PFA Executive member and Phoenix skipper Ross Aloisi.

Wellington Phoenix has impressed the Australian football industry with its speedy development, even before their exciting 2-2 draw with champions Melbourne Victory before 14,400 in Wellington today.  The PFA feels the close relationship between the club and New Zealand Football will greatly enhance the quality of football in New Zealand, and perhaps provide a regional model for player management and development.

PFA Executive Chairman Brendan Schwab recently visited Wellington with My Football Career head Glenn Warry to meet with the players, CEO Tony Pignata, coachRicki Herbert and owner Terry Serepisos, as well as Andrew Scott-Howman, lawyer to the NZPFA.

The PFA, with the support of FIFPro Asia, is very interested in exploring the opportunities of a new “New Zealand model” for player management and development in conjunction with the NZPFA and New Zealand Football.

“There is a unique opportunity to establish a model that will see young players provided with high quality education and guidance through the players’ association as soon as they are identified by the sport’s talent ID system,” Schwab said.  “The players can then be developed through the national academy and strategically placed with the Phoenix, or managed into the appropriate overseas environment.”

“In this way, the game and the players’ association can make sure that the needs of players are managed in a holistic sense at home and in Europe, addressing football, financial, educational and personal issues.  This will add greatly to the international competitiveness of New Zealand football by ensuring every potential player is given careful guidance and support at every step of the way.

“New Zealand, like Australia, has a very small talent pool when compared with the football giants of Brazil, Italy, England and Spain, which all boast thousands of professional players.  This means we have to invest in everyone of our 300 or so professional Aussie players, as to lose a player through bad management or decision-making will adversely effect the standard of our national team.

“The Phoenix players have all embraced the PFA under the leadership of inaugural captain and PFA Executive member, Ross Aloisi (pictured).  We will shortly be rolling out our educational and financial planning programs with FFA, and look forward to the club being competitive on the field and encouraging healthy crowds.