Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that Qantas Socceroo Brett Emerton and Westfield Matilda Heather Garriock have been appointed as FFA’s inaugural Community Football Ambassadors as another part of FFA's Strategic Plan to connect the grassroots to the game's elite and professional tiers.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that Qantas Socceroo Brett Emerton and Westfield Matilda Heather Garriock have been appointed as FFA-s inaugural Community Football Ambassadors as another part of FFA's Strategic Plan to connect the grassroots to the game's elite and professional tiers.
Both Emerton and Garriock will promote a range of community programs and activities across Australia, including;
• MyFootballClub national online community football registration • Community player registration drive in 2012 • Community coaching courses • Hyundai A-League Community Rounds and Westfield W-League feature matches
Emerton, 32, returned home to Australia to join Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League this season and has renewed his links to the game-s grassroots.
“I started out with my local community club, Gunners Soccer Club, in the Macarthur Association and like so many youngsters I had dreams of career in football,” said Brett.
“I-m so fortunate that I-ve had so many opportunities to play with great clubs in Australia and in Europe and represent my country as well, but it all started with my mates at a local club with mums and dads giving up their time to run the show.
“My experience shows what can happen, but my message is simply to get boys and girls playing the game and enjoying themselves at a young age and then staying involved as they grow up. Football is a game that stays with you for life.”
Garriock, 28, who plays for Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League, started her football career with the Leppington Lions, who were also in the Macarthur Association at the time, and also believes that playing football from a young age is a great way for kids to get active and make lifelong friends.
“Football has given me amazing opportunities and experiences in life,” said Garriock.
“For me it all started with my local football club and the fun I had playing the game at young age has stuck with me all through my career.
“Being an ambassador allows me to give back to the kids who hopefully one day will also be able to achieve their dreams.”
FFA CEO Ben Buckley said he was delighted that Brett and Heather had accepted the appointment as FFA-s Community Football Ambassadors.
“Brett is the quintessential Australian football success story,” said Buckley.
“He started on the fields of Greater Western Sydney, the heartland of game, and followed the development pathway through NSW, to the national set up, on to the big time in Europe and, of course, the FIFA World Cup finals.
“Most of all, Brett is a wonderful role model for the youngsters starting out today. He-s a gifted player, but people also see his integrity and love of the game. He will be a fine ambassador for community football.
“Heather has also been a fantastic success story for Women-s football in Australia and her talent and dedication have taken her around the world.
“Making her international debut at 16 was the start of an amazing football journey through 125 games so far and three FIFA Women-s World Cups, two AFC Women's Asian Cups and two Olympic Games.
“On top of that she is a championship winning player with Sydney FC and has also played in professional leagues in the USA, Denmark and Sweden. Any youngster with stars in their eyes would be dazzled by Heather's story."