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W-League awards to be held this week

Football Federation Australia (FFA) have confirmed a special W-League edition of the Dolan Warren Awards will take place this Thursday, July 23.

The awards will be held virtually via the W-League website and the competition’s official Facebook page.

Hosted by Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton, the event will begin from 12pm with the Julie Dolan Medal winner to be announced by 7pm.

FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, was excited to celebrate the best of the past W-League season.

“During these challenging times, unfortunately it is has not been possible for us to gather for the traditional Dolan Warren Awards Gala event, but we will hero the magic of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 via an innovative virtual show,” said O’Rourke.

“There were plenty of amazing performances during the past Westfield W-League season and I hope the fans will be able to get behind this special Westfield W-League edition of the Dolan Warren Awards.

“With the standard of football that we witnessed this season being so high, I am sure the award winners we announce on Thursday will be of the highest calibre,” concluded O’Rourke.

The schedule for the event and the awards that are being handed out are listed below.

Dolan Warren Awards 2020 – Westfield W-League edition

12:00pm – Welcome and Westfield W-League 2019/20 Fair Play Award

1:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Referee of the Year Award

2:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Golden Boot

3:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Goal of the Year

4:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Goal Keeper of the Year

5:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Coach of the Year

6:00pm – Westfield W-League 2019/20 Young Footballer of the Year

7:00pm – The Julie Dolan Medal (Best player throughout the W-League season)

(Times are AEST)

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football Queensland launches new futsal competition

Football Queensland is welcoming expressions of interest from futsal clubs across the sunshine state, for the launch of a new competition for the small-sided game, titled the F-League.

The league will be run for both men and women in a conference style, with kick off set for March of this year.

“In the 2020-2022 Futsal Strategy, Football Queensland outlined its plan to launch the F-League as part of our clear vision for futsal in Queensland,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“This new competition connects and integrates our futsal and football clubs while serving as the highest level of competitive futsal in Queensland.

“It opens up new opportunities for affiliated football clubs who meet certain criteria, to improve their club offering, increase their membership and get more kids playing futsal by establishing a futsal program with futsal-focused players.

“With Northern, Central and SEQ competition conferences planned, FQ is committed to unlocking the opportunity futsal presents to deliver participation growth throughout the state.”

The F-League is set to replace the SEQ Futsal Premier League for men and women, running throughout the year in an annual two-season structure.

“This is an important step in the development of futsal in Queensland,” FQ Futsal Participation Officer Trevor Edwards said.

“The F-League enables futsal to flourish all year long as we build a stronger and more sustainable competition framework.”

Football Queensland advises clubs who are interested to complete the online EOI form here by this Friday.

Western United partner with City of Greater Geelong

Western United has announced they have signed a partnership with the City of Greater Geelong to promote A-League football in the city, as well as bringing tourism to the region.

“We are extremely excited to partner with the City Of Greater Geelong to grow the game of football in the region,” said WUFC Director of Football Steve Horvat.

“Geelong will go down in history as the place where Western United played its first-ever home game and we want to continue to have an ongoing relationship.

“We have created a real home ground feel at GMHBA and this partnership will continue to develop that for both the players and fans.

“Even though we will have a home stadium up the highway in the Western suburbs, Geelong will always play an important part of our identity and as a key talent catchment area.

“There are thousands of registered players in Greater Geelong, and by having an elite A-League and eventually a W-League team in the region, it will continue the sports growth and create a pathway for girls and boys to follow their dreams,” concluded Horvat.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said Western United had quickly become a significant part of the local sporting landscape.

“Western United is our home A-League team and they’ve done a great job engaging with the local community during their short history so far,” she said.

“Every Western United game in Geelong attracts visitors to our city and brings national TV exposure, while helping to build local participation in the sport of football.

“This partnership cements the club’s relationship with the city and will bring benefits for the club and our local economy.”

The club opened their season at GMHBA Stadium against Adelaide United, with the match finishing 0-0.

