The National Game Development Strategy (NGDS) is the direct result of a consultation process which has included a thorough review of the initial National Football Development Plan (released in 2007), input from our nine Member Federations, focus groups with clubs throughout the country as well as the surveying of existing and past players in order to get their views on the way in which football is being delivered.
In relation to what the football community is telling FFA, a high-level summary includes:
- Playing and training facilities are inadequate for the present and future needs of football, both in terms of quality and quantity
- There are a lack of volunteers and insufficient recognition for the contribution that they make to the development of the game
- The education and development of grassroots coaches is critically important
- A greater focus needs to be placed on providing education and other services to clubs and participants in regional and remote areas of the country
- Football must ensure the experience is positive for all players, but in particular for 5 to 10 year olds
- The dearth of referees was identified as an issue in all focus groups that were conducted
- Clubs require support in educating and guiding their volunteers
The NGDS provides a detailed description of the strategies that will be put in place over the course of the next 4 years focusing on the area of grassroots football. It effectively replaces the Game Development section of the National Football Development Plan and complements the initiatives and activities currently being implemented as part of the rollout of the National Curriculum.
FFA’s vision is to: strengthen and support the football community, build effective relationships between all levels of the game and ensure that football is accessible and enjoyable for all Australians.
To fulfil this vision, FFA has set the following overarching objectives to 2014:
- To grow the number of football players by 3% per annum, by providing flexible participation options which meet the needs of more of the community
- To have 1 million participants registered through MyFootballClub
- To increase female participation, such that it represents at least 35% of total player numbers (currently 25%)
- To reduce the annual drop-out rate of football participants to 25%
- To strive towards every junior team having an accredited FFA coach
- To strive towards every match having an accredited FFA match official
- To have 100% of clubs using the MyFootballClub online registration system and improve communication with all levels of the football community
- To continue our investment in grassroots football facilities
- To ensure that the football community is inclusive of people of all backgrounds and abilities