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FCA’s Belinda Wilson scores new role with FIFA

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) is pleased to congratulate Executive Member Belinda Wilson on her appointment as Senior Technical Development Manager at FIFA.

Wilson will be working with the Women’s Football Division based in Zurich and will commence her role on 28 December 2020.

“The FIFA was not a role that I was expecting and to be asked to join the team in Zurich is a great honour and privilege, one that I do not take for granted,” Wilson said.

“I have worked both on the technical and on the administration side of our game and it’s not always been easy. I am now in a position where I have an opportunity to create more access and opportunities to better pathways for players and coaches in the women’s game and this is something I truly care about as I have seen many players and coaches who have had the pathway develop into amazing people and amazing players and/or coaches. We need to always look at developing better pathways for people in our game.”

Wilson will be responsible for developing and executing football development programs linked to the objectives of the FIFA Women’s Football Strategy. Additionally, she will monitor the implementation and impact of the FIFA funded Women’s Football projects at Member Associations.

Raised in Byron Bay, Wilson became a coach at a very young age, earning her first coaching badge at sixteen. She has gone on to coach professionally in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and Guam.

Wilson has also worked for the Asian Football Confederation and attended the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 in China. She has been an Executive Member of FCA since August 2019 and has since Chaired FCA’s Women’s Football Committee/

“The work that the FCA has done so far for coaches in Australia is amazing, and I am privileged to have been a member of their team. They share similar principals on developing better access to, and increasing the opportunities, to develop and coach. FCA is a small team but one which works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we as coaches are gaining the right support and pathways to develop our potential in the game,” Wilson said.

“I am proud of the work the Women’s Sub-Committee has done so far. The support around coaches working in the women’s game and for female coaches is growing as we continue to develop relationships and partnerships with different stakeholders around Australia and internationally.”

FCA Vice President Heather Garriock was keen to congratulate Wilson on behalf of the organisation, stating that she was an enormous asset to FCA during her time tenure.

“it is a testament to Belinda’s professionalism, work ethic and desire to want to take Women’s Football to the next level. We have been lucky at FCA to have Belinda contribute to many projects, in particular our Women’s Football PD webinars in 2020 and our female mentor program that will be established in 2021 in partnership with Football Australia. We wish Belinda the best of luck at FIFA joining one of our founder’s, James Kitching, in Zurich- we are so proud of her achievements so far, with plenty more to come. ”

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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