Experienced ‘Starting XI’ to help drive Australian football forward

Sydney: 11 of the most experienced and learned minds in Australian football will come together, under the auspices of FFA’s Football Development Committee (FDC), to create a new Panel to discuss and debate the growth and development of Australian football. 

The Panel, to be known as the Starting XI, will act in an advisory capacity on technical and development matters to the FDC, which comprises, amongst others, FFA Board Members Remo Nogarotto (FDC Chair), former Socceroo Mark Bresciano and former Westfield Matilda Amy Duggan.

The inaugural members of the Starting XI, who will serve an initial two-year term on a voluntary basis, are: Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Clare Polkinghorne, Ron Smith, Mark Bosnich, Paul Okon, Frank Farina, Heather Garriock, Vicki Linton, Joey Peters and Connie Selby.

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FFA CEO, James Johnson, said that he believes the Starting XI, with support from the FDC, will make a positive contribution to football given the wealth of playing and coaching experience that exists within the group.

“Since joining FFA I have made it clear that we will be a football-first organisation that seeks to harness the collective knowledge and experience that our most successful contributors – be they current or former players, coaches, or officials – have to offer,” Johnson said.

“We have had to act quickly to stabilise the organisation during this difficult period. In the background however, we have been moving several pieces to ensure that we continue to do the work which will be vital to launching the future of football in Australia."

“The Starting XI will provide a great platform for 11 of our best football brains to share their insights and ideas with FFA on key matters from grassroots to international football, national teams, player pathways, and the overall wellbeing of the game.

“Having people of the calibre of the Starting XI directly communicating with FFA on a regular basis will be invaluable for the organisation and help to achieve a shared vision for the game.

“We would like to thank the inaugural members of the Starting XI for agreeing to share their vast lived experiences with us, and believe the diverse range of people with world-class football acumen on the Panel will enable us to access a wide range of local and global views to help us drive football forward,” he said.

FFA Management and Coaches that will also liaise with the Starting XI, via the FDC, are James Johnson, Graham Arnold, Ante Milicic, Sarah Walsh, Robbie Middleby, Rae Dower, and Mel Andreatta.

Sources: Football Federation Australia, AFP

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