To all of you who want an A/W League Football Club in the Southern Region, I thank you for your ongoing support and wish you a Merry Christmas.
We were expecting Football Federation Australia (FFA) to have expanded the A-League and W-League in 2017. Everybody who knows and loves football agrees that expansion is urgently needed. We are ready to put a very professional and highly competitive Club into those competitions and hope that FFA makes the decision by June 2018, allowing us to put teams on the field in 2019.
Southern Expansion has laid, and will continue to build our foundations, upon the three very strong grassroots Associations that make up our Region. I thank the St George, Sutherland Shire and Football South Coast Associations for their support and involvement in our Advisory Committee, and wish them well in their drive to bring more boys and girls into the game in 2018.
We finish 2017 with a number of important agreements in place to help shape and define our Club as the most professional and innovative in Australasia:
- an agreement with the global business advisory firm KPMG, not just for its business and audit services, but for its work in sports analytics;
- an MOU with the premier educational institution for the Region, the University of Wollongong, to collaborate in sports science;
- an agreement with a group leading the way in integrity in sport, Core Integrity;
- an agreement of which we are most proud, with John Moriarty Football to work together to develop talented young Aboriginal players.
We are ready to play in our great local stadia, Jubilee Oval and WIN Stadium. We know where we will train on an interim basis after discussions with the Sutherland Association and we are set to develop and build our world class football science and performance centre in the Barden Ridge and Lucas Heights area.
2018 is a World Cup year. It will be the ideal time to launch new Clubs in Australia. We know from our research that we have a very strong member and fan base waiting for the Club to be established. 2018 is also the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar. The characteristics highlighted in the Year of the Dog include friendship, loyalty and faithfulness – great values to build our Club membership culture.
So, let me wish you a peaceful renewing time at Christmas with family and friends and a Happy New Year. And let me wish our Club an auspicious Year of the Dog, 2018.