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Football Coaches Australia launch ‘The Football Coaching Life Podcast’ with Gary Cole

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) have launched a new podcast this week titled ‘The Football Coaching Life’ with former Socceroo Gary Cole hosting the series.

The podcast will look to highlight the stories behind the journeys of Australia’s football coaches, from current and former Socceroos and Matildas managers to those who coach at a community football level.

According to Cole, episodes of the podcast will showcase Australian coaches in a way that isn’t usually explored.

“When we hear from coaches it is usually before or after a game, a player signing, getting a job or losing a job,” he said.

“We have rarely asked them about the great adventure that is their coaching journey. We don’t necessarily understand why they do it, what success looks like, how they have grown and developed, what help they may have had along the way and so forth.

“We believe it is important that these stories are told and as you will learn (through the podcast) all of the coaches have been incredibly open and honest in talking about their journeys.”

Cole, a member of FCA’s Executive Committee, believes the information and insights that can be gathered throughout the conversations in the podcast will be extremely beneficial for up-and-coming coaches, as well as the wider football community.

“I think it’s very important for coaches to hear these conversations,” he stated.

“Our beautiful game has not done a great job of honouring the history of our game and by listening to these incredible men and women, coaches and the football community will gain a much greater insight into our amazing coaches.

“As well as this, they will have access to an incredible well of knowledge and wisdom that they can draw from.

“For example, understanding why it is so important to know why you want to do this, learning how important developing resilience is for coaching longevity and understanding what success looks like. I’ve been around Australian football for fifty years and I have been amazed at how much I have learned from these fantastic conversations.”

The first instalments of the podcast will see the former Socceroos assistant coach speak with some of Australia’s most successful coaches.

“The first episode is an amazing conversation with arguably Australia’s most successful coach in Ange Postecoglou, Head Coach at Yokohama F. Marinos. He was very generous with his time and this conversation was open, honest and filled with his great passion for our game,” Cole said.

“Episode two is with Tom Sermanni, Head Coach of the Football Ferns. Tom has a very relaxed and humorous style and talks about his growth and development as a coach.

“The wisdom in these two conversations is incredible! Both Ange and Tom have been to twelve FIFA World Cups between them, they are both still striving to improve their players, their teams and themselves.

“In episode three we talk with my very good friend and lifetime developer of both players and coaches, Dr Ron Smith, currently Technical Advisor at Football Australia. Ron talks in depth about the amazing work that was done in player development at the Australian Institute of Sport, in conjunction with the State Institutes of Sport and why it was successful. Ron also discusses changes in the game, including how analysis has changed aspects of the game.”

Other guests on the show include former Canberra United W-League coach and current FCA Vice President Heather Garriock, with many more from the women’s side of the game to feature, as the podcast aims to provide an overall perspective of the history of football coaching in Australia.

Making Media Australia director, Ralph Barba, who specialises in film and radio production, has supported Cole in delivering the project.

The first episode of the podcast, with Ange Postecoglou, is available here on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

 

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Ivan Franjic: “I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream”

Socceroos Ivan Franjic

Ivan Franjic’s arrival at historic National Premier Leagues Victoria side Heidelberg United has come via an unconventional journey to say the least.

From his early beginnings in the then-named Victorian Premier League with the likes of St Albans Saints and Melbourne Knights, to playing for Russian side FC Torpedo Moscow, to playing in the third-largest urban agglomeration in Korea with Daegu FC, Franjic’s career has certainly been one to savour.

Whilst his career has seen injury setbacks, a blocked loan and unpaid wages with Torpedo Moscow – and the discovery of a potentially career-threatening rare inflammatory condition known as myocarditis in 2016 – Franjic is grateful to be where he is today and to have had the footballing experiences he’s had.

“I’ve been very fortunate with the success I’ve had over my travels, and I’ve experienced some different countries,” he said.

“It’s been a great journey and I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream and play for the Socceroos at a World Cup. Some Championships as well, so, can’t complain at all.”

Torpedo Moscow

And as for why Franjic opted to return to the NPL Victoria to take up an opportunity with Heidelberg United, a family connection and the quality of the league spoke for itself.

