Canterbury Junior Football Club the first recipients of grassroots grants

Canterbury Junior Football Club are the first recipients of grants to be launched at Dolcissimo Restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Haberfield.

Canterbury Junior Football Club are the first recipients of the new Superstar Sports grassroots football cash grants, to be launched on Friday (March 5) at Dolcissimo Restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Haberfield.

The grants are valued at $300 and will be awarded to a grassroots club every three months by a former player who made it to elite levels including NSL, A-League, W-League, Socceroos and Matildas.

Canterbury Junior’s President James Hondros will accept the first grant at the quarterly “Football Fraternity Lunch” held at Dolcissimo Restaurant on March 5. Hondros will be presented with a cheque by former club junior and Socceroo Peter Katholos.

The grants are part of the widely acclaimed Grassroots Football Project, in conjunction with sponsors Superstar Sports and Zenith Football Pathways.

“Our club is honoured to be the first recipients of these generous grants,” Hondros said.

“To have our cheque presented by Peter Katholos makes it more special.  He is one of three Socceroos we are very proud of, the other two being Ernie Campbell and Dennis Yaeger – thanks to all concerned.”

Canterbury Junior Soccer Football Club was formed in 1923 due to an initiative by Andy Burton who met with a group of enthusiasts and sat on a rock pile situated on a vacant block where Canterbury Hotel now stands. Jack Daley was elected President, Andy Burton Secretary and Tom English Treasurer.

Later in the year, Hurlstone Park was created and was followed up by the formation of the Canterbury and District Soccer Football Association (CDSFA). The now Canterbury Juniors were regarded as Canterbury Park with a playing strip of blue and gold vertical stripes and the namesake for the home ground.

Local district competitions were commenced as All Age and U/16 years which saw Canterbury Park win both these competitions run by the CDSFA.

“What a great way to start this scheme – Canterbury are a club rich with history, also having produced three Socceroos,” Grassroots Football Project creator Greg Werner said.

“I’d like to thank our sponsors for their support, and we look forward to our second award announcement in June.”

The awards will begin in Sydney with plans to nationally roll-out in the coming months.

“We are proud to be behind these grants. Superstar Sports was established to help cut costs of equipment for my club APIA Leichhardt, but the enquiries from other clubs have been a welcome surprise,” Superstar Sports’ Tony Raciti said.

“It’s time for some serious players in the sportswear market who are focused on helping junior sport, and not milking it. Congratulations Canterbury.”

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Football Australia bolsters leadership with key new appointments

Football Australia has confirmed the appointments of Briana Harvey as General Manager of the Women’s National Teams and David Mason for the role of General Manager of the Men’s National Teams.

These strategic appointments are part of Football Australia’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and enhance the leadership and management of its national teams, ensuring both the women’s and men’s programs benefit from experienced and dedicated leadership.

Harvey has an extensive background in sports management, having held key roles at prominent organizations such as Hockey Victoria, the Australian Football League, Hawthorn Football Club, and, most recently, at the GWS GIANTS Football Club. Her diverse experience across these major sporting bodies highlights her expertise and leadership capabilities in the field.

Mason’s deep involvement with Australian football stretches back to 1998. Throughout his career, he has held numerous management positions in media and communications, football operations, and club administration at Northern Spirit, Parramatta Power, Sydney FC, and Football Australia.

His extensive experience across these diverse roles has equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the sport’s landscape, making him a valuable asset in his new role.

For the last seven years, Mason has served as CEO of Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United FC, one of Australia’s largest football associations. Returning to Football Australia, Mason brings with him a vast reservoir of knowledge in local, regional, and global football.

His experience is complemented by a deep familiarity with Australia’s National Football Teams, positioning him to make significant contributions in his new role.

Beginning on August 12, both Harvey and Mason will take charge of the strategic, operational, and administrative aspects of Football Australia’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. Their responsibilities will include planning and managing budgets, as well as coordinating overall annual match schedules.

In their roles, they will ensure that all logistical and operational needs are met, driving the success and efficiency of the national teams’ programs.

Their leadership will be pivotal in shaping the future of Australian football on both the national and international stages.

Head of National Teams Gary Moretti expressed his excitement of the designation via press release.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of both Briana and David who as individuals and collectively bring a wealth of industry knowledge to Football Australia,” he said.

