Vale Rale Rasic: A Socceroos pioneer

Rale Rasic

Soccerscene is saddened by the passing of Rale Rasic.

Aged 87, he is regarded as a much-loved figure of Australian football, while he is also a Football Australia Hall of Fame member.

Originally from Bosnia, Rasic arrived in Australia in 1962 and and joined up with Footscray JUST, securing the State League championship and Dockerty Cup as a taste for what was to come.

From 1969 his coaching career took off, highlighted by a Victorian State League championship and a national Under-16 title. In August 1970, he was appointed as the national coach of the Socceroos, where theey achieved a 12-match unbeaten streak during their 1972 world tour, remaining undefeated during their tour of Asia.

Rasic was the catalyst behind Australia’s first-ever appearance in the FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany. This achievement saw him named the inaugural National Soccer League Coach of the Year with Marconi Fairfield in 1977 and got the same honour again in 1987 with Apia Leichhardt. Additionally, Rasic won the national league championship and the NSL Cup, proving that he was one of Australian football’s most influential figures.

His efforts were then rewarded once more – in 2001, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and the Centenary Medal for his exceptional “services to soccer.” In 2004, Rasic was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his outstanding contributions to soccer as a player, coach, and administrator.

Rasic was a popular member of the football community, often sharing stories from what was a half-century involvement in the game and we are all grateful for his contributions.

Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou expressed his heartfelt condolences on behalf of Football Australia and the entire Australian football community.

“Today, we mourn the passing of a giant of Australian football in Rale Rasic,” said Nikou. “His dedication to representing Australia and his remarkable achievements as a player, coach, and administrator will forever be etched in our nation’s football history. Rale’s influence extended beyond the game, shaping the careers of numerous players, and leaving an indelible mark on the sport he loved,” he said via press release.

Current Socceroos’ head coach Graham Arnold expressed his devastation of the news.

“Rale changed the game in Australia in 1974, qualifying Australia for the first World Cup ever,” Arnold said.

“The amount of passion and love that Rale had for football has never drifted too far away from myself and he has been a great inspiration for me over the years.

“He was such a great man, he loved a chat, and loved a story, and he always kept those stories going and that motivated a lot of people in life.

“I never had the privilege of playing underneath him, but I have no doubt there are a lot of guys that played under him that would be devastated today to hear this news,” concluded Arnold.

Soccerscene wishes to extend its condolences to family members and close connections of Rale.

In memory of Rale Rasic, the Socceroos will wear black armbands during their upcoming match against Argentina in Beijing, China.

Staff Writer
Soccerscene is committed to promoting, enhancing and growing the soccer industry in Australia. We believe soccer news has captured the attention of grassroots soccer clubs, apparel and equipment suppliers – which extends to governing bodies, club administrators and industry decision makers. Many of the auxiliary products and services support the growth of the soccer industry in Australia and Asia, a passion we also share and want to express through our work.

$500,000 dedicated to the improvement of safety across NSW

A list of successful applicants across Football New South Wales are now entitled to a grant courtesy of $500,000 to Local Sport Defibrillator Grant (LSDG).

The sole purpose of LSDG is to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to sports clubs across the state in order to combat the growing correlation between sport participation and cardiac arrests incurred by participants.

These devices have the potential to save participants lives within these crucial emergency situations.

Situations in where time is of the essence, the use of a defibrillator can be the difference in saving someone’s life.

Although the situation of a cardiac arrest occurring to be highly unlikely, due to the increased frequency of the medical episode taking place primarily within sport.

The safety of a broader community requires an approach in which it can allow for an equalizer within these tremulous situations.

Impact on Football Across NSW

14 clubs across the state of NSW where listed upon the successful applications, entitling those clubs to receive 3 defibrillators each.

Southern District Soccer Football Association have had quite the substantial contribution targeted towards their region.

4 out of the possible 14 AEDs were provided to a region where football has experienced expansion in growth and participation.

Heartbeat of Football

Heartbeat of Football (HOF) have worked in conjunction with Football NSW, acting as their primary community heart partner since 2022.

Boasting the motto “No one should die playing the sport they love,” HOF are dedicated within the company’s objective of having zero related hearth deaths on a sporting ground.

The efforts of HOF are in unison with the LSDG.

Football NSW Manager Government Relations, Funding, and Infrastructure, Daniel Ristic, said via press release.

“The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant has been a fantastic grant initiate allowing football clubs across NSW to equip themselves with life saving devices that are making a difference at the community level.”

The LSDG grant will continue to provide the required needs necessary in which can ultimately be lifesaving to a new branch of football entities across NSW.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

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