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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.

Female coaching development program launched in NSW

Canterbury's Centenary Park hosted CDSFA's first Youth Female Coach Development session for the year, working in tandem with Football NSW.

Canterbury’s Centenary Park hosted Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association’s first Youth Female Coach Development session for the year, working in tandem with Football NSW.

The opening session introduced all participants to the program and was followed by a MiniRoos Coaching Course.

The girls were taught and educated by special guest Sam McGowan. She is the current Game Development Officer for Schools, Women’s and Girls across the state and has a very rich coaching history. She also possesses a FFA B License for coaching.

The participants in the induction session were also lucky enough to have coaching members from Sydney FC around for the day to mentor the aspiring coaches.

Canterbury District Soccer Football Association Manager, Trudy Burke:

“It was a great way to kick off 2022 by hosting our first Youth Female Coach Development Program on Tuesday,” she said.

“This program is designed to inspire our next generation of coaches within the association.

“The program aims to not only create qualified, confident, and agile coaches, but create young female leaders and role models for our football community.

“Throughout the program, coaches will complete their MiniRoos, Skills Training and First Aid Certificates.

“They will also attend a communication and leadership workshop at the Future Matildas training base led by Future Matildas Head Coach Leah Blayney. Coaches will also be provided hands on coaching experience with the association and their local club as well as coaching opportunities with both Football NSW and Sydney FC.

“We currently have 24 coaches for our pilot program that will run up until October with the age range between 13-21 years.

“We will also see coaches feature from 10 different clubs within our Association so rest assured this will only further grow and develop the women’s game in the CDSFA area.”

This initiative by Football NSW is a fantastic way to explore and expand the coaching avenues of women’s football across the state, in amongst a rapidly growing participation rate.

The Football Coaching Life with Alen Stajcic: “I knew that I had more to give back to the sport”

Alen Stajcic

Football Coaches Australia is delighted to present the latest episode of the ‘Football Coaching Life Podcast’, with Gary Cole interviewing former Australia Women’s National Team and Central Coast Mariners A-League Men’s coach Alen Stajcic.

Alen is currently Head Coach of the Philippines Women’s National Team. The side, nicknamed the Malditas (yes that’s correct!), are being prepared for the 2022 AFC Asian Cup held in India. The Philippines will play in a group with Indonesia, Thailand and of course Australia (the Matildas).

Alen’s Serbian background led him to Bonnyrigg White Eagles in Sydney’s west, but a knee injury shortened his playing career and as a teacher he began coaching.

Staj has had a remarkable coaching journey that began at the Hills Sports High School and at New South Wales Institute of Sport, coaching the Sapphires in the Women’s National Soccer League. Both of these institutions saw teams achieve repeated successes with championship wins, but Alen learned that success comes in many ways.

He had an early taste of coaching the Matildas in an Assistant Coach role with the Young Matildas at the 2006 World Cup in Russia, before becoming the inaugural Head Coach at Sydney FC Women, which saw them win two championships and two premierships, as well as third place at the FIFA International Women’s Club Championship.

Then followed five fantastic years as Head Coach of the Matildas, during which they beat Brazil and World Champions USA for the first time, changing the belief of the players and achieving successes at the Asian Cup, Olympic Games and World Cup.

Alen’s ‘One Piece of Wisdom’ was: ‘It’s got to be fun; you’ve got to enjoy it because it’s a tough job. Coaching can be a lonely experience, so you’ve really got to find the enjoyment, fun and reward and the connection to what it is you want to achieve. If it’s not fun it’s just too tough a job!’

Please join us in sharing Alen Stajcic’s Football Coaching Life.

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