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The Roar



2023 is make or break for football in Australia

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Roar Rookie
16th May, 2022

With a disappointing start to 2022 for both the Matildas and Socceroos beginning to wind down, an A-League season that wore the brunt of Omicron disruption and optimism beginning to dwindle around the beautiful game in Australia, the importance of the remainder of 2022 and 2023 becomes ever-clear.

All eyes will be on football heading into the Men’s World Cup in Qatar, with the Women’s World Cup heading down-under, just as they were when the best of Asia visited our shores. This could reinvigorate the game, or be the final nail in the coffin for Australian football.

With that in mind, football could have a happy and prosperous future if in this time a few key points are implemented.

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Paramount+ must step up

Ad-breaks during play, disrupted transmission and not being able to rewind or start-over live matches on the Paramount+ platform have become the norm in its inaugural season as the “home of Australian football”.

Paramount reaching out to members for feedback is a great start, but the service provider must take steps in increasing access and watchability of the league in the future, without raising subscription fees like Stan or Kayo.

With Round Ball Rules, a new panel show, debuting a few short months ago, evidence of their intentions are clear, whilst reports of an extended marquee target list to be in the works with the APL is promising. Paramount has a stake in this league; if it fails, they fail. Hopefully this incredible pressure produces diamonds.


FA need a plan

The release of the first licensing legislation for clubs in Australia shows the intentions of James Johnson and his organisation, which screams opportunity.

FFA CEO James Johnson

Football Australia CEO James Johnson. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

No more commissions, board decisions outlining what clubs are selected, and no more football politics. Football is being democratised and these guidelines are proof. Clubs will be assessed on infrastructure and merit.


However, with no plan for national youth development, can Australian really dream of World Cup success? Japanese football has a 50-year plan, so why shouldn’t we? The FA needs long-term planning on youth development and it needs to come in the next two years.

We need direction and policy, and Johnson has the hopes of every kid kicking a ball in their backyard on his shoulders.

With big-budget investments from Paramount+ and major sponsors incoming, we need a proper footballing pyramid. The A-Leagues’ success in the future will be built by fans, and fans need to be repaid.

The NSD is a great start. However, community clubs need to reap the rewards of talent development as they are the primary educators of young players. A domestic transfer system needs to be implemented in the next 18 months.


Registration needs to (at the youth level) be treated as contacts. If a 15-year-old wonder-kid playing in the ranks of an NPL club were to prick interest from an A-leagues club, their current club should be adequately compensated. This will reduce registration fees and give incentive to community clubs to develop and include promising players at all ages, levels and financial backgrounds.

All in all, I’m excited, as all Australian football fans should be. The game has a heartbeat.

It’s faint, but it is there, and the current climate is one of optimism and great opportunity. 2023 is make or break but the possibilities are endless.

Dare to dream!