FFA close to appointing new technical director

Football Federation Australia is expected to announce a new national technical director within weeks but A-League fans will have to wait for expansion. 

Speaking after his State of the Game address, FFA boss David Gallop said the new technical director will have enormous experience in youth development.

The position was previously held by Han Berger who joined A-League outfit Sydney FC in April as a director of the club's board,.

Gallop said: “We’re down to the pointy end of the recruitment process.

"I expect we’ll be able to make an announcement about the technical director in the next few weeks.

“We’re certainly looking for someone who’s got experience in youth pathways. We feel that’s the area where our system most needs attention.

He added: “Without giving too much away I would expect to be able to make an announcement within the next few weeks about a new technical director who has an enormous amount of experience in youth development and pathways up to that late teenage period in a footballer’s career."

On the subject of the A-league, Gallop conceded the 10-club comp was not big enough but quashed hopes of any rush to expansion.

And in a blow to cities such as Canberra, he indicated a preference for areas with access to millions of people.

Tuggeranong United attracted a ground record crowd of 5150 in their FFA Cup clash with Melbourne Victory on Tuesday, reigniting calls for Canberra to  join the A-League.

But Gallop's response to expansion seemed to pour cold water on those hopes.

“Obviously we want to be bigger than a 10 team competition," he told media after his address.

“The new growth in our revenue over the last two years through the new TV deal – and the general growth in the A-League – has got a lot more clubs on a close to break-even or even profitable status but we’re not quite there yet.

“There are still some potholes there and we need to fill those in, get ourselves to a point where we are truly sustainable with that 10-team comp, and then look to expand.

“There’s no doubt it will be an issue that will come up in (the national plan) because a 10-team comp is not big enough.”

But he added: “There are geographic locations, demographic issues that mean that we don’t have 10 green bottles on the wall all with equal opportunity.

“We’ve got 10 very different opportunities and some are more challenging than others. Certainly we’ve driven a lot in the last 18-months toward providing services whether it’s for membership or matchday experience to try to help clubs grow their business.

“But we have to also accept that not everyone has the market that others have got.

“Certainly I’ve said before I see expansion as something where you need to fish where the fish are. Go where the biggest opportunities are. And the biggest opportunities are places where millions of people live not hundreds of thousands of people.”