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Grassroots football to receive donation of over 2,000 defibrillators from Premier League

Defibrillators to grassroots

More than 2,000 grassroots football sites will receive automated external defibrillators in the wake of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, the Premier League has announced.

Inter Milan midfielder Eriksen collapsed in the 42nd minute of Denmark’s match with Finland at the European Championship earlier this month, with the 29-year-old surviving only after being resuscitated on the pitch.

It led to renewed calls for defibrillators to be made more accessible, which have resulted in the Premier League working in partnership with the Football Foundation and Football Association to make the life-saving devices available to sites across the UK over the next few months.

“The Premier League has today announced it will fund the provision of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) at thousands of grassroots football clubs and facilities, aimed at helping save the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest,” a statement read.

“Working in partnership with the Football Foundation and The Football Association, the first phase of the Premier League Defibrillator Fund rollout will have AEDs provided to Football Foundation funded facilities which currently are without a life-saving device onsite.

“In the second phase, grassroots clubs that own their facilities will be able to apply for funding for a defibrillator.

“Together more than 2,000 sites will benefit from this investment, with the first 1,000 units delivered in time for the start of the 2021-22 season and the second batch expected in September.”

Each grant recipient will be required to have at least one person who has successfully completed the FA Education’s free online Sudden Cardiac Arrest course.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: “The traumatic incident we all witnessed when Christian Eriksen collapsed during Euro 2020 brings into sharp focus the need for defibrillators to be more widely available across the football community.

“The welfare of participants and all those involved in football is a priority and this fund will support many people using football facilities not just with the provision of devices but also the training required to use the equipment.

“Sadly, a sudden cardiac incident could happen anytime, anywhere, and we hope by enabling more facilities to have a device, it will make the difference in saving someone’s life.”

Fabrice Muamba was forced to retire after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch for Bolton in 2012 and welcomed the new initiative.

“I am a big supporter of the Premier League’s new initiative to fund defibrillators for thousands of grassroots football clubs,” he said.

“I know from personal experience the importance of having access to this type of medical equipment and how vital it is for someone’s survival after suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

“Educating people how to use defibrillators is crucial. I really hope the clubs and facilities will encourage as many coaches, players and staff to undertake the training provided and help create safe places to play the game we all love.”

Australian Clem Morfuni becomes owner of Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town Morfuni

Australian Clem Morfuni has become the majority stakeholder in League Two side Swindon Town FC, with an ambition of bringing in a new era to the club.

The Robins, who were relegated from League One last season and have just nine senior players contracted – including Australian Jordan Lyden – will be backed by Morfuni for the foreseeable future with the upcoming League Two campaign less than three weeks away.

Morfuni, a previous minority stakeholder in the side, founded his plumbing business Axis Services Group in Australia in 1994. It is now a globally operating business with a financial turnover of $200 million each year.

The acquisition has also signalled the end of a lengthy ownership battle for the League Two club who have fought recent financial hardships. Moreover, the club’s fans have rejoiced across social media at the sight of Morfuni’s long-awaited arrival.

In a club statement, Morfuni acknowledged the importance of having a ‘fans first’ philosophy on and off the field.

“I want to tell the fans that you’ve got your club back, a football club should be the heartbeat of the town and the local community and should be something that the whole town and surrounding communities takes great pride in,” he said.

“Without fans you don’t have a club and I want to thank every supporter (many who I have got to know personally) who have fought for their club and helped me to gain control. I know I am indebted to you and will work hard to make this club a club all our fans can be proud of.

“Last season we came last in the football league in terms of fan engagement; this season I aim to come first.”

Morfuni’s takeover of the club has ushered in a new contingent of executive and technical staff, with arrivals including Swindon Town Supporters Trust board member Rob Angus as club CEO and Ben Chorley and Ben Garner as the club’s Director of Football and Head Coach respectively.

In addition, Morfuni spoke on the significance of building a youthful side, something which bodes well for young Australians seeking a pathway into European football.

“I want a young, forward thinking, vibrant club. I want the average age of the team to come down, that doesn’t mean every player will be young because you need a balance, but I want a young side that plays an exciting style of football and create a club where top young players want to join because of the environment, the opportunities they will be given,” he said.

Morfuni’s full statement can be read here.

One2Pro: The former Premier League player who has developed a game-changing app in Australia

Currently residing in Western Australia, former Premier League footballer Aaron Tighe has recently launched the One2Pro app, providing footballers of all ages with an innovative skills-based program to challenge themselves.

Tighe had stints at Luton Town and Leicester City before his career ended through injury at the young age of 22, before eventually moving into coaching.

After coaching youth players in the UK, he moved to Australia and ultimately set up his own skills academy down under.

Tighe’s academy looked to improve the individual skills of players through a specialised program and after running it for around 20 years, he looked to technology to expand the program to a wider audience.

“About 4 years ago I was listening to an interview with Tony Robbins and he just mentioned if you are doing something really good and it’s offering some good support to people, think about how you can spread it to more people, to give more value,” Tighe told Soccerscene.

