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Ken Stead departs Macarthur FC following short tenure

Macarthur FC Football Director Ken Stead was made redundant on Wednesday, despite only being in the role since October.

Stead, who has a wealth of experience across the world with the Socceroos, Wellington Phoenix and the Scottish Football Association amongst others, is not the only major figure in Campbelltown to be on the outer in recent weeks.

Executive chairman Rabieh Krayem quit only a few days ago, whilst Lang Walker sold his large stake in the club only last week.

Macarthur are certainly having a tough time and they haven’t even gotten out on the park yet.

However, A-League boss Greg O’Rourke believes that there is no need to panic, yet.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, O’Rourke said that “everything’s fine” and that the departures should be expected following the departure of Lang Walker as a stakeholder.

The property development company is staying on with the club as a major sponsor, as part of a five year deal with the expansion club.

The departure of Stead is certainly going to turn some heads, with the Scot a well-respected figure in Australian soccer circles.

As mentioned, he has filled various roles over the years. But none more well-known than his tenure at the Brisbane Roar.

During a time when Brisbane were dominant in the A-League with former Socceroos and current Yokohama F.Marinos head coach Ange Postecoglou, Stead was one of Ange’s right hand men in that successful period.

He was officially hired in late October last year, before he officially started the role in December.

Former CEO Archie Fraser also left his role only four months in during last year. When combined with the departures of Lang Walker, Krayem and now Stead, things look alarming.

Despite what O’Rourke says, it’s hard not to feel as if something is afoot in Campbelltown. How often do so many important members of a club leave within such a short amount of time, let alone after only just starting in their roles?

The team hasn’t even had the chance to take to the field yet.

The last thing the A-League needs is for its second expansion club to get into off-field troubles. For all of what Western United have been able to achieve during their first season in the league, they are facing some difficulties.

The club has the fifth highest average age in the comp and is one of five teams to have an average age of 26 or over. A lot of reliance has been placed on their older players such as captain Alessandro Diamanti and former teammate at Bologna, Greek international Panagiotis Kone.

Their stadium is supposed to be up by 2021, yet development seems to have been left on pause ala a game of FIFA. Attendance is up there as the worst in the league and many would suggest it would be the very worst in the league, if theoretically, the club wasn’t based in Melbourne.

Currently, Western is second last behind the Central Coast Mariners on both average and total attendance for season 2019/2020. They also hold the record for the lowest attendance of the season.

Just under 3,000 people attended their round 19 loss to the Brisbane Roar. Granted, the game took place at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

But the point still remains. There is much left to be desired when it comes to Western United’s inaugural season in the A-League.

There is still plenty of time for Macarthur to get themselves ready to go for round one next season and one can hope both them and Western United will turn into strong A-League clubs in the coming years.

What are your thoughts on the departure of Ken Stead from Macarthur FC? Are you worried that there may be a lack of cohesion behind the scenes in western Sydney?

Or are you confident that the A-League and Macarthur are still on track and will be ready for the start of the 2020/2021 A-League season?

Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to view more articles like this as well as other pieces.

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

Football South Australia announce inaugural delivery of AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence

Veart

Football South Australia have announced an exciting opportunity for SA coaches to undertake an AFC/FA ‘A’ Licence in their own state for the first time ever.

The course is a fantastic opportunity for SA’s strong contingent of 90 B Licence holders to be able to elevate their expertise to the next level from the comfort of familiar surroundings.

The Football Australia ‘A’ Licence course is designed to support coaches working with senior players or older youth players in a professional or semi-professional environment where coaches will have three or four training sessions plus a match each week.

Part A will be at the new Summit Sports and Recreation Park in Mount Barker and VALO Football Centre, while Parts B and C will be held at the new State Centre for Football in Gepps Cross in 2022.

Football South Australia can also today announce that registrations are now open for a B Licence, which will take place in January 2021.

Football South Australia CEO Michael Carter was delighted to introduce the new courses for coaches looking to push on in their careers.

“Coach education is an extremely important function of Football South Australia and we are delighted to be hosting an A-License coaching course in Adelaide. For years local coaches have had to travel interstate for the A-License meaning the cost per participant increased,” he said.

“The timing of the course will see components hosted at the soon to be completed State Centre for Football. The headquarters will be an education hub for coaches, referees and players via our pathway programs.”

Coach Education Manager Alec Wilson expressed his excitement for South Australian coaches.

“I am very excited with the announcement of a first-ever A-Licence in SA. This has been a year in the making and something Football South Australia has been wanting to host for a number of years,” he said.

“The announcement is a reward for everyone’s hard work and determination and shows our dedication in providing the best coach education opportunities for the growth of the game.

“To have all three pinnacle courses (A, B and C Licences) at home in our own state is a landmark in coach development and I look forward to seeing our coaches thrive, and in turn, provide better coaching for our players.”

The Football Australia/AFC ‘A’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on October 29, 2021.

The Football Australia/AFC ‘B’ Licence can be accessed here. Applications close on December 10, 2021.

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