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The Football Coaching Life Podcast recap with Vicki Linton

Gary Cole Podcast

On Season 2 Episode 2 of The Football Coaching Life, Gary Cole interviews Canberra United head coach Vicki Linton.

It details her playing career where she featured in both Australia and the United States, before heading into coaching early. She was assistant coach to the Matildas during a World Cup, and the first coach to make the finals with Melbourne Victory.

She details her start in football at six-years-old, being the only girl in the entire junior club. After playing for the state leagues in Australia, she played for her country at the World University Games before moving to America to play college football. After this, she has played and worked four different times in the United States. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t playing,” Linton says.

She explains it was in Australia where she first got into coaching, completing a level 2 coaching course in 1997. She started coaching through the state league pathways for juniors, while also working for New South Wales Football.

Linton highlights the differences in the roles of being an assistant coach compared to a head coach. Linton gave 7 players their W-League debut during the most recent season. “I haven’t had a team to coach myself since 2014,” she says. She felt like she was a much better coach than the last time she was in charge.

Linton says it’s important to build upon and implement ideas that you’ve work. “There is reflection during the season, but at the end, you get the time to look back at all the things that have worked out how you wanted and the things you have achieved,” she added.

One of the things Linton has learned during her time in US soccer, after being exposed to different environments, was the ability to improve processes and thinking. She was exposed to a talented group of colleagues who have helped her improve her analysis and professional development.

Linton says her coaching philosophy is working with the players, and having them achieve their potential, grow and develop, adding you can be pragmatic and stick to your values while achieving your goals in different ways.

“We want to be successful, but we also want to solve the problem of how do you these eleven or twenty players fit together,” she said. Linton explains that is where part of her enjoyment in football comes from. With a brand new group of players, and a new coach, it took time to figure out how it all fits together.

Linton highlights the importance of mentors and learning from different environments, even outside football. Coaching has been a hard journey, but she says it is a vocation, and there is nothing else she wants to be doing.

Cole commends her ability to get the best out of Michelle Hayman as a striker after some time away from the game. Linton elaborates that it was great to see her enjoy her football and perform on the field. “As a coach, is creating a positive learning environment,” she noted. She has learned to try to find an enjoyable workplace with people around her.

Cole mentions that Canberra United’s technical department is all women, and Linton confirms that this is the first time in W-League history where a team has achieved this.

Finally, Cole asks Linton to offer one piece of advice to upcoming coaches. “Be true to yourself, that involves knowing what you are about, knowing who you are, and being confident and strong in your convictions,” Linton concluded.

All episodes of the Football Coaching Life can be found here.

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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