Football community figures recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

A selection of football figures from around Australia were recognised this week as part of the Queen's Birthday 2021 Honours List. 

See below for a list of those who made the list: 

Robbie Slater (NSW)

Socceroo cap 353 Robbie Slater received Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) merit for his service to football. 

Although he was born in England, Slater made his name in Australia playing for St George Saints and Sydney United before moving to Europe, representing Anderlecht and Lens before winning the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers. 

He went on to play for West Ham, Southampton and Wolverhampton in England before finishing up his playing career with Northern Spirit in the NSL. Slater played 28 times for Australia in 'A' internationals across a 13-year span, and has been a presenter on Fox Sports since the A-League's inception in 2005. 

Joseph Carrozzi (NSW)

Football Australia Board Member Joseph Carrozzi was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for "significant service to business, and to the community through multicultural and not-for-profit organisations." 

Carrozzi, formerly Managing Partner at PWC, is an experienced business advisor, covering major corporations, government sector and also not for profit. He recently stepped down from his role as a Managing Partner, PwC Australia, where he led some of the firm’s largest clients and the PwC office in Sydney for the last 15 years.

Joseph has a strong commitment to supporting better community outcomes, not just commercial outcomes. He is Chairman of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and Chair of the Centenary Institute for Medical Research. He is also Deputy Chair of the NSW Institute of Sport and a Board member of Western Sydney University and Football Australia.

Karen Pearce (VIC)

Karen Pearce, Executive Manager Growth and Inclusion at Football Victoria, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her tremendous service to sport administration.

Karen’s journey as a sports administrator has spanned more than two decades, predominately with Basketball Victoria before she joined Football Victoria in 2019.

Throughout this time, her advocacy for inclusion and diversity has been truly inspiring. As a direct result of her work, countless kids and adults who face physical or social participation barriers have had the opportunity to play the sports that they love.

Read Football Victoria's full article on Karen's achievement

Eddie Krncevic (VIC)

Socceroo cap 279 Eddie Krncevic was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to football. 

Krncevic was born in Geelong, Victoria and started his playing career with Essendon Croatia (now Melbourne Knights) before moving on to Marconi in NSW. He moved to Europe in the early 80's, signing for Dinamo Zagreb, before playing in Germany, Belgium and France. 

The striker played 20 times for the Socceroos in 'A' internationals, scoring four goals. Krncevic moved into coaching after playing, coaching in the NSL and later the Victorian Premier League. 

George Hurley (NSW) 

84-year-old Gymea resident George Hurley has quite simply been ‘Mr Football’ in the Shire area for decades, and was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia.

The former Sutherland Shire Councillor who has served on more than 30 committees has devoted his entire time to the world game at both Community and NPL level. A former complex manager at Seymour Shaw Park, Hurley coached local teams Engadine, Heathcote, Miranda, and Kirrawee in the Sutherland Shire Football Association.

George has been a life member at the Sutherland Sharks Football club since 1959 and played football himself against Fiji in front of 4000 spectators at Seymour Shaw in 1969.

He served in various positions at the Sharks as President, is currently Vice-President and General Manager of the club as well as playing a pivotal role in founding an education and training scholarship that saw young Footballers in the Shire area head overseas.

Read Football NSW's full story on George Hurley

John Vander Veeken (SA)

John Vander Veeken is the co-founder and President of Sturt Lions FC and was recognised on Monday with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to football. 

Alongside founding the club and holding the position of President, Vander Veeken was also a Junior Coach at Sturt Lions. 

Vander Veeken was also a coach for Adelaide Hills Junior Soccer Association in the 1980's, an Under 18's Coach for Blackwood Soccer Club in the 1980s and early 1990s, and a coach at Mercedes Old Collegiate Soccer Club between 1997-2003 before setting up Sturt Lions. 

Bryan Kenneth Hearn (SA)

Hearn was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community of South Australia and to football, having been associated with the game of football in South Australia in excess of 32 years.

Hearn was born in Chesham Buckinghamshire UK and migrated to Australia in 1971, and contributed to the game of football as a Player, Coach, Trainer and Administrator. He's a life member of Parafield Gardens SC and Elizabeth Districts Junior Soccer Association, and received the SASF Meritorious Service Award.

He's also held positions of Chairman EDJSA, Chairman SASF Junior Premier League, and was also a Member of the SASF Board of Commissioners and Member SAASL Disciplinary Committee. Hearn was SAASL State Team Trainer for the National Championships 1979 & 1980, and over the years has been a committee member at Parafield Gardens, Salisbury United and Para Hills, and was also a member of the LOC for the FIFA World Youth Championships in 1993-94. 

Read Football Australia's full story on John Vander Veeken and Bryan Kenneth Hearn

(If there are any other football figures who were named on the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021 but did not receive a mention above, please contact