate the local economy. It is estimated that 4,000 jobs will be created for the construction of Sportech City alone, with a further 2,900 jobs expected for the running of the centre.

According to sources within the club, Cádiz CF hopes to generate a minimum of 15 million euros (24.7 million AUD) per year once it begins operation.

Cádiz CF, like many clubs that sit beneath the traditional giants of Spanish football, have suffered a turbulent off-field history.

However, under president Manuel Vizcaíno’s stewardship since 2019, the club attracted overseas investment which helped them return to the top-flight of Spanish football for just the fourth time in its 123-year existence.

Sportech City is hoped to be the next initiative under an ambitious Vizcaíno that will bring success not just to the football club, but to the city of Cádiz.

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