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Football West commits to improved facilities access for TSP players

Football West has signed an agreement with the Mid West Academy of Sport in a bid to unearth and develop talent in and around the Geraldton region.

The deal will give players in Football West’s Hyundai Mid West Talent Support Program (TSP) access to a number of extra facilities. As well as receiving additional football training throughout the season, players based in the area will now have access to further strength and conditioning sessions, gym and physio, physical screening and testing and other services.

Football West Chief Football Officer Jamie Harnwell was pleased to announce the news.

“This is a great opportunity for our talented footballers in the Mid West to continue to develop without the constant burden of having to travel to Perth.”

“By making these services available, Football West and the Mid West Academy of Sport are providing a high quality, professional environment the equivalent of any metropolitan program.”

Mid West Academy of Sport CEO Darren Winterbine echoed Harnwell’s views, stating that this will help bridge the gap between football’s pathways and other sports in the region.

“It’s very exciting that we are now able to provide the services and specialised programs which we do for athletes from other sports”

“We have some really talented footballers in this town and we can give them an opportunity to get the highest level they can and access to facilities on par or better than metro kids have.”

Hyundai is the name sponsor of the TSP, which is an elite training program for talented boys and girls in metro and regional Western Australia.

The TSP is a pathway for players to be identified by coaches for national teams such as the Joeys and Junior Matildas.

FIFA announces experienced Elkhan Mammadov as Director Member Associations Europe

FIFA

FIFA has announced the appointment of Elkhan Mammadov as Director Member Associations Europe.

From May 1, 2022, Mammadov will assume the role and will be responsible for regional strategies on the implementation of the FIFA Forward programme, analysing specific requirements across European football’s 55 FIFA member associations in order to define development projects and to ensure their implementation in line with the FIFA framework.

His appointment ends a spell of almost a decade and a half with the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), initially as General Secretary and latterly in the role of Executive Vice President. Mammadov assumes the role vacated by Nodar Akhalkatsi, who has been appointed to the post of FIFA Director of Strategic Projects and Member Association Governance.

“It is a real boost to FIFA to have Elkhan joining the team,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“His commitment to building the foundations of football has reaped significant reward for everyone involved in the sport in Azerbaijan, and I look forward to him applying his experience for the benefit of European football as a whole. We welcome him to the FIFA team.”

Mammadov joined AFFA in 2007 and played a leading role in raising the stature of all sports in Azerbaijan. He was Chairman of Local Organising Structure behind the third edition of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in his home country in 2012, whilst simultaneously sitting on FIFA’s Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee. He had a guiding hand in Baku staging further international events, namely the 2015 European Games and 2019 UEFA Europa League final before hosting four matches, including a quarter-final, at UEFA EURO 2020.

“It is a very special opportunity to join FIFA and I do so with feelings of responsibility and honour,” Mammadov said, who will be based in Paris with the FIFA Member Associations team.

“Today, FIFA is a locomotive of the game, covering every corner of our fragile world. Together with the FIFA team and member associations, I am sure we will continue developing football, implementing new ideas for further developing both men’s and women’s football.

“I am passionate about good governance and the sustainable development of football, and I share the objectives of FIFA and President Infantino in that regard,” he added. “The last 15 years at AFFA have given me significant experience in the sports industry. It has been a long and pleasant journey, so thanks to the AFFA President and team for the hand-in-hand collaboration, for implementing effective management, developing grassroots football, and organising great events. I will give everything to use that experience for wider impact in this new position.”

Football West welcomes Perry Ielati as General Manager – Football

Football West has announced Perry Ielati as its new General Manager – Football.

Ielati is a well-respected figure in WA football, having played for 15 seasons at Perth Soccer Club including a decade in the first team.

He will now oversee all of Football West’s football operations.

“I’m very excited to be getting back involved in football,” Ielati told Football West.

“When I was playing the governing body was still Soccer West Coast. But it has transformed into a much bigger body which caters for all areas of our game.”

Ielati’s role with Football West will involve leading a diverse team across all areas of football operations in WA. This includes Competitions and Clubs, Regional Football, Participation and Programs, Policy & Advocacy and Operations Support.

“What I have quickly realised in my first week, is that the team here takes care of an extraordinary amount of work,” he said.

“The challenge for me will be to find ways this can be completed more effectively, efficiently and to the highest possible standard. We need to strive for excellence in everything we do. My immediate priority will be to support the existing Football West team and enable them to do their best work.

“There are a number of competing priorities and stakeholders to satisfy, so it’s going to be interesting to find that balance. I’m very keen to get on the ground and speak to as many people as possible.”

Ielati was inspired by the chance to help shape the sport in WA.

“There are so many opportunities for football in the state and I want to make sure there is a good foundation in place to capitalise on these opportunities as they arise,” he said.

“As well as looking after our clubs and participants on a day-to-day basis, there is the opening of the State Football Centre, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Football Futures Foundation which while in its infancy, is already making a positive impact on communities. It is thrilling to be involved.

“I previously worked in IT and more recently spent the last 13 years in the wealth management space. After selling my practice in late 2020, I took the opportunity to further my qualifications. I returned to full-time study and recently completed my MBA at UWA and became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

“Over the last 12 months, I had time to reflect on what I love and where I could add value and my mix of football and business experience brought me to this junction. I want to put that background to good use.”

As a defender between 1996-2006 – under coaches such as Gary Marocchi, Aldo Trinca and Graham Normanton – Ielati enjoyed plenty of highs at Perth SC.

“We won quite a lot of trophies and they were really good times. After I left the club and had kids, they went into different sports so I haven’t been as closely involved. But I still get to games and see the old faces. And although my two daughters are currently playing basketball, I’m confident I’ll soon have them using their feet!”

Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell sees Ielati as a great addition to both the Football West team and for the wider sport.

“Perry is a familiar face to people who have been in and around WA football for a few decades and only last month he figured in an Azzurri legends game against Floreat Athena. He knows football and the people in the sport.

“But he comes into the role with a strong business background and a clear vision of where Football West wants to go.

“It is terrific to have him in the role and he will provide great leadership to the Football West team and deliver for the WA football community.”

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