Queensland football legend Matt McKay appointed to FQ Board of Directors

Football Queensland has announced the recruitment of former Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay as an Appointed Director to the Football Queensland board.

A former Socceroo who was capped a total of 59 times for his country, McKay enjoyed a stellar playing career at both international and domestic level.

McKay’s time with the Roar saw him lead a historic Brisbane team to their first-ever A-League Premiership and Championship in 2011 under Ange Postecoglou.

Spells with Scottish giants Rangers, Korean side Busan IPark and Chinese side Changchun Yatai preceded a second Premiership and Championship double with the Roar in 2014. McKay is currently the Roar’s record appearances holder in the A-League.

McKay shone on the international stage with the Socceroos as he took on the likes of Spain at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and won the Asian Cup on home soil in 2015, having continued to thrive within the Postecoglou setup that he had come to know earlier in the decade.

McKay’s earliest footballing roots can be traced back to playing youth football with the QAS and AIS. From there, McKay went on to feature in the National Soccer League for current NPL Queensland side Brisbane Strikers before eventually excelling in the A-League.

“Matt is a proud Queenslander and brings extensive knowledge of the football landscape and the player pathway in our state, as well as his unique experience as a player on the national and international stage,” FQ Chairman Ben Richardson said.

“We’re delighted to welcome Matt to the FQ Board, and his appointment is timely as Football Queensland implements new league structures to connect competitions across the state as part of the Future of Football 2020+ reforms.

“The FQ Board is confident that Matt will play an instrumental role as we strengthen community clubs, player development and opportunities for aspirational clubs by connecting the football pyramid in Queensland, and we look forward to working with him.”

FIFA trialling Video Support challenge technology

Football Video Support (VS) has been introduced by FIFA as another means of technology to review decisions.

VS is a video review system by FIFA that is the answer to member associations that cannot implement the video-assistant-referee (VAR) system because their human and financial resources are limited and very few cameras are in use in their competitions.

There are cameras set up around the pitch, either human-operated or automated that are used by referees to make decisions after a coach reviews the play.

FIFA are currently trialling VS with a goal to explore new and existing technologies to positively impact the game, especially in order to help referees to make correct decisions, while ensuring that their potential use is cost-effective, beneficial and practical across the global football community.

How does VS work?

  1. Football Video Support (VS) is a video review system introduced by FIFA as a solution for member associations that are unable to implement the video assistant referee (VAR) system.
    a. Goal/no goal
    b. Penalty/no penalty
    c. Direct red cards (not second cautions)
    d. Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team)
  2. VS can be utilized only after the referee has made a decision (including waving play on as a decision) and a team has subsequently requested a review.
  3. Only the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official in the technical area) can request a review. This request must be made immediately after the incident by twirling their finger in the air and handing a review request card to the fourth official. However, each player has the right to ask their head coach to initiate a review request.
  4. The fourth official will inform the referee of the review request and, if play has stopped (and not restarted) since the incident, the referee will go to the referee review area (RRA) to review the replay footage. If play has continued since the incident, the referee will stop play when the ball is in a neutral zone and go to the RRA to review the replay footage.
  5. During the review, the referee will be assisted by a review operator, who will show replay footage on the monitor (e.g. different camera angles, split screen, different replay speeds, etc.).
  6. The original decision taken by the referee will not be changed unless the video replay footage shows clear evidence that the decision was a clear and obvious error or that there has been a serious missed incident. As the VS system involves a small number of cameras, the replay footage will often be inconclusive and thus the original decision may not be changed.
  7. The review request must be made immediately to:

– conform to the Laws of the Game requirement that a decision cannot be changed once play has restarted after a stoppage; and

– prevent unnecessary delays to the game while the team’s head coach (or, in their absence, the senior team official present in the technical area) considers whether to make a review request.

  1. After a goal is scored, the fourth official will review the footage on the monitor and inform the referee if a clear and obvious offense was committed by the attacking team. Unless the decision involves factual matters, the referee will then review the incident and make the final decision.

During the trial phase, it is expected that each team will be able to make two requests per match. If the review by the referee results in the original decision being changed, the team retains (does not lose) that review request.

