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Football Queensland announce reformed junior NPL competition

Last Friday, Football Queensland announced that there junior NPL competition would be reformed from 2020 and beyond.

The reformed system would integrate grading to ensure teams would play against opposition of a similar caliber. This is clearly aimed at achieving a higher level of fairness and equality in the junior system.

Soccer is not the only sport in which some teams are unfairly pitted against sides much stronger than themselves. It happens frequently in cricket, Australian rules football and basketball.

It’s great to see Football QLD taking necessary action to make positive change and to retain juniors in the sport for longer.

The full press release can be found below:

Following the decoupling of the National Premier League (NPL) Queensland and the Football Queensland Premier League junior competitions and recently announced changes to the naming convention, Football Queensland (FQ) in conjunction with the Technical Working Group has developed a framework and model to appropriately determine the ranking of NPL junior clubs from 1-24.

A comprehensive technical audit has been completed by FQ across the 24 NPL and FQPL clubs. The Technical Working Group developed a number of models and ultimately proposed a hybrid grading model based on the FQ club technical audit score in a weighted formula alongside the total 2019 league points.

The ongoing refinement of the model will consider other agreed data sets that reflect the clubs’ focus on junior player development, and the audit scores will continue to change in the coming weeks as the working group completes its recommendations.

The recommended competition format has been designed based on the guiding principles of ‘like vs like’, ‘best vs best’ and ‘for the good of the game’.

It is intended for FQ to administer the league through a structured pool competition across three distinct phases throughout the season.

The Technical Working Group recommended that clubs ranked 1-6, in addition to the Brisbane Roar 2 Star Academy, should be ring-fenced to compete against each other in the first phase of the competition, in keeping with the proposed direction of the FFA Academy Star Rating system.

The remaining clubs will be allocated across three remaining pools according to their ranked position.

All clubs will participate in the proposed three phases of the league: pre-season, competition and tournament.

  • The pre-season phase of 7 rounds will be used to further validate the hybrid grading model. At the conclusion of this phase two pools of 12 will be formed (NPL Academy and NPL Development) in preparation of the ‘competition’ phase of the season.
  • In the 11 round ‘competition’ phase, the NPL Academy will consist of clubs ranked 1-12 plus the Brisbane Roar Academy, and NPL Development will consist of clubs ranked 13-24 plus the QAS Girls.
  • The ‘tournament’ phase will see competitive matches played with clubs split into four pools based on the principles of ‘best v best’ and ‘like v like’. The pools will then play for the Queensland Cup, Gold, Silver and Bronze Plates respectively.

Further information on the hybrid grading model, league structure and NPL reforms will be announced in the coming weeks.

Details of the Technical Working Group’s deliberations can be found in the minutes of the meetings, which have been released weekly and are available online via https://footballqueensland.com.au/technical-working-group/

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Football NSW introduce Winter Futsal League for 2021

Football NSW have announced they will introduce a new Winter Futsal League for both men and women this season.

The new competition is set to kick off in late March and will run for 12 weeks, with a finals series to conclude the season.

All matches will be played at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney, with six teams already registered to compete in the league.

Football NSW’s Futsal Manager Jordan Guerreiro was excited about the introduction of the new elite competition, which will improve the quality of the small-sided game in the state.

“This is a fantastic opportunity in which our Futsal Players and our Futsal Clubs can now get involved all year round. The Winter Futsal competition is designed to create a middle ground between Grassroots Futsal and Elite Futsal in which Football NSW and the clubs can engage our Futsal players to have a quality competition,” he said.

“The Winter Futsal League I believe is an important beginning stage in the development of Futsal to be perceived as a sport that is played by our community all year round. This initiative also opens up an opportunity for these clubs involved to improve their club’s engagement with their players.

“As the State Governing Body of Futsal, we want to continue to improve our service of the game and continue to build our Futsal framework to develop a community of players. Football NSW would like to create a sustainable league and continue to develop and grow this competition to engage with more clubs to get involved.”

The six teams set to feature in the league are listed below.

  • Eastern Suburbs Hakoah
  • Inner West Magic
  • Mountain Majik
  • Phoenix Futsal
  • Sydney Futsal
  • West City Crusaders

Football Tasmania welcomes federal funding to upgrade home of football

Football Tasmania has welcomed much-needed funding approval from the federal government for vital upgrades at the state’s home of football at KGV Park, and for a football hub at North Chigwell.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie revealed that Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has signed off on $13.8 million in federal funds for the upgrades.

