FFA launches Skills Hub for its #PlayatHomeChallenge

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has launched its official Skills Hub as another part of its #PlayatHomeChallenge.

The Skills Hub will allow those in the Australian football community to stay connected, ensuring both physical and mental health are looked after.

There are twelve challenges that can be completed within four core categories of football skills.

The four categories are: First touch, Striking the ball, Running with the ball and 1v1.

According to the FFA, here is how the #PlayatHomeChallenge works:

  • Every week the organisation will announce a skill for you to master
  • Record yourself showing your best efforts or your own skills
  • Challenge three of your friends to match your moves
  • Post your video on social media – and be sure to tag your three friends and include #PlayAtHomeChallenge and #StayAtHomeChallenge

More information, including the first skill to master in the #PlayatHomeChallenge can be found here.

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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.

Sutherland Shire Council commemorate Graham Arnold with oval renaming

The Sutherland Shire Council have honoured the career and achievements of Socceroos’ Head Coach Graham Arnold with an oval renamed at his junior club Gwawley Bay Football Club.

Canberra Road Oval – which is the place where it all started for Arnold as a four-year-old – will now take the name of Graham Arnold Oval. The former Sydney FC coach was welcomed to the oval by his family and friends, former Socceroos teammates, local footballers and football fans alike to celebrate his career as an Australian national player and coach.

Graham Arnold said the occasion and the recognition was a special moment for his entire family:

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Sutherland Shire Council and Gwawley Bay Football Club for their involvement in this project and say what an honour it is for not just myself, but my entire family,” Arnold said in a Sutherland Shire media release.

“This is a special place for the Arnolds – I’ve always said that Gwawley Bay Football Club was our second family – Mum and Dad were heavily involved with the club and many of the earliest memories of my childhood were here at this oval.

“This is where I grew up and developed my love for football, a place where I made lifelong friendships that have been so pivotal in both my playing and coaching career.

“To see a place so significant to my family now named after me is a little bit surreal. I know my parents – who both loved being part of this club – would be so proud.

“I’m very grateful to everyone involved in renaming this oval and look forward to young people from across the Sutherland Shire enjoying football here for many years to come.”

Sutherland Shire Mayor Councillor Carmelo Pesce was exhilarated about the renaming to acknowledge one of the Sutherland Shire’s most celebrated sporting exports:

“We’re proud to honour Arnie’s legacy at Gwawley Bay Football Club where he first laced up the boots and developed his love for the game that he has since given so much to as both a player and coach, Cr Pesce added via Sutherland Shire media release.

“It’s important that our community honours the impact that our home-grown sporting talent has had on the global stage, and Arnie’s incredible achievements – particularly as coach of our national team – will no doubt serve as inspiration for local footballing talent for generations to come.

“It was wonderful to welcome Arnie back to Gwawley Bay today and provide so many local football fans and members of our community to wish him luck as he continues to drive our Socceroos towards qualification for their sixth straight World Cup and thank him for his immense contribution to Australian football.”

Arnold has enjoyed over a 40-year football career playing for sides such as Sydney United and the Northern Spirit while representing Australia in 88 matches, including 56 A internationals scoring 33 goals.

As a manager, he has won the A-League Championship twice with the Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC and most recently reached the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup where he and the Socceroos lost to eventual champions Argentina.

Arnold and the Socceroos will now prepare for their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Bahrain at Robina Stadium on September 5 2024.

Football Australia sign multi-year deal with LCI Education

Football Australia have announced a multi-year deal with LCI Education’s Australian institution, LCI Melbourne, to become the Creative Higher Education Partner of the Socceroos, Matildas and all Australian Youth National Teams.

In a collaborative endeavour, LCI Melbourne will provide the Australian football community with bespoke creative design webinars and learning opportunities.

Select LCI students will also gain hands-on industry work experience in Football Australia’s award-winning Digital Content and Marketing Teams.

Football Australia’s marketing and creative department has received several awards, including a bronze at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the CommBank Matildas campaign, ‘Til it’s Done’ and TikTok Australia Sports Creator of the Year 2023 for the Matildas account.

The collaboration is importantly going to give students a chance to work with an elite digital marketing team and hopefully continue producing world-class media content that has levelled up the popularity of the Matildas.

The power of media and the narrative is often understated, and Football Australia is putting an emphasis on continuing to grow in that aspect across all levels and age groups in order to build a bigger audience for the game.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson explained the importance of this collaboration for the development of the football community in Australia.

“Football can play an important role in enriching the lives of our participants whether socially, physically, mentally and now educationally,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We are pleased to be stretching our partnerships to embrace new ties to the higher education sector, supporting accessible, affordable, and accelerated education pathways to a wider variety of students.

“The growth opportunities at LCI Melbourne are exciting as we work together to enhance sporting and educational outcomes. We will empower students to dream big, think differently, and turn their artistic passions into powerful forces for change, thanks to the collaboration between LCI and Football Australia’s award-winning Marketing, Digital, and Media Team.

“We look forward to working with LCI to elevate our sport even further through innovative and impactful storytelling.”

President and CEO of LCI Education, Claude Marchand, spoke on the shared values between the two parties and their focus on impacting the football community with their product.

“Being associated with such a powerful, inclusive, and representative brand in Australia is significant for a global education community like LCI Education,” Marchand added via media release.

“We strongly believe that football, with its shared values of commitment, perseverance, initiative, and teamwork, unites our learners and staff across our 12 institutions located on five continents.

“This innovative partnership between LCI Melbourne and Football Australia will undoubtedly create a lasting impact in the community, as the union between education and sport is powerful in shaping tomorrow’s leaders!”

This expansion of the sport’s partnership footprint now sees football supported by some of Australia’s biggest values-based brands including Nike, CommBank, Subway, Qantas, Coles and others.

This partnership is a smart, proactive move by Football Australia to incorporate the two parties by consolidating the link between accessible higher education and the most participated sport in the country with a goal to emphasise diversity and inclusion.

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