Football Coaches Australia appoints Ernie Merrick as FCA Ambassador


Football Coaches Australia (FCA) is pleased to announce the addition of Premiership and Championship-winning A-League Men’s coach Ernie Merrick as an FCA Ambassador.

Ernie’s ongoing legacy in Australia football is assured. To date, he has left an indelible imprint on Australian football, and on those he has worked with.

Through his statesman role, FCA looks forward to Australian football coaches continuing to be able to tap into Ernie’s considerable football experience and expertise. Ernie will also be able to provide valuable commentary and insights on FCA issues relevant to coaches in Australia.

Ernie Merrick OAM was a PE teacher, as well as an amateur football player before entering the head coaching ranks.

Ernie’s most recent A-League role was as Newcastle Jets FC Head Coach where he took the Jets to the Grand Final in his inaugural 2017/18 season. He is the former head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport, Hong Kong national football team, and A-League clubs Melbourne Victory FC and Wellington Phoenix FC.

Under Ernie’s leadership, Victory won the 2006–07 A-League Premiership, finished second in the group phase of the 2008 Asian Champions League and in the 2008–2009 season, won the treble, the Pre-Season Cup, the Premiership and the Grand Final.

During the 2009–2010 season, despite severe season-ending knee injuries to key players, Victory once again reached the Grand Final.

In committing to the FCA Ambassador role Ernie stated:

When asked by FCA to become an Ambassador and Technical Advisor to FCA I felt privileged and honoured. I hope to be able to work with FCA to provide ongoing professional development mentorship to aspiring coaches.”

FCA President Phil Moss acknowledged the appointment by stating:

“Ernie’s credentials as a coach speak for themselves – without a doubt one of the most successful to grace the national competition – but he is also a top-class human being who passionately cares about people so he will add significantly to our organization & our members.”

Long-time football colleague, and current FCA Executive Committee member, Gary Cole endorsed Ernie’s role.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ernie (Merrick) since the mid-eighties when he came to Preston Lions in the NSL as a young assistant coach to Billy Murray. Our paths crossed again when he was Head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport, where he helped develop wonderful players like Vince Grella, Simon Colosimo, Adrian Leijer and Billy Celeski. We then had the opportunity and privilege to help set up and build Melbourne Victory Football Club.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Ernie as he is a wonderful leader and has the gift of being able to make the complex simple. He is a Pro-Licence Coach, with a teaching and sports science background, yet simplifies rather than confuses, which helps him to be the wonderfully successful coach he is, as well as a great developer of players.”

FCA looks forward to further Australian coach Ambassadorial role announcements within the near future.

Football Australia welcomes Nathan Magill as Head of Referees


Football Australia has appointed vastly experienced national refereeing assessor and instructor, Nathan Magill, as Head of Referees.

Magill has had extensive involvement in refereeing across multiple levels of Australian football, including as a member of the Football Australia Referees Committee and a leading referee instructor.

Magill has worked in 10 seasons of elite competitions and has included the appointment as match assessor to the last two A-League Men Grand Finals and previous couple of FFA Cup Finals.

As a member of the Football Australia Referees Committee, Magill has also played a key leadership role in developing strategies to support the transition towards a high-performance model for officiating.

Magill has also played an active role in international sports diplomacy representing Football Australia at seven FIFA Futuro Referee Technical Instructors courses, enhancing and further developing his technical knowledge and football experience at a national and international level and strengthening his connection with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

His sports administration career has also seen him hold positions with Cricket Australia, as the National Development Manager, Premier Cricket and Pathways and previously with Football South Australia as the Competition and Refereeing Manager.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson viewed Magill as the perfect fit for Football Australia and the strategic direction the organisation was heading in.

“The opportunity to reinvigorate our refereeing department in line with our strategic vision and XI Principles for the future of Australian football, is the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle as we bring the unbundling of the professional leagues from Football Australia to life,” Johnson said.

“Nathan was the stand-out candidate from a highly competitive field and brings an outstanding set of skills, experience and high-performance knowledge and acumen to Football Australia.

“We believe Nathan is the ideal person to help us drive this new direction for Australian referees and help develop and implement innovative high-performance strategies for our elite referees so that they are able to perform at their optimum.  This will be a focus of Football Australia and you can expect more announcements in the future.

“Nathan will work in close partnership with the Football Australia Referees Committee, the Australian Professional Leagues, our referees and all relevant stakeholders to enhance the culture of our referees across our professional leagues and Member Federations.”

Magill shared his excitement about commencing this new role with Football Australia.

“I am thrilled to be joining Football Australia as Head of Referees. Football has long been part of my life and I am looking forward to working with the team to enhance the profile and opportunities for Australian referees locally and abroad,” Magill said.

Magill will officially commence in his new role with Football Australia in early December. In the meantime, he will be actively involved in all aspects of the department.

Western United names JPEX as new Gold Partner


Western United have announced an exciting partnership with Japanese crypto exchange company JPEX, who will join the Club as a Gold Partner ahead of the 2021/22 season.

JPEX will also sponsor United defender and reigning Player of the Season Tomoki Imai throughout the upcoming campaign.

Western United’s General Manager of Commercial, Chris Speldewinde, praised the new partnership which shows the club is agile in the modern marketplace.

“Cryptocurrency and different ways of trading currencies have become such huge things recently, and to have this partnership with JPEX is massive for the Club,” he said.

“It shows a really positive attitude from the Club, that we are dynamic, reacting to the real world and putting our best foot forward in a number of different sectors with our partnerships.

“JPEX is a company right at the forefront of this technology and we are really excited to work with them, and particularly as well to see them support Tomoki this season.”

JPEX began working in cryptocurrency as recently as July 2020 and have already grown to be one of the leading players in the field.

The company’s values are aligned with those of Western United and are a big reason as to why this partnership has taken place.

“The Foodbank charity event gave us an unforgotten impression as WUFC is assisting the community, just like we are doing to help people with money,” JPEX General Manager Vincent Le said.

“As a Japan based company, we grew up quickly in the past year in Asia, we are willing to enlarge our business and we are seeking more exposure in Australia. Hence, partnering with WUFC will be our steppingstone to let more and more Australian audiences know us.

“The Crypto market, especially under the COVID period, is becoming the mainstream of the world’s financial market. We hope we can make more Australian’s know more about what Crypto is.”

JPEX operates with a professional team that ensures the security of all of its clients’ buying and trading, with the slogan ‘fix the money, fix the world’.

Currently operating in the Asian-Pacific market, JPEX strives to expand globally and become one of the five largest exchanges in the world.

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