Football Tasmania President Bob Gordon believes it is now time for the building process to begin, as soon as possible.

“There are now no more excuses as to why these two much needed projects can’t get underway immediately.  Glenorchy City Council now has everything it needs to get on with the job and start these urgent projects,” he said.

“Football participation in Tasmania is bursting at the seams, however facilities for the World Game haven’t kept up with growth in demand.  Finding enough playing and training space for our growing number of players is one of our biggest challenges and the new football hub at North Chigwell will greatly help us to address this issue.

“KGV, the home of football in Tasmania, has been in a state of disrepair for far too long and it’s a relief the venue can now be brought up to a standard to comfortably host the hundreds of matches played there each year and safely cater for the growing number of women and girls who play our sport.

“The football community was thrilled when Andrew Wilkie announced the funding and we have been grateful for his hard work and support ever since then.  Mr Wilkie is a fantastic supporter of football in Tasmania and has done everything possible to get this project happening.

“On behalf of the football community I’d like to again thank Mr Wilkie, as well Senator Eric Abetz, for their efforts in Canberra to get this funding over the line.

“Now the funding has been formally approved, the Council must outline a clear timeframe for when these projects will be completed.  We’re looking forward to working together with the Glenorchy City Council to get the upgrades off the ground as soon as possible,” Gordon concluded.

 

 

Football Coaches Australia launch ‘The Football Coaching Life Podcast’ with Gary Cole

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) have launched a new podcast this week titled ‘The Football Coaching Life’ with former Socceroo Gary Cole hosting the series.

The podcast will look to highlight the stories behind the journeys of Australia’s football coaches, from current and former Socceroos and Matildas managers to those who coach at a community football level.

According to Cole, episodes of the podcast will showcase Australian coaches in a way that isn’t usually explored.

“When we hear from coaches it is usually before or after a game, a player signing, getting a job or losing a job,” he said.

“We have rarely asked them about the great adventure that is their coaching journey. We don’t necessarily understand why they do it, what success looks like, how they have grown and developed, what help they may have had along the way and so forth.

“We believe it is important that these stories are told and as you will learn (through the podcast) all of the coaches have been incredibly open and honest in talking about their journeys.”

Cole, a member of FCA’s Executive Committee, believes the information and insights that can be gathered throughout the conversations in the podcast will be extremely beneficial for up-and-coming coaches, as well as the wider football community.

“I think it’s very important for coaches to hear these conversations,” he stated.

“Our beautiful game has not done a great job of honouring the history of our game and by listening to these incredible men and women, coaches and the football community will gain a much greater insight into our amazing coaches.

“As well as this, they will have access to an incredible well of knowledge and wisdom that they can draw from.

“For example, understanding why it is so important to know why you want to do this, learning how important developing resilience is for coaching longevity and understanding what success looks like. I’ve been around Australian football for fifty years and I have been amazed at how much I have learned from these fantastic conversations.”

The first instalments of the podcast will see the former Socceroos assistant coach speak with some of Australia’s most successful coaches.

“The first episode is an amazing conversation with arguably Australia’s most successful coach in Ange Postecoglou, Head Coach at Yokohama F. Marinos. He was very generous with his time and this conversation was open, honest and filled with his great passion for our game,” Cole said.

“Episode two is with Tom Sermanni, Head Coach of the Football Ferns. Tom has a very relaxed and humorous style and talks about his growth and development as a coach.

“The wisdom in these two conversations is incredible! Both Ange and Tom have been to twelve FIFA World Cups between them, they are both still striving to improve their players, their teams and themselves.

“In episode three we talk with my very good friend and lifetime developer of both players and coaches, Dr Ron Smith, currently Technical Advisor at Football Australia. Ron talks in depth about the amazing work that was done in player development at the Australian Institute of Sport, in conjunction with the State Institutes of Sport and why it was successful. Ron also discusses changes in the game, including how analysis has changed aspects of the game.”

Other guests on the show include former Canberra United W-League coach and current FCA Vice President Heather Garriock, with many more from the women’s side of the game to feature, as the podcast aims to provide an overall perspective of the history of football coaching in Australia.

Making Media Australia director, Ralph Barba, who specialises in film and radio production, has supported Cole in delivering the project.

The first episode of the podcast, with Ange Postecoglou, is available here on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

 

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