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.

Melbourne City FC and Tarneit United to promote grassroots growth

Tarneit United and Melbourne City

Melbourne City FC announced that Tarneit United Soccer Club are a Macca’s City Clubs Platinum Partner for the current 2023/24 A-Leagues season.

Melbourne City have used their partnership with McDonald’s Australia to create The Macca’s City Clubs program. This program aims to engage junior grassroots football clubs across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria with the aim to help grow football on and off the pitch.

The club seek to create purposeful long-term relationships with every club they work with and make a huge impact on the development and participation numbers of the sport.

It was originally launched in the 2021/22 A-Leagues season, and the club continues to grow the club network utilising this amazing program every season.

There are plenty of benefits for Tarneit United SC that come out of this partnership including “Coach the Coach” workshops led by our experienced Melbourne City coaches, player meet and greets, and the opportunity to take part in exclusive matchday experiences and offers.

Tarneit United President, Burhan Farah explained why this partnership would benefit the members of the club greatly.

“Tarneit United is in the heart of the west and we’re excited to partner with the best A-League club in the country. Farah mentioned in a Melbourne City press release

“A love for football is our number one driver, and by aligning our club with Melbourne City FC, we hope to inspire our coaches and players to continue to grow our game in the community.

“It’s an honour to be a Macca’s City Club Platinum Partner and we look forward to supporting Melbourne City from the stands this season.”

Melbourne City FC CEO, Brad Rowse explained the importance of growing grassroots football in Victoria.

“We’re delighted to welcome Tarneit United to the Macca’s City Club program on the eve of the 2023/24 A-Leagues season. Rowse added in a club press release.

“Supporting grassroots football is important to us at Melbourne City FC, and with the addition of Tarneit United, we now have thirteen Macca’s City Club Platinum Partners stretching right across Melbourne.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Tarneit United and can’t wait to give their participants plenty of unforgettable experiences and opportunities in the years ahead.”

Melbourne City through their Football School and Maccas City Clubs programs have set a standard for the other teams in the league to hopefully follow in the near future.

The importance of setting a fantastic grassroots foundation of football in the country can never be undermined and this partnership provides another great example of it.

Northern NSW census results reveal fantastic participation growth in all age groups

Northern NSW Football participation numbers

Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) annual census results have showed that the region is quickly expanding in all the important areas of growth.

The census, which included information from July 1 2022 to June 30 2023, highlighted that the Total Registered Participants number reached 82,018, a 19% increase, whilst registered players were 73,766 with a 20% increase.

Miniroos and Youth participation, which was a main focus for Northern NSW in their 2021-23 strategy plan, both saw a 9% rise, whilst the 19+ senior age group rose 4%.

Importantly, registered volunteers were up 19 per cent with registered match officials increasing eight percent meaning a better foundation is created at the grassroots level for it to run as efficiently as it can.

There has been a nation-wide effort, headed by Football Australia’s strategy plan, to try and bring 50/50 gender parity for grassroots football, and the census results suggest that 74% of participants are Male which is a 5% swing on the 2022 numbers.

There is a long way to go to achieve this goal but after the recent Women’s World Cup and record numbers for participation and Liberty A-league attendance, there’s no doubt this will continue to swing towards parity for 2024 and beyond.

NNSWF General Manager of Community Football Ross Hicks expressed his delight for what the results mean for the region.

“It is really important that our numbers within our competitions continue to increase,” Hicks said via Northern NSW press release.

“The number of registered winter players is up by eight per cent with a total of 54,358 which is significant. This increase is crucial in helping the game continue to grow and we hope that we see these trends continue to help build the future of football within northern NSW.”

NNSWF CEO Peter Haynes was similarly pleased with the results and overall growth.

“It’s fantastic to see the participant numbers across our game in northern NSW increasing,” Haynes added via press release.

“These numbers are not just a result of the job NNSWF are doing but the immense strength of our game and the high-quality experiences delivered by our member zones and clubs throughout our region.”

There are plenty of positives coming out of the annual census results for Northern NSW Football and it certainly highlights an element of growth and sustainability for the near future where the future of the sport seems brighter than ever before.

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