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.

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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