Finalists announced for Inaugural FCA XV Mind Games Cup

In December 2020, 30 globally located teams of coaches and players from grassroots to professional participated in Round 1 of the Inaugural FCA XV Mind Games Cup.

This global first in football provided teams the opportunity to remotely step into a football -themed virtual world, compete against each other, whilst developing and honing essential skills such as communication, collaboration, leadership, resilience, trust and teamwork.

To be successful teams had to prepare themselves prior to the session and keep their emotions in check, with the key being able to deal with uncertainty under pressure. Teams who were able to adapt quickly, performed well.

Congratulations to all teams who participated. The top six teams from Round 1 will now progress through to the Final, to be scheduled for early 2021. Teams in the final are:

  • Mixed Bag (representing several community clubs) (QLD)
  • Maverick FC (representing Sydney FC Sporting Schools) (NSW)
  • Manly United FC (NSW)
  • Curl Curl FC (NSW)
  • Riversdale Maestros (NSW)
  • Taylor’s Lakes Soccer Academy (VIC)

Krishneel Maharaj, Mixed Bag team member, AFC/FFA Advance Licence Coach, Psychologist and FCA member stated:

“I’m a big fan of any quality program that highlights the importance of the oft-forgotten and important ‘soft skills’ of coaching like communication and leadership.

Our team has had fun and a few laughs working together through the Mind Game challenges. It gave us an opportunity to practice our communication, team work and decision-making skills in a challenging and unfamiliar context. We look forward to participating in the final in February 2021”

All participants also received an exclusive presentation delivered by Prof. Mike Conway, who is the Founder of XVenture and the emotional agility and mind coach for the Socceroos. In his tutorial, Mike introduced participants to the EARL Measure (emotional agility, resilience and leadership), a tool he uses in creating performance improvement programs for individuals and teams including the Socceroos, Sydney FC, the Joeys, Olympians and many business organisations globally.

The FCA XV Mind Games Cup is the first initiative under the new partnership between Football Coaches Australia and XVenture. Under this partnership, Coaches will be able to explore, read, watch and experience five subject matter areas, including leadership, emotional agility/ intelligence, culture, communication and resilience. Everything in this exciting program is football themed and includes real cases and examples of essential skills in practice.

The FCA XVenture Essential Skills Program, available from early 2021, is highly relevant and suitable for all levels of coaches, from community to elite football.…but you can already start your self- improvement journey and learn about the EARL Measure and approach by completing the EARL Measure HERE (earl.xventure.com.au) completely free of charge. You’ll receive your results and interpretations upon completion.

Do you want to be the first to know the Essential Skills Program is available?

Send an email to: info@footballcoachesaus.org.au and simply put into the Subject Line: Tell me more about the Essential Skills Program and include your full name in the emai

Regional NSW gets boost ahead of 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

A NSW Government funded talent identification and youth development program over the next three years will help young girls who aspire to play for the Matildas.

This morning, Deputy Premier John Barilaro launched the program in Albury and explained how an investment of $750,000 will ensure players from Regional NSW have the opportunity to showcase their skills, leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“Regional NSW is home to some of the most talented athletes in the country and has a rich history of producing Matildas with more than half of the National team coming from our State’s regions over the past forty years,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This investment from the NSW Government will ensure the next generation of girls and young women in regional NSW have the same level of access to coaching and support as their peers in the city as they strive to represent Australia on the world stage.”

It is designed for girls aged 12 to 18 years old, with funding to support the establishment of training hubs across the state and identifying talented young players will be further supported through the provision of training camps and player support scholarships – the added bonus is potentially being tutored by current and former Matildas.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy from hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 matches.

“We are witnessing an exciting new era in Australian women’s football and this investment will create successful pathways for aspiring girls in Regional NSW who dream of wearing the green and gold,” Mr Lee said.

“With current and former Matildas stars including Ellie Carpenter, Sally Shipard and Amy Chapman all growing up in regional NSW, this program will establish a pathway for aspiring Matildas in their local communities.”

Football NSW Chief Executive, Stuart Hodge, was there for today’s launch, as was 110 cap Matilda, Joey Peters hailing from Leeton in the Riverina, as well as football representatives including young talented players from the Albury-Wodonga Football Association.

