2020 vision needed for Australian football as James Johnson era begins

It’s out with the old and in with the new as David Gallop’s tenure ends. In contrast to the NRL-tainted Gallop, the AFL-stained Ben Buckley, or the ARU-defecting John O’Neill, Johnson may be a former national youth representative and NSL player, with experience working within Professional Footballers Australia, the Asian Football Confederation, and Fifa. Most tellingly on his resume, however, is his last post: within the town Football Group environment. Make no mistake – Johnson is that the A-League clubs’ man, but his rolodex and backing should bring most of the key stakeholders along side him. https://www.agensbobet888.online/ daftar agen sbobet sekarang

Fresh impetus for Australian football lies on the horizon in 2020. The entry of a twelfth A-League club, Macarthur FC, mid-year will necessarily act as a fillip for the A-League, bringing new fans, new rivalries and new players to the league. The club’s establishment of an academy for Indigenous footballers headed by Frank Farina, and therefore the announcement of hugely respected coach Ante Milicic will necessarily animate the nation’s biggest grassroots footballing community.

So, too, the Socceroos’ participation within the Copa América in June/July looms as a possible red-letter month for football in Australia, with a fixture against a Lionel Messi-led Argentina promising the type of sports-media saturated backpage coverage usually reserved for a Nick Kyrgios/Bernard Tomic dummyspit or off-season AFL/NRL-player misdemeanour.

The ongoing bid to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023 – now a joint-proposal alongside New Zealand – could garner A level of attention, positivity and unlock potential funding to require the already flourishing women’s game to unprecedented levels. A women’s national second division has even been mooted –contingent on the bid’s success – and therefore the profile of leading Matildas like Sam Kerr, now plying her trade England’s Women’s Super League with Chelsea, will only still grow the game’s stature relative to rival codes.

Political infighting still simmers behind the scenes among Australian football’s key powerbrokers. except for all the scuttlebutt, chairman Nikou was returned unopposed at the recent AGM, leading a comparatively stable team despite the long-mooted appointments of the politically influential Stephen Conroy and therefore the commercially connected Linda Norquay never materialising.

Any doubt on the comparative health thereon front needs only to return to the present time a year ago, when FFA elections tainted by horse trading followed closely by the bungled sacking of Alen Stajcic eroded any honeymoon period for the incoming Nikou and his board.

In 2020, let’s hope – for all of Australian football’s sake – a cup of kindness yet awaits Johnson and his team.