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Football Coaches Australia presents ‘The Football Coaching Life Podcast’ S3 Ep 2 with Gary Cole interviewing Steve Corica

Corica FCA

Steve Corica is Head Coach of A-League Men at Sydney FC, where he narrowly missed out on three A-League Championships in a row, losing to Melbourne City in the Grand Final last season. What a remarkable start to his first senior head coaching role!

He played his junior football in Innisfail in North Queensland, before heading to the Australian Institute of Sport and playing just under 500 professional games in Australia, England and Japan.

Steve’s preparation for coaching began while he was playing, and he started to gain his coaching licences before taking on an assistant role with the Sydney FC Youth Team.

He served a seven-year apprenticeship at Sydney with the Youth Team and then as an assistant to Vitezslav Lavicka, Frank Farina and Graham Arnold before taking on the Head Coach role in 2018. He learned from each of these coaches and also learned, like most ‘he didn’t know, what he didn’t know’ when taking on the Head Coaching Role.

Steve believes that team and club culture are key to success. He understands that while he is the driver of the culture, that buy-in from all of the players is integral to behaviours being demanded from the playing group of one another.

Steve’s ‘one piece of wisdom’ was ‘to be yourself’. Know how you want to play, the style of football you want to play. Be strong when you do get setbacks, but believe in what you’re doing, stay strong and keep believing in the style of football you want to play.

Please join me in sharing Steve Corica’s Football Coaching Life.

Football players, coaches and administrators unite to tackle online abuse ahead of A-Leagues campaigns

AAMI

Australia’s football players, coaches and administrators have committed to tackle online abuse – promising to call out perpetrators, ban offenders from matches, strip club memberships and refer incidents to the police.

The A-Leagues, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and Football Coaches Australia (FCA) will crack down on the rise in abuse directed at players and coaches, with a reporting platform established for players and a framework developed for elevating matters to authorities.

Earlier this month, the A-Leagues, PFA and Football Australia joined over 20 other major sporting organisations from around Australia in signing the Online Safety Statement of Commitment to actively support the work of the eSafety Commissioner to help keep all Australians – from grassroots to professional athletes, staff and officials – safe online.

With the Isuzu UTE A-League season kicking off tonight and the A-League / Women campaign on December 3, the zero-tolerance approach reaffirms the ongoing commitment from football to stamp out abuse; a message that will be broadcast in stadium at every A-Leagues match through the season.

APL Managing Director Danny Townsend said:

“We see the diversity of our fan base as one of the core assets of our game. In representing this fan base the A-Leagues are unequivocal in the rejection of online abuse and bullying. There is no place in our game for any action which deliberately causes a person embarrassment or harm.

“We welcome the joint initiative with PFA and FCA and are committed to working with our partners to ensure sporting environments are safe, inclusive, welcoming and respectful, and this includes in the online space.”

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said:

“Domestically and internationally, we have witnessed the impact online abuse can have on people. The PFA has a zero-tolerance approach to hate, abuse and discrimination, and we will hold those who engage in it accountable.

“Given the scale of the problem, a shared commitment is required to adequately deal with this growing issue, and we welcome the commitment of FCA and the A-Leagues to tackle this problem together.”

FCA President Phil Moss said:

“Football is a passionate game, however, extending this passion to online abuse and vilification is unacceptable and tackling this issue is a priority of FCA.

“Coaches, referees and players are human beings pursuing the sport they love and doing their best in their respective roles in a high-performance environment. I’ve been on the receiving end as a coach hence why I’m so passionate about this campaign.

“A mutual respect and an agreed code of conduct needs to exist between all football stakeholders, including spectators and online ‘critics’.

“As was introduced in the Premier League in 2020, we support a dedicated reporting system being available for players, coaches, referees and their family members who receive serious online abuse.”

The PFA has established a reporting tool for its members to report abuse and discrimination here.

How KEEPUP will revolutionise football in Australia

Late last week, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) launched their new $30 million digital platform KEEPUP.

The main aim of the new digital hub is to convert a larger proportion of the 8 million football fans in this country into supporters of Australia’s premier domestic competitions.

“The platform was delivered to broaden and enhance the fan experience, connecting A-Leagues fans and international competition fans in one place,” a statement from the APL read.

“In its current form, the platform will focus on creating and curating content to bring fans close to the game however they choose, with significant expansion planned into the future.

“KEEPUP will feature compelling content from the best of the A-Leagues, European and world football, the Socceroos and Matildas, NPL, and FFA Cup.

“A-League clubs’ content hubs will also be integrated onto the platform to ensure fans are offered the most comprehensive football resource available in Australia.”

KEEPUP, across their website and app, have already begun producing a wide array of content from breaking news stories, expert columns from football journalists, articles on football culture, video productions and in-depth analysis features, not just on the A-League, but world football.

The KEEPUP team is led by Optus’ former director of sport Richard Bayliss, who is in charge of the editorial, social media and production practices across the platform.

KEEPUP will have a strong impetus on keeping editorial independence and not cheerlead for the APL and its clubs at every opportunity.

“Day one of the launch we had two A-League CEOs complaining about criticism on our platform, this is all about being authentic and you can’t have a propaganda site,” APL Managing Director, Danny Townsend, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Football fans are extremely discerning and the minute they see something that is not authentic…they’ll call that out.”

Alongside the diverse content on the platform, KEEPUP will look to innovate in ways which will engage new audiences and provide those they already have connected with, with unique experiences.

“This is just the beginning,” Chief Commercial Officer at the APL, Ant Hearne, said.

“We have a bold plan to evolve KEEPUP into an unparalleled global digital hub, expanding functionality beyond a content base to include gamification, e-Commerce, ticketing, second screen live stadium experiences and loyalty programs.”

Other codes in Australia such as Cricket, AFL and NRL have all invested heavily in their own digital content over time, however the $30 million digital investment from the APL is playing to the strategic advantages that football has over other sports.

“I look at what the other sports are doing and they’re very much wed, fortunately, to TV deals that mean they don’t need to do what we’re doing,” Townsend told the SMH.

“We’re in a situation where we’ve got an enormous base, we’ve got the youngest fan base of any sport in the country who are all digital natives. We’re going to get into the direct-to-consumer business and that will preserve the long-term revenues and build the football economy.”

If you register an account on KEEPUP (which is free to do so), you will receive a four-week trial to Paramount+ – the service which is showcasing the majority of Australian football games for the next five years.

This offer is a slice of things to come between the APL and their new broadcast partner ViacomCBS, with future plans for content from the digital platform to be integrated further into the Channel 10 Network and Paramount+.

“What Channel 10 and ViacomCBS bought into was our strategy,” Townsend told the SMH.

“The ViacomCBS deal was a really critical one for us on many levels financially, but equally the reach it delivers us. But importantly, the owners have continued to invest and put their money where their mouth is.

“The sports media and commercial landscape is changing and the days of sports just serving up content on television, taking a big cheque and playing sport are over. It’s changing in a way that requires sports to take the initiative and connect with their fans.

“We’ve got to become an entertainment business because at the end of the day, if we’re going to grow revenues of the sport, we need to engage our fans more effectively.”

The APL’s KEEPUP platform has only been around for just over a week, but its long-term agenda has the potential to change the perception of the game in this country.

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