Football Australia celebrate Socceroos ‘Team of the Century’

Football Australia has announced the 23 players, coach, and assistant coaches selected by fans and historians in the Socceroos’ ‘Team of the Century’.

2022 marks 100 years since Australia’s first men’s ‘A’ international took place in Dunedin, with the Socceroos and New Zealand going head-to-head at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium yesterday evening to mark the occasion.

Over 110,000 individual player and coach selections were digitally submitted by supporters throughout August and September.

In addition to the sixteen fan selections, Football Australia’s Panel of Historians nominated seven additional players to be recognised in the team, which includes at least one representative from each era of the Socceroos’ storied and iconic history.

The Socceroos’ ‘Team of the Century’ goalkeepers include Mark Schwarzer, Mathew Ryan or Jimmy McNabb. Whilst the defensive legion features the likes of Scott Chipperfield, Joe Marston, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Alex Tobin, Tony Vidmar, and Peter Wilson.

In midfield, supporters selected Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell, Aaron Mooy, and Johnny Warren. And in attack, the striking talent is in abundance with John Aloisi, Tim Cahill, Reg Date, John Kosmina, Judy Masters, Alf Quill, and Mark Viduka voted in.

The Socceroos’ ‘Team of the Century’ also features the coaching talents of Guus Hiddink as Head Coach, withs support from Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold, and Rale Rasic as his assistants. All four men have made outstanding contributions to the Australian game and the Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup story.

Last night’s match saw Socceroos players from multiple generations form a guard of honour as the teams take to the field, while five players, or their descendants, will receive their Socceroos caps at half-time. Individuals or families of those receiving acknowledgement included Steve Perry (cap 273), Frank Farina (cap 329), the late Jock Cumberford (cap 4), the late William Dane (cap 5), and the late Dave Ward (cap 11).

Socceroos’ ‘Team of the Century’ 

Players: John ALOISI, Mark BRESCIANO, Tim CAHILL, Scott CHIPPERFIELD, Reg DATE*, Brett EMERTON, Mile JEDINAK, Harry KEWELL, John KOSMINA*, Joe MARSTON*, Judy MASTERS*, Jimmy MCNABB (Gk)*, Craig MOORE, Aaron MOOY, Lucas NEILL, Alf QUILL*, Mathew RYAN (Gk), Mark SCHWARZER (Gk), Alex TOBIN, Tony VIDMAR, Mark VIDUKA, Johnny WARREN, Peter WILSON*

Head Coach: Guus HIDDINK

Assistant Coaches: Graham ARNOLD, Ange POSTECOGLOU, Rale RASIC

*Denotes player selected by Football Australia’s Panel of Historians

Football Queensland release 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy

Football Queensland has released its ambitious new 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy, focusing on achieving the wider Football Australia (FA) objective of 50/50 gender parity in participants, referees, committees, and club officials by 2027.

To maintain and enhance the 44% increase in women’s participation in the sport, Football Queensland has organised its program into 3 Strategic Pillars, presenting the certain initiatives they wish to undertake and key performance indicators (KPIs) they wish to achieve.

Pillar 1: Participation and Clubs

This Pillar is based on creating a culture of inclusivity and diversity in the sport for women to feel valued and empowered to play, coach, administer and referee football at every level.

Their plans include:

  • Conducting a deep analysis of club data to identify key clubs and areas for women’s participation and share their practices at a state level.
  • Expand certain initiatives and develop partnerships that will enhance all facets of the women’s game. Including the Girls United program and higher education girl-tailored scholarships.
  • Taking a stronger focus on women and girls refereeing with tailored training programs, recruitment campaigns and courses.
  • Developing their promotional strategy and pathways to better represent and retain girls’ and women’s participation.

The targets include:

62,000 women and girl players, 1,800 female referees and 5,700 Girls United participants by 2026. Also, they want 100% of Queensland club boards, committees and FQ members meeting the 40/40/20 gender representation by 2027.

Pillar 2: Advanced Pathways is split into two sections.

Section 1: Player development

To work with shareholders to maintain their high standards of providing adequate high-performance facilities and developing educational and technology-backed programs with access to further the careers of the most talented athletes.

Their plan includes:

  • To co-fund and enhance the FQ Academy QAS program with diversified Talent Identification (TID) and Long-Term Talent Development (LATD) goals and action plans. This includes upgrades to the Home of Football facility.
  • To enhance pathways with strengthened rural and statewide FQ academy clubs with more events, interstate competitions and Queensland A league teams. Especially with single age groups in academy leagues.

The targets include:

The FQ Academy QAS program remains the leading talent development academy with state-of-the-art facilities hosting extensive high-level interstate-wide competitions. With state-wide gold rate academies, an athlete management program, and clear career paths to professional leagues from NPL, A-League to the Matildas.

