FV Head of Futsal outlines future plans: “We want to host a National Championships in Victoria”

Football Victoria (FV) Head of Futsal Anthony Grima believes Victoria is the perfect place to host an edition of Football Australia’s National Futsal Championships in the coming years.

Speaking with Soccerscene, Grima, who was recently appointed Head of Futsal at FV, explained the hosting of significant futsal events was desirable in the wake of the governing body’s plans to revamp the small-sided game in the state.

“Personally, I would love to see us showcase major futsal events in this great state of ours, such as the Football Australia National Futsal Championships,” he said.

FV Head of Futsal Anthony Grima

The 2021 Football Australia National Futsal Championships were cancelled due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with state federations still waiting for confirmation of its return in 2022.

Hosting rights to future Futsalroos matches, when reinstated, are among the notable futsal events that are also being targeted by the governing body to assist the rejuvination of the local tourism industry.

FV recently outlined their ambitions to unite the futsal community, by providing the sport with an increase in investment into resources needed to appropriately govern futsal in Victoria.

The state federation’s direction of the sport will be underpinned by the following strategic priorities:

  1. Formally recognise the sport of futsal within Football Victoria’s existing Strategic Plan 2019-2022 ‘FootbALLways’ to facilitate its growth, including in schools and to foster the increase and development of players, coaches, referees, futsal clubs and Futsal centres in the broader futsal pathway.
  2. Provide futsal competition providers and futsal clubs with a genuine value proposition to partner with Football Victoria via a revamped affiliation and support program to grow and develop futsal together as a unified futsal community.
  3. Integrate futsal within the implementation of Football Victoria’s current Facilities Strategy and advocate for increased and improved futsal facilities with local, state and federal government for the benefit of all futsal competition providers and futsal clubs across Victoria.

According to Grima, the final priority listed, centred around the importance of facilities for futsal, highlighted the need for all factions of the small-sided game to be on the same page.

“Ultimately, if we don’t work together, it’s the participants who suffer,” he said.

“Our main priority is to ensure that there are facilities for the players that are involved at a community level, but we do have some works in the pipeline that we’d love to see, such as a home of futsal in Victoria.

“There’s 40,000 players who play all across Victoria and a lot of those venues are not affiliated to Football Victoria at the moment, but we intend to speak to every single operator, every futsal club and even the indoor centre operators. I think it’s important that we all come under the banner and we support them as much as possible in a mutually beneficial system.”

Grima has been in constant dialogue with many futsal operators such as CEO of Futsal Oz Peter Parthimos, who had to endure a long stretch of inactivity at his centres due to the Victorian COVID-19 lockdown.

“Peter Parthimos has been one I’ve been speaking to regularly. I’ve known Peter across futsal circles for many, many, years.

“We are not here to compete with the providers, we are here to unite them, govern and lead them. They need direction, they need help, they need support. A lot of them have not seen their players for at least nine months, because the centres weren’t open.

“It’s really important to note, we should’ve been there providing them guidelines and support. That happened with the outdoor clubs, they got those guidelines whenever the state government released information (during lockdown), so I really felt for the futsal operators.

“So, we are here to reinvigorate them and also inspire the other states to learn from us and see how we can do things properly. We want to bring them on our journey, so when the national agenda is set up by Football Australia, everybody has been consulted and engaged properly and they know it is coming and they can be part of it.”

A strong emphasis on pathways for players, coaches, referees has also been put forward by FV, through the delivery of upcoming elite competitions such as the F-League (Victoria) and the FV State Futsal Championships.

Alongside this, both futsal referee and coach education courses will officially accredit and upskill referees and coaches from this month.

Grima, an experienced futsal and football administrator, is well placed to lead the sport into the future.

“My own experience in futsal has shown me that it is a sport with enormous appeal and potential,” he stated.

“As you can see, it is a big job ahead of us, but it is one that we are fully committed to.”

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.

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.


Football Victoria and Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association begin formal partnership

Football Victoria (FV) has announced a formal partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association (MCSA).

Football Victoria (FV) has announced a formal partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association (MCSA).

The partnership was created with a mutual alignment of values, including a desire to promote sporting opportunities and social inclusion for men and women from culturally diverse backgrounds.

It builds on the positive relationship between the two organisations, ratified in 2019 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

MSCA and FV share a common goal for football to be used as a platform to promote multiculturalism, gender diversity, an active lifestyle and social inclusion,” FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros said.

This partnership will make the world game more accessible for more people. This is a great result for football in Victoria.”

MCSA was established in 1995 and aims to provide opportunities for young people, predominately but not exclusively for those of Chinese heritage to play football in a friendly, competitive environment.

The association accommodates approximately 1,800 registered players, consisting of more than 70 cultural backgrounds.

As part of this collaboration, MSCA will continue to be the main organiser of the MSCA Winter League, Melbourne U-Nite Men’s Cup and Melbourne U-Nite Women’s Cup.

FV will provide MSCA with priority pitch access for bookings at Darebin International Sports Centre and Knox Regional Football Centre, as well as match balls, meeting spaces and other amenities.

The partnership will provide increased opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to stay active and socially included.

“MSCA focuses on providing affordable football for the diverse grassroots community of Melbourne,” MSCA President Ben Lau said.

‘’MCSA is excited with the opportunity to work with Football Victoria to ensure that our diverse grassroots community is the winner.’’

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