A selection of eleven experienced Australian football figures will come together and advise the FFA’s Football Development Committee (FDC) on matters relating to the growth and development of the game.
The panel, labelled the ‘Starting XI’, is made up of Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Clare Polkinghorne, Ron Smith, Mark Bosnich, Paul Okon, Frank Farina, Heather Garriock, Vicki Linton, Joey Peters and Connie Selby.
On a voluntary basis over an initial two-year period, members of the panel will advise the FDC on issues such as youth development, national teams and other technical aspects.
The FDC is chaired by FFA Board Member Remo Nogarotto, with former Socceroo Mark Bresciano and former Matilda Amy Duggan also involved in the committee.
FFA CEO James Johnson believes the panel will make an important contribution to the game, with their extensive football knowledge and past experience.
“Since joining FFA I have made it clear that we will be a football-first organisation that seeks to harness the collective knowledge and experience that our most successful contributors – be they current or former players, coaches, or officials – have to offer,” Johnson said.
“We have had to act quickly to stabilise the organisation during this difficult period. In the background however, we have been moving several pieces to ensure that we continue to do the work which will be vital to launching the future of football in Australia.
“The Starting XI will provide a great platform for eleven of our best football brains to share their insights and ideas with FFA on key matters from grassroots to international football, national teams, player pathways, and the overall wellbeing of the game.
“Having people of the calibre of the Starting XI directly communicating with FFA on a regular basis will be invaluable for the organisation and help to achieve a shared vision for the game.
“We would like to thank the inaugural members of the Starting XI for agreeing to share their vast lived experiences with us, and believe the diverse range of people with world-class football acumen on the Panel will enable us to access a wide range of local and global views to help us drive football forward,” he concluded.
Johnson himself, as well as coaches Graham Arnold and Ante Milicic, are amongst a host of others who will collaborate with the panel.