“That was when the idea came into my head to put the program, that I have been doing for 20 odd years, into a mobile phone app.”

The app provides users with 92 professional skills and techniques to master through 12 modules, with detailed video instructions provided.

What sets the app apart from others on the market however, is the specialised feedback you receive from professional coaches to help footballers improve their ability.

“The unique difference to the app is that you actually get to work with a physical coach,” Tighe said.

“On a lot of the apps out there, when you look at the reviews, they are very much – download the app, here’s the content, follow the instructions and off you go.

“I thought what would be different and unique would be for the user to watch the videos for the instructions of the skills, but then they upload their own video of them doing those skills and pass them on to an actual coach.

“The coach will then comment back, score your efforts through a medal system (bronze, silver and gold) and guide you through the program.

“It’s a very effective one-on-one coaching program.”

Creator of One2Pro Aaron Tighe.

Tighe, as a youngster, imagined developing his own skills with the close assistance from a professional player, and this became a major motivation in creating an app for the next generation.

“One of the reasons why I developed the app was I remember as a kid myself playing on the street with your mates and imagining a professional footballer or coach coming down to the local park or street to teach us some skills,” he said.

“I thought to myself It’s impossible to go physically everywhere, so the app would be the best thing.”

The One2Pro app has only been on the market since earlier this year, however, it has garnered a following from regions all across the world.

“We’ve had a lot of take up in the US, Australia, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Africa and even the Middle East,” Tighe said.

“It’s very exciting to see this thing hit different corners of the world and see players use it from all over the globe.”

Due to its popularity, Tighe has received constant feedback from users who continue to use the app to improve their skillsets.

“They’ve said It’s simple to use, they find the skills challenging and interesting to learn,” he said.

“A big one for me is they have improved their confidence. The players will turn around and say I got the feedback and it’s given me more confidence in my ability to master the skill.”

Although the app is relatively new, Tighe does have plans to expand it in the future and may look to use the established template for other sports.

“Ultimately what I’d love to do first is expand this out to schools and clubs where they can work with their own coaches if they want to,” he said.

“In the future I would also like to investigate whether I could use a similar formula for any sport or discipline, whether tennis or cricket.”

For more information and to download the One2Pro app, visit the company’s website here: https://www.one2pro.com

Football Coaches Australia and XVenture announce ‘Play it Forward’ support

XV FCA

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) welcomes all Australian advance licence and community football coaches to the FCA XVenture College and the Essential Skills ‘Play it Forward’ program.

In a world first opportunity for all Australian football coaches, FCA and XV are offering a program which connects directly with FCA and XVenture’s DNA. A global mentoring (or buddy system) program which will allow for Australian coaches to help a fellow coach from around the world to undertake their own FCA XV Essential Skills study as a result of their helping hand.

The program supports football coaches in Australia and other countries who will be able to influence their community immensely as a result of our help.

XVenture Founder and CEO Mike Conway:

“For every coach who undertakes this program with Football Coaches Australia, we will “Play It Forward” by providing a coach who can’t afford the program full access to this body of work too. Imagine – coaches around the World helping the next generation! Improving lives and growing the game. Surely that’s what it’s about? There are no barriers.”           

This program is also in line with the FCA mantra of “Promoting and strengthening the reputation of football in Australia and the reputation of Australian football on the world stage”.

Glenn Warry FCA CEO:

“During the ongoing impact of COVID on world sport we at FCA, along with our valued partner XVenture, are just so proud to present the ‘Play it Forward’ program.

In 2020 FCA worked hard to lead in connecting the coaching community via an extensive coach PD webinar program for community and accredited coaches.

“The FCA XV College Essential Skills ‘Play it Forward’ Program is an incredible opportunity for Australian coaches to enhance the continuing education of every coach’s journey around the world no matter what level they are working at or what their circumstances are”.

How will the FCA XV ‘Play it Forward’ program work?

For every FCA XV Essential Skills full program undertaken by an Australian football coach a complimentary program will be provided to a coach from around the world who can’t afford the program to allow you both to work through the completion of the program together.

Initially FCA and XV will offer this program to coaches nominated by their current football network partners:

  • Association of Indian Football Coaches
  • John Moriarty Foundation
  • RISE Football Academy

FCA is also engaging with the Nepal Football Association, other Asian Football Coach Associations and the Oceania Football Confederation regarding the provision of support for coaches who meet the criteria.

As the program grows FCA will be looking to expand their network to provide this unique opportunity to coaches from all around the world, by connecting with organisations such as ‘Coaches Across Continents’.

The series of FCA XV College modules are delivered completely online, in a revolutionary virtual world environment which aims to develop the ‘essential skills’ of coaching across 5 modules – Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Resilience, Culture and Communication Skills.

Phil Moss, President of FCA, introduces the course to participating coaches as they make their way through the virtual world of the FCA XV College foyer. View here.

XVenture Founder, Professor Mike Conway provides an Essential Skills Introduction which can be viewed here.

Find out how you can be part of this coaching revolution by visiting FCA XVenture’s College

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