Former Australian professional footballers wishing to pursue a career in coaching will be provided additional support through the PFA’s partnership with Football Coaches Australia (FCA).

Members of the PFA’s Past Players Program will have their joining fee for FCA waived, providing developing coaches with access to coaching-specific resources and services such as professional coach development, contracting standards and legal advocacy.

The initiative is a result of the partnership between FCA and PFA established in 2018 and built on a commitment to driving the highest standards of professionalism in Australian football and collaborating on professional development opportunities for elite players and coaches.

FCA is the official association for Australia’s qualified football coaches which represents and prepares professional coaches.

Key benefits of the FCA membership are access to the FCAXV Essential Skills program, encompassing modules on leadership, resilience, communication, emotional intelligence and culture, in addition to PD programs, which attract FA Licence CPD points, a comprehensive national psychology service and financial guidance.

A standard contract and independent grievance procedure for coaches is currently being pursued in discussions with Football Australia.

FCA’s Executive Committee member, former A-League Men’s player and PFA Alumni, Terry McFlynn, said:

“There is a common purpose across the PFA and the FCA, with many of our members being former players occupying or pursuing opportunities within coaching in Australia.

“Given this common ground, and our shared desire to support those entering the next phase of their lives, it is a natural fit for us to work together to support the next generation of Australian coaches, alongside the PFA.”

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said:

“There is one certainty in our members’ lives and careers; that their playing days will eventually come to an end. Our responsibility is to ensure they are not only supported during their careers but have developed adequate skills in areas of interest and that there are opportunities available to them after they hang up the boots.

“We know that transitioning into any new field or profession is challenging so having a partnership with the FCA ensures that our past players know they will be supported by both the PFA and the FCA if they choose to embark on a career in coaching.”

Since 2018, the PFA and FCA have maintained a close working relationship between players and licensed coaches, with the latest offer demonstrating a commitment to ensuring players are supported after their playing careers. The organisations cooperate on a range of issues impacting Australia football including:

  • collaborating on professional development opportunities for elite players and coaches at all levels of the game from grassroots to professional competitions;
  • seeking solutions to challenges and barriers to football through collaboration and consultation;
  • working with stakeholders to protect children and youth footballers within an elite sporting environment; and
  • ensuring that elite training environments across the country provide a positive experience and give due regard to the holistic development of coaches of players.