Phil Moss: Australian football coaches deserve better

Phil Moss

Former Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss claims football coaches in Australia deserve more respect and a higher level of support.

Speaking exclusively to Soccerscene, the former A-League coach claimed associations such as Football Coaches Australia (FCA), which he is currently president of, will improve the conditions and reputation of coaches in Australia.

“I think the main aim (of FCA) is to wrap coaches with a support mechanism, give them a collective voice and really drive towards a level of respect for coaches that we haven’t seen in this country,” he said.

“We’re always the easy option when things go wrong.

“There’s an old saying, when the team’s going well the players are great, but when the team’s losing it’s because the coach doesn’t know what he is doing.”

Moss had various coaching stints in his career at Dee Why FC, Northern Spirit youth (assistant), Manly United and the Olyroos (assistant) before moving to the Mariners in 2010.

He took over from Graham Arnold after being an assistant coach for the club in the three years prior, which included a championship winning season in 2012-2013.

Moss led the Mariners to a third placed finish in his first season as head coach in 2013-14.

However, he was eventually sacked near the end of his second season in charge after disagreements with the owner.

“We had a fantastic first season, we had a lot of success, we missed the grand final by one game,” Moss said.

“We also missed out on the second round of the ACL by a point and then we sold a lot of players. In the January transfer window of the following season, I think I lost six players in that period and that proved to be really tough.

“Things spiralled out a bit from there and the owner and I fell out. There was only going to be one winner in that situation.”

Moss believes a lack of appropriate professional support at the time of his removal, planted the seeds for his eventual involvement in FCA.

Central Coast ended up compensating Moss in the region of around $500,000 according to The Daily Telegraph, after his case for wrongful dismissal was settled before a court date. (Moss would go on to be an assistant coach at Sydney FC in 2017).

“I had my family, my closest friends, my mobile phone and a pretty good lawyer and that was it. That’s where FCA sort of morphed from.

“My mantra is to make sure no Australian coach is ever in the same situation I was in. Plenty of others before me were in (that situation) with no real support.”

Steps in the right direction have been taken to improve the employment conditions and general well-being of coaches through work driven by the association.

FCA recently released the findings of a study completed by the University of Queensland on these factors.

The report showcases data which highlights the need for contractual guidelines to be implemented, as well as standardising grievance and dispute resolution procedures, among other things.

FCA hopes to address these issues and move quickly into a process to fix them.

“We’re fighting for better conditions for coaches and probably a bit more uniformity,” claimed Moss.

“We are working hard on a well-being program for coaches, to support coaches in and out of jobs and in that transition into a job and out of a job. So, all those things are really important to us.”

The association was also in contact with the FFA and A-League clubs, before the start of this A-League season.

Greg O’Rourke and the FFA were kind enough to give us a slot during their agenda with the coaches.

“That was an opportunity for us to ask the coaches what their issues were, going into the season.

“We’re in the process of sharing that information with FFA and working through that, and not just with the FFA but obviously the new operating company of the independent A-league.”

The organisation has a seat at the table in the discussion for the introduction of a national second division, thanks to FFA Board member Remo Nogarotto.

Nogarotto is the current chair of the National Second Division Working Group.

Moss is thankful for FCA’s inclusion in the conversation, in what will provide elite Australian coaches with more job opportunities in the future.

“Full credit to Remo and his working group, for seeing it fit to include coaches.

“At the end of the day, coaches are responsible for the happiness and the satisfaction of four key stakeholders, the ownership and boards, the dressing room, the fans and the media.

“So, when you’ve got that sort of vested interest in the game, holistically, it seems really illogical not to have coaches part of the discussion and part of the decision-making process around the game.”

After being formally elected as president of FCA in July 2018, Moss was re-elected at an AGM in August of this year, in what was a proud moment for him.

Speaking about the privilege of leading FCA, Moss said: “It’s a massive honour. Probably aside from coaching in the A-League as a head coach, it’s right up there.”

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.

Successful applicants confirmed for Tier 2 assessment process

Football Queensland (FQ) has recently confirmed that several clubs located across the state have successfully applied to be involved in FQ’s 2nd Tier Club Development Assessment, that drives their committing to the evolution of technical improvement across regional football entity’s in Queensland.

Three regional clubs ranging from the Far North, Gulf and Northern Regions were part of being viable for the assessment process. The Southside Comets located in the Far North and Gulf region were joined by Northern region clubs Brothers Townsville, and MA Olympic. Metro entity’s Springfield United and Noosa Lions join the regional clubs in the Tier 2 assessment.

In addition two extra regional clubs including Riverway JCU and Edge Hill United, have been included in undertaking the Tier 2 Club Development Assessment on a conditional basis.

The sole purpose of the Tier 2 Assessment is for FQ to continue its ongoing support for clubs within their pyramid to receive opportunities which will establish them amongst the states best within the future. The assessment will support clubs in their efforts in upgrading technical and developmental capabilities.

Upon the FQ website, Football and State Technical Director Gabor Ganczer stated via press release:

“We are excited as more clubs, especially regional clubs, are entering Football Queensland’s FQ Academy club assessment process at the Tier 2 entry stage, highlighting FQ’s technical strategy in action as an increasing number of clubs across the state who are dedicated to elevating the standard of technical development of both players and coaches.”

With five regional clubs involved in the assessment, Ganczer disclosed FQ’s message surrounding its contribution to the growth of their regional clubs.

“This is a strong indicator of the increased state-wide progression opportunities available and the appetite of clubs to work with Football Queensland to advance the standard of football and coaching expertise across the entire state.

“The FQ Academy assessment process is designed to measure a club’s technical performance from a planning, delivery and outcomes perspective, while it strengthens its accountability, transparency, and visibility across all areas to foster high-quality development and facilitate accessible tier progression.”

The Club Development Assessment process was first initiated within FQ in 2020, serving as their primary system in the evolution of clubs within the state, designed to guide clubs towards growing on a technical basis.

The Club Development Process further supports coaches, players and club officials through licensed courses, webinars and information workshops, proving insight and clarity surrounding what the assessment entails.

Silverware manufacturer for Football Queensland reaffirms commitment

Football Queensland (FQ) has solidified its partnership with The Trophy Superstore, becoming its Official Trophies and Medal partner for two years.

The Australian company, with its headquarters located in Brisbane, will continue to provide FQ competitions, tournaments and major award events with silverware and medallions.

The superstore will ensure that their services are executed in a quality, timely, individualised and articulate fashion for the Queensland Football Community.

The partnership between both FQ and the silverware provider has occurred for several years. The Trophy Superstore offers the creation of trophies, medals, achievement plaques and engraving services to several different sporting codes across Australia.

“Football Queensland is proud to partner with Queensland owned companies like Trophy Superstore who are committed to producing top quality products with the upmost care,” Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci said via press release.  

“This partnership comes from a long-established and very positive working relationship developed with Trophy Superstore in recent years which has seen the company produce trophies and medals for our most prestigious awards including our FQ league titles, Football in Queensland Awards Night recipients and most recently the winners of the 2024 National Futsal Championships held on the Gold Coast. 

“We are looking forward to building on our existing relationship with Trophy Superstore as we recognise and celebrate the achievements of the Queensland football community. 

“Football Queensland is committed to maintaining and developing these vital commercial partnerships as they help to support the growth of the game and improve the football experience for our entire community.” 

Managing Director Ian Stuart is excited to deliver high-quality trophies, medals and awards to the Queensland football community to help recognise all those who contribute to the game.  

“Our relationship with Football Queensland spans many years and we are delighted to formalise a partnership which will continue to recognise the importance of Football, its members and supporters, at all levels within the community,” he added via media release.

“The Trophy Superstore is ready to assist the FQ community in recognising their clubs, members and communities for the 2024 season and beyond, by offering special FQ Club pricing on awards and medals.” 

With the consideration regarding the importance surrounding the visual appeal and quality of a trophy in the eyes of both its holders and fans alike, the partnership already established has pleased FQ officials. It’s important that a player feels satisfied when receiving a trophy, they are not exactly applauded for their quality, but are definitely exposed if they are not something deemed worthy by players and fans alike.

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