FFA announces Pioneering Elite Player Development

Football Federation Australia today announced the launch of a ground-breaking elite player development initiative, designed to ensure Australia’s future competitiveness in international Football.

Football Federation Australia today announced the launch of a ground-breaking elite player development initiative, designed to ensure Australia-s future competitiveness in international Football.

The review, unprecedented in Australian sport, will involve an extensive examination of talent identification and development programs amongst Australia-s major international Football competitors around the world, as well as other relevant sports within Australia. The review will also consult widely within the Football Community in Australia, and invite submissions generally from interested parties across the country.

A Project Team has been convened, comprising Dr Michael Crawford (Corex); Matt Carroll, FFA Head of Operations; John Boultbee, FFA Head of High Performance, Dr Rob van den Honert, FFA Manager - Research, Analysis and Strategic Projects, and Jason Gulbin, Manager of Talentsearch at the Australian Sports Commission. Andy Harper has been appointed as Project Officer for the initiative, with responsibility for undertaking interview-based research of other Football Associations .

The outputs from the research and analysis will provide a thorough, objective, fact-based platform from which the Project Team will be able to make recommendations to the FFA Board in October this year on an optimal system for talent identification and development in Football in Australia. Such a system will be designed to underpin major improvement in the quality and performance of Australia-s national team players into the future. While focused initially on the men-s game, the scope of the project will include the application of the resultant recommendations to elite development for women-s football also.

FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said: “We have made the point that Australia-s participation in the FIFA World Cup this year in Germany is ‘only the beginning.- Identifying and developing the next generation of players to represent Australia in Asia and at future World Cups remains a major priority for Football in Australia and the FFA. To do this effectively, given some of the competitive disadvantages we have, will require smart, efficient and collaborative planning and implementation, making best use of all existing assets.”

FFA Chief Executive Officer John O-Neill added, “We cannot afford to tinker around the edges of the existing systems, but nor should we replace existing assets with imported ones just for the sake of it. We need to custom-design the most effective solution for our unique circumstances. FFA will be working with all the stakeholders in Australian Football to develop and implement an affordable plan which will allow Australia to become increasingly competitive over the coming years, and to fulfil our great potential as a sporting nation in the arena of international Football.”