Football Coaches Australia and Global Institute of Sport to host Women’s Football Summit

FCA Women's Summit

Football Coaches Australia is passionate about improving high performance environments for women football coaches in Australia.

In a collaboration between Football Coaches Australia (FCA), Global Institute of Sport (GIS) and XVenture, FCA will host a Women’s Football Summit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday July 25, 2023. The Summit is being held exclusively during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, which begins on July 20.

Hosted by BBC Sport Presenter Mark Clemmit, the Summit will focus on the Australian women’s coaching landscape, discussing the evolution of coaches and the cultural changes required for the women’s game, based on past and current experiences.

Accredited coaches who attend the Summit will receive 30 CPD Points as determined by Football Australia Coach Education

For full details and to register for the event, please visit the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/global-institute-of-sport-football-coaches-aus-womens-football-summit-2023-tickets-618400250797

The Summit will feature presenters who are  leading women’s football coaches and/or experts in their areas of coach and player professional development, wellbeing, advocacy and equity.

Belinda Wilson:

Belinda is the Senior Technical Development Manager at FIFA working with the Women’s Football Division based in Zurich She is responsible for developing and executing football development programs linked to the objectives of the FIFA Women’s Football Strategy.

Michelle De Highden:

Michelle is a member of the AIS High Performance Coach Development Team and is leading a national project to shift the dial on the underrepresentation and experiences of women in high performance coaching. Michelle is an experienced high-performance coach and coach developer, passionate about facilitating coach development at the high-performance level.

Aish Ravi:

Aish is a FCA Executive Committee member the Women’s Coaching Association Co-Founder/ Director , a Football Australia Women’s Council member; Secondary School and Tertiary Educator, Head Coach of Cobras FC. Aish has recently completed her PhD paper ‘Exploring the lived experience of women coaches in Australia’, which is the topic she will present at the Summit

Dr Deidre Anderson:

Dr Deidre Anderson AM is an outstanding social scientist and leader, who has worked with a variety of organisations and elite international athletes. She has held executive positions both at international and national level within elite sport and the private sector.

Mike Conway:

Mike is the founder/ CEO of  XVenture and was the Emotional Agility and Mental Coach, for the Socceroos at the FIFA  World Cup in Qatar having previously worked with Socceroos coach Graham Arnold as part of the team behind Sydney FC’s historic A-League Men’s success, He is a TV Director, writer, business leader, clinician and mental coach for organisations, teams and elite sports stars, senior executives and entertainers.

Glenn Warry:

Glenn is the CEO of Football Coaches Australia and has worked in professional sport since 1983 in all football codes in Club management and national player/coach professional development roles. FCA’s key pillars are advocacy, professional development, wellbeing and equity. Glenn is leading discussions with Football Australia and Australian Professional Leagues regarding benchmark employment conditions for coaches.

Mark Torcasio and Helen Winterburn – Western United Football Club Coaches

A-League Women’s Coach of the Year in Season 2022-23, Mark has been passionate about women’s football for many years and has only ever worked in the women’s game. He led Western United FC to the A-League Women’s Grand Final in their inaugural 2023/24 season. Western United welcomed Helen to the Club as the inaugural Liberty A-League Women Assistant Coach. After beginning coaching in the United Kingdom at the age of 16, Helen went on to earn UEFA B Licence and take on a four-year scholarship at Limestone University in South Carolina, United States.

The FCA/GIS expert football panel: Let’s Talk Football – FIFA Women’s World Cup

The expert football panel will discuss all the talking points of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Members of the panel are:

  • Gary Cole (facilitator): Host of “The Football Coaching Life” podcast and former Socceroo.
  • Heather Garriock: Optus Sport Football Expert & 130-capped Matilda Midfielder; FA Board member; former A-Leagues coach – Canberra United FC; CEO Taekwondo Australia.
  • Catherine Cannuli: Optus Sport; former Matilda; Technical Director Southern Districts Soccer Football Association; former Western Sydney Wanderers FC A-League Women’s Head coach.
  • Sarah West: FCA Vice President; former Canberra United FC A-League Assistant Coach.
  • Tom Sermanni: FCA Ambassador; Canadian National Team Assistant Coach; former Matildas, USA and New Zealand Head Coach.

