Cavallucci spearheads reform for football in Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) have made it their mission to work through a wide range of reforms for the game in the sunshine state, with CEO Robert Cavallucci a central figure overseeing the governing body’s progress.

In a wide-ranging interview with Soccerscene, Cavallucci emphasised the importance of delivering important objectives for the game, which include executing crucial competition reforms for overall player development, encouraging and providing appropriate support strategies for coaches and referees, lifting the profile of futsal in the state and taking the women’s game to the next level.

The FQ CEO explained some of the changes they are implementing to competition structures across Queensland and how critical it is to link the state’s football pyramid.

“Strategically, it’s very important, Football Queensland takes all possible steps in regards to connecting and linking the football pyramid where it can to benefit the game,” he said.

“In the advanced pathway, we need to make sure there’s a clear, transparent and accessible opportunity for aspirational clubs and players to find the right place for them in the football ecosystem.

“What we’ve done is divided the state up into three competition conferences – South East Queensland, Central Coast and North Queensland.

“In South East Queensland obviously it’s a lot more mature in terms of the advanced pathway, the NPL itself has been around for some time. But it’s now about linking it with the other elements of the advanced pathway, so there’s a clear passage for clubs to transition to the right framework for them that aligns with their strategic objectives. That’s what we are doing in South East Queensland and from a football point of view, having a connected pyramid with promotion and relegation is the most preferred position to be in.”

The South East Queensland competition reforms are set to have as many as 6 divisions of the Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL), with clubs in those leagues able to strive to reach the top tier in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland.

In the Central Coast and North Queensland conferences, the system will be similar, however some adjustments will need to be made.

“We will be transitioning the Premier League clubs in those environments into the FQPL environment (which is the same licensing and competition framework as South East Queensland).

“We will then work those clubs over the next 3 years or so to build their capacity and help them transition from a community club environment into the advanced pathways.”

The idea is that over the next few years the FQPL in Cairns for example, will be as close to the same thing as the FQPL in Brisbane.

“It’s a 3-5 year journey, but it’s something we are ambitious in doing because we have a firm belief that kids in regional Queensland should have the same opportunity as kids in South East Queensland,” Cavallucci said.

Alongside the focus on the development of players through these revamped competition structures, improving coaching and referee standards have been two major pillars that are an integral part of FQ’s overall growth strategy.

“We’ve had a massive investment in coaching education in Queensland, significantly growing the number of coach educators and significantly growing the amount of courses being delivered,” he said.

“We’ve been able to substantially grow the number of registered coaches across the state; we are up nearly 35% this year, which is huge.

“That reflects investment in the key parts of our game that have been neglected from a coach education point of view.

“Equally in referees, we have conducted significant reform in that space and have worked to fix the culture across the state.

“Under the number of strategies and programs we’ve implemented, referee numbers are also up over 20% this year. After 7 years of decline we’ve been able to turn it around, so these are really good outcomes for the game.”

Futsal referee courses have also been delivered by the governing body, which in the past were never prevalent.

A strategy for the small-sided game in the state was released late last year, which has gone a long way to uniting the Queensland futsal community.

“We released our futsal strategy not that long ago, and now we are quite ambitious in our efforts to promote and grow the game,” Cavallucci said.

“We are absolutely investing in the right places to try and bring futsal to life and intend to heavily promote it as much as we can. It’s that fast, active, intense social product of our game, where there is a whole market for it in itself.”

Another market which continues to grow at a rapid pace is women’s football and with games to be played in Queensland at a home Women’s World Cup in 2023, Cavallucci sees huge potential for the tournament to instigate generational change.

“It’s the ultimate opportunity,” he said.

“There’s strong ambitions to have 50/50 participation by 2025. It’s an incredible ambition and target to get to, but that’s ultimately where we want to be and we will strive to deliver that.

“The opportunity for our game with having more women involved, more women in leadership positions, more women as referees and coaches, our game is ready to embrace these changes and the direction we are heading in.”

Cavallucci believes the game in Queensland will reap the rewards of the World Cup in the future, through a tangible lasting legacy.

“We will certainly benefit from it,” he said.

We launched our women’s football strategy a couple months ago at parliament, which was all about unlocking the infrastructure legacy of the Women’s World Cup.

“Whether it’s a centre of women’s football, whether it’s female friendly facilities or changerooms, it’s critical for accommodating the growth we are experiencing as a game overall.

“It’s incumbent on all of us in leadership positions to ensure we deliver what’s best for our game.”



Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

City of Greater Geelong and Football Victoria form strategic partnership in regional soccer centre plans

The City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria to further plans for a regional soccer centre.

After committing $50,000 to develop a feasibility and business plan for a regional soccer centre, the City of Greater Geelong has engaged with Football Victoria (FV) to further plans for the new facility.

Councillor Kylie Grzybek said that after a meeting on Monday, FV has committed to supporting the concept of a Geelong regional soccer centre.

“They have committed with us to engage with us throughout the entire process in terms of statistics, player numbers, and those types of things,” she said.

Grzybek added that FV was looking to renew previous plans to evaluate and renew Geelong’s football facilities.

“They’ve also looked to how they engage and renew the G21 soccer plan, which was done in 2010, and that is the document for Geelong concerning what venues have, what types of facilities are available, and what the overall vision for soccer in Geelong is. There are two different things there, the new facility and the G21 soccer plan, but they link together quite nicely,” she said.

