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Earlier this week the member clubs of the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) reached a milestone in its development.

As we agreed at our historic first meeting in March – less than four months ago – our immediate priority was to get our structure and governance right. That is now completed. At the AGM, the members agreed to the creation of a Constitution, the nomination and election of eight Directors, and the appointment of PwC as auditors.

Now we get to the really hard work.

While I have no doubt that there will be vigorous debate about the shape of things to come I am also confident that there is unanimity amongst the NPL clubs about what we’re striving for.

Our next two key priorities are having a seat at the ‘big table’ of football in Australia (the FFA Congress), and establishing a second division.

We believe we should have representation within the new FFA Congress because we are the engine room of the football ecosystem.

We are a body that represents more than 30,000 semi-professional male and female players, the paid staff of NPL clubs, the financial investment in these clubs, the facilities that are held or to which we have access, and the countless volunteers who put in thousands and thousands of hours.

In terms of the second division, we see our role as to give our clubs meaningful national competition that is complementary to the A-League.

That doesn’t mean we throw a whole lot of proverbial babies out with the bathwater, but we shape and build what we already have in place – the people, the infrastructure, the resources – to make it better.

What we’re striving for is not ‘power’ for power’s sake as some social media trolls suggest, but an improved, more seamless development pathway for Australia’s elite male and female players, and to give an added raison d’etre to the old and new clubs who want to be part of something bigger.

Unashamedly, as an Australian football fan, I want the Melbourne Knights’, Adelaide City’s, Blacktown City’s and Sydney Olympic’s of this world to have a more prominent role, to continue their wonderful tradition of identifying, nurturing and developing young players, and help us build new passion and new fans of the game.

Ultimately, that benefits us all. Every kid who takes the park on the weekend, the NPL, a new Second Division, the W-League, the A-League, the youth national teams, the Matildas and the Socceroos.

In the coming weeks, the new Board of the AAFC are having a get-together to talk through these, and other, issues and to set a program for the years ahead.

If you have anything you would like us to contribute to this, I invite you to do so via a feedback form on our website  or email me.


Categories: News | Local

aafc, npl, ffa, australian football

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