Football Coaches Australia lifting the quality of world game to new heights


Football Coaches Australia and XVenture have announced a new initiative which gives coaches and players easy access to the body of work which has been built by XVenture CEO Mike Conway, the emotional and mind coach who worked with Sydney FC during their record-breaking years and the Socceroos on their journey to achieving 11th place in the 2022 World Cup.

The new initiative, available from today at the FCA XV College, provides discounted access to the “Winning Minds Team Package” where coaches and their players will be able to learn, grow, develop, and apply the principles of Essential Skills for individual and team success.

Any community or accredited coach who signs up to the “Winning Minds Package” at Football Coaches Australia and XVenture College will get access to modules in emotional intelligence, leadership, culture, and communication. Then 16 players (or parents) from their team, will be provided free access to the Foundation program of 20 subjects.  For each completed Module, coaches will also receive 30 CPD points towards license re-validation.

Football Coaches Australia CEO, Glenn Warry, said:

“To date, over 500 coaches from grassroots to elite have undertaken the FCA XV Essential Skills Program from Australia, New Zealand, India, Vietnam, Greece, and Sri Lanka. This new initiative is not about dollars and commercial gain.”

“This is about FCA and XVenture working together to provide coaches and their players the opportunity for greater success on and off the pitch. It’s about Essential Skills, for coaching and life.

“FCA is also seeking to support accredited coaches to attain their 100 CPD points to re-validate their respective FA coach licence by providing exclusive access to world leading professional development.”

Essential Skills Alumni, Drew Taylor, who is the Director of Football, Coach and Player Development at Newington College, said:

“I highly recommend having a look at undertaking the course for anyone wanting to better understand and/or develop emotional intelligence, communication, leadership, resilience and culture.”

Mike Conway added regarding his FIFA World Cup 2022 experience:

“I’ve spent some time reflecting on my experience in working with Graham Arnold, players and all the other staff involved in the 2022 World Cup Campaign and why we were successful.

“From my point of view, the answer lies in the deep connection, cohesion, trust, and commitment of those involved together with the incredible energy of support which we felt throughout the campaign. It was the same during my tenure at Sydney FC with 5 trophies won in 3 years.

“I’m now even more convinced that when we’re all on the same page regarding emotional intelligence, communication, culture, roles and relationships, amazing things can happen. So, we’re offering this new initiative, at a cost- effective price for coaches and no additional charge for players.”

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch outlined that the initiative would help Australian football to enhance the continual development of current and future coaches and PFA members.

“A number of PFA members have worked with Mike over a number of years in an effort the very best out of themselves,” he said.

“We are delighted that through this initiative more of our members will now be able to get access to the FCAXV Essential Skills Program through their coaches.”

One player who has appreciated Conway’s work is Harry Souttar.

Souttar told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2021: “It’s been a massive help in my progression as a footballer and as a human being as well, I’m going to be honest. For me, still being young, when you see older pros like Maty (Ryan) working with him, and he’s played how many times in the Premier League and had an unbelievable career … if he’s still doing that at his age, why should I not be doing this at my age?”

The Winning Minds Package is now available at for $140 during April and May.

For players who are keen to get access, please forward this information to your coach and encourage them to sign up for the Winning Minds Team Package.

Staff Writer
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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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