Melbourne, 21 August 2017

The PFA Executive has resolved to make funds from the PFA’s Special Assistance Fund available to players from the recently closed FFA Centre of Excellence (COE).

The COE squad played its last game on Saturday following FFA’s announcement in April that it was shutting down the elite development program and streamlining youth development with a focus on A-League club academies.

The PFA Special Assistance Fund provides current and former footballers access to financial, medical and legal support in times of acute personal difficulty.

PFA Chief Executive John Didulica and President Alex Wilkinson paid tribute to the Executive’s decision to support the young players.

“The football program based out of the Australian Institute of Sport is close to the heart of many of our present and former members. For many, it was a launch pad for a career that took them to the very top of world football,” said Wilkinson.

“The esteem in which the program is held is reflected by the decision of the Executive to take this symbolic step and all PFA members – past and present – should be very proud that they have built an association who can support players in need.”

“Regardless of the merits or otherwise of the decision to close the program, those involved in the COE program will need support in transitioning away from Canberra and the players are collectively stepping up to provide such support,” said Didulica.