Football 'culture' important for playing success

The former head of the sport at the Australian Institute of Sport has hit back at suggestions that a decline in the development of young Australian players has been casued by an "English coaching mafia system". Ron Smith, national technical manager with Football Federation Australia, told media that changing playing philosophy is difficult.

"It's fine to say we should bring in coaches from Brazil, Argentina, France et cetera," he said. "But it won't do much to change the football culture. "We are not like South America. Ninety percent of the population love their football in Brazil, Argentina, et cetera. It is their culture. They live and breathe it. But in Australia there is so much competition from other sports and you'd be lucky to get 10 per cent.

"Then look at the big oil-rich countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar. They have employed some of the biggest names in South American football as coaches but what have they achieved? They have all that money and can buy anyone and anything ... but it does not guarantee success on or off the football field," he said.