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Football Coaches Australia and XVenture partner to boost coaches across Australia

Australia’s football coaches will have access to a unique set of online courses thanks to a new partnership between Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and XVenture.

The courses will aim to develop essential skills on the mental side of the game – such as leadership, resilience, culture, and communication.

Having worked with a variety of Socceroos and top coaches, XVenture founded Mike Conway has developed a series of immersive and interactive courses as part of FCA’s plan to build a library of material for coaches in Australia to utilise.

The cost-effective courses – available from the start of next year – could be used by all coaches from park football to elite levels, and will position FCA as a world leader in the delivery of unique professional development experiences for football coaches.

The partnership will be launched in November with the delivery of an inaugural national FCA/XVenture ‘Mind Games’ Cup competition, pitting teams of coaches from national teams, A-League, W-League, NPL and grassroots football clubs in addition to academies and school teams against each other for the trophy and a $5000 cash prize.

This will provide ‘Community, Connection and Camaraderie’ between all Australian football coaching cohorts.

The partnership aligns with FCA’s mission of ‘promoting and strengthening the reputation of football in Australia and the reputation of Australian football on the world stage’.

The focus of XVenture’s work is developing emotional agility, resilience and leadership (EARL) to enable improved personal and professional relationships, individual and team success. The ultimate process involves ‘lifting the ceiling’ on people’s thinking to create Winning Minds.

Teaming with XVenture will enable FCA to connect with coaches Australia wide, and FCA professional development programs, commencing in early 2021, will focus on the essential ‘soft skills’ of coaching relevant to being successful, at a professional and/or community club level – that is, Leadership, Culture, Communication Skills, Resilience, Emotional Intelligence & Mental Agility.

XVenture Mind Games has been created by Mike Conway, the current emotional agility and mind coach for the Socceroos, who has worked with a number of high- profile coaches over the last few years including: Graham Arnold, Rene Meleunsteen, Steve Corica, Richie Garcia, Jean-Paul de Marigny, Ufuk Talay and Trevor Morgan.

XVenture are leaders in the creation and delivery of cutting-edge learning and development programs. Adapting their face to face business in response to Covid 19, XVenture Mind Games is a first of its kind remote virtual high- performance team mind-training solution for developing key skills including adaptability, communication, social skills and collaboration.

Since its launch, more than 500 teams across business, elite sport and education have participated globally including teams from: Perth Glory FC, Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Melbourne City FC, Chicago Fire FC, Australian Women’s Cricket Team and Olympic teams from Cycling, Water Polo, Rugby 7s, Hockey and Canoeing.

“We are absolutely delighted to enter this ground-breaking partnership with Mike Conway and his XVenture team,” said Phil Moss, FCA President.

“I’ve personally known & worked with Mike for nearly 20 years and everything he touches turns to gold. The modern game is so heavily reliant on the mentality of coaches and players so this is a perfectly natural fit for us as an organization as we continue to work with our members on their professional development.

“It connects the professional game with the community game, professional coaches with community coaches and further strengthens the camaraderie amongst our coaching fraternity.

“FCA is working on a number of really exciting initiatives with XVenture and we can’t wait to roll them out.”

FCA Executive Committee member Member Terry McFlynn, who has undertaken XVenture programs at both Sydney FC and Perth Glory, added that “FCA are delighted to enter into this partnership with one of the countries leading organisations in the field of mental agility, leadership, communication and team building.”

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Mike and the team at XVenture on a few projects. The detail and delivery of the programs are second to none and the desired outcomes are amazing to witness first hand.

“This is a very exciting partnership, one which I know will benefit coaches at all levels nationwide.”

XVenture founder and CEO Mike Conway says of the partnership: “It’s an absolute honour to partner with Football Coaches Australia. I believe in what they are trying to achieve in building the reputation of Australian coaches and Australian football in a Global context.

“I’ve experienced first- hand the difference that great coaches can make to teams and the lives of individual players. I am thrilled to be able to provide our experience at XVenture to develop key skills for all levels of coaches, and thus improve the standard and quality of the game.”

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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