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AFC Member Associations celebrate the return of Grassroots Football Day

Grassroots football

The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) dedication to build on the strong foundations of football in the Continent and to ensure that the sport remains the number one sport in Asia was strengthened further, as 41 Member Associations pledged to join the AFC Grassroots Football Day 2021 celebrations.

Following strict health and safety protocols, more than 230,000 participants of all ages, backgrounds and abilities from across Asia are expected to join the annual football festival organised by the Member Associations.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa acknowledged the significance of the AFC Grassroots Football Day to the continent’s sporting aspirations.

“The grassroots movement has made incredible progress across the Continent in recent years, and I am pleased to welcome the return of the AFC Grassroots Football Day, which once again reinforces our optimism towards the safe and successful resumption of Asian football in 2021,” he said.

“Our aspiration is to see everyone, regardless of their age, ability, gender and background, across all corners of Asia, presented with opportunities not just to develop a passion for the beautiful game, but to cultivate strong values, build resilience, character and transferable skills, through a lifelong journey in football.

“It has been a challenging, and at times uncertain journey, and I would like to warmly thank all the AFC MAs as well as our valued and loyal stakeholders for their continued support and for believing in our Vision to expand the reach of football.”

Tournaments such as the Chinese Football Association’s “Enjoy The Game” National Grassroots Championship are expected to attract more than 200,000 passionate participants across the tournament’s runtime from May to December.

Meanwhile, the Kyrgyz Football Union and the Philippine Football Federation are inviting national team players to share their inspiring experience to young players, whilst the Mongolian Football Federation will initiate a promotional campaign titled “Football is everywhere” to celebrate the grassroots event in 21 provinces across the country.

As part of the AFC, Football Australia will be introducing a “MiniRoos AFC Grassroots Gala Day” in an effort to celebrate the driving force of community engagement and the encourage more children to play football.

The Football Association of Indonesia and the Syrian Football Association will make a return to the Continental grassroots festival this year, while six Member Associations – Bhutan, India, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam and Singapore will mark their eight successive year of participation with a series of workshops, tournaments and game stations.

Female coaching development program launched in NSW

Canterbury's Centenary Park hosted CDSFA's first Youth Female Coach Development session for the year, working in tandem with Football NSW.

Canterbury’s Centenary Park hosted Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association’s first Youth Female Coach Development session for the year, working in tandem with Football NSW.

The opening session introduced all participants to the program and was followed by a MiniRoos Coaching Course.

The girls were taught and educated by special guest Sam McGowan. She is the current Game Development Officer for Schools, Women’s and Girls across the state and has a very rich coaching history. She also possesses a FFA B License for coaching.

The participants in the induction session were also lucky enough to have coaching members from Sydney FC around for the day to mentor the aspiring coaches.

Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Manager, Trudy Burke:

“It was a great way to kick off 2022 by hosting our first Youth Female Coach Development Program on Tuesday,” she said.

“This program is designed to inspire our next generation of coaches within the association.

“The program aims to not only create qualified, confident, and agile coaches, but create young female leaders and role models for our football community.

“Throughout the program, coaches will complete their MiniRoos, Skills Training and First Aid Certificates.

“They will also attend a communication and leadership workshop at the Future Matildas training base led by Future Matildas Head Coach Leah Blayney. Coaches will also be provided hands on coaching experience with the association and their local club as well as coaching opportunities with both Football NSW and Sydney FC.

“We currently have 24 coaches for our pilot program that will run up until October with the age range between 13-21 years.

“We will also see coaches feature from 10 different clubs within our Association so rest assured this will only further grow and develop the women’s game in the CDSFA area.”

This initiative by Football NSW is a fantastic way to explore and expand the coaching avenues of women’s football across the state, in amongst a rapidly growing participation rate.

Football West to welcome Jamie Harnwell as new CEO

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Harnwell will succeed outgoing CEO James Curtis, who is stepping down after spending almost six years in the role.

Harnwell has been involved with Football West for over 12 years, with his most recent position being Chief Football Officer. Prior to that, he had worked as Acting Chief Operating Officer and Head of Development.

Before joining Football West, Harnwell was the captain of A-Leagues club Perth Glory, as well as the record-appearance holder He made 256 appearances for the Glory men’s squad, where in the process he was involved in back-to-back national championships.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes:

“Football West is delighted to announce Jamie Harnwell as our new CEO,” he said.

“Jamie is a real football person, from his days as a star player at Perth Glory to becoming a top coach in both the A-League Women’s and NPLWA – Men’s competitions. He has transferred the drive and dedication needed to succeed on the pitch to his roles at Football West.

“In addition, Jamie also possesses the necessary skills and vision to drive Football West forward as we continue to grow the sport in WA and we move towards the opening of the State Football Centre and the 2023 Women’s World Cup and beyond.

“Jamie has worked closely with James Curtis for a number of years, and in terms of senior management, it is great that he has been able to ‘learn on the job’ and is well placed to lead the team at Football West over what will be an exciting period for our sport in WA.

“Following an extensive nationwide search and the assessment of several excellent candidates, Jamie proved to be the stand-out. We look forward to him leading Football West in the years ahead and continuing the terrific progress achieved under James Curtis.”

Incoming Football West Chief Executive Officer Jamie Harnwell:

“It is exciting to become CEO of Football West and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“We are the biggest team sport in the country in terms of participation and we are in a fantastic position. But there is still plenty of potential for further growth, especially here in WA.

“It has been terrific to work with James Curtis and gain invaluable experience, now I am ready to put my own stamp on the position.”

Harnwell will work together with Curtis until the latter departs from Football West on March 31, 2022.

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