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Strong Federal Government support welcomed by Football Australia

Matildas v Germany

Football Australia have welcomed the Federal Government’s pledge to provide $12 million of support to elite women’s football in Australia over the next two years.

The Federal Government announced that it would be providing a grant to Football Australia in support of their High-Performance objectives for the Westfield Matildas, Young Matildas and Junior Matildas which will include:

  • The scheduling of eight additional Westfield Matildas international matches in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
  • Bolstering of crucial High-Performance resources providing additional support for the Westfield Matildas, Young Matildas, and Junior Matildas
  • International tours and domestic camps for existing national youth teams to support the pipeline of talent and competitive depth for the Westfield Matildas with a world class program for the Young and Junior Matildas

The funding ties into Football Australia’s Legacy ’23 plan by supporting Australia’s pipeline of talent and competitive depth with a world class program in the lead in to the home tournament (co-hosted with New Zealand). It will also allow for increased community engagement of Australia’s vast footballing family, including those from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson acknowledged and thanked the Federal Government for their support of Australia’s Women’s High-Performance Programs over the next two years.

“Last year we completed a Women’s Performance Gap Report, which offered an objective lens into the current landscape facing Australia’s most talented female footballers, benchmarking Australia against eleven other leading female football nations,” he said.

“This deep-dive helped to provide us with a strong understanding of where we sit globally, with the overwhelming takeaway that we must collectively do more to provide opportunities to elite, and prospectively elite, female footballers.

“We are thrilled that the Australian Government have listened to our research, and have opted to support the Matildas, women’s football, and football broadly as our senior team gears up to compete on home soil in 2023 – an event that will be the biggest on Australian shores since Sydney 2000.

“This funding will also provide the next generation of talent the opportunity to play and develop against the world’s best, ensuring that they can perform and act locally, nationally, and internationally as role models”.

Senior Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr welcomed the High-Performance Funding as well, acknowledging its timeliness at a crucial time in the women’s football cycle.

“I think it’s massive. The funding will help us to build the game and have a stronger national team to compete at major international tournaments such as the Olympics, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and FIFA Women’s World Cup,” she said.

“As we grow stronger, both at youth and senior level, Australians will be inspired to engage with football, get active, and gain a broader awareness of the truly global nature of our sport, which helps people to understand and respect different cultures.”

In addition to the High-Performance component, part of the Australian Government’s Funding announcement includes support for Football Australia’s Club Development Program.

“This funding will enable Football Australia, in partnership with its Member Federations and other stakeholders, to deliver enhanced services and engagement to football Clubs, participants, coaches, and administrators across the nation,” Johnson added.

“Through education and support, we will be able to help grassroots and community Clubs improve their capacities, which will boost the experience and environment our diverse, multicultural, and large football family feel when they engage with the game in a variety of formats.

“Overall, this announcement is a great launching pad for our Legacy ‘23 plan and we look forward to continuing to work with the Federal, State, and Territory Governments, as well as our nine Member Federations, to fully realise our Legacy ‘23 plan across participation, community facilities, leadership and development, as well as tourism and international engagement.

“There is so much to come, and a stronger partnership between Governments at all levels and football will unlock the true potential of our sport for everyone in our country, especially leading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”

Granville & District Soccer Football Association announce brand-new X-League

GDSFA

The Granville & District Soccer Football Association (GDSFA) have announced the creation of a new top tier local Men’s Seniors competition, named the X-League.

Kicking off in March of 2022, the GDSFA will be looking to play 22 rounds of football competition each and every Friday evenings across the Granville Association. In addition, there are a number of exciting initiatives that the organisers have thrown into the mix to assure that this will be one of the most appealing local Senior Men’s competition across NSW.

Such incentives include:

  • Livestream Broadcast & Commentary of ‘Match of the Round’
  • Local officials and talent officiating matches
  • 2 Leagues (X-League 1 and X-League 2)
  • 12 Teams in each league
  • Single Team format of up to 20 players per team
  • Promotion and Relegation
  • Prize Money for Premiers and Champions
  • Season Launch Party with special guest
  • End of Season Player & Team Awards Evening
  • Entry into Australia’s oldest knockout competition “The Cottam Cup”
  • NPL Opportunities
  • ‘Match of the Round’ played at the legendary Melita Stadium home of the Parramatta Eagles FC

Granville & District Soccer FA’s General Manager Scott Sadler was looking forward to the new challenge of this concept, that was struck up with a few local and passionate Club administrators wanting to promote, collaborate and deliver new ways of getting more people interested with the world game.

“Back in May, myself and Joe Bacha (Rydalmere FC’s First Grade Coach) met at a café to catch up and chew the fat over the state of play of GDSFA football,” Sadler said.

“As many will know it’s not been an easy ride for them over the last few years, and Joe wanted to bring some of his observations and ideas on how we could improve our Men’s Premier League given we had gone from having 10 teams in the 2020 season and reduced to six in the 2021 season.

“Rydalmere FC have shown great character in rebuilding their club culture and in turn they have seen the fruits of their labour with a fantastic facility being constructed. We started to get some ideas down on paper and the ball was rolling, but Covid lockdown reared its ugly head for round 2 and so we got stuck into battening down the hatches.

“A working group was eventually formed, and the brainstorming sessions commenced every Wednesday, and are still ongoing looking at how we could make the Men’s Premiership Competition more viable and inclusive for all clubs to get involved.

“It has been great to watch the clubs coming together and collaborating on ideas, and between them they have come up with the concept of the X-League.”

Even though the league will be open to Men’s for the 2022 season, the Association has stated that plans are underway to offer this league concept towards the Women and Youth clubs in the football mad area.

“We are definitely looking at expanding in both the Women’s and Youth sectors once we get the Men’s off the ground in 2022 as that has always been our intention,” they said.

“GDSFA is the OG of football within Australia, we may not have done everything right along the way, but we have helped to shape football in some way shape or form.

“With the X-League, we are wanting to offer grassroots football a high standard of football for a very competitive membership fee, giving value for money for each player involved.”

Football Queensland team up with Queensland University of Technology to deliver programs for players and coaches

Football Queensland have announced a partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), to deliver various coaching courses and social football programs for students.

FQ Women and Girls Participation Officer, Kate Lawson, stated that students completing their studies at QUT can register to undertake a free MiniRoos coaching course on Wednesday, 20 October at QUT Stadium.

“This MiniRoos coaching course is aimed at any QUT students – including international students – who want to begin their coach education journey,” she said.

“There are opportunities opening up for qualified coaches to work with Football Queensland to deliver programs for women and girls, multicultural communities and in schools.

“We know that Queensland universities are home to thousands of football enthusiasts, and we are keen to work with educational institutions across the state to support students and grow the game.

“Beginning next Wednesday, 27 October, students will be able to participate in an eight-week Connecting Through Sport Mixed Multicultural Social Football program.

“I encourage all students to come along and get involved in the MiniRoos coaching course or the social football program.”

Football Queensland’s partnership with the university has come off the back of an informal social football program that has been running at the college since August of last year.

QUT Sport Project Coordinator Michael Jordan said of the partnership: “QUT Sport is delighted to be partnering with Football Queensland to offer a range of social and coaching opportunities for QUT students.

“We are excited about the upcoming coaching course and the Connecting Through Sports program to encourage students to be active, meet new people and learn some new football skills.”

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