Football Federation Australia (FFA) today released the outcomes of the National Competition Review (NCR) which looked at all aspects of the competitions conducted by FFA, the Member Federations and State League Clubs around Australia at Youth League, State League & Hyundai A-League level.
The proposals contained within the NCR will go far in helping realise the vision of “Making Australia a World-Class Football Nation” by aligning the Elite Player Pathway from the grass roots to the Hyundai A-League and up to the Qantas Socceroos.
FFA CEO Ben Buckley believes that the outcomes of the NCR will result in better Australian footballers being produced - in greater numbers.
“The outcomes from the National Competition Review are the culmination of 18 months of work by FFA in collaboration with our Member Federations,” Buckley said.
“Throughout this process, we have consulted with the football community and listened to what our various stakeholders have had to say.
“These reforms will allow us to seize some great opportunities and to address a number of important issues in the football community."
Recognising the important contribution that the Member Federation’s State and Youth League competitions and clubs play in developing Australia’s elite male football players, the five core outcomes from the NCR are:
• Evolution of the Elite Player Pathway to:
- recognise the important contribution of state-based elite clubs
- address gaps in the Talented Player Pathway
• Definition of competition windows and participation requirements to:
- Extend the duration of the season in critical stages of player development
• Introduction of an Elite Club Licensing program to:
- increase the quality of youth development practices
- develop better coaches
- require clubs to explain their fee structure and ensure that fees are reasonable and not excessive
- regulate the role of player agents and private academies
- improve club governance and financial reporting
• Introduction of a Player Points System to:
- correct unsustainable player payments in State League competitions
- promote local youth development within the club team structure
• Revision of Training Compensation regulations to:
- Reward clubs which achieve accreditation
- Increase the flow of revenue to elite state league clubs
Buckley added that the State League Clubs have long played an important role in developing young players in Australia and these reforms will further elevate State League Clubs and Competitions in this role and ensure there is consistency in how clubs go about developing youth around the country.
“Importantly, State League clubs will receive greater recognition for the work they do,” Buckley said.
“These outcomes will also support the development of the Hyundai A-League as an even higher standard of young players emerge from the states to grow the entertainment appeal of the competition by improving the quality of play on the pitch.”
“Like other important initiatives including Small Sided Football, the National Curriculum and National Football Development Plan, I am certain we will look back upon the National Competition Review as having been fundamental to achieving our vision of Australia becoming one of the leading football nations in the world."
The FFA launched the NCR process in November 2010 with the following terms of reference:
- Review of current Member Federation competition structures from top State Leagues to Under 12s
- Review proposals of preferred models from Member Federation’s covering competition, development, financial aspects, to seek the best option for a second tier national competition (underpinning the Hyundai A-League), and include criteria for leagues to adopt.
- Financial analysis of models.
The NCR panel, comprising of FFA, Member Federation and club representatives from around the country, met to consider submissions received from each member federation.
Submissions identified various issues and opportunities for competition and club improvement. A series of high-level recommendations were made by the NCR Panel for FFA to subsequently develop into more detailed policy.
Following the review, a report was compiled with recommendations to FFA and Member Federation’s for discussion with stakeholders. At the completion of those discussions, a submission was then made to the FFA Board for approval.
Over the past month, FFA has been meeting with Member Federation’s and the State League clubs to discuss the key findings of the NCR and address any related concerns.
It is expected that the core outcomes of the NCR will begin to be implemented nationwide in time for the 2013 winter football season. Click here to download the NCR outcomes.
A women’s NCR will commence in the second half of this year and will seek to apply key learning’s from the men’s process.