“My brother has played in the NPL for a fair bit and I’ve watched a few of his games. If you look at the FFA Cup you’ve always got a Victorian team in the semi-finals, so it must be saying something about how good the standard of the league is,” he said.

“I know the coach George Katsakis and he called me and my brother and said he was interested in signing us. And obviously Heidelberg have had success over the last few years where they’ve won a lot of trophies, so, they’re wanting to build a great team to have another successful year once again.

“Whenever you go to Heidelberg you see that they have a decent following and that everyone gets behind them, so it’ll be good. I’m looking forward to playing in the NPL this year and to finally be playing with my brother after all these years.”

Heidelberg United

Next year’s Victorian NPL season will mark 13 years since Franjic departed his then-Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons to take up an injury-replacement contract offer with Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar.

It was under the now-Celtic FC coach where Franjic impressed the Roar faithful and built a platform to launch himself into a regular starting berth with the Socceroos at right-back.

As a three-time A-League Men’s Championship winner with Brisbane, three-time Premiership winner with the Roar (twice) and Perth Glory (once), as well as an Asian Cup winner, Franjic has certainly been a key cog in some of Australian football’s most historic sides.

“Obviously, winning the Asian Cup is a massive achievement, it’s similar to someone winning the Euros or the Copa America. But I think in Australia, with soccer not being the number one sport, it’s always hard to get the media buzz of AFL and NRL because they’ve got a huge following,” he said.

“But when you look back on it you don’t realise how high of an achievement it actually was against Asia’s best.

“I’d had Ange as a coach for a few years and he’s no doubt one of the best managers I’d ever worked under. The whole buzz of being in Brazil, with security all around the hotel and obviously Brazil is a football-mad nation, so, everywhere you went people were following you.

“It was exciting, and I thought Australia gave a good account of themselves without getting results in that tournament.”

Each of these remarkable honours were earnt between globetrotting stints with Torpedo Moscow, Melbourne City and Daegu. But before returning to the National Premier Leagues Victoria, Franjic made one final stopover with newly-joined A-League Men’s expansion side Macarthur FC. He gave credit to the side that he helped in their foundation.

“It was no doubt a challenge starting up a new club from fresh and giving it a go. Credit has to go out to all of the staff and the owners; they did an amazing job for a club in their first year in terms of facilities and the stadium. Compared to other clubs that have come into the A-League they were very good,” he said.

Macarthur FC

LaLiga initiative to support grassroots football worldwide

LaLiga

LaLiga has announced the launch of LaLiga Grassroots, in a bid to further advance and improve its bespoke sports and training projects, as well as promote LaLiga’s know-how and methodology.

This initiative is part of a series of international sports projects that LaLiga have been running since 2015 across multiple markets, and its most outstanding new feature is a series of programmes which are set to take place in Spain. The programmes will mainly be held at ESC Madrid, regarded as a state-of-the-art and world-beating sports complex.

Juan Florit, head of LaLiga Sports Projects, will be in charge of the technical and sports side of LaLiga Grassroots.

“LaLiga Grassroots was conceived as a new specialised unit conceived by the Sports Projects team and the International Business and Development team,” Florit said.

“Our activities will mainly focus on the holistic development of young players, international training programmes for professionals in the sector, and projects to promote and support LaLiga clubs when it comes to their academies and running international tournaments.”

This new project represents a further step in LaLiga’s creation and execution of sports projects, an area through which it has enjoyed great success over the last six seasons.

The project is set to find positions for nearly 750 Spanish coaches, as well as provide training for more than 20,000 coaches and 175,000 players in the more than 400 projects carried out across 38 countries.

Javier Hernandez, Head of Business and International Development for the project, was excited to see LaLiga Grassroots finally launched.

“The work we’ve carried out over the years in training players and coaches internationally has taken things to the next level, not only for those who have worked with LaLiga, but also for the league itself and its clubs,” he said.

“We’re convinced that now, with the creation of LaLiga Grassroots and the new programmes that we’ll be running at the ESC Madrid Center, we’ll be able to create better opportunities for everyone.”

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