Australia launches elite player development review

Football Federation Australia has announced the launch of an elite player development initiative, designed to ensure Australia’s future competitiveness in international Football. The review, claimed by FFA to be "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.

The project team includes 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.

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. 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.

“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," said FFA Chief Executive Officer John O’Neill. "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.”