“Briana has a strong corporate pedigree with extensive experience within elite level sport. Her background and passion for women’s sport will be an invaluable asset to our National Teams both now and in the future.

“David is a football person and has contributed to the sport at all levels for almost three decades. In addition to his strong football acumen, David brings significant business and operational experience from his highly successful tenure as a CEO within the football industry.

“Along with Andrew McKenzie (General Manager – High Performance), the appointments of Briana and David will strengthen the management and future prospects of our National Teams as we look to create an elite performance and operational environment featuring a world’s best-practice focus.”

CEO of Football Australia James Johnson added how their experience and wealth of knowledge will ensure operation excellence via press release.

“The appointments of Briana and David are strategic moves that align with our vision to enhance the performance and success of our National Teams. Their combined experience and leadership will play a crucial role in ensuring operational excellence, so we remain competitive on the global stage and continue to inspire the next generation of football talent in Australia.”

Football Australia – National Teams Senior Management

Head of National Teams: Gary Moretti
General Manager – Women’s National Teams: Briana Harvey (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – Men’s National Teams: David Mason (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – High Performance: Andrew McKenzie (commenced 10 July)
General Manager – Football Analysis, Data and Insights (to be appointed)

The creation of four new leadership positions within the National Teams underscores Football Australia’s commitment and investment in its Senior and Youth National Teams, as outlined in the XI Principles for the future of Australian Football. Every position plays a critical role in advancing, overseeing, and ensuring the sustained success of all High Performance and National Team programs and initiatives.

Football South Australia extend collaboration with SAASL

Football South Australia and the South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL) have extended their collaboration, strengthening their cooperation in developing football in the state.

There was a meeting held recently where key representatives from both organisations discussed ways to continue their growth of the game in the state at all levels.

Since the partnership began in 2018, the two parties have made a meaningful impact in the South Australian football community.

Several key initiatives have been launched through this collaboration which include:

Referee Development: Football SA’s Referees Department is now responsible for assigning match officials for all SAASL games. In 2024, the strategic emphasis by Football SA and SAASL on referees has led to a notable improvement in match official coverage for Senior Divisions in both Saturday and Sunday leagues.

Officiating Initiatives: Football SA has introduced various initiatives to recruit new referees and support young officials, such as State Championships and specialised mentorship programs. Meanwhile, SAASL is actively working on strategies to enhance their Club Referee program, offering a clear pathway for both new and returning referees.

Respect Campaign: The Armband Campaign to protect young referees has been successfully launched. Embraced by clubs, participants, and the football community, the bright orange armbands worn by referees under 18 serve as a clear reminder that these officials are minors.

Venue Support: ServiceFM Stadium has been the venue for major SAASL events, offering a professional environment for amateur league matches.

Streamlined Registration: SAASL players will keep registering via a consistent Player Registration System, which enhances administrative efficiency and ensures the integrity of player registrations.

Shared Competition Management System: Offering uniform and efficient Competition Management Processes across all competitions, enhancing efficiency for clubs, referees, and association administrators.

Enhanced Player Protection: SAASL players are covered by the National Insurance Scheme, which offers essential protection for clubs, administrators, volunteers, and participants.

Michael Carter, CEO of Football SA spoke very highly of the partnership and its effects on the game in SA.

“This extension represents more than just a renewal of our agreement,” he said in a statement.

“It’s a testament to the evolving and strengthening relationship between Football SA and SAASL. We’re working closer together than ever before, and the results speak for themselves.”

George Fotopoulos, President of SAASL and SAASL Board members and Executive Officer Darcy Evan shared a similar sentiment about the excitement of this continued long-term partnership.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Football SA. Our ongoing affiliation has seen a significant improvement in our Referee coverage in 2024, that is due to the collaboration and hard work of both the Football SA and the SAASL administration teams. We look forward to further opportunities the partnership will provide,” SAASL confirmed in a statement.

Overall, this partnership enhances the infrastructure, safety, and quality of football in South Australia, encouraging greater participation for players, coaches and referees which is helping the sport thrive at all levels.

Amateur and grassroots football success is the core to any good footballing foundation and this prosperous partnership continuing is a brilliant result.

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