In Australia, the situation is no different. The Football Federation of Australia board is frightengly bereft of individuals with even a passing knowledge of football, and their charge seems to be the development of new sponsorship deals and making the game financially viable. That is all well and good, but football, like any sport, is now an entertainment product - and as such is competing, not just with other sports, but against other forms of entertainment like television, movies and computer games for the consumer dollar. And because of this, if the product is poor, so will be the returns on investment. A balance must be reached between the bottom line and the betterment of football, for the good of all.
In times of great distress, there is always one person who is willing to stand up and say, "Enough!" Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandella, Karl Marx - these people, regardless of whether you agree with their views or not, were willing to stand up and be counted, to fight for what they believed in.
Where is our voice crying out in the wilderness? Is there no one worthy to take the great game of football to the levels it rightfully deserves?
In answer, I give you someone who needs no introduction: Craig Foster. Not only had he had a storied career as a football player at the highest levels in the world, he has been an SBS football analyst for the good part of 7 years, and he is constantly demonstrated his in-depth understanding of the game by calling out those who are bringing it into disrepute.
Football analysts are a trade of abundance, but very few of them know how to put their analysis into fruition?but the same cannot be said of Foster who earlier this year, led a revolutionary movement to create playing fields across metropolitan Australian in an initiative to promote the game and reduce crime levels by providing an alternative option for Australia's youth to spend their excess energy.
Foster's knowledge isn't just in theory but also in practical, in the late 1990's, he released a video series on coaching youth players. In this video series, he clearly showcased his ability to implement a program which is designed to create intelligent and skillful footballers he highlighted their deficiencies and which practical coaching sessions were necessary to eliminate them.
He has recently been enthused by the Barcelona methodology and is a firm believer in adopting their coaching philosophy across the spectrum of Australian football, and there is no one better qualified to bring about this wholesome change than Foster himself.
Australian football needs leadership that inspires, and Craig Foster's passion for the game is second to none. It's time for him to step up to the mantle, to assume his responsibilities and shepherd the game in Australia to more greener and lush pastures.
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