Football Victoria announce 30 new 5-Star clubs

Football Victoria has confirmed the 30 latest inductees into the Club Engagement Program (CEP) 5-Star club.

The 5-Star status was awarded to 22 community, 1 NPLW and 7 NPL clubs across Victoria.

Seven clubs were inducted into the exclusive group last year.

Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos claimed the creation of the CEP and Club Ambassadors were an important initiative under the state federation’s strategic pillar of Clubs. The program helps clubs throughout the state become stronger and gives them the opportunity to provide consistent positive experiences for all.

The CEP is an on-line development platform that gives clubs the chance to answer a series of questions regarding all aspects of their football such as:

  • Governance and Capacity;
  • Female Participation;
  • Inclusive Participation;
  • Facilities;
  • Meeting Demand;
  • Community Citizenship; and
  • Football Experience.

The program’s objectives and a number of its measurement methods were used last month by Football Federation Australia. The federation launched the program as The National Club Development Program (NCDP).

Mr Filopoulos said the program recognised clubs for the things they did well, but also gave them an aspirational template to strive for further success.

“Our clubs and players are the very reason FV exists.  We have a commitment and a duty to help them be viable, sustainable and successful. We want them to be the very best they can be regardless of status, geography or demography,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“We know that our clubs are all different because of their demographics, socio-economic factors, facilities, local council relationships, competitor activity and regional factors.

“Ensuring they are strong, vibrant and delivering great experiences for all is a core strategic pillar of Football Victoria to help grow the number of participants of all ages, genders and abilities in our great game.

“Over the past two years in Victoria, we have invested heavily in directly engaging clubs with our Club Ambassadors and providing them with a successful framework to improve. We welcome the NCDP being rolled out nationally by the FFA.”

The full list of all the Victorian 5-Star clubs is below.

5-Star ClubsLeague
Altona City SCCommunity
Aspendale SCCommunity
Berwick City SCCommunity
Brighton SCCommunity
Brimbank Stallions FC*Community
Casey Comets FCCommunity
Chelsea FCCommunity
Collingwood City FCCommunity
Coonans Hill SCCommunity
Craigieburn City FCCommunity
East Gippsland United FCCommunity
Essendon Royals SCCommunity
Fawkner SCCommunity
Glen Eira FCCommunity
Hampton Junior SCCommunity
Keilor Park SC*Community
Maribyrnong Swifts FCCommunity
Mount Martha SCCommunity
Myrtleford Savoy SC*Community
North Caulfield Junior & Women FCCommunity
Sandringham SCCommunity
South Yarra SCCommunity
Spring Hills FCCommunity
Thomastown Raiders FCCommunity
Wangaratta City FC*Community
Williamstown SCCommunity
Ballarat City FCNPL
Brunswick City SCNPL
Dandenong City SCNPL
Dandenong Thunder SCNPL
Green Gully SCNPL
Moreland City SCNPL
Moreland Zebras FC*NPL
Pascoe Vale FC*NPL
Whittlesea Ranges FCNPL
Bayside United FCNPLW
Calder United SC*NPLW

*Existing 5-Star Club

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.

Fox looking to add virtual fans to broadcast

Virtual fans

Fox in the United States is looking to add fans into their coverage even with empty stadiums, using virtual reality (VR) technology.

According to the New York Post, the media company, along with fellow broadcasters ESPN, NBC, CBS and Turner Sports, are seeking to improve the fan experience at home by bringing in VR technology to enhance their viewing of the game.

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As all sporting events are most likely to only be shown behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is an idea that could serve a valuable purpose for the foreseeable future until it’s safe for spectators to return in mass gatherings.

Fox broadcaster Joe Buck has been adamant in suggesting that virtual fans are something we should expect to see, as broadcasters work out the best way to implement it.

Speaking on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, the addition of fake crowd noise could add some extra excitement to contests.

“[Virtual fans is] pretty much a done deal,” Buck said.

“I think whoever is going to be at that control is going to have to be really good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd would react depending on what just happened on the field. So it’s really important.

“And then on top of that … They’re looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands, so when you see a wide shot it looks like the stadium is jam-packed and in fact it’ll be empty.”

The German Bundesliga recently restarted between closed doors, but there was definitely an eerie feeling without the atmosphere.

