Football Queensland’s Services Guide to shape future

Football Queensland (FQ) has signalled its intent with the release of the 2021 Services Guide - Investing in the Future of Football.

Football Queensland (FQ) have signalled their intent to help football reach its lofty potential in the state with the release of the 2021 Services Guide – Investing in the Future of Football.

The announcement marks another significant step being taken by FQ in the pursuit of assuring a positive future for the game in line with Football Australia’s own initiatives to unlock the potential of Australian football. The guide is divided into FQ’s four key Strategic Pillars – Participation, Infrastructure, Clubs & Community and Leadership & People.

By building on the solid precedent set by recent years, FQ is aiming to deliver on a number of critical key targets from this year onwards. Specifically, FQ is seeking to build their participation base to 90,000, including 22,500 female participants alongside 8,820 registered coaches and 2,200 referees.

Notably, FQ have identified women and girls as the future of football in the state. With a surge of focus on the development of the women’s game, particularly with the 2023 Women’s World Cup right around the corner, FQ want to transform interest into active involvement. FQ’s concerted effort to grow women’s football is illustrated in the guide through their establishment of female-only coaching & referee courses, alongside the employment of a full-time Participation Manager to work specifically within the women and girls space.

Additionally, FQ has pledged to provide increased support for all forms of the game, including all abilities football, futsal, Indigenous football, masters football and summer football, as well as promote an inclusive space to people from all cultural backgrounds.

FQ’s strengthening of its programs and competitions is seen by the state’s governing football body as essential to creating a connected pathway to provide ambitious players with a clear view of the top. A stronger focus on assuring access for young male and female talent to the Australian footballing pyramid aligns with Australian football’s collective desire to build up the talented pool of youth available, ultimately allowing for Queensland’s footballing youth to thrive.

Following on from the release of the ‘Strategic Infrastructure Plan 2020-2024’ document in September of last year, FQ have reiterated their desire to build self-sufficiency within Queensland’s football infrastructure with the ‘Investing in the Future of Football’ guide. This reinforces that FQ are working towards the securement of a Queensland Government football infrastructure fund equating to $60 million over four years, thereby placing an clear emphasis on ensuring the expansion of football state-wide.

Moreover, the Kappa Festival of Football marks a clear effort by FQ to put a spotlight on the budding male and female talent coming through. The tournament will see NSW’s Men’s and Women’s teams featuring alongside Brisbane Roar’s A-League and Westfield W-League sides pitted against the very best that Queensland football has to offer. The inaugural 2020 edition was a huge success and was deemed as being massively beneficial to the process of scouting and recruiting young talent.

FQ’s dedication to a shared services model in its running of the game has been a fruitful initiative, particularly in extending practical support for football participants, officials, staff, volunteers and fans across the entire state. The measure has allowed for the management and administrating of football in Queensland to be proactively run, creating efficiency through the sharing of resources across the finance, competitions, refereeing, digital and marketing departments.

“With 313 clubs and over 180,000 participants, football in Queensland is operating on an enormous scale and the FQ Services Guide demonstrates just how FQ is delivering for its members and unlocking the opportunity in the game, increasing the number of participants, referees and coaches with services, programs, knowledge and support across all areas.” FQ Chief Executive Officer Robert Cavallucci said upon the guide’s release.

“With this structure in place, we can narrow our focus on accomplishing the projects that enable us to unite the game across Queensland, introduce efficiencies that place downward pressure on fees, meaningfully engage with members and provide quality products and services.

“FQ is striving to reach these targets by improving the standard of delivery at all levels and thereby improving the overall experience for our members.

“There is now a greater emphasis than ever on bringing communities together by developing community club capabilities and, crucially, on creating the efficiencies needed to make football more accessible.

“We are finding fresh ways to bring our vision to life through initiatives such as the shared services model, making managing and administering football across the state easier and more efficient.”

To view the full copy of FQ’s 2021 Services Guide – Investing in the Future of Football, you can find it here.

Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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