Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has appointed former New Zealand international goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley as the organisation’s new Legal Counsel. 

During a professional playing career spanning 13 years, Spoonley represented Wellington Phoenix in the A-League, New Zealand’s international youth teams (U-20s and U23s) and the All Whites. Spoonley represented his country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was named New Zealand Young Footballer of the Year in 2007. 

Spoonley joins the PFA’s in-house legal team led by Head of Legal Angela Collins, bringing five years’ experience as a practicing solicitor advising high profile sports and commercial clients, including the New Zealand Players Association (NZPA). 

PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said Spoonley would deliver significant legal and player relations expertise to the PFA. 

“Jacob possesses substantial knowledge of the game and the players’ experience within it, having played professional football at the highest level and gained invaluable experience within player relations, representation and advocacy during his time with the NZPFA,” Busch said. 

“Complementing his involvement within football, Jacob’s qualifications and experience as a legal practitioner will benefit the PFA members immensely and ensure our players will continue to be represented at a world class level.” 

Spoonley, who commenced his role with the PFA on Wednesday, said he was delighted to join the PFA. 

“I am excited to be able to join the PFA and would like to thank Kate, Beau, the Board and the team for the opportunity,” Spoonley said. 

“Furthering the interests of players has always been important for me, both while as a player and more recently when I been called upon to advocate on behalf of players, particularly during one of the most challenging periods for the local game. 

“I always enjoyed collaborating with the team at the PFA and the opportunity to interact with individuals who possess such a deep knowledge and understanding of the football industry. 

“It is a privilege to be able to work for an organisation that exists for the players and is motivated to develop the game.  I can’t wait to get started.”