Football Coaches Australia presents ‘The Football Coaching Life Podcast’ S2 Ep 6 with Heather Garriock interviewing Gary Cole

Gary Cole

Gary Cole has had an immense impact on Australian football during a playing, coaching, mentoring and administrative career that has seen him occupy roles at all levels of the game.

His passion for the game and driving it forward with a pure agenda of what is in the best interests of the game is second to none. He has a 100% inclusive mindset and an ability to adapt to any level, situation or person he is dealing with. His relationships with all stakeholders in the game and his reputation is testament to that.

Gary played in Victoria with South Yarra, Ringwood City Wilhelmina and Fitzroy United Alexander before playing in the inaugural season of the NSL then a decade long career at the highest level with Heidelberg United and Preston Makedonia, amassing 247 appearances (109 goals)

He also made 40 appearances (21 goals) for the Socceroos, 19 of which were A internationals, with 17 goals including a world record for goals scored, at the time, in a World Cup qualifying match when he nabbed 7 against Fiji in 1981.

His coaching journey began at the Australian Institute of Sport as Assistant to Dr Ron Smith and also included a stint as Assistant Socceroos Coach to Frank Arok. On moving back to Melbourne, he coached in the NSL with his much-loved Heidelberg and went on to coach and win championships with Altona Magic and Bulleen in the Victorian Premier League.

Gary also enjoyed great success as a football administrator at the top level of professional football in Australia, occupying the role of Director of Football for both Melbourne Victory FC & Sydney FC – the A-League’s two biggest clubs and at Football Victoria as Executive Manager Facilities & Advocacy. We delve into his time helping to set up Victory and the importance of people, relationships and culture.

This conversation covers a wide range of topics and Gary is very honest in talking about his thoughts on coaching and coach education, as well as players learning new techniques and behaviours through both coaching and the game being the teacher. The conversation also covers the importance of resilience for coaches and his personal fight with Lymphoma.

Please join one other football legend, Heather Garriock, in sharing Gary Cole’s Football Coaching Life.

Football NSW promote developmental opportunities in the Riverina region

Football NSW representatives have visited the Riverina regions of Albury-Wodonga, Wagga Wagga and Griffith providing several developmental opportunities to participants, clubs and associations in the area.

During this three-day trip, over 200 local players between the ages of 9 and 13 attended player clinics, more than 30 participants underwent coaching education sessions and 25 coach and association representatives attended the club development workshops.

Club Changer, Football Australia’s club developmental program designed to support all community clubs with access to support specific to their club’s needs, was also involved throughout the club development sessions in Albury and Wodonga. Clubs from Football NSW and Football Victoria attended to learn more about the resources and support from Club Changer while also planning for long-term sustainability and success.

Female Development Officer at Football Wagga Wagga, Stacey Collins, was proud to see the amount of female representation during the club developmental sessions:

“It was brilliant to have many clubs in the room for the club development session and to discuss the development of female football with these clubs,” Collins said via Football NSW media release.

“The coach education session was also predominantly female coaches, which is great to see.”

Football NSW Regional Development Officer (Riverina), Daniel Lucas was impressed with the response throughout the three-day tour:

“This shows a thirst for coaches who are wanting to continue their development after recently completing their MiniRoos and Foundation of Football coaching courses earlier this year,” he added via Football NSW press release.

Football NSW is continuing with these coach and club development programs over the next few months where they will travel to regional Western and Southern regions of NSW.

Looking at the recent responses, Football NSW’s club and coach development workshops show there is a real desire to expand the game in regional areas of Australia. If we see a similar reaction in the Western and Southern regional areas of NSW, it proves there should be more overall support when it comes to football development all over the country no matter the area of the club.

Sydney FC’s vision to expand its influence in Asia through coaching

Sydney FC is currently on a mission to expand its influence across Asia, with a dedicated focus on nurturing young talent and empowering coaches in the region.

Head of Academy Nick Susko and Head of Fan Engagement Howard Fondyke are currently in Singapore running coaching clinics and coach education sessions with the country’s rising stars.

During their visit, Susko and Fondyke engaged with a diverse group of ages and genders, working closely with over 160 boys and girls over the past week.

In addition to their coaching roles, Fondyke also was a guest speaker at SportsPro’s Conference at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, where he shared the club’s fan engagement strategy to a network of interested local business leaders.

Fondyke also touched on Sydney FC’s innovative strategy to build relationships and connections amongst the football community in Asia by completing these coaching clinics and familiarising people in the continent with the club in the hopes to expand as a brand on top of their view to nurture more talent.

Recently, the club appointed Ferrari Australasian president Dr. Jan Hendrik Voss to the clubs board of directors where he discussed in an interview about the specific vision to expand the club’s brand internationally.

The SportsPro event was one of many that the club will involve themselves in to try and connect with the international business community, so there is good reason to expect some more international partnerships and collaborations in the near future.

Starting in Asia is a good initial plan considering the club will return to Asian football through its AFC Champions League 2 qualification.

On the pitch success at that tournament will go hand in hand with its business ventures and the club seeks to build upon its $450,000 it has earned through qualifying for the group stages.

It’s an initiative that shows the commitment the Sky Blues have with fostering football talent outside of the Australian border but also underscores its role as a global ambassador for the sport.

Sydney FC remain a leader in this space in Australian football, making strides in Asia with a vision to expand further and providing valuable football education to young talent through their elite coaching set up.

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