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Victorian government to invest $22 million into state football facilities

This week, Football Victoria announced that the state government will be investing nearly $22 million into footballing facilities across the state.

With junior participation rates at an all time high in Australian soccer, now appears to the perfect time to maximise resources in the industry.

Here is the media release in full:

Football Victoria welcomes the Victorian Government’s 2019 Budget commitment of $21.6 million for community football facilities across the state.

The announcement includes $20 million for The World Game Fund over the forward estimates, and, coupled with other State Government funding initiatives and recent local government contributions, secures more than $118 million for football facilities across Victoria.

Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos said grassroots facilities funding was vital for enabling the future of many local clubs struggling to meet booming participation demands.

“The 2019 Victorian Government Budget commitment is great news for our game and a testament to our approach of working hand-in-hand with government for many months.

“But more needs to be done. When you consider population growth and the ongoing rise in participation rates, football will need the equivalent of another 420 full size pitches by 2026”, he said.

Mr Filopoulos said that in addition to supporting local facilities, Football Victoria was also seeking to work with the State and Federal Government to secure funding towards a state-of-the-art facility for the Westfield Matildas, and a home for football in Victoria.

Football Victoria has received expressions of interest from various local government authorities seeking to host the proposed development including the cities of Brimbank, Casey, Darebin, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, and Greater Shepparton. La Trobe University has also made a formal submission as part of redevelopment plans at its Bundoora campus

“While we’ve secured $200,000 in State Government funding towards a feasibility study for a Home of Football and $15 million from the Federal Government, we know more will be required to get this designed and delivered.

“Just as we’ve worked with the Andrews Government to ensure the game has the support it needs at the grassroots, we’re reaching out to government to ensure our Matildas – Australia’s favourite national sport team – can have their home in the sporting capital of the world”, Mr Filopoulos said.

For more information on Football Victoria’s Local Facilities strategy and the Home of Football campaign, please visit https://www.footballvictoria.com.au/.

*ENDS*

This is sure to be a worthwhile investment, one that will significantly improve the sport of soccer in Victoria and down the line, for all of Australia.

 

Football Queensland appoint former Matilda Amy Chapman

Football Queensland has ticked yet another box as it continues to make good on its promises.

Their Strategic Plan has been adhered to thus far and they continue to go from strength to strength.

Last week, they announced that former Matilda Amy Chapman would be joining the Board of Directors, as well as a future role as Chair of the Women’s Advisory Council.

FQ’s full statement can be found here:

Football Queensland (FQ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Chapman to the FQ Board of Directors.

A former Matilda and Westfield W-League player, Chapman brings a wealth of experience in the football landscape as a player, commentator and analyst for Optus Sport, Fox Sports and Channel 9.

As a Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) delegate, Chapman led negotiations for the W-League Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and initiated the first ever PFA corporate partnership designed to assist players in transitioning to life after football.

With a passion for growing football in Australia and giving back to the game, Chapman also boasts an understanding of the need to strengthen pathways in regional areas having grown up playing football in a regional town.

In addition to her appointment to the FQ Board of Directors, Chapman will bring her vast experience to the role of Chair of the Women’s Advisory Council, to be established by FQ in the coming weeks.

Supporting the implementation of the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan for football in Queensland, FQ’s Women’s Advisory Council will work to grow and strengthen the women’s game across the state.

*ENDS*

Chapman, 33, is a long-time servant of the game in Australia, especially in Queensland. She signed with Brisbane Roar’s W-League side in 2010 and clearly, with FQ appointing her in this position, she has rubbed people off the right way over the last 10 years.

As mentioned in the press release, Chapman has also worked in the media with Channel 9, Optus Sport and Fox Sports, showcasing her in-depth knowledge of the game.

Bringing Chapman onto the Board of Directors seems, on paper, to be a fantastic move. She has a lot of experience on the field and she can use that to help FQ gain more understanding as to what the players desire most. Players can only do so much on and off the field with little to no decision making ability.

Her inclusion onto the Board, once again as mentioned above, will lead into her role as the Chair of the Women’s Advisory Council that has the ability to shape things up off the field.

Football Queensland only recently committed to growing the women’s game on the Sunshine Coast. Now, with the establishment of the Advisory Council in the next few weeks to go with Chapman’s arrival at FQ, the Sunshine State now seems to be setting the standard off the field for representation.

The introduction of this role could potentially lead other states into following suit, which, in theory, could potentially change the women’s game in Australia.

Assuming the Advisory Council would be made up of women and with the purpose of growing the game for both aspiring juniors and current professionals, it would be a project everyone would be on board with.

