Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

FFA looks to close AIS-based Centre of Excellence

FFA looks to close AIS-based Centre of Excellence
April 20, 2017

Football Federation Australia has announced changes to its player development programs that will bring to an end the Australian Institute of Sport based program that produced former Socceroos including Ned Zelic, Craig Moore, Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill, Mark Viduka, John Aloisi, Mark Bresciano and Joshua Kennedy and current stars such as Trent Sainsbury, Robbie Kruse, Matt Mckay and Nathan Burns.

Looking to save the $1 million a year cost of the Canberra Centre of Excellence, Football Federation Australia (FFA)’s Board of Directors have given in principle approval to a raft of changes that will see youth player development focussed on A-League club academies and establishing strong football programs in schools.

These initiatives, which the FFA say are designed to help achieve the objectives outlined in its four year strategy and Whole of Football Plan, will be confirmed and announced in detail following the completion over the coming weeks of the annual Budget process, an internal review of expenditure and funding model outcomes for the Hyundai A-League/Westfield W-League and Member Federations.

However, it appears the A-League clubs, still in dispute with the FFA over its stalling on governance reform, are not financially equipped to deal with an expansion of their youth development programs.

Currently, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers’ youth academies are in their second season of operation while Central Coast Mariners’ academy has operated since 2012 under many guises until 2016 when the Mariners took back control and were granted entry into the NSW National Premier League competition.

In Melbourne, with City and Victory, and in Adelaide, A-League club academies don’t have a competition to play in – with rival clubs blocking their entry into local NPL youth competitions.

Only in December 2016 did Brisbane Roar appoint a technical director to begin establishing their academy, while Newcastle Jets will only take over the running of the Emerging Jets academy program from their state federation later in 2017.

Of the A-League clubs, Perth Glory’s academy is the most established, competing in the Western Australian NPL since 2014. Players who entered the Perth Glory academy pathway when it was established would currently be playing in under-15s.

Running since 1981 (when it was known as the Australian Institute of Sport football program), the Centre of Excellence program has changed in recent years.

It is also no-longer a program where players reside at the AIS, as it was in the past. When football was demoted from a Category B sport to a Category C sport by the Australian Sports Commission, government funding was cut, as was access to AIS resource such as sports science, physiotherapy and nutrition.

To maintain its full-time status, the Centre of Excellence introduced house-stays, to ensure players could relocate from around the country.

Speaking In March about reports that the program was to be axed, Centre of Excellence coach Tony Vidmar stated “(I) agree with the A-League clubs having their academies and providing the player pathway but at this point in time it’s not ready and some have not even started and that’s the frustrating thing.

“In five years’ time perhaps, see how the A-League academies are progressing and then review things and decide if it’s time to phase out the program.

“But if they just throw it all out now then I think youth development in this country is finished.

“One thing for sure is that you’ll lose a generation of players. We’ll definitely go backwards.”

Last October the Young Socceroos failed to qualify for this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea after being bundled out in the group stage of the AFC U-19 Championship following losses to China, Uzbekistan and a draw with Tajikistan.

Images: The Young Socceroos failed to qualify for this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup (top) and former Australian Institute of Sport football program graduate Mark Viduka (below).

10th February 2017 - MELBOURNE VICTORY CHAIRMAN WARNS FFA OVER FUNDING AND DECISION-MAKING

3rd February 2017 - FFA REFORM PROMISE APPEASES A-LEAGUE CLUBS

30th January 2017 - A-LEAGUE CLUB OWNERS UNHAPPY AT FFA’S VISIT TO FIFA

20th December 2016 - FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES $346 MILLION A-LEAGUE BROADCAST DEAL 

29th July 2011 - MARINERS BREAK GROUND ON CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

SUNBATHER

Solar Pool Heating & Swimming Pool Covers since 1974. Sunbather offer an Australian made product which undergoes continual development to enable you to trust in the Sunbather brand. We deliver a…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 

EventPro

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business