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Edgeworth Eagles undergoing significant infrastructure upgrades

Historic Northern NSW Football side Edgeworth Eagles have officially moved into their brand-new facilities, with further upgrades now underway.

The club, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017 and currently are coached by former Newcastle Jets forward Michael Bridges, have gradually developed their home-ground Jack McLaughlin Oval into the veritable home of football it is today.

Edgeworth Players

12 premierships in the last 22 years means that the Eagles are undeniably one of the leading clubs in the Northern NSW National Premier Leagues division. Their investment in upgrading their player sheds, car park, canteen and toiletry facilities will mark a major step towards being a dominant force within the Northern NSW sporting community.

For Warren Mills, Football Director, Treasurer, long time committee member and clubman at Edgeworth Eagles, the prospect of getting the infrastructure upgrades underway was an exciting one.

Canteen

“It’s gone ahead now, it’s nearly a $1.5 million dollar development and we’re losing a bit of our land, but the car park outside is getting refurbished as well as there being a new entrance in the middle of the ground. So, there’ll be two entrances, an electric car charging port and an even bigger car park, which is all very exciting,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is, there’s no one worse off than us. Jack McLaughlin Oval is the only facility we’ve got and we’ve gone from three senior teams to four youth teams and eight SAP teams. Compared to seven years ago (and the 100 odd years before hand) we’ve now got fifteen teams.”

Dressing Rooms

Mills drew comparisons of Edgeworth’s latest refurbishments to the setup at English League One side Sunderland AFC in the ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ series.

“I’ve been running Edgeworth FC for the last 25 years, so, it’s been a long road and I’m probably getting a bit long in the tooth,” he added.

“We’ve spent about $600,000 of our own money and about $150,000 through grants over the last eight years. We’ve put in over a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of floodlighting – we’re the only NPL club that would have 500 Lux on their ground.

“We managed to get 25 $480 sponsors in order to cover the costs for player booths to be installed, as well as ice baths and tiles. Very similar to what you would’ve seen in ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’ with their dressing shed, we’re putting about $15,000 into our setup.

“So, to get these new facilities along with all the work we’ve got out there – the clubhouse and everything else – it’s going to be a pretty fair setup.”

New Eagles building

When asked to reflect on the massive changes that Mills has led the club in undergoing over the years, the Edgeworth stalwart acknowledged the hard work of all involved.

“It’s massive. When I first went out there, there were a couple of old stands and it was falling apart. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I think whether you’re a player, an administrator or whatever the main reason you do it is for all of the friendships you make. The friendships you make through sport are what keeps you going,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of great people on the committee who are great friends and we’re very fortunate that three or four of our main five people involved at the club don’t have sons playing at the club, and I think that helps not having an attachment and doing it for the football.

“This particular development has been with the Lake Macquarie City Council and they’ve done an awesome job. We deserve this support and we certainly needed new facilities.”

Refurbishment Edgeworth

FIFA’s commercial partnership structure unlocks opportunities

FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

For the first time in eight years, FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

Three partnership variables have been launched which include women’s football, men’s football and Esports/gaming. As a starting point, brands will now be able to negotiate dedicated partnerships with women’s football and Esports.

FIFA are building on their Women’s Football strategy implemented from 2018, by launching a dedicated women’s soccer commercial vertical to show their commitment to making soccer more accessible for women and girls across the globe. Their main aim from this vertical is to accelerate the growth and equality of the women’s game.

As for opportunities that provides for Australia, it could be a key driver for broadening the business side in women’s soccer, as well as the ever-growing Esports.

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman:

“This marks a groundbreaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across Women’s and Men’s Football for the first time,” she said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

A dedicated partnerships structure for Esports will allow FIFA to further broaden its gaming footprint. The structure provides exciting opportunities to participate in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Overall, FIFA’s new partnership structure includes the following:

  • All partners will receive extensive global commercial rights across national team tournaments.
  • Sponsors will receive global activation rights surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and/or across all FIFAe competitions.
  • Tournament Supporters will be able to select territorial activation rights for any of the above listed tournaments.
  • FIFA partners continue to hold the highest level of association with global partner status and category exclusivity across competitions.
  • FIFA’s new commercial approach will enable brands to benefit from new opportunities to associate with FIFA’s brand for business-driven purposes

FIFA Chief Commercial Officer, Kay Madati, on the impact these changes will make:

“As we continually work to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we recognised the need for a nimble and customisable commercial structure that enables brands big and small, global and local, to connect with all aspects of the beautiful game,” he said.

“The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

28 Australian Match Officials recognised by FIFA for 2022

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia's Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA's Panel of International Referees.

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia’s Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022.

The list includes Referees, Assistant referees, Futsal referees, and Video Match Officials – all of whom are enabled to officiate FIFA sanctioned tournaments and fixtures.

The list includes four new Australian match officials, featuring two match referees and two assistant referees. They are Daniel Elder and Adam Kersey from the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition, and assistant referees Lauren Hargrave and Kearney Robinson respectively.

With all officials becoming debutants on FIFA’s esteemed list, it serves as recognition on a worldwide scale.

Football Australian Chairman and Chair of Football Australia Referees Committee, Chris Nikou:

“Australian match officials have always been highly regarded within the global football landscape and it is pleasing to see that FIFA has continued to recognise this through the appointment of 28 Australians to the Panel of International Referees for 2022,” he said.

“Congratulations to the new additions to the panel in Daniel (Elder), Adam (Kersey), Lauren (Hargrave), and Kearney (Robinson).”

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:

“Refereeing remains a key focus for Football Australia, and it is pleasing to see Australian Match Officials once again recognised by FIFA. We congratulate all the 2022 Panel or their opportunity to represent Australian football on the global stage,” he said.“With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ now just 11 months away and a home Women’s World Cup™ in 2023, it is an exciting time for Australian refereeing and football more broadly.”

Four other Australian match officials are also being acknowledged for their selection to officiate in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. Referees Casey Reibelt, Lara Lee, Kate Jacewicz, and Assistant Referee Joanna Charaktis will represent Australia in India over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, seasoned Australian referees Matthew Cream and Renae Coghill called time on their international refereeing careers at the end of 2021.

The full list of Australian Match Officials selected for FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022 is below:

Name

Role

FIFA International Since

Kurt AMS

Referee

2019

Jonathan BARREIRO

Referee

2019

Christopher BEATH

Referee

2011

Rebecca DURCAU

Referee

2017

Daniel ELDER

Referee

2022

Shaun EVANS

Referee

2017

Kate JACEWICZ

Referee

2011

Adam KERSEY

Referee

2022

Alexander KING

Referee

2020

Lara LEE

Referee

2019

Casey REIBELT

Referee

2014

Ashley BEECHAM

Assistant Referee

2013

Joanna CHARAKTIS

Assistant Referee

2019

Ryan GALLAGHER

Assistant Referee

2016

Owen GOLDRICK

Assistant Referee

2018

Lance GREENSHIELDS

Assistant Referee

2019

Lauren HARGRAVE

Assistant Referee

2022

Sarah HO

Assistant Referee

2004

George LAKRINDIS

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew LINDSAY

Assistant Referee

2019

Nathan MACDONALD

Assistant Referee

2012

Laura MOYA

Assistant Referee

2017

Kearney ROBINSON

Assistant Referee

2022

Anton SHCHETININ

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew BEST

Futsal Referee

2017

Jonathon MOORE

Futsal Referee

2018

Ryan SHEPHEARD

Futsal Referee

2009

Darius TURNER

Futsal Referee

2013

Note: Match Officials listed in bold are recognised as FIFA Video Match Officials (VMOs).

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