It’s fair to say that giving young girls all the support and funding they need is one of the most important areas that Australian soccer needs to address. Currently, we’re going well both on home soil and overseas.

But if you don’t plan for the future, then you pay the price down the track. Planning for the future is the overarching purpose of any Strategic Plan and FQ seem to have the right idea on how to approach this significant issue.

In this everchanging world we live in, everyone deserves a chance to do what they have always wanted to. This Advisory Council, when officially formed, will have the ability to fulfill the hopes and dreams of many young girls in Queensland.

We here at Soccerscene once again praise Football Queensland and their commitment to fulfilling their Strategic Plan. It’s great to see them with so much passion for changing the game for the better off the field.

What are your thoughts on Chapman’s arrival at FQ? Get involved in the conversation on Twitter @Soccersceneau

 

 

Valencia launch in-seat delivery service

Top-flight Spanish La Liga club Valencia have launched a new in-stadia delivery platform, allowing fans to order food and drink without leaving their seat during matches at their home of Mestalla Stadium.

The app, called Valencia CF – Seat Delivery, allows fans to order food and beverages via a new and free smartphone application by the club. While the service will initially only be offered in selected areas of the stadium, the potential for it to grow in popularity will be massive.

In a few steps, fans can order conveniently from their phone and provides all details of food and drink offerings with pricing.

“All spectators can now enjoy the new and innovative service of food, drinks and merchandise delivery directly from their seats without missing a single second,” Valencia said in a statement regarding the app.

“Valencia CF reinforce their position as one of the most technologically innovative sports clubs in the world, providing unique experiences to the fans.”

In Australia, we haven’t seen clubs take the plunge into food delivery services, but whether to launch a service such as this will depend on appropriate infrastructure to roll it out.

Any stadiums that have clear seating or bays would mean spectators can easily be identified by people looking to deliver the food and drink. As Valencia have done, the service doesn’t have to cover each area of the ground but may be a good idea for a trial to see how the future might look – it would definitely cut down queues at the kiosks especially during the half time break.

Valencia want to lead the way in technological advancements, with an Uber Eats type service making it easier for fans on match days. Introducing something like this in Australian stadiums will expand into the digital market which clubs would be looking to embrace.

The app by Valencia is currently available on all Android and Apple IOS systems, and is a separate application to Valencia’s official fan platform. The club also maintains a ‘Centenari – Valencia CF’ historical virtual experience platform.

Valencia are seventh on the La Liga table, behind sixth-placed Villarreal on goal difference.

Football Transfer Forum continues to grow

The fourth Football Transfer Forum (FTF) recently took place in England. The bi-annual event was held indoors at Liverpool’s home ground of Anfield.

The forum is a networking opportunity for those involved in scouting and recruiting players, with football agents and other companies offering products and services in the field also in attendance.

The most recent event saw record numbers show up, with over 25 professional clubs from the UK, Europe and around the world attending the forum. Overall, more than 125 people were at the function.

Football Finance expert Kieran Maguire opened the event with details on how some EFL clubs are struggling financially, whilst also explaining how important Premier League survival is for at least a dozen clubs in the top flight in England.

Other speakers included European Football Agents’ Association (EFAA) chief, Roberto Branco Martins and Leicester City’s head of loans, Guy Branston.

Branston explained the role of a loan manager and why a successful loan strategy was vital in developing players for senior teams.

Former chief scout at Cardiff City, Glyn Chamberlain, rounded off the event with a focus on senior recruitment.

FTF owner, Tony Sharkey, said: “Football is a people business. The Football Transfer Forum is a vehicle for learning first-hand from industry experts, for expanding your network and for building personal relationships. On the day, I also heard about several transfer deals that have been completed as a direct result of contacts made. This shows the forum is achieving tangible results for the people who attend.

“In my view, you never stop learning and as a football agent myself, my business depends on having a large network of people I know in football clubs at all levels of the game.”

Key industry figures in attendance included: Victor Orta, Dave Jones, Gus MacPherson, Marcelino, Danny Webber and Julian Dowe.

FTF host and moderator, Ryan McKnight, added: “When Tony and I started the Football Transfer Forum we wanted to learn from all the events we had been to in the past, take the good bits, leave out the bad bits, but most importantly, make sure the people who attend feel a value of their participation.

“The Football Transfer Forum is now an event where you will meet twenty, thirty, forty relevant new people as well as receiving the right amount of uncensored, unrestricted content that’s related specifically to your job. “I like to think we have made each event better and now I can’t wait for the next one prior to the summer 2020 transfer window.”

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