They will face Perth Glory tomorrow in Geelong.

Football Victoria announce a new era for futsal in the state

Football Victoria have announced they are stepping up their efforts and investment in resources to govern and unite the futsal community in Victoria.

The state federation will lay the foundations for an aligned framework for the small-sided game in the coming months, with existing futsal competition providers and clubs uniting with FV to deliver a new era of positive experiences for players, coaches and referees in Victoria.

FV President Kimon Taliadoros believes the time is right to unite the futsal fraternity and claims the governing body does have an important role in taking the lead.

“Historically, football’s governing bodies have lacked certainty over what role they should play in Futsal and what leadership they should provide. But after extensive consultation with the game’s stakeholders and a deeper understanding of best practice principles, it is clear that the sport must be aligned,” he said.

“As such, the time has now come for FV, as the state’s governing body for Football, to not only embrace Futsal but to lead it, govern it and unite it.

“We understand that there has been not only great division but also great confusion, going back many years. The only way forward from here is to establish a framework that brings everyone together and provides greater clarity to Futsal centres, facility operators, councils, clubs, referees, coaches and players.

“We are excited about the opportunities that Futsal will bring to the community under this new strategy, including how integral it is to achieving our overall target of 50/50 gender participation balance by 2027.”

As part of these various changes, Anthony Grima will move into a newly-created position of Head of Futsal, alongside his existing role of Head of Commercial at Football Victoria.

Grima is an accomplished futsal referee and player over the past two decades.

“As a governing body, we have to make a genuine commitment to provide Futsal with the kind of leadership that empowers this great sport to officially develop, grow and service even more participants than it does now,” he said.

“There are approximately 40,000 players playing Futsal and ‘Indoor Soccer’ across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. They all need Futsal pitches to play on and competitions to participate in. We want to make sure we can partner with local councils and Futsal competition providers to ensure players, clubs, coaches and referees are provided with the best possible Futsal experiences, on and off the pitch.

“My own experience in Futsal has shown me that it is a sport with enormous appeal and potential. There are many amazing and dedicated individuals at the heart of the Futsal family here in Victoria and we now have a profound opportunity to work together for the good of the game and build something that will service the game for decades to come.”

Peter Parthimos, CEO of ‘Futsal Oz’ and ‘Series Futsal’, welcomed FV’s decision to step forward and lead the sport through a formalised structure.

“This is clearly a development that will benefit the entire Futsal community. For many years, the providers, like us, have been left to promote the game themselves but the opportunity to help create a more formal structure underpinned by a unified vision is undeniably exciting,” he said.

“We look forward to formally affiliating with Football Victoria. I know many other centres and Futsal clubs will follow suit and that’s just such a positive step forward. It’s been many years since we’ve had an opportunity to collaborate like this.

“If we all support each other and put the sport first, I believe we will put Victoria back on the map.”

FV will continue to deliver premier futsal events, including the FV State Futsal Championships, which will be held in April 2021.

In the lead up to the 2022 Football Australia National Futsal Championships, all Victorian squads will be administered and managed directly by the governing body. The federation will also hold both futsal referee and coach education courses to officially recognise and upskill futsal referees and coaches from February 2021.

Football Victoria’s formal Futsal Strategy is listed below:

  1. Formally recognise the sport of Futsal within Football Victoria’s existing Strategic Plan 2019-2022 ‘FootbALLways’ to facilitate its growth, including in schools and to foster the increase and development of players, coaches, referees, Futsal clubs and Futsal centres in the broader futsal pathway.
  2. Provide Futsal competition providers and Futsal clubs with a genuine value proposition to partner with Football Victoria via a revamped affiliation and support program to grow and develop Futsal together as a unified Futsal community.
  3. Integrate Futsal within the implementation of Football Victoria’s current Facilities Strategy and advocate for increased and improved Futsal facilities with local, state and federal government for the benefit of all Futsal competition providers and Futsal clubs across Victoria.

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