Foddy Kyprian, FV’s club and regional ambassador for Geelong, stated the plan has the full backing of the member federation.

“We are having all the relevant government relations staff working with (councilors) Kylie and Eddy (Kontelj). The CEO Kimon Taliadoros has given his full backing to cooperate in every single way they can when working with Local and state government,” he said.

Grzybek explained that FV’s connections could create further opportunities for funding and improved facilities.

“They have great connections with both state and federal governments. Having the governing body on board with us is exciting, and we will look to how they help us get this up and running,” she said.

The City of Greater Geelong has also engaged with Mike McKinstry from the Geelong Regional Football Committee (GRFC).

“While councillor Eddy and I are spearheading this at the moment, we feel there is an opportunity for GRFC and Football Victoria to play their part in promoting Football in Geelong,” Grzybek said.

The opportunity of a regional state soccer centre is one the football community in Geelong deserves for their hard work in developing the game, according to Kyprian.

“The sooner we can have this stadium the better. We can showcase the A-League, the W-League and the FFA cup games we have,” he said.

“The clubs and the Geelong region deserve this. They’ve worked hard over the past 10 years to come together as a group. They deserve the reward for working together.”

Support initiatives for coaches introduced by Football Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) have announced a strengthening of its support of coaches at all levels of the game with the launch of a range of new coach development initiatives in recent weeks.

Football Queensland (FQ) have announced a strengthening of its support of coaches at all levels of the game with the launch of a range of new coach development initiatives in recent weeks.

The platform, entitled Coaching Knowledge Base, has been created by FQ’s Club Development Unit. The technical resources provided are designed to support both community and advanced club coaches and to address some of the challenges facing coaches across the state.

FQ’s knowledge sharing initiative in coach education and support is critical to the fostering of a positive coaching culture and the improvement of experiences of participants.

The Coaching Knowledge Base allows for easy access for all coaches and clubs to tailored content centred around Players, Training, Game Day and Administration, plus Development Webinars, Coach the Coach Interviews and Training Videos.

“It has been fantastic to see an increase in coaching registrations in 2021 with over 6,000 coaches currently registered across the state,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“Improving development opportunities while providing additional levels of support for coaches at every level of the game is a strategic focus of Football Queensland’s, not only for the benefit of the coaches themselves but also for participants, ensuring all coaches across the state are equipped to deliver enjoyable participation experiences.

“FQ is committed to supporting all registered coaches in their development, which is why we are excited to launch a host of new coach support initiatives including the new Coaching Knowledge Base webpage, Coach the Coach feature and monthly coaching newsletter.”

Gabor Ganczer, State Technical Director, expressed his excitement at the rollout and implementation of these initiatives.

“Created by Football Queensland’s Club Development Unit, the new Coaching Knowledge Base houses a suite of collateral for Queensland coaches including technical resources and training videos, development webinars, and Football Australia resources, and is also designed to improve clubs’ capacity to deliver a best practice youth development program,” he said.

“The new Coach the Coach segment launched by FQ in recent weeks will feature a Technical Director, Club Coach Coordinator and Coach Educator to provide an insight into the strategies and initiatives implemented at their club to support the professional development of their club coaches.

“The recently introduced coaching newsletter also provides registered coaches with regular updates on the latest initiatives and practices being implemented by FQ.

“The implementation of these new initiatives will not only support the thousands of coaches across Queensland, but will also assist clubs in creating a positive learning and development environment for coaches of all qualifications.”

New resources and content will be added to Coaching Knowledge Base on a monthly basis. It can be accessed by clicking here.

Football Tasmania launches Coaching for Women Scholarship program

Football Tasmania Scholarship

Football Tasmania has announced the launch of their Coaching for Women Scholarship program, an initiative which reaffirms the state’s recent focus on female participation within the sport. The program is an important step towards growing participation across all areas of the game for women and girls.

The Scholarship aims to address the lack of female representation within the state and wider country’s coaching ranks, with women from clubs and associations with states encouraged to reach out and apply.

At least five female coaches will be provided with Scholarships and the subsequent opportunity to complete the Football Australia ‘C’ Licence course. This will consist of at least one participant from each region – North West, Northern Tasmania and Southern Tasmania.

Each Scholarship includes a $1,200 contribution towards the course fee for the FA ‘C’ Licence course. Additionally, successful applications will have their attendance to the 2021/22 coaches conference included in the Scholarship.

Going forward, coaches will receive continuous support from Football Tasmania’s Coach Development Manager, David Smith, and Female Development Officer, Debra Banks. The successful Applicants will be required to complete the Scholarship within 18 months and attend the 2021/22 Football Tasmania State Coaching Conference.

Furthermore, an opportunity will be potentially offered to participants of the Scholarship program to travel interstate as an assistant coach at the Girls National Youth Championship in 2022.

Plans to increase participation across all areas of football are what is driving the initiative behind Football Tasmania’s Women’s Scholarship program.

The state’s governing footballing body is seeking to increase female participation to at least 30% total, whilst raising the number of active coaches and referees with accreditation by 15%.

With this program, Football Tasmania have recognised the significance of the raising awareness of and strengthening of the pathways for players, coaches and referees. As a result, strong and effective relationships with clubs can be better maintained in order to deliver tangible value for all stakeholders. Moreover, initiatives that subsequently recognise and reward achievements and successes in the game at all levels can champion the game for the state as a whole.

For those interested, the application form can be accessed here.

© 2020 Soccerscene Industry News. All Rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks