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Nick Galatas: National Second Division now a ‘must have’ after 60 NPL clubs meet

Representatives from NPL clubs around Australia attended a Zoom meeting on August 25 to discuss the next steps required to formally establish a national second division (NSD).

At the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) meeting, club representatives expressed a strong interest in progressing to the next steps of implementation, including forming a NSD Partner Group to provide recommendations to Football Federation Australia (FFA).

“The meeting went extremely well, we are gratified to have had 63 clubs from around Australia attend,” said Nick Galatas, AAFC Chairman.

“I think everyone agrees that NSD is no longer in the realm of ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’ as an important means of improving the quality and level of football, but also our credentials and viability as a football nation.”

The NSD Partner Group will consist of at least 25 clubs that have a strong interest in participating in the proposed division. The group will aim to finalise detailed design, modelling, and criteria development which will form the basis of consultation with football’s stakeholder groups and submission to the FFA Board.

“This isn’t about the AAFC going off and forming the division by ourselves, but as we anticipate the division will comprise mainly of member clubs, we are working to assist the FFA by providing insight and recommendations,” Galatas said.

Galatas added that club representatives have been encouraged by recent statements from FFA CEO James Johnson and other board members.

“James has stated since day one that he is a strong supporter of forming a NSD, so we have no concern regarding the FFA’s willingness.”

Although the football community is optimistic and much work has already been done, uncertainty caused by COVID-19 could provide an obstacle moving forward.

“The coronavirus pandemic has been a significant factor in changing the environment of sport generally, but particularly community and professional football,” Galatas said.

“We also now have a Board and senior management group at FFA who more football-savvy are and want to see a NSD succeed. That’s in sharp contrast to the immediate view when we launched our initial discussion paper almost three years ago.”

The clubs heard that a number of matters are still to be finalised with FFA in accordance with its XI Principles document, as well as other stakeholders, including:

  • The merits of a national vs conference-based league
  • How promotion and relegation will be implemented from tiers below a NSD
  • The viability of a NSD for women – a measure supported by AAFC
  • How clubs will be selected into the initial season of the NSD
  • Summer vs winter season (alignment with the A-League), and
  • The appropriate governance and administration of the league.

“A NSD gives all clubs that are interested in it something to aspire to,” Galatas said.

“It will help smaller clubs that are not interested in a NSD taking part in a competition that is more relevant to them at state level. It will help galvanise football fans around the country. It will expand our national footprint. It helps the code put more pressure on all levels of government for funding support. And it gives a potential ‘FFA TV’ – as advocated by The Golden Generation – more quality content that connects all levels of the game.”

​Galatas stated that the final report to the FFA Board will be submitted before November 2020, with a view to implementation of the NSD by 2022.

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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