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Why an Australian football Netflix series is needed

Netflix boast just under 200 million subscribers worldwide and have released several sports documentaries over the last few years. However, we are yet to see an Australian football Netflix series – an opportunity that should be taken advantage of.

There is a market for these types of documentaries as Netflix is not the only streaming service that features sport docuseries. Amazon Prime has produced also produced documentaries on Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

One of the most popular football docuseries has been Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die. The show which provided a behind the scenes view of the club was one of the most watched programs on Netflix in the UK during the week of the release of the second season.

Sunderland has received global recognition off the back of the popularity of the show.

Stewart Donald, owner and former chairman of Sunderland told ChronicleLive that there are lots of reasons why the documentary is good for the club.

“My initial thought with it was, there aren’t many football clubs that can have a global brand, but if you’ve got a Netflix documentary and it goes right, you can get that out to the world and maybe you might get a few people who come along and get emotionally involved in Sunderland who otherwise wouldn’t have,” he said.

“If our name goes out to 20 or 30 million people on Netflix, or however many it might be, that can only be good for the club.”

There are several possibilities for an Australian football docuseries. The show could follow a single A-League club’s season, in the same vein to the Sunderland or Manchester City programs.

Other documentaries have focused on a season of a series or championship as a whole. Netflix’s Formula 1 docuseries Drive to Survive involves several different teams and features a different storyline each episode.

One million households streamed Drive to Survive within the first 28 days of season two’s release according to research agency Digital-i.

An A-League version of this could cover the biggest storylines and moments of the season.

Documentaries have also focused on the national team of a sporing organisation such as Amazon Prime’s The Test which documents the Australian cricket team’s redemption following the ball tampering scandal in 2018.

A series that follows the qualification process of an Australian team for a FIFA World Cup would be a particularly interesting documentary series given the high stakes involved.

The exposure gained from an Australian football Netflix series could be a great opportunity to either introduce people to Australian football or reinvigorate their love for the game.

Drive to Survive has seen an increase an interest for the sport in the US, which is not a traditional market for Formula 1.

Earlier this year Renault Formula 1 Driver Daniel Ricciardo appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah where he discussed the impact that Drive to Survive has had in the US.

“I definitely feel F1 is becoming much more of a thing here in the States. Drive to Survive put it on the map,” he said.

“I spend a bit of time in the States, and up until a year ago, not really anyone would say ‘Hi’ to me – not in a bad way, but they wouldn’t recognise me for being an F1 driver.

“And now it’s all: ‘We saw you on Netflix, it was great, Drive to Survive.’ We wear helmets, so not many people can see our faces a lot of the time.

Given the younger demographic of streaming service users, a docuseries could create a new generation of fans for football in Australia. Depending on the success of the series, it could even inspire more young Australians to play the world game.

At an event for 188Bet in March 2020, F1’s Managing Director of Motorsport Ross Brawn, said that the Netflix series had seen positive impacts for the sport.

“What we’ve discovered is it’s been very appealing to the non race fan: in fact it turned them into race fans,” Brawn said.

“Some of the promoters in the past season have said they’ve definitely measured the increase in interest in F1 that has come from the Netflix series.

“And while Netflix in itself wasn’t for us a hugely profitable venture, in terms of giving greater coverage for F1, it’s been fantastic.

While Football Federation Australia, the A-League and its clubs would not be able to demand the millions of dollars that other clubs and organisations are paid for their participation in a documentary, it could provide a cash boost for the organisations.

Ryan Reynolds has partnered with fellow actor Rob McElhenney to purchase Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC, who compete in the fifth tier of English football, the National League.

Part of Reynolds and McElhenney’s takeover bid involves plans for a documentary series that follows the events of the team.

Bloomberg spoke to Ampere Analysis analyst Richard Broughton, who said that it would not be unreasonable for a streaming service to pay several hundred thousand pounds per hour for the broadcast rights to a show.

An Australian football Netflix series would be extremely beneficial for the sport in this country.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football Victoria and Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association begin formal partnership

Football Victoria (FV) has announced a formal partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association (MCSA).

Football Victoria (FV) has announced a formal partnership with the Melbourne Chinese Soccer Association (MCSA).

The partnership was created with a mutual alignment of values, including a desire to promote sporting opportunities and social inclusion for men and women from culturally diverse backgrounds.

It builds on the positive relationship between the two organisations, ratified in 2019 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

MSCA and FV share a common goal for football to be used as a platform to promote multiculturalism, gender diversity, an active lifestyle and social inclusion,” FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros said.

This partnership will make the world game more accessible for more people. This is a great result for football in Victoria.”

MCSA was established in 1995 and aims to provide opportunities for young people, predominately but not exclusively for those of Chinese heritage to play football in a friendly, competitive environment.

