Ernie Merrick confirmed as a keynote speaker for 2022 NNSWF Coaching Conference


Ernie Merrick has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the 2022 Northern NSW Football Coaching Conference, to take place on Sunday, December 4.

Merrick, who is Football Australia’s Chief Football Officer, is highly regarded as a two-time A-League Premiership and Championship winning coach with Melbourne Victory.

With his background not only at the Victory but also Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix in the A-League and internationally for the Hong Kong National Football Team, Merrick has a wealth of knowledge in player development and elite football coaching.

As Chief Football Officer, Merrick plays an integral role in the key objectives expressed in Football Australia’s XI Principles for guidance and decision making within the national governing body.

The conference is an opportunity to upskill for season 2023, with an informative day of lectures and workshops from high profile industry leaders and experts.

Attendees will gain player centric insights, tips and processes to implement next year. Participants are also eligible for 30 CPD points by taking part.

2022 NNSWF Coaching Conference details

  • Date: Sunday 4 December 2022
  • Time: 9:00am – 3:30pm
  • Location: Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility (Jet’s seminar room)
  • Cost: $100 per person
  • Who: Open to all coaches, with individuals holding a current advanced license receiving 30 CPD points
  • Register here

Previously announced NNSWF Coaching Conference speakers:

Northern NSW Football has released the details of the first three keynote speakers and has plans to announce additional speakers in the coming weeks.

Warren Grieve, Technical Director, Football NSW 

Warren Grieve is Football NSW’s Technical Director, his role is to improve the up and coming talent of both players, coaches, and support staff, providing a challenging and rewarding environment for all to develop.

Grieve has spent the last 14 years in Australia and held the role of Technical Director for Capital Football. He holds his AFC/FA Pro Diploma and is an active Advanced Coach Developer for the FA C, B and A licence.

Dr O’Neil Maharaj, Director of Sports Medicine and Counselling, Return 2 Play

Dr O’Neil Maharaj from Return 2 Play Medical is an ACA accredited counsellor, ACA counselling supervisor, Sports Doctor and university educator.​ He is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.

His approach to sports medicine is to ‘walk beside you’. Dr Maharaj is eager to find out who his patients are beyond their injuries. This ensures they receive appropriate instruction and have an individual recovery plan.

Ryan Doidge, Talented Player and Coach Development Manager, Northern NSW Football

Ryan Doidge is Northern NSW Football’s Talented Player and Coach Development Manager; his role is to oversee the talented player pathway and all coach education across northern NSW.

Since commencing his role in July 2022, Doidge has played a part in managing our players on the talented player pathway at National Youth Championships and at the SingaCup in Singapore. He has also provided opportunities to over 90 coaches to start their advanced coaching journey and to nearly 50 coaches to complete their outstanding advanced assessments.

Through previous roles with New York Red Bulls, Western Sydney Wanderers, North Shore Mariners, Northbridge Bulls and Dee Why FC, Doidge has built a wealth of experience in improving opportunities for players and coaches.

Doidge is accredited by Asian Football Confederation and Football Australia to deliver B and C advance coach accreditation courses and has earned an AFC A coaching licence.

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

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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