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2020 Australian Coaching Conference registrations soar

Despite enduring a difficult season due to COVID-19, more than 1200 participants have registered for the 2020 Australian Coaching Conference.

Despite enduring a difficult season with setbacks due to COVID-19, more than 1200 participants have registered for the 2020 Australian Coaching Conference.

The unbelievable milestone has been achieved with the conference set to take place in a few weeks on Saturday 28 November.

Football NSW normally hold this event at their headquarters of Valentine Sports Park, but restrictions caused by the pandemic have led to it going online. It’s meant that more coaches have got on board, with those from across the country, Asia and even the UK, Brazil and the United States.

“Having made the decision to go online this year, we have collaborated and worked well with FFA, Football Coaches Australia and the other Member Federations to ensure that as many coaches as possible had access to some of the wonderful speakers and content that we are providing,” Peter Hugg, Football NSW’s Head of Football said.

“Having reached 1200 registrants already, our goal is now more than 1500 which will be a tremendous achievement.

“We have already announced legendary coach, Arsene Wenger, formerly of Arsenal and now with FIFA, and he will kick off the day, and last week, we announced that two iconic players of women’s football, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain – both of the champion US Women’s team of the nineties – and they will chat with former Matildas’ coach Tom Sermanni.

“Some more big names will be rolled out over the next few weeks leading into the day”.

With the conference going online, participants will have the ability to watch the event and then have access to it later for future reference.

“The technology platform that we have invested in for this year’s Conference is similar to that offered by many of today’s streaming services,” Chris Adams, Manager of Coach Development said.

“That is to say, that whilst the Conference is formally held on Saturday 28 November, and registrants will be able to participate and watch it on that day, those who can’t will have access to all the content after the event, and will be able to continually refer to it over the course of the summer and throughout next season ‘on-demand’.

“The same obviously applies with the four themes and the sessions that are held simultaneously. We have sessions on youth development, coaching the female player, football science, medicine and research and learnings from the international scene, grassroots football and some further content on futsal, and the coaching of special population groups.

“What has been particularly pleasing is that a number of clubs and associations have taken up our special offer and ‘bulk purchased’ our discounted club deal, essentially offering coaches within their organisation the opportunity to participate and benefit from the learnings and further their own development. Whilst our early bird offer has concluded, the club offer will remain until the event.”

“FFA have approved 30 CPD points for participation in the event for those seeking to maintain their FFA Accreditation, but regardless, I am confident that there will be something here for everyone”.

Registrations for the 2020 Australian Coaching Conference are still open and you can apply here.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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