Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Socceroo Jackson Irvine as PFA President and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams as PFA Vice President, signifying a new era of leadership for the organisation.

Irvine will assume the reins from outgoing President Alex Wilkinson, who served in the position for seven years before his retirement from professional football in June. 

Williams, a long serving member of the PFA’s Executive Committee, will support Irvine in the role of Vice President.

The duo have been at the heart of player advocacy and representation through their roles with the PFA, with Williams a central figure of the 2015 Matildas strike and the 2019 National Teams Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which delivered pay equity for Socceroos and Matildas.

St. Pauli captain and Socceroos midfielder Irvine joined the PFA Executive in 2021 and has demonstrated exemplary leadership both on and off the field, advocating for the rights of players and defending those of migrant workers and the LGBTIQ+ community.

Irvine is also a member of FIFPRO’s Global Player Council, a representative body of over 30 international players, including Lucy Bronze, Giorgio Chiellini, Andre Onana and Eugenie Le Sommer, which aims to strengthen and elevate the role of professional footballers at the global level.

Commenting on his appointment, Irvine said: “I am honoured and excited to take on the role of President. It is a position that comes with great opportunity and responsibility. In representing the interests of over 700 professional footballers, my aim is to ensure every one of their voices is heard and respected and forms part of the game’s policymaking and decision-making.

“Following the strong performances of the Matildas and the Socceroos, our first objective is to help secure a new CBA for the national teams that delivers on the players’ vision for the game and drives consistent international success for Australia.

“Equally, we remain focused on advancing the interests of players currently plying their trade in the A-Leagues and ensure the game achieves its enormous potential.” 

Joining Irvine in a new era of PFA leadership, Williams is poised to continue her contribution to the players: “I am excited to take on the role of Vice President and continue advocating for players’ rights. I am committed to working to ensure that the players’ perspectives remain at the forefront of the decisions that shape our game. After such an exciting FIFA Women’s World Cup, there’s a significant opportunity to deliver a new agreement between the players and Football Australia to drive our sport forward at the international level.”

Outgoing President Alex Wilkinson wished Irvine and Williams success in their new representative roles: “I am incredibly proud of the progress that the PFA has made during my time as President, and with Jackson and Lydia at the helm, I have no doubt that the PFA will continue to thrive and represent the players with passion, dedication and integrity.”

PFA Chair Francis Awaritefe welcomed the appointment of the new leadership: “In Alex, the PFA has been led by a truly remarkable leader. In Jackson and Lydia, the players’ interests remain in great hands.

“Their combined experience, passion, and vision for the future of football align with the PFA’s mission of building the Australian game and supporting the players.”

Irvine becomes the PFA’s seventh President since the organisation was established 30 years ago in 1993, following in the footsteps of Greg Brown, Kimon Taliadoris, Alex Tobin, Simon Colosimo, Matt McKay and Wilkinson.

PFA Executive Committee

Jackson Irvine (President), Lydia Williams (Vice President), Francis Awaritefe (Chair), Kathryn Gill (Co-Chief Executive), Beau Busch (Co-Chief Executive), Mat Ryan, Tameka Yallop, Jack Hingert, Natasha Rigby, Andrew Redmayne and Elise Kellond-Knight.