Gary Cole the new President of Football Coaches Australia


Following the Football Coaches Australia (FCA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2023, Gary Cole has been appointed as FCA’s new President.

He will takeover from outgoing President Phil Moss – who along with Chief Executive Officer Glenn Warry – have decided to step down due to family and work commitments as FCA enters a new era.

Cole has dedicated just over four years of work to FCA, as he was part of the Executive Committee prior to accepting the President role. He also hosted The Football Coaching Life Podcast – opening up those conversations with key coaches in the men’s and women’s game.

Cole will continue to empower coaches and be at the heart of initiatives to promote the best interests of coaching.

Speaking to Soccerscene after his appointment, Cole is sad to see two FCA stalwarts departing, but is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m honoured to have this opportunity as FCA has done a great job of representing coaches for almost seven years now,” he said.

“It’s sad as well with Phil and Glenn moving on, as it leaves two big holes to fill – they’ve served thousands of hours between them to the organisation, which has achieved great things with them at the helm.

“It’s important for us with the new executive committee that we pull this together and move forward in the right direction because that is what Australia’s coaches deserve – I’m excited but also challenged by the opportunity to grow further.”

While the role is significant for Cole, he believes that not much will change and will remain consistent with getting the best out of coaches.

“Just because I step in the chair, it doesn’t mean we change what our strategy is with the four pillars,” he said.

“Our job is to advocate for coaches both here and overseas and make sure they have the respect they deserve.

“Professional development is a key part of what we do – for example The Football Coaching Life podcast was born out of Covid as games and coach education stopped. FCA stepped up to the plate and ran over 100 coach development workshops online because it wasn’t happening anywhere else.

“We also need to continue helping coaches get their licence and keep those qualifications up to date.”

During the Women’s Football Coaching Summit in July 2023, a theme on the day was how coaches must be supported for the ups and downs, something that Cole and FCA will continue to focus on.

“Mental and physical wellbeing of coaches is also another crucial part of what we do. There are stresses in sport that not only impact players, but coaches too in day-to-day life,” he said.

“Even though we are seven years old, we’re a new and growing organisation that needs to be there for coaches and listen to them. FCA is for coaches, by coaches.

“Whether that be building those working relationships or mentoring, I see this Presidency role as one that can lead the way.”

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Serie A to stay on DAZN and Sky screens to 2029

DAZN and Sky will retain the rights to broadcast live Serie A matches in Italy for the next five seasons after Italian clubs accepted bids worth at least 4.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion).

After four months of discussions, the Serie A teams convened to examine final bids from streaming services DAZN and Sky, which totalled around 900 million euros each year until the conclusion of the 2028/2029 season, barely below the existing agreement’s yearly worth.

Seventeen of the 20 clubs backed the offer but the decision drew sharp criticism from Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.

“It’s a total defeat for Italian football, these deals will be the death of Italian football. The problem is being a borrower or an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur must know how to measure the risk area, it is more convenient but this will never implement the value of Italian football”, he stated via press release.

Serie A earns around 930 million euros every season from the sale of its TV rights in Italy under a three-year contract that expires next June, with DAZN once again taking the lion’s share. DAZN will exclusively carry seven Serie A games each week (266 out of 380 matches per season). The remaining three will be carried by DAZN and Sky (114 matches per season).

In recent months, Serie A explored the creation of a media platform to distribute matches to other TV outlets as well as the launch of a home-run live video subscription service.

Torino chairman Urbano Cairo was all for the deal claiming the league was correct to continue the partnership.

“Figures were below our initial expectations and below our current contracts, but I think we were right to continue our relationship with Sky and DAZN. Creating a Serie A TV channel now, would had meant adding further risk to a risky business he stated via press release,” he told reporters.

When some variable components tied to revenue sharing are included, the new contracts may match or even exceed the value of the present contracts and reach 1 billion euros.

Strategic Plan 2023-2026 launched by Football West

Football West Strategic Plan

Football West recently announced the launch of their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, a documentation affiliated with Football Australia’s One Football Strategy that will set the direction for football in Western Australia for the coming years.

The plan will see Football West improve the game under five essential departments:

  • Participants and Clubs
  • Elite Teams and Pathways
  • Fans
  • Unifying Football
  • Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Participants and Clubs

The first pillar has the aim to make Football the most accessible sport in Western Australia where everyone can play anytime, anywhere.

There are key targets set such as: Increase registrations by 5% per annum, increase participation by 3% per annum and have 95% of clubs and associations with a completed affiliation agreement (presently 82%).

Another key focus is the development of women and girls football which isn’t surprising after the recent Women’s World Cup success. Football West set a goal of 42,500 additional women & girls playing football across the three year plan.

Elite Teams and Pathways

This pillar focuses simply on the development of talent at all ages in a bid to improve the quality of the game in Western Australia.

The focus areas are Delivery of a state-wide Football West Academy program, Frequent and consistent talent identification opportunities and High quality coach development pathway


Football West is focusing on optimising the fan experience and grassroots to improve attendance numbers and social media engagement.

Unifying Football

They will develop a resourcing model that allows for the servicing of responsibilities between Football Australia and Football West, formalised in a Service Agreement

Asia and the Sam Kerr Football Centre

Football West will look to improve international exchanges with Asian countries and use the Sam Kerr Football Centre to secure sponsorships and play big matches there by 2026.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes mentioned the vision that the federation has for the future of football across all levels.

“We are excited to present the Strategic Plan to the WA football community. This is a vision that will see football move forward in tandem with Football Australia but with a strong WA focus,” Andrawes said in a statement.

“Football is in a great position across the state. We saw during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and, more recently, when the CommBank Matildas played in Perth, that our sport is unique in its widespread appeal. This passion can be felt across all areas of the game.

“We want to be bold and ambitious, and the Strategic Plan gives us a strong base from which to deliver on that.”

Football West CEO Jamie Harnwell was excited to announce how the Strategic Plan would be implemented successfully.

“This Strategic Plan is a real statement of intent and one we are proud to deliver. Harnwell mentioned in a Football West statement.

“Football is more popular than it has ever been in Western Australia, in terms of participation, inclusivity and popularity, and we should all be proud of this. However, we cannot rest on our laurels.

“As a governing body, we want to make our game even more accessible, so we can inspire a new generation to love football. That comes through hard work, consultation and direction, all of which are key to the Strategic Plan.”

The Strategic Plan is well set out and focuses on the current struggles the federation is having at grassroots level. Partnering closely with Football Australia will help them achieve the ambitious goals set out to improve both the state and national foundation.

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