Paddy Steinfort appointed as Performance Director of Football Australia

Paddy Steinfort is a highly credentialed and experienced addition as the new Performance Director at Football Australia.

Football Australia has announced Paddy Steinfort as the new Performance Director.

Steinfort is set to take up his role from July 1, 2021 and will arrive as a highly credentialed and experienced addition from Major League Baseball team Boston Red Sox, where he most recently held the position of Senior Performance Coach.

His impressive career features several sporting organisations and high-performance environments in Australia and the United States, with his previous roles including Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Eagles and Adelaide Football Club.

He was also the Managing Director of Leading Teams New Zealand, where he played a vital role developing high performance cultures, teams and leaders across a number of sports around the globe, delivering innovative and tailored programs to organisations in leadership and high performance development.

At Football Australia, Steinfort will oversee the High Performance of all national teams, including the Socceroos and Matildas.  His appointment highlights Football Australia’s strategic shift from a more administratively focused role to one dedicated towards working with the organisation’s highly experienced and skilled national team staff to enhance the high-performance environments around the national teams.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson identified Steinfort as a perfect fit for the strategic direction the organisation is heading in.

“Following an extensive recruitment process, Paddy was the stand-out from a highly competitive and global set of candidates. He brings an outstanding set of skills, cutting-edge global experience and high-performance knowledge and acumen to Football Australia,” Johnson said.

“Our national teams face some very unique challenges – players are located across the globe, they only gather a handful of times during the FIFA windows, qualification for major tournaments in Asia requires significant travel, and our players compete in some of the most demanding leagues and play for some of the most high profile sporting organisations in the world.

“We believe that Paddy is the ideal person to help us meet the challenges of modern-day international football and at the same time develop and implement innovative performance strategies for our teams and players.  He will work in close partnership with our very experienced coaches to play a vital role in enhancing a culture of high-performance for our teams to perform at their optimum as we enter into a crucial period for our national teams.”

Head of Technical Direction, Pathways and Coach Education, Trevor Morgan applauded the appointment – who sat alongside James Johnson and Board member Amy Duggan on the recruitment panel.

“We are genuinely excited about the appointment of Paddy. He is an excellent communicator who understands the needs of elite athletes through experience he has developed across a range of professional sports at the highest level,” Morgan said.

“His appointment is well timed for our organisation and the strategic direction we are taking with our high performance and national teams.

“Paddy’s expertise and diverse skillset will help us evolve our practices with the cutting edge initiatives to improve performance on the global stage as we embark on a busy schedule of national team activity going forward.”

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

German football ends 70 years with Adidas for Nike deal

The German Football Association (DFB) has inked a mega eight-year deal with American sportswear giant Nike and move on from incredible 70-year partnership with Adidas.

The deal commences in 2027 after the next World Cup and runs to the end of 2034 with the company securing kit rights for at least two World Cup campaigns.

Nike were able to blow away Adidas’ offer and the deal was one they simply couldn’t refuse. It is reportedly worth AU$169.3 million a year, exactly double the amount Adidas currently gives the DFB which is $84.6 million.

Adidas has been a DFB partner since the 1950s and has been synonymous with the success of Germany’s men’s and women’s national teams, who have supported the company’s logo during 14 World Cup and European Championship triumphs.

This deal has caused huge public backlash from German fans and politicians who believe it goes against the traditions and history of the sport.

However, the DFB has defended its decision to drop Adidas as Nike made the better financial offer which would help the federation fund the future of German football as it would be invested into the grassroots game.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf explained the controversial decision and gives his well wishes to Adidas.

“We understand every emotion. It’s also a drastic event for us as an association when it becomes clear that a partnership that was and is characterised by many special moments is coming to an end after more than 70 years. That doesn’t leave us cold,” Neuendorf said in a statement.

“The DFB has to make economic decisions against this background. Nike made by far the best financial offer in the transparent and non-discriminatory tender process.

“The federation will do everything we can to achieve shared success with our long-standing and current partner Adidas, to whom German soccer has owed a lot for more than seven decades.”

It is a huge loss for Adidas’ legacy, losing a long term relationship with the country’s biggest sporting team to its main rival and ultimately showcasing the bargaining power Nike has over the company.

However, the company still has a huge standing in football despite this issue and won’t be too affected by it. At the international level, Adidas has deals with higher-ranked Argentina and Italy and will still supply Germany’s kits at the 2026 World Cup – a tournament which it will also sponsor.

This new deal allows more money to tackle issues in the grassroots game in Germany and help stabilise the system as it looks towards returning to long-term international success.

Football Victoria celebrates establishment between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC

A striking partnership has been established between Sydenham Park SC and Calder United SC, with the Western United affiliated club to play 11 home fixtures at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Club Changer Club Development Program, an incentive created in 2023 to assist clubs fostering and strengthening inclusive environments for multiple diverse communities within society to participate in football, supports the growth of women’s football, among many other ranges of football within the country.

Last year, all federation members dedicated a strong focus upon women and young females in football as a main element of their Legacy 23 campaign. This enables club development officers across the state to work in conjunction with clubs in order to foster a positive football experience within female football, both on and off the field.

In this facility sharing partnership, Sydenham Park SC vice-president Davis Lisolajski showcased his clubs enthusiasm.

“When we learned that they were without a home venue, it was an obvious choice for us to reach out and assist,” he said via press release.

“Women’s football holds significant importance for us at Sydenham, and we believe this partnership will benefit our young girls and both senior women’s teams. They will witness professionalism first-hand during match days.”

Calder United SC President Amanda Stella expressed excitement towards developing a sustained and effective partnership to spearhead National Premier League Women’s football to Sydenham Park in 2024.

“The support from Sydenham Park President Nick and Vice President David, along with the broader Sydenham Park community, is greatly appreciated, and we eagerly anticipate playing our senior and 20s home games for the 2024 season at Sydenham Park,” she added via media release.

“A special acknowledgment to Football Victoria’s Josephine La Pila for her work with both clubs to achieve an outcome that promotes collaboration among football clubs for the betterment of our beloved sport.”

Football Victoria have endorsed the partnership between these two growing clubs within female football across the state.

With Calder United establishing themselves as a competitive club amongst the NPLW competition, the partnership allowing the club between the Western United sister club and Sydenham puts a focus upon both sides allowing their playing and coaching staff to use one of the best pitch surfaces within the north-western district of Melbourne. The use of these highly elite facilities will allow them to have an advantage, perhaps being the difference in furthering themselves away from their competitors.

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