Three-way global alliance set to take Australian football coaches and analysts to a new level

A new global partnership designed to take Australian football coaches and analysts to a new level of excellence was jointly announced today. Global Institute of Sport (GIS), Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and cutting-edge experiential learning firm XVenture have joined forces to provide unique opportunities for Australian football coaches and analysts to improve and accelerate their careers both here and abroad. Central to this collaboration is that upon completion of the immersive virtual reality based FCA XV Essential Skills Program, motivated Australian coaches and analysts can now be considered for entry into GIS’ pioneering MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Master’s degree. The FCA XV Essential Skills Program is made up of five modules covering:

  • Emotional Intelligence;
  • Leadership;
  • Communication;
  • Culture; and
  • Resilience.

The program is delivered in a self-paced online-based virtual world campus, with over 100 subjects brought to life as videos, podcasts, articles, websites and interactive e-books.

The modules cover universal themes and seamlessly integrate classic and contemporary models and thinking with each subject coloured with examples and cases from football, other sports and business globally.

This course aligns well with the themes of the MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Master’s program, which is also delivered in GIS’ inspirational campuses in the UK and US, which have Wembley, Etihad and DRZ PNK stadiums at their heart.

Brand new from January 2023, Australian coaching students will be able to study with GIS online with immersive face-to-face residentials once per year in Melbourne, including at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. In addition, GIS, FCA and XVenture have pledged to provide mutual guest speaker, placement and study tour opportunities for coaches to learn from their combined network of global football industry leaders.

Previous GIS guest speakers have included Harry Kewell, Gareth Southgate, Steven Gerrard and Hope Powell.

Glenn Warry, CEO of Football Coaches Australia, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Global Institute of Sport to provide enhanced progression opportunities for Australian football coaches and analysts. Aligning and integrating Australian football coach education and tertiary education pathways for coaches and other sports professionals is an important part of our strategy to enhance best practice, networking and high-performance capabilities of current and future Australian coaches. The future opportunity of partnering with GIS and XVenture to presenting high-performance coaching programs at world-class stadiums is exciting for all.”

The author of the FCA XV Essential Skills Program, XVenture Founder and CEO, Mike Conway, stated: “Having the opportunity to partner with a global sports education provider who is committed to providing best-in-class learning opportunities is fantastic. My team and I are passionate about developing accelerated experiential learning programs and we’re looking forward to working with GIS academics and students.” Mike is currently also working as the emotional agility and mind coach for the Australian National Football team, the Birmingham Phoenix Women’s team and the Adelaide 36ers NBL team.

Sharona Friedman, GIS President, added: “The aim of this partnership is to create an environment that helps to provide better and increased opportunities for Australian coaches, not just domestically but also globally. On top of this, it will also facilitate enhanced learning and career opportunities for GIS students studying on campus in the UK and online across the globe.”

UEFA and FIFPRO Europe pledge to strengthen their collaboration

In Stuttgart, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin met with David Terrier, President of FIFPRO Europe, and members of the FIFPRO Europe board in an attempt to improve the working relationship between the two parties and professional footballers in Europe.

Key topics covered included football governance, player workload trends, and the growth of women’s football.

The two organisations had plans previously to mend the relationship and focus solely on employment matters affecting male and female players within the European football pyramid.

The meeting not only emphasised the growing relationship between UEFA and FIFPRO Europe, but it also highlighted greater player inclusion in decision-making processes, giving them more agency around matters that affect them.

This will be touched on by creating a new player-specific forum for important discussions with UEFA, complimenting the annual UEFA Convention on European football’s future.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin spoke on the meeting and the progress it will make on the sustainability of football in Europe.

“Since David Terrier’s election as President of FIFPRO Europe, we have covered significant ground in our collaborative efforts. We may not agree on every issue and work remains to be done, but our progress across a wide range of areas is evident,” he said in a statement.

“In recent months, we have successfully implemented measures to tackle issues affecting players in both men’s and women’s football while also improving governance structures. This ongoing dialogue is essential as we strive to address the evolving challenges in football.”

David Terrier, President of FIFPRO Europe expressed a similar sentiment about the importance of these healthy discussions with UEFA.

“Our collaboration with UEFA is going from strength to strength and I would like to thank Aleksander Čeferin in understanding the key issues facing players today,” Terrier explained in a statement.

“Our primary objective is to create a healthy and sustainable environment for all players in Europe, and we very much see UEFA as a key partner to build long-lasting solutions.

“We look forward to achieving more, tangible outcomes for the players we represent and, generally, for the betterment of professional football across the continent.”

The solidarity-based football pyramid in Europe also ensures that benefits and resources are distributed across all European leagues, players and clubs so they can properly tackle these issues at all levels.

It is a fantastic step forward in improving the quality of European football by listening to players on what they find most challenging in the professional game, and it will be interesting to see how the player forum affects decisions in the near future.

Brisbane Roar confirm multi-year apparel deal with Cikers Australia

Brisbane Roar confirmed a multi-year deal with Cikers Australia to become the club’s new Apparel Partner, leaving behind New Balance who first joined the Roar in 2021-22.

The deal, the most lucrative in Brisbane Roar’s history, will have the club in Cikers Australia kit and apparel for the next three seasons.

Cikers will produce a wider variety of custom playing, training, and casual wear for Roar players, staff, members, and supporters.

Cikers Australia is an apparel company that offers services to local clubs, schools, universities and organisations with their high quality teamwear manufactured to the very highest standards and competitively priced.

The company currently also partner with A-League Champions Central Coast Mariners and future National Second Division club Wollongong Wolves, offering them both club record multi-year deals.

It’s clear Cikers Australia is playing a big role in Australian football on the manufacturing side and will look to strike more deals in the future with CEO Victor Wang claiming it is in their best interest to build a name through the world game down under.

Zac Anderson, Brisbane Roar COO expressed his excitement on the possibilities of this new deal for the club’s kit designs in its 20th season.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Cikers Australia. This partnership marks a pivotal step towards taking more control over our Club’s merchandise and retail strategy.” Anderson said in a club statement.

“Our collaboration is focused upon delivering products that represent our Club’s great history and connection to Queensland.

“We are committed to excellence, and together with Cikers Australia, we aim to deliver apparel that our players and supporters are proud of.”

The club have promised special, revamped pieces of merchandise to celebrate the club’s 20th season competing in the A-League by representing the club’s origins in their kit designs.

In 2023, Cikers released a design for the Mariners in their Australia Cup campaign by paying homage to the original Mariners kit of the inaugural 2005/06 season A-League season, and it was met with praise from the fanbase so expect similar in this deal.

Both parties share the same values of growing the game and selecting designs that speak to the history of the club making this a brilliant deal for the Brisbane Roar who have recently struck many good business deals.

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