Brisbane Roar announce trio of General Manager appointments

Brisbane Roar

Brisbane Roar has announced that Matt Smith and Ante Kovacevic have joined the club as General Managers.

The Roar have also appointed long-serving employee Rizka Laya as General Manager – Club Services, which will effectively see Laya, Smith and Kovacevic combine as a General Manager trio going forward.

The appointments reaffirm Brisbane Roar’s commitment to adding senior executive resources to develop both the Club’s football and administration departments.

Smith will oversee marketing, communications, and membership activities in his role as General Manager – Commercial. The former Brisbane Roar captain is known for playing 112 games for the Club, including winning three Isuzu UTE A-League Championships. He also has a strong background in marketing holding a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Leisure Management from the University of Gloucestershire.

Smith also holds a Master’s in Sport Management from Hartpury University and has an extensive football development pedigree from his roles as Football Director, NPL Technical Director and First Team Head Coach at Brisbane City for the past three years.

Smith is excited to be back with the Brisbane Roar as the Club restructures.

“I was extremely privileged to be part of the Club’s amazing successes in the past and look forward to creating history in the future,” he said via press release.

“Since I left the Club in 2014, I’ve always been keeping a close eye on the team and how they’ve been playing as well as the club and its progress.

“I’m excited to play a key role in trying to continue to build the Club and I’m looking forward to working with the staff and different communities involved with Brisbane Roar.

“When I was a player, the culture and environment at the Club was one of inclusiveness and good people, so I think a key role is to form an environment and culture people are proud to be associated with.

“The internal and external stakeholders are pushing for one goal and I’m very confident that with the restructure the Club has started to initiate that there are good times ahead.”

Kovacevic’s appointment to General Manager – Club will see him bring a wealth of experience and expertise.

Joining the Roar from Western United Football Club, where he was the General Manager of Football, Kovacevic has also overseen Football Operations at Perth Glory (2009-2015) and was the General Manager of Football at Adelaide United (2015-2019).

While at Adelaide, Kovacevic was part of their A-League Championship in 2015/16 as well as the Australia Cup in 2018 and 2019.

During his playing career, Kovacevic enjoyed spells at National Soccer League teams Melbourne Knights, Adelaide City FC, and South Melbourne FC. The introduction of the A-League in 2005 saw Kovacevic sign with Perth Glory, where he made 32 appearances.

On his appointment, Kovacevic is rapt to have joined Brisbane Roar.

“I am excited to have joined Brisbane Roar, a club that has proven it can be successful on and off the field. This is where we want to see it headed in the near future” Kovacevic said via press release.

Kovacevic will review all football systems at the Club to build and improve upon what is currently in place while ensuring all areas of the football department continue to operate effectively.

“Queensland has a great number of footballers playing the game and has always managed to produce quality footballers for the NPL, A-Leagues and National teams. We want to continue to ensure the Brisbane Roar is an integral part to this development system and work together with all football stakeholders,” Kovacevic said via the Roar.

Laya has been a familiar face at Brisbane Roar for almost a decade, and her appointment to a General Manager role is set to continue strengthening the Club’s administrative and club services.

As the Club’s longest serving employee, she will continue to manage game operations and back-office administrative services that support the Club’s operation and governance systems, providing important support across the football department.

Laya is looking forward to the opportunity to take on this new challenge.

“I am grateful that the club noticed my efforts after working hard over the years. This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am looking forward to taking on the responsibilities and making the most of it,” she said via press release.

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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