Hodge believes the NSW Government’s investment has created a once in a generation opportunity for upcoming female athletes.

“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will inspire the next generation of Matildas and with the support of the NSW Government, together with Football Australia and Northern NSW Football, we are committed to providing the best training and development opportunities for our female athletes across regional NSW,” Mr Hodge said.

Chief Executive of Northern NSW Football, David Eland was also pleased with the announcement.

“The support provided by the NSW Government is invaluable and will assist NNSWF to provide the most talented female footballers in our region with access to programs, services, coaching and competitive opportunities required to fulfil their potential and aspirations to represent their Country.”

Former Matilda and Westfield W-League player Ashleigh Sykes, with 19 caps for the national team, who together with her twin sister Nicole grew up in Dubbo, enthusiastically supported today’s announcement.

“Growing up in Western NSW, sometimes it was easy to feel forgotten and isolated, like you’re not being seen as often as some of the city kids,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to benefit from people sticking together and supporting each other, from small group sessions to dedicated and loving coaches, to men’s teams providing a competitive training environment.

“For us, when the opportunity came up, moving to a city like Sydney or Canberra was a big decision at the age of 16 years.

“We made the choice to stay at home to finish school but then had to do lots of travelling to development camps. What this new program is offering will provide young girls aspiring to play for the country with enhanced opportunities which I think is fantastic and I am excited to be involved.”

Football Queensland’s Club Support Hub to assist Play Football campaign

Football Queensland has launched their new Club Support Hub, alongside the 2021 Play Football registration campaign.

“In the Strategic Plan, FQ committed to improving the support of our clubs and volunteers throughout the state,” Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“That is why we have developed the Club Support Hub, which provides a single destination for Queensland clubs to easily access marketing guides, retention and recruitment strategies, graphic design assistance, and promotional material for coach and referee courses.

“It builds on FQ’s other recent club support initiatives including the expanding Facilities Hub and the creation of the Club Development Unit.

“The launch of the Club Support Hub has been timed to coincide with the Play Football campaign as FQ leads a targeted digital strategy in Queensland, with localised messaging in each region and a central focus on the retention and recruitment of women and girls, and referees.

“By supporting and building capacity within clubs at the same time, we can align our efforts and ensure the football community is united in growing the game.

“The national ‘Join Our Team’ tagline supports this collective approach to showcasing football as we constantly work on providing participation opportunities for all Queenslanders regardless of age, gender, location or background.”

Players, coaches, referees and volunteers are able to sign up for the new season via Play Football’s national registration portal.

The Club Support Hub can be accessed here.

Socceroos and Matildas secure innovative fan engagement product

Socceroos and Matildas fans will be able to integrate Australia’s national football teams further into their daily lives, after the release of customisable homepage browser extensions for both sides.

Fan engagement company brandTurbo are the masterminds behind the product, with the Socceroos and Matildas becoming the first national football teams in the world to offer such a service.

The browsers are available now via Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, offering supporters the opportunity to access the latest team news, updates, highlights and features each time they decide to open a new browser.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson highlighted the importance of offering football fans innovative ways to further connect with the Socceroos and Matildas.

“Principle XI of the XI Principles for the future of Australian football highlights Football Australia’s intent to further enhance the strong reputations of our national teams and transform them into uniquely iconic brands,” Johnson said. “Discovering and implementing fresh and increasingly innovative digital solutions to engage supporters and keep them connected with our national teams is an important part of that process.”

“2021 is set to be a significant year of activity for both squads, as the Socceroos resume FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying under Graham Arnold, and the Westfield Matildas commence an exciting era under Tony Gustavsson. By downloading and using the Socceroos and Westfield Matildas homepage extensions, fans can ensure that they don’t miss a moment of each team’s progress, while also having the capability to customise their backgrounds with an array of images that showcase why we love our teams so much.

“We are pleased that the Socceroos and Westfield Matildas will be the first national teams globally to feature on the brandTURBO service,” Johnson concluded.

Fans can download the official Socceroos browser extension here and the official Matildas browser extension here (both for Windows and Mac OS).

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