Glenn Warry, Football Coaches Australia CEO:

“Football Coaches Australia seeks governance, professional standards, policies, regulations and professional development to appropriately support coaches within the women’s football coaching pathway and full time sustainable coaching roles at the professional level.

The A-League Women’s 2023-24 season will be a 20-round season extending to the full, 22 rounds (132 total matches) in 2024-25, bringing the league into line with global benchmarks. Whilst the structure was approved by the players through the Professional Footballers Australia, it is important that FIFA rules and regulation benchmarks, regarding the employment of coaches, are also adopted.

From an equity point of view, as we are about to kick off the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia, we only have two female head coaches appointed for the  A-League Women’s 2023-24 and only three women who hold a full time professional coaching role in the country.

We welcome coaches and leaders to join our outstanding speakers who will share their insights and drive interactive discussion in their areas of expertise, during the full-day professional development and networking event at the greatest sporting stadium in the world.”

Sharona Friedman, Global Institute of Sport President:

“We’re delighted to be able to host the Women’s Coaching Summit alongside our partners Football Coaches Australia during our annual student conference at the MCG.

This Summit is exactly what we aim to do at Global Institute of Sport to ensure our students have opportunities to learn from and network with the best in the game. It promises to be a fantastic opportunity not only for our sports degree students from across the globe but also for the Australian football industry to learn from those at the forefront of the drive for gender equity.

It is imperative that we work together as an industry and leverage the once in a lifetime opportunity of hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup to create an environment that helps to provide better and increased opportunities for female football coaches.”

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Football Australia bolsters leadership with key new appointments

Football Australia has confirmed the appointments of Briana Harvey as General Manager of the Women’s National Teams and David Mason for the role of General Manager of the Men’s National Teams.

These strategic appointments are part of Football Australia’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and enhance the leadership and management of its national teams, ensuring both the women’s and men’s programs benefit from experienced and dedicated leadership.

Harvey has an extensive background in sports management, having held key roles at prominent organizations such as Hockey Victoria, the Australian Football League, Hawthorn Football Club, and, most recently, at the GWS GIANTS Football Club. Her diverse experience across these major sporting bodies highlights her expertise and leadership capabilities in the field.

Mason’s deep involvement with Australian football stretches back to 1998. Throughout his career, he has held numerous management positions in media and communications, football operations, and club administration at Northern Spirit, Parramatta Power, Sydney FC, and Football Australia.

His extensive experience across these diverse roles has equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of the sport’s landscape, making him a valuable asset in his new role.

For the last seven years, Mason has served as CEO of Manly Warringah Football Association and Manly United FC, one of Australia’s largest football associations. Returning to Football Australia, Mason brings with him a vast reservoir of knowledge in local, regional, and global football.

His experience is complemented by a deep familiarity with Australia’s National Football Teams, positioning him to make significant contributions in his new role.

Beginning on August 12, both Harvey and Mason will take charge of the strategic, operational, and administrative aspects of Football Australia’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. Their responsibilities will include planning and managing budgets, as well as coordinating overall annual match schedules.

In their roles, they will ensure that all logistical and operational needs are met, driving the success and efficiency of the national teams’ programs.

Their leadership will be pivotal in shaping the future of Australian football on both the national and international stages.

Head of National Teams Gary Moretti expressed his excitement of the designation via press release.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of both Briana and David who as individuals and collectively bring a wealth of industry knowledge to Football Australia,” he said.

“Briana has a strong corporate pedigree with extensive experience within elite level sport. Her background and passion for women’s sport will be an invaluable asset to our National Teams both now and in the future.

“David is a football person and has contributed to the sport at all levels for almost three decades. In addition to his strong football acumen, David brings significant business and operational experience from his highly successful tenure as a CEO within the football industry.