The association accommodates approximately 1,800 registered players, consisting of more than 70 cultural backgrounds.

As part of this collaboration, MSCA will continue to be the main organiser of the MSCA Winter League, Melbourne U-Nite Men’s Cup and Melbourne U-Nite Women’s Cup.

FV will provide MSCA with priority pitch access for bookings at Darebin International Sports Centre and Knox Regional Football Centre, as well as match balls, meeting spaces and other amenities.

The partnership will provide increased opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to stay active and socially included.

“MSCA focuses on providing affordable football for the diverse grassroots community of Melbourne,” MSCA President Ben Lau said.

‘’MCSA is excited with the opportunity to work with Football Victoria to ensure that our diverse grassroots community is the winner.’’

Football Queensland to deliver Women’s World Cup legacy plan to Parliament

Football Queensland (FQ) will launch its three-year Women and Girls Strategy (2021-2023) at Parliament today, in a bid to increase participation, infrastructure and club developments before and after the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“The forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup is a wonderful opportunity to deliver immediate and long-term football, community and economic benefits for our game and for all Queenslanders,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

“More than 1 billion people watched the France 2019 tournament and this next event on home soil is destined to be biggest global event in Australia since Sydney 2000.

“It is crucial that FQ and the football community work with state and local government on maximising this immense potential.

“That is why we have developed a Women and Girls Strategy so closely linked to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, with clear goals and funding objectives for the game.”

Former Matilda Amy Chapman, who is currently on the FQ board, explained the upcoming opportunities to inspire young girls to get involved in football in Queensland.

“I am extremely proud to have represented my country at the highest level and I want more and more Queenslanders to enjoy that same experience,” Chapman said.

“We have a fantastic track record of developing international players in this state from the early days of the Matildas right up to now. There are strong, successful pathways in place.

“In the Women and Girls Strategy, FQ outlines our ambition for all Queensland state schools to support this by delivering football programs for girls.

“With support from key stakeholders including the State Government, we can deliver on what is a bold approach to developing homegrown stars and promoting healthy lifestyles.”

Tuesday’s Parliament House event will also begin the celebrations of the centenary season of women’s football in Queensland, with the first recorded female football match in the state taking place at the Gabba on September 24, 1921.

Football Queensland have introduced a new website looking at the game’s history in the state, with a digital museum documenting all of these significant moments.

“As we unite football in Queensland, FQ is extremely proud to embrace the game’s rich history,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci.

“The timing of the centenary season, together with the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, aligns perfectly with our stated belief and embraced position that women and girls are the future.

“We are continually rolling out participation, infrastructure and community initiatives that recognise this reality, support our clubs and grow the game, just as the Women and Girls Strategy will do.”

FQ’s Women and Girls Strategy for 2021-2023 document can be viewed here.

England FA launches women’s football coaching initiative

The English Football Association (FA) has launched the Coaching Excellence Initiative, a women’s football coaching development programme.

The 18-month programme has been designed to develop and connect high-performance coaches in elite women’s football.

14 coaches have been selected for the inaugural programme. Between 14 to 18 coaches will participate in the programme each season with 75 per cent of participants to be female.

The FA said that the Coaching Excellence Initiative would provide a bespoke and high-quality coach development experience.

“The Coaching Excellence Initiative is central to our commitment to see the top coaches in the women’s game become the very best they can, providing them with the development and learning opportunities to achieve their potential and fulfil their ambitions,” Head of Women’s Coach Development at FA, Audrey Cooper said.

“Living well beyond the 18-month course, it will provide the coaches with a support network to share their experiences as they continue in their career.”

“This programme will also support our broader ambition to normalise women in football coaching, shining a light each year on aspirational, relatable and credible female role models for future generations to be inspired by.”

“Whether you are female or male, it’s my belief that there’s never been a more exciting time to be a coach in the women’s game.”

The first edition of the programme began in August 2020 and has featured virtual small group meet-ups and one-to-one mentoring.

Australian football coach and Bristol City manager, Tanya Oxtoby is among the Coaching Excellence Initiative participants.

“I applied to The FA’s CEI programme to continue to develop myself as a manager, network with likeminded people within the women’s game and to challenge my way of thinking,” Oxtoby said.

“The programme has been extremely useful as its focused on skills and qualities which do not normally feature within technical coaching courses.”

“It’s provided me with a network of support in very strange times and it’s changed the way I think about my way of working and how I can reach my own potential moving forward.”

Other participants include England U17 Women’s National Head Coach, Gemma Grainger, Manchester United WSL Academy Manager, Charlotte Healy and Aston Villa WFC Head Coach, Gemma Davies.

 

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