Stuart Hodge addresses future for Football NSW

Stuart Hodge

Football NSW Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hodge has addressed key topics on the association’s radar in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the CDSFA Community Football Podcast, Hodge is keen for the league to restart as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“I certainly think the government have to take in a lot of factors as we’ve seen with the pandemic – anything can change one day to the next,” he said.

“It was a positive step forward that they’ve got the national principles and the government and NSW will now review those and look at guidelines.

“They’ll have to balance that up with other information that they have and state-specific information here in NSW.

“We’re hopeful given that from some of the surveys which we’ve seen that most people are keen to get out and play again.

“The physical, mental and social benefits are well documented, but we have to make sure we do it under the right conditions and that is when the government says it’s okay.”

The flow on effect of the competition’s postponement will be how clubs juggle summer sports with councils if they clash later down the line, something Hodge is aware of.

“It’s a challenge for all of them and we’re in discussions with some summer sports to try and get some principles in place that if we get football resumed, we’ll have some additional time beyond what we normally get,” he said.

“From some associations, the feedback is from councils have been very sympathetic.

“We’ve collectively lost a couple months of the season already so the opportunity to play a little bit later into the year would be welcomed.

“We’re also conscious that we want to try and keep things on track for next year when hopefully we return on time.

“It’s a balance because we appreciate that there’s also participants that are involved in multiple sports so we’re wanting to help them out and not over-burden them.

“Councils also need to turn fields around although I noticed some of them looking magnificent at the moment.

“We’ve had some very big discussions and hopefully it’s just a fair and reasonable approach which is all we’re asking for.”

One of the main issues across all sports due to postponements has been the topic of refunds, with games in professional sport being played behind closed doors.

While there’s still the unknown about when fans can return to grounds in 2020 and beyond, Hodge has clarified how Football NSW will look to navigate through this tricky time.

“I think in the interim if people are facing financial hardship then of course they should be in touch with their club to get a refund,” Hodge said.

“If the season gets underway then we’ll have to redo our modelling and look at what the fee structures are.

“I hope we do get back on the field and we can go down that path – if the season doesn’t get played then everyone will have to sit and remodel what the costs are and things like that.”

Since this podcast was published on 5th May, Football NSW have moved a step closer to resuming training at the very least with the NSW Government confirming an easing of restrictions – taking affect from Friday 15th May including:

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
  • up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • weddings up to 10 guests
  • indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshipers
  • use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • outdoor pools open with restrictions.

In a recent press release, it’s mentioned the Office of Sport is working closely with government agencies about how sporting organisations can safely return to action.

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

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania partake in productive divisional assembly in Singapore

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania engaged in positive talks at the divisional assembly in Singapore for new ambitious strategies for Asian football.

The assembly involved a dialogue between interested sponsors and shareholders with the representatives of 10 Asian FIFAPRO member, candidate, and observer unions.

On the first day, the assembly discussed the central piece of future movements with the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania 2023-2026 strategic framework which allows for streamlining of the collective unions’ player-centred practices and plans.

This included each of the unions presenting effective strategies with the assembly and open discussion on how to improve past strategies that have struggled to enhance the player’s experience and the sports industry.

The second day placed certain player representatives and association shareholders in conversation over a more collaborative focus on the structure of Asian football going into the 2025-26 season.

Importantly, data from the FIFAPRO initiative ‘The Asian Champions League Report’ and other competitions including the AFC Asian Cup, AFC Women’s Club Championship and Olympic Qualifiers were used as first-hand evidence of ways in which more player-based management of football will be beneficial in the new strategies.

The growth of the ever-important tech industry in the sport was evident at the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Player IQ Tech Summit.

Especially the potential for player data capturing in the industry, this summit highlighted how the profitable sector can work well with improving unions’ data research to influence policy and can further elevate their voice within the confederation.

For football, a stronger dialogue between the player’s unions and their respective Asian football institutions and investors will be able to create a more concise strategy for the future p where shareholders can engage in more business advancement while still allowing the players to have an important say in the way in which the game is going.

As Asia itself is such a strong region in the growth of entrepreneurs and business, it is only obvious that connecting this industry with the tradition of player power will be a massive opportunity.

This assemblies focus was accurately outlined by the FIFPRO Asia/Oceania chairperson Takuya Yamazaki.

“Our collective challenge is to design an industry that aligns the collective interests of all stakeholders, rather than continuing with the current hierarchical model which largely defines global football,” he said via media release.

“As football in the region continues to evolve, the division’s role, and the players’ voice, will only become more important, and that’s where our strategic framework provides a clear vision for our current and future work.”

These assemblies reiterate how strong professional leagues where strategies are impacted by players and their unions are profitable and beneficial for the association’s shareholders.

Football Coaches Australia presents: The Modern Requirements of Midfield players

Football Coaches Australia (FCA), together with renowned UEFA Pro Licence Coach Martin Hunter, will host the online event: The Modern Requirements of Midfield players (Technically/Tactically/Physically/Mentally).

Held from 7:30pm AEST on Monday, May 20, the online event will focus on the essential skills and qualities needed for a midfielder to succeed in today’s game.

Split into four key elements that make up midfield play, attendees will learn about the technical skills needed to excel on the field, the tactical awareness required to control the game, the physical attributes necessary to dominate the midfield, and the mental toughness needed to thrive under pressure.

Martin is one of the best coach educators in the game, with his internationally acknowledged coaching and football management expertise that has helped to develop players, coaches and managers.

He is also vastly experienced at professional club and national governing body levels as Director of Coaching and National Coach – which has seen him develop coaching and scouting systems used in national and international models of excellence.

Martin has worked at Southampton FC in a variety of roles that included Technical Director, as well as Watford FC, Norwich FC and Stoke City as First Team Coach. He was involved in the English FA as a Coaching Mentor and a Regional Coach and has consulted widely throughout Europe.

This online session will contribute 1 hour of FA approved CPD and is free for FCA members.

This is an opportunity not to be missed to dominate the middle of the park.

You can register via the link here: https://ow.ly/zWxn50RCY0l

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