“Along with Andrew McKenzie (General Manager – High Performance), the appointments of Briana and David will strengthen the management and future prospects of our National Teams as we look to create an elite performance and operational environment featuring a world’s best-practice focus.”

CEO of Football Australia James Johnson added how their experience and wealth of knowledge will ensure operation excellence via press release.

“The appointments of Briana and David are strategic moves that align with our vision to enhance the performance and success of our National Teams. Their combined experience and leadership will play a crucial role in ensuring operational excellence, so we remain competitive on the global stage and continue to inspire the next generation of football talent in Australia.”

Football Australia – National Teams Senior Management

Head of National Teams: Gary Moretti
General Manager – Women’s National Teams: Briana Harvey (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – Men’s National Teams: David Mason (commencing 12 August)
General Manager – High Performance: Andrew McKenzie (commenced 10 July)
General Manager – Football Analysis, Data and Insights (to be appointed)

The creation of four new leadership positions within the National Teams underscores Football Australia’s commitment and investment in its Senior and Youth National Teams, as outlined in the XI Principles for the future of Australian Football. Every position plays a critical role in advancing, overseeing, and ensuring the sustained success of all High Performance and National Team programs and initiatives.

Football South Australia extend collaboration with SAASL

Football South Australia and the South Australian Amateur Soccer League (SAASL) have extended their collaboration, strengthening their cooperation in developing football in the state.

There was a meeting held recently where key representatives from both organisations discussed ways to continue their growth of the game in the state at all levels.

Since the partnership began in 2018, the two parties have made a meaningful impact in the South Australian football community.

Several key initiatives have been launched through this collaboration which include:

Referee Development: Football SA’s Referees Department is now responsible for assigning match officials for all SAASL games. In 2024, the strategic emphasis by Football SA and SAASL on referees has led to a notable improvement in match official coverage for Senior Divisions in both Saturday and Sunday leagues.

Officiating Initiatives: Football SA has introduced various initiatives to recruit new referees and support young officials, such as State Championships and specialised mentorship programs. Meanwhile, SAASL is actively working on strategies to enhance their Club Referee program, offering a clear pathway for both new and returning referees.

Respect Campaign: The Armband Campaign to protect young referees has been successfully launched. Embraced by clubs, participants, and the football community, the bright orange armbands worn by referees under 18 serve as a clear reminder that these officials are minors.

Venue Support: ServiceFM Stadium has been the venue for major SAASL events, offering a professional environment for amateur league matches.

Streamlined Registration: SAASL players will keep registering via a consistent Player Registration System, which enhances administrative efficiency and ensures the integrity of player registrations.

Shared Competition Management System: Offering uniform and efficient Competition Management Processes across all competitions, enhancing efficiency for clubs, referees, and association administrators.

Enhanced Player Protection: SAASL players are covered by the National Insurance Scheme, which offers essential protection for clubs, administrators, volunteers, and participants.

Michael Carter, CEO of Football SA spoke very highly of the partnership and its effects on the game in SA.

“This extension represents more than just a renewal of our agreement,” he said in a statement.

“It’s a testament to the evolving and strengthening relationship between Football SA and SAASL. We’re working closer together than ever before, and the results speak for themselves.”

George Fotopoulos, President of SAASL and SAASL Board members and Executive Officer Darcy Evan shared a similar sentiment about the excitement of this continued long-term partnership.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Football SA. Our ongoing affiliation has seen a significant improvement in our Referee coverage in 2024, that is due to the collaboration and hard work of both the Football SA and the SAASL administration teams. We look forward to further opportunities the partnership will provide,” SAASL confirmed in a statement.

Overall, this partnership enhances the infrastructure, safety, and quality of football in South Australia, encouraging greater participation for players, coaches and referees which is helping the sport thrive at all levels.

Amateur and grassroots football success is the core to any good footballing foundation and this prosperous partnership continuing is a brilliant result.

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