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Football players across Australia to #PlayinPurple for pancreatic cancer

Football players in Australia will be pulling on their purple socks next month to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The #PlayinPurple campaign was started by Isabella Di Manno in 2015, after the death of her fiancée’s mother due to the illness.

Pancreatic cancer is projected to claim more lives than breast and prostate cancer with around 80 percent of diagnosed patients to die within a year.

In 2019, over 3500 players around the nation wore purple socks to raise awareness for the disease, with the campaign raising funds for research, improving diagnosis and treatment.

“The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength each year, drawing much needed attention to pancreatic cancer,” Di Manno said.

“It’s wonderful to see the participation grow across clubs, codes and regions and reading the testimonials and talking to players, it’s clear the campaign unities communities through active participation and acts as a positive talking point between people who might not necessarily know the outcomes of pancreatic cancer.”

Avner Foundation CEO Michelle Stewart added: “We are excited to see playing fields Australia-wide turned purple for pancreatic cancer, and awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on this disease.

“This campaign is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for a very important cause – pancreatic cancer awareness.”

The campaign has been supported by Football NSW since its inception, with CEO Stuart Hodge proud to promote the cause.

“Football NSW are proud to be supporting a wonderful community initiative, combining the wonderful code of football with truly ground-breaking campaigns such as the: #PlayinPurple – Football socks campaign for the Avner Panceatic Cancer Foundation.

“We kindly encourage our football family to do their bit in getting behind this amazing initiative.”

The Manly Warringah Football Association and Sutherland Shire Football Association have also thrown its support behind the initiative.

“The Manly Warringah Football Association is proud to support Purple Sock Day to help raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. Grassroots football plays an important role in our Community and we encourage as many teams and clubs as possible to get behind the #PlayinPurple campaign,” MWFA CEO David Mason said.

“Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and SSFA is proud to support this important awareness-raising initiative again in 2020. The spirit of sportsmanship is wonderful as local football fields become awash with purple socks, and I encourage associations across the state to participate,” claimed SSFA General Manager Jeff Stewart.

More information about the campaign can be found here.

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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.

Football Queensland outlines new Opportunities Paper

Football Queensland has released the Future of Football 2020+ Opportunities Paper, to build further on their goal of uniting football in Queensland.

The recently published Opportunities Paper is split into key areas, featuring an in-depth look at the member federations’ governance, administration, competitions and affordability.

In a statement, Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci is delighted to lead the way and find out how to best shape the game in the future in the state.

“FQ is excited to release this Opportunities Paper as we reach another milestone in the statewide Future of Football 2020+ consultation journey,” he said.

“We have spent the last few months engaging with our 12 stakeholder groups and inviting members of the Queensland football community to have their say on the future of the game through our Club Summits, surveys and webinars.

“It’s been fantastic to personally meet hundreds of football stakeholder from across Queensland face to face and obtain deeper insights into how thousands of community members and stakeholders view the current Queensland football landscape and better understand their demonstrated desire for reform across governance, administration, competitions and affordability.

“FQ’s Opportunities Paper brings together the views of the football community through extensive feedback and begins to present possible solutions that have the power to unlock the immense opportunity and potential of the game.

“We now look forward to hearing community feedback on the Opportunities Paper as we continue the six-month consultation process throughout September and October, and prepare for the next phase with the assembly of the First Recommendations Report and FQ’s Implementation Plan, which will deliver clear objectives and pathways to make football the game of choice for all, for life.”

You can find the Future of Football 2020+ Opportunities Paper here, with the full copy available to download.

Football Queensland has also provided an initial Consultation Paper published in May, which can be found here.

30 clubs vying to be part of National Second Division in 2022

The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) have created a partner group involving 30 NPL clubs across Australia, with the aim of beginning a national second division by 2022.

The list of clubs includes former NSL powerhouses such as South Melbourne, Melbourne Knights, Adelaide City and Sydney Olympic.

AAFC Chairman Nick Galatas believes the partner group is an important step in the process towards a connected football pyramid.

“The Championship is about creating stronger clubs and expanding the football footprint throughout our country for the benefit of our entire sport,” he said.

“The oldest club in the partner group was established in the 19th century and another two early in the 20th century, while the youngest club was established in this century. That says so much about the longevity and popularity of our sport in this country.

“Of surprise to many, perhaps, are that the three oldest clubs are from Newcastle, Hobart and Brisbane.”

The AAFC will now sort through the issues of the proposed competition, with a final report needing approval from those at FFA HQ.

Galatas claims promotion and relegation is necessary throughout the tiers of football in Australia, however A-League clubs may not be relegated immediately, once the second tier begins.

“AAFC’s view is that we cannot be properly considered as a ‘football nation’ without it and having it in place is our ultimate objective,” he said.

“While promotion and relegation with the A-League will hopefully occur (a) little later, we aim for it to start immediately with the NPL below.

“We also recognise a need to get the code back on track and financially viable and that is what we believe the Championship will help in achieving. Connecting clubs from bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom will help unite the game which will help it achieve its potential.”

The 30 clubs involved in the partner group can be viewed here.

FFA trio to join AFC Committees until 2023

FFA have announced three recently appointed management members have been assigned positions in separate AFC committees.

FFA General Manager of Commercial, Tom Rischbieth, FFA General Manager of Member Federation Relations, Robbie Middleby and current FFA Technical Director, Trevor Morgan, will join the various committees until 2023.

Rischbieth will join the AFC Marketing Committee, Middleby the AFC Development Committee, whilst Morgan will be a part of the AFC Technical Committee.

FFA CEO James Johnson explained the importance of these developments.

“In the XI Principles for the future of Australian football discussion paper, we outlined a vision for Australia to become one of the leading voices in global football, and to have our people ‘hard-wired’ into regional football matters,” he said.

“Football is the world game and it is extremely important that we become an organisation which thinks globally. These latest appointments ensure that Australia is able to tap into the vast network of global football and has the ongoing opportunity to contribute ideas and energy to discussions and projects aimed at advancing Asian football.

“Along with recent new appointments to the FFA senior management team, we are also privileged to have Tom, Robbie and Trevor contribute to a fresh new strategic agenda for football in Australia and now look forward to the positive contributions they can make to the respective Committees that they have been appointed to at the AFC.

“With their passion, experience, and expertise, I trust that each will forge connections and relationships with representatives from our fellow Member Associations that serve to enhance Australia’s relations and reputation throughout AFC,” Johnson concluded.

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