Pillar 2 Section 2: Coaching Development

Creating more opportunities including female-only courses for technical experts, analysts, academy directors, development, and high-performance coaches.

Developing female-only advanced courses such as a Coach Education Tutors workforce to train CETs for C and B Diplomas and the first Technical Director course with scholarships and clear pathways to permanent full-time coaching, analysts and support staff programs through diversifying roles in FQ and clubs and a digital platform for enhanced education accessibility.

Also, a recognition system to increase female technical staff numbers and increase storytelling awareness and representation of achievements in promotions.

The targets include:

9,400 female coaches with 25 Advanced Female Technical Directors with advanced scholarships and female coaches in full-time roles within the clubs, member federations, and 20% Queensland player and coach representation national team programs.

Pillar 3: Infrastructure

To break down the lack of facilities for the women’s game with Queensland Infrastructure Strategy by providing appropriate facilities for players to have the resources to play and represent the state at the very highest level.

This includes working closely with the Queensland Government to get infrastructure investment for the next 3 to help provide more unisex change rooms and female-friendly facilities. While upgrading fields, clubhouse and spectator seating across strategic spots over the state.

Key endeavours include a combined Home of Women’s Football and Women’s Centre of Excellence and securing a second Regional High-Performance Centre in Central Queensland.

The KPI is to attain the Queensland Government’s $60m infrastructure investment over the next three years and Queensland’s Home of Football as a high-performance facility.

This announcement of the Strategy plan presents a convincing and well-planned out mission by FQ to enhance the growing women’s and girls’ game in the state and be on track to delivering the Football Australia 50/50 equality strategy.

You can read the 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy in full here.

Australia awarded hosting rights for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026

Football Australia have announced that the country has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This decision followed official ratification by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee at their meeting on 15 May 2024 – held in Bangkok, Thailand – on the eve of the 34th AFC Congress after lengthy discussions. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan had expressed interested in hosting but withdrew from the process.

This will be the second time the country has staged the Women’s Asian Cup, having previously hosted the competition in 2006.

This tournament will feature 12 of the qualified AFC nations, placed into three groups of four with matches played in the confirmed host states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

Australia co-hosted the record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 alongside New Zealand, with the Matildas making it to the semi-finals and have grown the sport exponentially over the past 12 months.

The success of Australian national teams, including the Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas, has led to a nationwide increase in football participation, with an overall 12% increase in 2023 and an impressive 20% increase already noted in 2024.

Football Australia is leveraging the AFC Women’s Asian Cup as a platform to further boost participation and develop the sport, aligning with upcoming international events like the Brisbane 2032 Olympics & Paralympics.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa explained the exciting decision to reward Australia another major women’s football tournament.

“On behalf of the Asian Football Confederation, I offer our sincere congratulations to Football Australia on being confirmed as hosts of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026,” he said in a statement.

“I am confident that we will see a more vibrant and competitive edition in 2026 in Australia where the unrivalled passion for the women’s game is so palpable and we wish the Local Organising Committee the very best of success in their planning and preparation.

“I know the Asian football family joins me in reinforcing our confidence in Football Australia to elevate the ever-evolving stature and growth of women’s football in Asia.”

Football Australia Chairman Anter Isaac mentioned the benefits this will bring to the game in Australia.

“Securing the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a testament to our nation’s dedication to football. It is not only a victory for the sport but for every Australian, offering significant economic and cultural benefits,” he added in a statement.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the AFC, its Executive Committee, the Secretariat, and our fellow member associations for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting this prestigious tournament. We are committed to advancing the exceptional initiatives already established and delivered by the AFC and the broader Asian football community in women’s football.”

Football Australia confirmed its intention to launch a hosting bid in September 2022 and now expects the Women’s Asian Cup to generate up to $260 million in economic output and create over 1,000 jobs for the host states.

These states were chosen after discussions with state governments to ensure they are fully prepared to support the successful delivery of the tournament.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson expressed his excitement for the winning bid and upcoming tournament being played on home soil.

“We are profoundly honoured to host the 2026 edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. This decision reflects the global football community’s confidence in our capability to deliver outstanding events. Following the resounding success of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, we are eager to create another tournament that celebrates women’s football and inspires a new generation,” he stated.

The tournament dates in 2026 will be confirmed with the AFC in due course and training and venue inspections will occur in the coming months.

It remains an extremely exciting time for women’s football in Australia, with the Matildas consistently selling out large stadiums, the growth of the Liberty A-League and now another major tournament on the horizon that is sure to boost the grassroots game as well.

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