AFC announces new competition dates

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has released updated schedules for the restart of the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup.

Group stage matches for Groups A-D in the Champions League will be played on September 14-24. Groups E-H will play their matches in October and finish before November 1. The Final of the Champions League is now scheduled for December 5.

AFC Cup group stage matches will start from September 23 and will be finished by November 4. The Final is set for December 12 – the winner will qualify for the Champions League in 2021.

Both the Champions League and AFC Cup will be played in hubs. The locations of the centralised groups will be confirmed by the AFC at a later date.

Group stage matches for both tournaments will be played in full, however finals matches will now be single match ties instead of home and away fixtures.

“The AFC Administration has been in constant dialogue with our Mas (Member Associations), Leagues and Clubs in recent weeks so that we can establish a clear picture of the opportunities that exist in each MA,” Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary said.

“I would like to thank all our stakeholders, including our MAs, the Leagues and Clubs as well as our Commercial and Broadcast Partners, once again for their understanding and patience as well as loyalty and commitment to Asian football during what continues to be a difficult and uncertain time in the history of our game.

“Notwithstanding the challenging times, I am delighted that we are seeing more encouraging progress on the return of many domestic Leagues to the field and with them comes an expectation that we can conclude both the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup in the coming months.”

There are three Australian teams competing in the 2020 AFC Champions League. Melbourne Victory is third in Group E with one win and one loss. Perth Glory is last in Group F with one loss, while Sydney FC sits in third place of Group H with a draw and a loss.

The AFC also announced dates for national team and Futsal tournaments. The U-19 Championship will be played in Uzbekistan between October 14 to 31. The AFC Futsal Championship will be played in Turkmenistan from November 4 to 15.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Melbourne Knights confirm innovative alliance with ProTrainUp

Melbourne Knights Football Club has confirmed a new partnership with leading football management software company, ProTrainUp.

This collaboration is set to enhance communication and streamline operations with the Club, marking a significant step forward in the commitment to excellence and growth.

Founded in 2013, ProTrainUp is a club management system fuelled by data driven technology, created by and for the football community. ProTrainUp combines quantitative and qualitative data to enhance club operations for both staff and participants, enabling the Club to:

  1. Enhance communication between club staff and players with built-in public and private messaging services.
  2. Simplify the organization and delivery of training sessions using plans and sessions provided by top international federations and clubs, available only through ProTrainUp.
  3. Maintain an up-to-date calendar of training sessions and matches.
  4. Gather data and statistics on players to create detailed reports on individual player development and overall team progress.

ProTrainUp is a system used by clubs around the world including European clubs such as Dinamo Zagreb FC and FC Porto, highlighting its importance in modern football.

The main objective of this partnership is to enhance communication among club staff, players, and parents.

ProTrainUp’s advanced software will deliver a centralised platform for efficient and effective communication, guaranteeing that all members of the Melbourne Knights community stay well-informed and engaged.

The system is accessible both online and through the app, allowing players and parents to enable push notifications so they never miss important Club updates.

The partnership will play a huge role in upskilling the juniors program in 2025, a huge focus that President Simon Pincic spoke about in length in his exclusive interview with Soccerscene.

The Knights will leverage ProTrainUp’s comprehensive tools for training management, performance tracking, and development planning to ‘provide the juniors with the best possible environment to grow and succeed’ as per their statement.

This will help more than just the junior players however with ProTrainUp, the coaches will benefit from this technology with seamless tracking of player progress, and enhanced training experiences, all contributing to the overall development of the junior players.

The club spoke about the future of their management through this advanced technology system.

“We look forward to a successful partnership and are excited about the positive impact it will have on our Club and community. Together with ProTrainUp, we are committed to building a stronger, more connected, and highly effective football club,” Knights said in a club statement.

This is an excellent and innovative partnership by the Knights that sees them advance forward in the development of technology.

The Knights have been vocal about the importance of junior development and have historically been one of Australia’s most successful clubs at creating stars from their system, with ProTrainUp only advancing that cause.

Football NSW to gain more traction through established sponsor

Football NSW have confirmed a collaboration with the technology advertising platform Nine Ad Manager, as a new primary sponsor for 2024.

Nine Ad Manager falls under the Nine network umbrella, acting as an versatile platform in which Australian businesses are able to utilise in generating traction amongst a specific target audience.

Advertising can be reached through audiences across each of the Nine Networks main television channels including 9Now and the 9 on-demand streaming television service.

Television advertisement campaigns created and submitted to the Nine Ad Manager service, are strategically aired at times in which relates to the product featured within the advertisement.

Performance of the advertisements effectiveness can be analysed through the amount of traffic the business is providing the advertisement as it becomes accustomed too.

The manager platform can assist businesses regardless of stature and status, to access mainstream television advertising opportunity for the Nine Network.

Small and medium sized businesses have the capacity to advertise their respective businesses throughout peak television times for an affordable cost.

Having partnered with FNSW, the sole intention of the newly founded cooperation is to give back to the state community, recognising and showcasing the importance upon community football teams that participate across the state.

As disclosed upon the FNSW website, Head of Nine Ad Manager Todd Fisher discussed the importance of the newly founded partnership said via press release.

“This partnership allows us to support the vibrant sporting communities that are at the heart of local culture and community building. Nine Ad Manager’s core mission is to empower small businesses, enabling them to be seen, heard, and remembered in their local areas and achieve business growth. By partnering with Football NSW, we not only champion local football but also the small businesses and communities that surround them.”

Football NSW CEO John Tsatsimas added his excitement for the partnership via press release.

“Football NSW welcomes Nine Ad Manager to the family and we look forward to establishing a strong working relationship with them over the next 12 months.”

A fresh new look on the back of each of FNSWs State Team jerseys in 2024, with The Nine Ad Manager logo to feature prominently beneath the player’s number.

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