Football Federation Australia (FFA) wrapped up public consultations with key stakeholders from Western Australia last night following a special ‘Town Hall meeting’ at Perth Soccer Club.
The event was held as part of the Whole of Football Plan, which was announced by FFA CEO David Gallop in September during his ‘State of the Game’ address, which aims to improve all levels of the sport, from the grassroots to the elite levels, to eventually make football the biggest and most popular game in Australia.
Topics and issues discussed during the meeting included:
• The cost of football and making football more inclusive was hotly debated. With increased levels of transparency at every level of the game one possible solution.
• There was a clear consensus that stakeholders needed to work together to effectively lobby governments at every level in regards to the provision of facilities.
• Coach development was identified as a key issue with the need for a decentralised delivery model being paramount.
• Work needs to be done to increase respect for referees to help increase referee retention.
• The massive potential of Women’s football was discussed and the need for female specific programs was proposed.
• There was a real feeling that the Socceroos should be Australia’s team and that efforts needed to be made to take the team to the people.
• The success of the Westfield FFA Cup was acknowledged, however further efforts need to be made to ensure that it is a grassroots competition.
Emma Highwood, FFA Head of Community & Women’s Football commented “We were pleased with the positive discussion at last night’s town hall and we have come away with some great insights into how we can develop the game going forward. A strong theme from the evening was that the more unified we can be on key issues the more we can achieve”.
Football West CEO Peter Hugg was very happy with what was achieved at the forum and believes that such feedback can only assist the development of football.
“Firstly, I would like to commend FFA for this wonderful initiative and for the time that they have spent here in WA listening to stakeholders,” said Hugg
“I’d also like to thank everyone who attended the event and gave their input on these important issues“
“I firmly believe that over time, this process will be seen as a watershed moment in the history of the sport of football in Australia,“ concluded Hugg.
The Whole of Football Plan will continue to seek input form stakeholders for the remainder of the year with the final report to be completed by the conclusion of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 in January next year, with implementation set for July, 2015.