Football Coaching Life Podcast Recap: Episode Three with Ron Smith

Ron Smith was the special guest on episode three of Football Coaches Australia’s “The Football Coaching Life” podcast.

Smith is often referred to as a ‘coaching guru’ and is a developer of many of Australia’s ‘Golden Generation’.

He has coached in Iceland and Malaysia as well as in Australia’s A-League with the Perth Glory. Smith has also assisted many of Australia’s National Team coaches as an analyst, attending both World and Asian Cups, as well as being a part of Football Australia’s Technical Department on multiple occasions.

In an extensive chat with Gary Cole, Smith details how he got into coaching, his success at the AIS, how his coaching has changed over the years, the time he spent with Gerard Houllier, his greatest achievements and much more.

Key Quotes in Episode Three

His thoughts on why the AIS program was so successful

“(It gave me) the opportunity to influence the players over an extended period of time (12-24 months). Having the opportunity to train every day, with other very good players, in a great facility, with coaches who are focused on trying to improve the individual, above teamwork, was great.”

“As a coach, I think it was an ideal place for me to work in. I’ve always been a bit curious about trying to do things a better way, I’ve never been one to just do the same old, same old.”

On the idea of “letting the game be the teacher”

“I think let the game be the teacher has become a bit of jargon…I’ve since thought to myself, were there any things that I actually learned as a player (during his career). Maybe I was just stupid as a player, but the game taught me nothing.”

How his coaching has changed over the years

“My approach to coaching is based on keeping an open mind and being able to adapt. For the first 20 years of my coaching career, I never used or had seen a software program to assist with the analysis of the game.”

On how young coaches can get better

You’ve got to be proactive, number one. Accept opportunities to get some feedback if someone volunteers.”

Final piece of wisdom for coaches

“Be honest with players and treat everyone with respect.”




Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

The 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund to cater for participation boom

2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund

The Victorian Government’s 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund is a state-wide investment, open until December 13, 2023.

This fund was created to adapt to the increasing need for infrastructure that is required for regular active sport and recreation.

Utilising three streams, sports clubs, facility managers and community organisations will all benefit from the following grants:

  • Community Facilities – up to $300,000
  • Community Sports Lighting – up to $250,000
  • Planning – up to $40,000

Led by Minister for Community Sport, Ros Spence, the creation of infrastructure will be made possible by planners, architects, engineers, project managers,
builders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, facility managers and operational staff as part on the construction process. In turn, this has a direct link back to the local economy and offers hundreds of jobs.

For sporting & recreation clubs, sporting associations & leagues, educational institutions, not-for-profit community organisations, businesses and individuals looking to apply for the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund, an important note is that they cannot do so directly. Instead, they will coordinate this with Local Government Authorities and the Alpine Resorts Victoria who will apply on their behalf.

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday December 13 2023 – with successful candidates of the 2023-24 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund announced from April 2024.

For full information and resources, you can view those here.

Football Queensland remain with Kappa for five more seasons until 2028

Football Queensland & Kappa partnership extension

Football Queensland have announced a five-year partnership extension with iconic international sports brand Kappa as its official apparel partner from 2024.

This relationship between the two parties has been very strong since they first partnered all the way back in 2017 and reinforces the support for football in Queensland that the brand has had.

Kappa has provided quality garments for some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Manchester City, Juventus, AC Milan and the Italian National team.

It’s a brand that was established in 1916 in Turin and eventually in 1978 they rebranded themselves to branch out as a sportwear brand where they focused purely on football-related products and designs.

For Football Queensland, they currently produce and provide quality on and off-field apparel for all Queensland State Representative teams including the state’s futsal representative squads. Kappa also provide on-field apparel for the game’s referees on the FQ website.

They also helped sponsor and start up the Kappa Women’s Super Cup and Kappa Pro Series tournaments that debuted in late 2021 and 2022 respectively for clubs to participate in across the state.

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci was extremely pleased to announce this partnership extension following Kappa’s amazing support.

“Football Queensland is incredibly excited to announce Kappa as our official apparel partner for the next five years following a competitive tender process which saw us receive 20 expressions of interest and 15 submissions of an extremely high quality,” Cavallucci said via Football Queensland press release.

“In their seven years as a Football Queensland partner, Kappa has provided fantastic support to Football Queensland, our clubs and the wider football community thanks to their quality of apparel, ability to deliver on their promises and the team’s unwavering commitment to customer service.

“We’ve built a wonderful working relationship with the team at Kappa thanks to their willingness to go above and beyond to deliver outcomes for our organisation and our game, and we’re delighted to continue working in partnership with them from next year.”

Kappa Australia Director Ze’ev Bogaty shared the same sentiment for the great relationship the two parties have created.

“Kappa is a strong supporter of football in Queensland and has been proud to invest in the game since the partnership with Football Queensland began in 2017,” Bogaty mentioned in the FQ press release.

“Some highlights of the partnership have included the development of the teal shirt for first year referees, witnessing Queensland state sides dominate on the national stage in Kappa kit, and the launch of the Kappa Women’s Super Cup and Kappa Pro Series tournaments.

“As we embark on another five years as the state’s official apparel partner and continue our close working relationship with Football Queensland, we look forward to contributing even more to the growth and success of football across the state.”

There is a shared goal of improving the grassroots game in Queensland from both parties and the track record of Kappa’s immense investment over the past seven years has shown that this extension will do wonders for Queensland football.

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