Football Australia’s Play Football campaign to inspire next generation

Play Football

With Australian football heading into the most significant 12 months in its history, the country’s Socceroos and Matildas stars have united to help deliver Football Australia’s Play Football campaign, in an effort to nurture future national team players.

The Subway Socceroos are set to embark on their fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup (sixth overall) when they take to the field in Qatar during November, and the CommBank Matildas are perched to take the country by storm next July and August as Australia co-hosts the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Football is already the most diverse and inclusive sport in Australia, with programs and competitions catering for everyone irrespective of ability, age, gender, race, and religion.

It’s also the number one team participation sport across in Australia, with over one and a half million people enjoying the many benefits that football can deliver including camaraderie, community, friendship, and teamwork, not to mention improved physical and mental health.

With Australians set to be inspired by the feats of the world’s greatest footballers, Football Australia has launched its 2022/23 Play Football campaign, which will help connect people – young and old – with their local football team and an array of football programs and competitions.

Upon launching this Play Football campaign, Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson said in a statement:

“Already acclaimed as the largest team-based participation sport in Australia, this particular Play Football campaign presents a unique opportunity to further ignite interest in football participation in Australia, as the Subway Socceroos embark on their quest at the FIFA Men’s World Cup Qatar 2022TM and the CommBank Matildas prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 on home soil.”

“Whether it’s as a player, coach, referee, or volunteer, football truly is a sport for all, and we look forward to seeing even more football fields and futsal courts across Australia full of people having fun and enjoying all the benefits of our great game.”

Fronting Football Australia’s Play Football campaign are current CommBank Matildas’ Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter plus Subway Socceroos’ Awer Mabil and Andrew Redmayne, where each has experienced their own unique journey from grassroots football to the biggest stage in world football.

In this campaign, CommBank Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr explained via press release why Australians should Play Football:

“There’s nothing quite like the fun and freedom of playing football in a team with all your friends. It’s such a special feeling, no matter where I’m playing around the world, the buzz I experience playing football with my teammates is always the same. Football has provided me with some of my best memories and friends, I would encourage everyone to find a club and experience this for themselves.”

The Socceroos 26-strong squad for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is the most diverse ever selected, reflecting Australia’s multicultural makeup. For the first time ever, four footballers of African heritage will feature in the same Socceroos’ squad including fan favourites, Awer Mabil and Garang Kuol.

“I have been lucky that football has taken me to many parts of the world and provided me with so many opportunities. Most of all though, it has given me enjoyment. Nothing makes me as happy as playing football with my teammates. Football is a game for anyone, at any time in their life, so get out there and sign up to your local club, you will never look back!,” Mabil added via press release.

Football Australia’s Play Football marketing campaign features a 30-second television commercial, digital and social media content, out of home creative and other assets which will support the promotion of why even more Australians should Play Football in 2023 and beyond.

Join the team at www.playfootball.com.au

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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