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Some national technical direction soon?

Considered the “most important position” in football, the role of National Technical Director is set to be filled after being vacant since July last year, by Rob Sherman (pictured) who is currently with Melbourne Victory and has previously worked with FFA in an 'Advanced Coaching Manager' role. He was not an applicant for the role but was approached to take it on and is likely to have an assistant, the highly credentialled Dr Ron Smith. The role will now report to the FFA CEO, David Gallop, not the Head of Women's and Community Football, Emma Highwood.

You can check out Rob's own website here.

Little club, big problems

According to former Central Coast player, and now his own football Academy director Josh Rose, it's much deeper than the departed coach, Mike Mulvey and other people - he doesn't specify who exactly - “needed to bear some of the brunt for some unusual decisions including Usain Bolt’s trial.” Rose says that Mulvey “sort of copped the brunt” of blame for where the club is now “but there were definitely deeper problems because it’s something that’s been going on for years now.”

Of course, the idea that one person is solely responsible for an alleged 'toxic culture' is not new - k than at FFA who, of course, famously pointed the finger at former Matildas coach, and now interim Central Coast coach, Alen Stajcic for the exact same thing. It's funny how football - whether it be FFA, a state federation, a club - likes to find a scapegoat for its own deep-seated vicerally toxic cultural issues, look the other way and whistle Dixie, and pretend everything is all right once they've moved one person on. 

Craig Foster the advocate

It's terrific to see Craig Foster has taken up the issue of the unsuitability of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President with the players' union realising human rights issues in football is important. 

Craig Foster is not the first Australian to raise issues of Shaikh Salman's suitability for a role in football. Bonita Mersiades and Jaimie Fuller both did in 2016 (along with British MP Damian Collins) at the time of the FIFA Presidential election, which Salman was favourite to win. Football Today has previously written about these issues. At the time, the #NewFIFANow campaign group also invited others, including FIFPro, to participate in activity: Transparency International, the International Trade Union Confederation and Avaaz did, FIFPro declined at the time. 

Of course, Foster's recent advocacy must be making it more challenging for FFA Chairman Chris Nikou in his ambition to replace Moya Dodd as the only Australian on the AFC executive at the election on 6 April, as well as uncomfortable if he does get elected if Salman is still in charge. Dodd has worked closely with Salman in her ten years on the AFC executive. 

Confidential and Hair Dryer

  • Confidential (News Corp): Socceroos raised $8,000 for Bor Mabil's (Awer's sister) funeral expenses and may start a foundation for “similar acts of solidarity”; Ernie Merrick was confronted with a Melbourne Victory playing shirt from last year's grand final at FFA HQ for his disciplinary hearing; Western United are upsetting all and sundry with their courting of other players; Tyson Scott of Central Coast Mariners gets married this weekend; and Lydia Williams publishes a children's book in July with the central character named Lydia.

  • Hairdryer (Fairfax): FFA put in a “secret bid” to host the 2020 Copa America - but guess what?! They were rebuffed. Quelle surprise!; the Fowler family (not the Robbie variety) is back in Australia which they reckon is good news for the Matildas because of 16-year-old Mary, with four of the siblings joining Bankston City Lions and one joining Sutherland Sharks; Mitch Cooper will play for Vanuatu where he was born; Rebel Sport rejected the offer of stocking Matildas' shirts in men's sizes with all men's sizing sold out online within hours; and Mark Bridge to play in NPL next season with Mounties Wanderers.

The rest

  • Western Sydney Wanderers' coach Markus Babbel described as a “disaster” the fact that he has lost three players to the Under-23 Olyroos squad currently training in Kuala Lumpur ahead of a pre-qualifying championship for Tokyo 2020 in Vietnam. The three are Keanu Baccus, Abraham Majok and Tass Mourdoukoutas. 
  • Babbel says he has no issues with the Western United Wellington Phoenix coach, Mark Rudan, after they had a little bit of a stoush in the tunnel the last time their two sides played one another. 
  • Val Migliaccio in Adelaide has been writing about this for some time, but it now makes national attention via Ray Gatt that Marco Kurz's time ($) at Adelaide United appears to be over at the end of this season. He has heard nothing from the chairman of the club, Piet van der Pol, about his future. 
  • Marco Monteverde reports that he asked Kurz about the rumour he could he heading to Brisbane Roar, with Kurz noting it is only a rumour and he can't comment. 
  • Kurz also led his players out of their Playford training centre as he feared for their safety due to poor state of the surface. Instead they are training at Adelaide City's facilities. 
  • Josh Brillante will miss his second Sydney FC match as he awaits confirmation of a move to Pohang Steelers in the K-League. Coach Steve Corica says he's “not in the right head space” to play for Sydney. 

rob sherman, alen stajcic, central coast mariners, a-league, craig foster, asian football confederation, shaikh salman

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