Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer Tim Cahill last night marked his final match in green and gold with a $50,000 donation to John Moriarty Football (JMF) on behalf of the Socceroos and Matildas.

In a gesture that represents the Socceroos’ and Matildas’ ongoing commitment to JMF, Cahill, a Football Development Ambassador for JMF, presented a cheque to Australia’s first Indigenous Socceroo and JMF founder, John Moriarty, as part of the PFA’s long term partnership with the organisation.

The donation will allow JMF to continue its engagement with Indigenous Australians through football and continue to fund the program’s scholarship players. Based in remote Northern Territory, the JMF program employs local coaches, provides training sessions and games for young players as well as providing access to education, scholarships, tournaments and overseas football experiences.

In addition to delivering health and community benefits, JMF also provides a pathway for footballers to reach the elite level, with Young Matilda Shadeene (Shay) Evans an exemplar of JMF’s work in Borroloola.

John Moriarty paid tribute to Cahill’s career, and thanked the Socceroos and Matildas for their collective contribution.

“This wonderful donation from the Socceroos and Matildas is a remarkable gesture of goodwill and inclusivity. It underlines the leadership our national women’s and men’s teams are showing in relation to Indigenous opportunity through football.

“Our whole Moriarty Foundation team thanks them and the PFA for their tremendous support. Many of our children in remote Northern Territory and on scholarship in Sydney will benefit. We also wish Tim Cahill and his family all the very best for the future, acknowledge his phenomenal contribution to the sport, and thank him warmly for his personal championing of John Moriarty Football.”

PFA Chief Executive, John Didulica, said the donation represented the strength of the organisation’s partnership with JMF and demonstrated the players’ belief in the social, health and football outcomes delivered by JMF.

“During our three-year partnership with JMF, the players have contributed over $150,000 of their wages and match fees, ensuring the ongoing development of JMF’s programs and subsequently delivering opportunities for indigenous players in remote regions of Australia.

“Without the players’ donations, the opportunities for JMF are lessened and the opportunity for a player such as Shay Evans to emerge as a Matildas star of the future are diminished.

“We’re incredibly proud of the players’ genuine interest and impact in helping provide pathways for Australians who are less likely to access the sport and the associated benefits JMF’s engagement provides.”

The players’ donation follows the news that Football Federation Australia (FFA) and JMF have secured a three-year partnership with the Commonwealth Government to expand JMF’s Indigenous football program to 12 new centres across New South Wales and Queensland.

It also comes after the PFA partnered with JMF to promote the 2018 Indigenous Football Week earlier this month, highlighting the current ‘State of Play’ of Indigenous football engagement.

About John Moriarty Football (JMF) and Indigenous Football Week:

Established in 2012, John Moriarty Football is a football engagement program for 6-16-year-old boys and girls that uses sports as a vehicle for developing talent, positive change, improving school attendance and achieving resilient, healthier outcomes for families and communities.

Held annually, Indigenous Football Week (IFW) is an awareness initiative which highlights the achievements of Indigenous players past and present and sets the stage for the next generation of incredible talent set to impact the game.  IFW is about the power of football to create change for good.