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Football Victoria looking to grow women’s football into the future

In a statement released on Monday, Football Victoria released a new report into the structure of Women and Girls’ football for the future.

The report is aimed at improving the gender balance in Victorian football, with the overall goal of a 50/50 balance by 2027.

The statement can be found below in full.

Football Victoria (FV) today released its independent final report following a comprehensive review into the Women and Girls’ competition structure for football in Victoria.

Tasked with delivering an enhanced football experience for all senior and junior players and a clear vision for the game, the review sought to identify the optimal structure for Women and Girls’ football in the state. It seeks to grow participation, provide the best pathways for junior development and identification and enhance the overall involvement of women and girls in the world game.

Endorsed by the FV Board, the final report covers key areas of improvement for the Women and Girls’ competitions and outlines 22 key recommendations. Its focus areas are football’s culture, players, referees, clubs, coaches, Government and other external stakeholders.

The recommendations are aligned to FV’s overall strategic direction and commitment to growing investment in Women and Girls’ football as we pursue our journey towards a 50:50 gender balance by 2027. Some of the report’s key recommendations include:

  1. Developing a bespoke Victorian Women and Girls’ overarching Football Strategy;
  2. Introducing single age-group competitions (e.g. separate U13s and U14s age-groups rather than current U13-14 combined age group);
  3. A proposed overhaul of Victoria’s Women’s Football Competition Structure;
  4. Methods to develop, retain and grow the number of women and girls in refereeing roles;
  5. Development of a standardised club induction toolkit and process outlining the roles, responsibilities and gender equity expectations for clubs, players, coaches and parents; and
  6. Further driving the push at local and state government levels for more “female friendly” facilities

The Football Competition Review was conducted by independent sports consultancy firm Sports Business Partners (SBP), who worked in collaboration with FV to undertake a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process led by a dedicated and independent Review Steering Committee.

The review’s Steering Committee comprised 26 dedicated and experienced representatives from all levels of the game and was chaired by the President of Women Sport Australia, Carol Fox. Ms. Fox expressed her sincere gratitude for the time and effort contributed by all Steering Committee members.

“The team comprised many talented individuals who brought wide-ranging expertise and knowledge from a variety of backgrounds,” Ms Fox said.

“The team was provided with the opportunity to ensure that all the key themes were discussed, to review areas that were operating well and identify key areas requiring change. It was a privilege to chair this group of experts,” she said.

FV Board Director, Sezar Jakupi, was pleased with the depth of stakeholder engagement, the quality of analysis SBP and the final recommendations.

“The review has seen significant engagement with our female participants in the game and has provided clear guidance to Football Victoria on the game’s challenges and how we can work together to overcome them,” Mr. Jakupi said.

The report’s recommendations will now move to the next phase of work to be completed with key stakeholders, with a view of implementing changes over the next few seasons.

The report also concludes the most comprehensive review ever conducted by Football Victoria into both the Men’s & Boys and Women & Girls competitions.

“Victoria is leading Australia with the proactive approach in reviewing and enhancing the competition structures for both women and girls as well as men and boys.  This requires a clear vision for the game and with the completion of both competition reviews, we believe that we have paved the way for the future which will deliver enhanced experiences for all participants as well as improved developmental outcomes.” Peter Filopoulos, FV CEO said.

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

Football NSW grants webinar to aid clubs and associations

FNSW

Football NSW in conjunction with ‘The Grants Guy’ are set to premiere a free Grants Zoom online webinar next Wednesday (September 22) at 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

FNSW clubs and associations will be provided with valuable information through the grants webinar, especially for applying for funding which have assisted many teams in the past in their pursuit of seeking facility upgrades amongst various other beneficial elements.

The webinar will provide a practical guide to grant writing for any football club seeking to attain funding by applying for the Greater Cities Sport Facility Fund and the Regional Sport Facility Fund in particular.

Both grants will be explained through the practical step by step webinar, and guidance will be provided as to how to apply for the Grants.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • How to apply for the grant – the do’s and don’ts
  • Eligibility & Answering the Question
  • Project Assessment, Evaluation, Rationale, Methodology
  • Budget & Acquittal
  • Getting Grant Ready and Planning your Club’s Application

For the Greater Cities and Regional Sport Facility Fund, the second and final round of the $100 million grant is available, with grants of up to $1 million offered to sport and recreation organisations and councils.

In Round 2, up to $46 million is available for projects that improve sports facilities and recreational spaces and enable more people to participate in sport and active recreation.

Grants from $100,000 up to $1 million are available for a range of projects including lighting, amenity buildings, clubrooms, change rooms and grandstands.

Round 1 resulted in $54 million awarded for 91 projects, with over $10 million awarded to football projects.

Round 2 is the final round of the program with applications closing at 12pm, on October 8, 2021.

Register for the webinar today by clicking here.

For any further questions please contact Football NSW’s Government Relation, Infrastructure and Funding Manager Daniel Ristic via email on danielr@footballfacilities.com.au.

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.

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