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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.

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.

Member Federations throw support behind Football Australia’s #VaxxedToBeBack initiative

FA

Australia’s Member Federations have thrown their support behind Football Australia’s ‘#VaxxedToBeBack’ initiative.

The initiative features representatives from across Australia’s large, diverse, and multicultural football family, providing amplification of Federal, State, and Territory Government COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Included in the video are Commonwealth Bank Matildas players Sam Kerr and Alanna Kennedy, Socceroos number one goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, former Socceroo Joel Griffiths, elite referee Kate Jacewicz and prominent Australian football personality, Stephanie Brantz.

The #VaxxedToBeBack initiative seeks to encourage members of Australia’s broad football community to share the reasons why they’ve been vaccinated as football and Australia as a whole strives to emerge from the global pandemic.

“I haven’t been back to Australia in almost two years so I am doing my part to protect myself and my family,” Kerr said in the video. Kennedy reflects that her nieces and nephews have grown so much over the past year, so she “can’t wait to be home and give them a big hug”.

Spain-based Socceroo Ryan is #VaxxedToBeBack “to help try and create a healthy and safe environment out there for all of us to be able to thrive in.” Leading match official Jacewicz, who refereed in the recent Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Tournament, is “’#VaxxedToBeBack’ to return to the pitch for your football matches.”

While Football Australia and Member Federations respect and acknowledge that vaccination is an individual decision, the organisations support Federal, State, and Territory Government advice that mass vaccinations is Australia’s pathway out of COVID-19.

James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, applauded the initiative in the interests of the wellbeing of our Australian football community at large.

“The safety and wellbeing of the Australian football community is paramount to Football Australia. As Australia’s most diverse and largest club-based participation sport, Australian football will continue to play its part as a responsible and good citizen, as Australia looks to reopen and recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” Johnson said.

Football Australia, in partnership with Member Federations, continues to work on and plan for a variety of competitions, projects and initiatives that will underpin the growth of football as Australia emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major events return to NSW with Matildas match series

Matildas fans

Football Australia have announced that the Commonwealth Bank Matildas will host Brazil in a two-match series next month.

The matches are set to be held at the newly named CommBank Stadium in Western Sydney, on October 23 and October 26, 2021.

October will mark 19 months since the Matildas last played on home soil in a 2-1 win against Vietnam in a Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off match in March 2020.

Since then, Football Australia has made it a key priority to bring the Socceroos and Matildas home following the significant impact of COVID-19 on the world.

The plan to stage a Matildas double header marks the first of its kind for any sporting code in Australia and opens up opportunities for other international sports and the broader entertainment industry to consider similar arrangements.

This is a symbolic announcement as Australia begins to grapple with a COVID normal roadmap internationally, as the Matildas prepare for a busy international schedule ahead including the much-anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.

Behind the scenes, Football Australia has worked tirelessly to develop an innovative Quarantine Management Plan to meet the requirements of Government, taking a leadership role in being a COVID-19 responsible sport and offering solutions that work within Government frameworks, protocols, and vaccination roadmaps.

This announcement also coincides with New South Wales being on target to reach a double vaccination rate of 70 per cent of all people aged 16 and over in advance of these fixtures, with crowd capacities to be determined by the Public Health Order at the time of the matches.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson was delighted with this announcement that will see the Commonwealth Bank Matildas play on home soil for the first time in over 18 months.

“We have made it our priority to bring our national teams home for international football so this is a phenomenal outcome for Australian football and one which we have been working tirelessly towards behind the scenes with both the Federal and NSW Government for a considerable amount of time now and appreciate the efforts of the NSW Government in particular,” Johnson said.

“International football is unique in that players are only made available during an international window of nine (9) days.  With many of our Commonwealth Bank Matildas and Socceroos based overseas, the 14-day compulsory quarantine period for international arrivals effectively rendered any international football in Australia impossible.

“Our team at Football Australia put together a submission based on global best practice, focused on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of players and staff, which has been accepted by the NSW Government and aligns nicely with its roadmap to opening up.

“We are excited that the first matches will be the Commonwealth Bank Matildas against Brazil on 23 and 26 October to be held at CommBank Stadium and can’t wait to welcome fans back into Stadiums.”

With confirmation of theses matches, Football Australia is now in the process of locking in the proposed fixtures between the Matildas and the current FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, the United States Women’s National Team, in a two-match series earmarked for November 27 and November 30, 2021, both of which are to be hosted in Australia, subject to Government discussions and Public Health Orders.

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