If you watched the derby between Dortmund vs Schalke, there is potential for crowd noise to be filtered through around the PA systems, as each of Dortmund’s goals were followed by chants by the intimidating yellow wall.

With crowd noise absent completely, it could hinder a club’s dominance at home with familiar comforts, or remove just a little bit of normality during these strange times.

As we’ve seen with Fox, they would just like to make games seem as though it’s like the old times, despite adding the technology being a challenge.

2023 Women’s World Cup: Host to be announced June 25

Australia and New Zealand will find out whether they will host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in under six weeks’ time.

FIFA have confirmed the successful candidate will be announced on June 25, following a vote by their council.

Alongside the joint Australian and New Zealand bid, Brazil, Colombia and Japan are still in the running to host the 2023 event.

“We believe that our proven ability to deliver the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is a key strength of our bid,” FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said.

“Our world-class infrastructure, modern stadia, high-quality football facilities in both Australia and New Zealand and major event hosting experience ensure certainty in delivering the first 32 team FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“From operational excellence, record-breaking crowds, commercial success, strong government support, a warm embrace from our 200 diverse cultures to a genuine profound legacy across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia-New Zealand offers certainty in uncertain times, as well as impact,” he said.

New Zealand Football President Johanna Wood said: “Our proposal offers FIFA a ground-breaking approach to hosting its greatest women’s tournament.  We are two nations from two confederations, united in proposing a historic and exciting step forward for world football.

“We will be a tournament of firsts. The first ever co-Confederation hosted FIFA World Cup, the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first ever to be held in the southern hemisphere.

“And as important as all of this, we are nations proud of our commitment to equality and fairness and would embody a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 built on common humanity through football.

“As the world looks to adapt and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our bid offers an exciting vision to bring the world together As One in 2023 to celebrate women’s football and inspire women and girls around the world,” she concluded.

Stuart Hodge addresses future for Football NSW

Stuart Hodge

Football NSW Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hodge has addressed key topics on the association’s radar in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the CDSFA Community Football Podcast, Hodge is keen for the league to restart as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“I certainly think the government have to take in a lot of factors as we’ve seen with the pandemic – anything can change one day to the next,” he said.

“It was a positive step forward that they’ve got the national principles and the government and NSW will now review those and look at guidelines.

“They’ll have to balance that up with other information that they have and state-specific information here in NSW.

“We’re hopeful given that from some of the surveys which we’ve seen that most people are keen to get out and play again.

“The physical, mental and social benefits are well documented, but we have to make sure we do it under the right conditions and that is when the government says it’s okay.”

The flow on effect of the competition’s postponement will be how clubs juggle summer sports with councils if they clash later down the line, something Hodge is aware of.

“It’s a challenge for all of them and we’re in discussions with some summer sports to try and get some principles in place that if we get football resumed, we’ll have some additional time beyond what we normally get,” he said.

“From some associations, the feedback is from councils have been very sympathetic.

“We’ve collectively lost a couple months of the season already so the opportunity to play a little bit later into the year would be welcomed.

“We’re also conscious that we want to try and keep things on track for next year when hopefully we return on time.

“It’s a balance because we appreciate that there’s also participants that are involved in multiple sports so we’re wanting to help them out and not over-burden them.

“Councils also need to turn fields around although I noticed some of them looking magnificent at the moment.

“We’ve had some very big discussions and hopefully it’s just a fair and reasonable approach which is all we’re asking for.”

One of the main issues across all sports due to postponements has been the topic of refunds, with games in professional sport being played behind closed doors.

While there’s still the unknown about when fans can return to grounds in 2020 and beyond, Hodge has clarified how Football NSW will look to navigate through this tricky time.

“I think in the interim if people are facing financial hardship then of course they should be in touch with their club to get a refund,” Hodge said.

“If the season gets underway then we’ll have to redo our modelling and look at what the fee structures are.

“I hope we do get back on the field and we can go down that path – if the season doesn’t get played then everyone will have to sit and remodel what the costs are and things like that.”

Since this podcast was published on 5th May, Football NSW have moved a step closer to resuming training at the very least with the NSW Government confirming an easing of restrictions – taking affect from Friday 15th May including:

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
  • up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • weddings up to 10 guests
  • indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshipers
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • outdoor pools open with restrictions.

In a recent press release, it’s mentioned the Office of Sport is working closely with government agencies about how sporting organisations can safely return to action.

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