Football Tasmania CEO calls for improved funding for the world game

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley believes it is time football received a fairer share of state government funding.

The governing body launched its state budget submission on Saturday, lobbying the government for appropriate funding for Tasmania’s most played team sport.

“Football Tasmania has made a submission regarding the 2020-21 budget, which outlines the areas we believe are key to ensuring the state’s most played and fastest growing team sport can continue to flourish and enrich the lives of Tasmanians,” Bulkeley said.

“At the same time that some sports are seeing declining participation, Football Tasmania’s biggest challenge is dealing with continual growth in demand to play football, which is only likely to increase now Australia has been selected host of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“With Ausplay statistics estimating over 38,000 people already play the world game in Tasmania, football is more popular than any other sport in the state, yet it continues to receive just a fraction of the funding provided to other sports.

“We are seeking our fair share of funding to expand our focus on increasing access to junior participation in low socio-economic areas, pushing towards complete gender equality in football and increasing our engagement in schools.

“We’re also proposing a partnership with the Department of Education to upgrade a number of school facilities to a standard which can be utilised for football in out-of-school hours.

“We believe these asks are reasonably modest when you take into account football’s position as the most played sport in Tasmania and the resulting community and economic benefit the World Game already brings to the state.”

The 2021 budget process has been pushed back due to COVID-19, with Bulkeley claiming the organisation’s submission had been revised to ensure the state would make full use of the opportunities presented by hosting a Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“The 2023 World Cup opens a host of exciting opportunities to grow the profile and participation of football in Tasmania and inspire the next generation of players pull on the boots,” he said.

“With a strong possibility of up to three tournament games being held in Launceston, as well as potential training camps and pre-tournament matches, Tasmanians will have never-before-seen exposure to the highest level of football in their own state.

“The soaring global popularity of women’s international football will also see Tasmania showcased to the rest of the world and it’s important we put our best foot forward as a state.

“It’s vital Tasmania does not miss out on this unique opportunity to provide an infrastructure legacy which will benefit Tasmanians for years to come by investing in enhancements to identified facilities throughout the state before the cup takes place.”

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.

Granville & District Soccer Football Association announce brand-new X-League


The Granville & District Soccer Football Association (GDSFA) have announced the creation of a new top tier local Men’s Seniors competition, named the X-League.

Kicking off in March of 2022, the GDSFA will be looking to play 22 rounds of football competition each and every Friday evenings across the Granville Association. In addition, there are a number of exciting initiatives that the organisers have thrown into the mix to assure that this will be one of the most appealing local Senior Men’s competition across NSW.

Such incentives include:

  • Livestream Broadcast & Commentary of ‘Match of the Round’
  • Local officials and talent officiating matches
  • 2 Leagues (X-League 1 and X-League 2)
  • 12 Teams in each league
  • Single Team format of up to 20 players per team
  • Promotion and Relegation
  • Prize Money for Premiers and Champions
  • Season Launch Party with special guest
  • End of Season Player & Team Awards Evening
  • Entry into Australia’s oldest knockout competition “The Cottam Cup”
  • NPL Opportunities
  • ‘Match of the Round’ played at the legendary Melita Stadium home of the Parramatta Eagles FC

Granville & District Soccer FA’s General Manager Scott Sadler was looking forward to the new challenge of this concept, that was struck up with a few local and passionate Club administrators wanting to promote, collaborate and deliver new ways of getting more people interested with the world game.

“Back in May, myself and Joe Bacha (Rydalmere FC’s First Grade Coach) met at a café to catch up and chew the fat over the state of play of GDSFA football,” Sadler said.

“As many will know it’s not been an easy ride for them over the last few years, and Joe wanted to bring some of his observations and ideas on how we could improve our Men’s Premier League given we had gone from having 10 teams in the 2020 season and reduced to six in the 2021 season.

“Rydalmere FC have shown great character in rebuilding their club culture and in turn they have seen the fruits of their labour with a fantastic facility being constructed. We started to get some ideas down on paper and the ball was rolling, but Covid lockdown reared its ugly head for round 2 and so we got stuck into battening down the hatches.

“A working group was eventually formed, and the brainstorming sessions commenced every Wednesday, and are still ongoing looking at how we could make the Men’s Premiership Competition more viable and inclusive for all clubs to get involved.

“It has been great to watch the clubs coming together and collaborating on ideas, and between them they have come up with the concept of the X-League.”

Even though the league will be open to Men’s for the 2022 season, the Association has stated that plans are underway to offer this league concept towards the Women and Youth clubs in the football mad area.

“We are definitely looking at expanding in both the Women’s and Youth sectors once we get the Men’s off the ground in 2022 as that has always been our intention,” they said.

“GDSFA is the OG of football within Australia, we may not have done everything right along the way, but we have helped to shape football in some way shape or form.

“With the X-League, we are wanting to offer grassroots football a high standard of football for a very competitive membership fee, giving value for money for each player involved.”

Football Queensland team up with Queensland University of Technology to deliver programs for players and coaches

Football Queensland have announced a partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), to deliver various coaching courses and social football programs for students.

FQ Women and Girls Participation Officer, Kate Lawson, stated that students completing their studies at QUT can register to undertake a free MiniRoos coaching course on Wednesday, 20 October at QUT Stadium.

“This MiniRoos coaching course is aimed at any QUT students – including international students – who want to begin their coach education journey,” she said.

“There are opportunities opening up for qualified coaches to work with Football Queensland to deliver programs for women and girls, multicultural communities and in schools.

“We know that Queensland universities are home to thousands of football enthusiasts, and we are keen to work with educational institutions across the state to support students and grow the game.

“Beginning next Wednesday, 27 October, students will be able to participate in an eight-week Connecting Through Sport Mixed Multicultural Social Football program.

“I encourage all students to come along and get involved in the MiniRoos coaching course or the social football program.”

Football Queensland’s partnership with the university has come off the back of an informal social football program that has been running at the college since August of last year.

QUT Sport Project Coordinator Michael Jordan said of the partnership: “QUT Sport is delighted to be partnering with Football Queensland to offer a range of social and coaching opportunities for QUT students.

“We are excited about the upcoming coaching course and the Connecting Through Sports program to encourage students to be active, meet new people and learn some new football skills.”

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