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Football Australia’s announcement of Domestic Match Calendar sets up National Second Division inclusion

Football Australia have today released the Australian Football Domestic Match Calendar (DMC) for the 2021/22 competitive year.

Football Australia have today released the Australian Football Domestic Match Calendar (DMC) for the 2021/22 competitive year which will commence on October 29, 2021 and conclude on October 28, 2022.

The start of the A-League season will kickoff proceedings on the DMC, with the 2022 FFA Cup Final acting as the conclusion.

By establishing the DMC 2021/22, the Australian football community have made a major step towards securing a firm connection within the domestic football pyramid by further aligning seasons and setting transfer windows that are accessible by all the relevant competitions.

For the first time, Football Australia has reached agreement with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) that the A-League and Westfield W-League will break for the applicable FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows, as specified in the IMC. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID, exceptions to this principle will be applied if needed.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson identified the DMC 2021/22 as an essential initiative and significant regulatory function of Football Australia following the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from Football Australia.

“The release of the DMC 2021/22 marks the culmination of an extensive process of dialogue with stakeholders, involving the APL, Member Federations and Professional Footballers Association (PFA),” he said.

“Developing the DMC 2021/22 in a COVID environment has presented challenges, however the process has underscored the importance of the DMC 2021/22 and the role it plays in bringing all parts of the game together.

“Notably, we believe that the DMC 2021/22 places Australian football at its core.  It opens with the commencement of the A-League and concludes with the FFA Cup 2022 Final as the last match of the Football Australia Season – two (2) iconic moments in the season which all fans can look forward to.

“We have also, for the first time, agreed with the APL that the A-League and Westfield W-League will cease play in FIFA Men’s and Women’s International Windows allowing the football community to focus on key events in the calendar without conflict.  This doesn’t, however, preclude Westfield W-League matches being scheduled during men’s FIFA international windows, nor does it preclude A-League matches being played in women’s FIFA international windows.

“The alignment of finish dates for NPL competitions and the introduction of a finals weekend for NPL competitions across the country (NPL Men’s on 11 September and NPL Women’s on 25 September), is also a significant achievement of the DMC 2021/22.  We believe this helps to lift the profile of the NPL competitions in each Member Federation and will over time, also increase the prestige and value.

“The DMC 2021/22 also incorporates a placeholder for a National Second Tier competition (NST), noting that the format of this competition has not yet been finalised. The placeholder is an important first step towards the creation of this competition, allowing for its ongoing development and subject to finalisation of the model, can be adjusted within the DMC framework.”

Graham Coe Pavilion project boosts Southern Tablelands Football Association

FNSW

Cookbundoon Pavilion has undergone the final stages of its development, with clubs hailing from the Southern Tablelands Football Association (STFA) set to benefit.

Councillors in August agreed to name the building as the Graham Coe Pavilion, in honour of his strong contribution to the sport and the formation of the STFA.

Included in the new pavilion is six change rooms, a function room, canteen, officials change rooms, public amenities, storeroom, office and an undercover veranda.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council Mayor Bob Kirk acknowledged the significance of satisfying the growth of football interest and participants in the area.

“Football is perhaps the largest sport in our region based on player numbers, and this upgrade to provide essential facilities such as change rooms for our female players was overdue,” he said.

“I am pleased to see it now completed to a high standard, and I hope to be able to officially open it soon once restrictions are eased.

“It would be great to see the facilities utilised in 2021, so I hope the STFA are able to complete their finals series as planned.”

Southern Tablelands Football Manager Craig Norris reflected that the association was excited to get underway in its use of the new pavilion.

“The addition of change rooms and in particular for our girls is huge for the sport and will be a game changer,” he said.

“Female participation in Football in our region is on the rise, with nearly a third of all our participants now being females which is fantastic.”

$572,884 was obtained for the project, through the Federal Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, with Goulburn Mulwaree Council also contributing $500,000.

Females will have access to six changerooms to use before and after games, rather than changing in cars and behind trees.

Inclusive football facilities are one of the five key infrastructure priorities from the NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy. This area focuses on increasing and improving gender-neutral player and referee change rooms.

With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup less than two years away, infrastructure upgrades such as this new amenity at Cookbundoon will allows Southern Tablelands to cater for the expected increase in females playing football.

Football Victoria announce 2021 refund policy

Football Victoria has announced a refund policy that will provide over $1.75 million of refunds to members across the state.

The refunds are based on a formula that take into account the 2021 Football Victoria “No Season” Refund multiplied by the percentage of rounds that were not played.

Football Victoria’s refund policy allocates refunds on both a per player and team basis, with the total refunds being returned to clubs and players totalling in excess of $1.75 million.

Player refunds will be processed via clubs.

The Football Victoria statement announcing the refund policy read:

“Most of our community will recall from both the 2020 and preliminary 2021 policies, that a cost apportionment model is used to generate the relevant refunds for each competition. It is really important to note that FV’s costs are not linear to the season, with an overwhelming proportion of the work to provide football competitions completed prior to the season’s commencement. This is reflected in the preliminary version of the 2021 Fee Refund Policy released pre-season, which contained relevant refunds for a ‘no-season scenario’.

“Based on this cost apportionment model only, no refunds would be payable at this stage of the season. However, FV is acutely aware of the financial impacts to the football ecosystem and its stakeholders. Through this updated policy, we have made a strong commitment to supporting our Clubs and players, at a time when they need it most.

“As a result, we have developed a formula, as below, to deliver funds back to both Clubs and players, to support your football journey and a return to football in 2022. We have applied cost apportionment principles, as represented through the ‘no season’ refund percentages, as well as the percentage of rounds unable to be completed for each competition.”

The announcement also confirmed that Football Victoria would be establishing principles within the Rules of Competition that are better equipped to deal with the consequences of cancelled or partially completed seasons.

“We cannot help but reflect on where our game could have been, if not for the back-to-back season interruptions in 2020 and 2021. While the 2021 season cancellations across the state didn’t come as a surprise to many, we know it doesn’t make it any easier to accept, including what this means for promotion, relegation and awarding champions,” the statement reads.

“In advance of the 2022 season, the Board is committed to ensuring the Rules of Competition reflect a clear set of principles in the event of any future interrupted or incomplete seasons.

“Many Clubs have reinforced a strong desire to play football in any format, when it is safe to do so. The call of the pitch is strong and we will be working with Clubs to provide football in all ways, at venues across the state in spring and summer. We look forward to sharing more information on this shortly when we have direction from the Victorian Government.”

You can access the refund policy HERE.

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