The technology is not going to replace VAR, it is just going to be used as a cheaper alternative in leagues and associations that lack the current VAR technology to ensure fairness and accuracy across all levels of professional football.

FIFA state that there is no specific timeline, and no decision has been made on when the implementation will take place.

They are currently at the trial stage and after assessing the outcome of the trial will talk with the relevant stakeholders in order to decide on the next steps, including potential additional trials by FIFA and other governing bodies.

Football Queensland release 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy

Football Queensland has released its ambitious new 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy, focusing on achieving the wider Football Australia (FA) objective of 50/50 gender parity in participants, referees, committees, and club officials by 2027.

To maintain and enhance the 44% increase in women’s participation in the sport, Football Queensland has organised its program into 3 Strategic Pillars, presenting the certain initiatives they wish to undertake and key performance indicators (KPIs) they wish to achieve.

Pillar 1: Participation and Clubs

This Pillar is based on creating a culture of inclusivity and diversity in the sport for women to feel valued and empowered to play, coach, administer and referee football at every level.

Their plans include:

  • Conducting a deep analysis of club data to identify key clubs and areas for women’s participation and share their practices at a state level.
  • Expand certain initiatives and develop partnerships that will enhance all facets of the women’s game. Including the Girls United program and higher education girl-tailored scholarships.
  • Taking a stronger focus on women and girls refereeing with tailored training programs, recruitment campaigns and courses.
  • Developing their promotional strategy and pathways to better represent and retain girls’ and women’s participation.

The targets include:

62,000 women and girl players, 1,800 female referees and 5,700 Girls United participants by 2026. Also, they want 100% of Queensland club boards, committees and FQ members meeting the 40/40/20 gender representation by 2027.

Pillar 2: Advanced Pathways is split into two sections.

Section 1: Player development

To work with shareholders to maintain their high standards of providing adequate high-performance facilities and developing educational and technology-backed programs with access to further the careers of the most talented athletes.

Their plan includes:

  • To co-fund and enhance the FQ Academy QAS program with diversified Talent Identification (TID) and Long-Term Talent Development (LATD) goals and action plans. This includes upgrades to the Home of Football facility.
  • To enhance pathways with strengthened rural and statewide FQ academy clubs with more events, interstate competitions and Queensland A league teams. Especially with single age groups in academy leagues.

The targets include:

The FQ Academy QAS program remains the leading talent development academy with state-of-the-art facilities hosting extensive high-level interstate-wide competitions. With state-wide gold rate academies, an athlete management program, and clear career paths to professional leagues from NPL, A-League to the Matildas.

Pillar 2 Section 2: Coaching Development

Creating more opportunities including female-only courses for technical experts, analysts, academy directors, development, and high-performance coaches.

Developing female-only advanced courses such as a Coach Education Tutors workforce to train CETs for C and B Diplomas and the first Technical Director course with scholarships and clear pathways to permanent full-time coaching, analysts and support staff programs through diversifying roles in FQ and clubs and a digital platform for enhanced education accessibility.

Also, a recognition system to increase female technical staff numbers and increase storytelling awareness and representation of achievements in promotions.

The targets include:

9,400 female coaches with 25 Advanced Female Technical Directors with advanced scholarships and female coaches in full-time roles within the clubs, member federations, and 20% Queensland player and coach representation national team programs.

Pillar 3: Infrastructure

To break down the lack of facilities for the women’s game with Queensland Infrastructure Strategy by providing appropriate facilities for players to have the resources to play and represent the state at the very highest level.

This includes working closely with the Queensland Government to get infrastructure investment for the next 3 to help provide more unisex change rooms and female-friendly facilities. While upgrading fields, clubhouse and spectator seating across strategic spots over the state.

Key endeavours include a combined Home of Women’s Football and Women’s Centre of Excellence and securing a second Regional High-Performance Centre in Central Queensland.

The KPI is to attain the Queensland Government’s $60m infrastructure investment over the next three years and Queensland’s Home of Football as a high-performance facility.

This announcement of the Strategy plan presents a convincing and well-planned out mission by FQ to enhance the growing women’s and girls’ game in the state and be on track to delivering the Football Australia 50/50 equality strategy.

You can read the 2024-2026 Women & Girls Strategy in full here.

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