Football?s new dawn
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE excitement created in football by the new FFA, A-League and of course the Socceroos is also building locally as well after an extaordinary general meeting last week voted in the formation of a new body, North Coast Football.
This decision effectively sounds the death knell for both the Holiday Coast and Clarence River Soccer Associations as NCF will be covering a region stretching from Iluka to Macksville.
It's expected that there will be more than 5000 participants in NCF during the next season.
Another step made to advance the game in the region is the appointment of an Operations Manager for North Coast Football and anyone would be hard pressed to find a better candidate for the role than Gary Phillips as his experience in the game made him a natural selection for the position.
A veteran of 380 games in the old National Soccer League, years of coaching at the top level in both Australia and overseas and Phillips has a wealth of experiences in the game that he can draw upon in his new role.
Officially, Phillips is being employed 30 hours a week but he knows that the role has the hallmarks of becoming a labour of love.
"The job's probably worthy of 60 hours per week," he said with a laugh.
"It's exciting at the moment and I'm looking forward to the challenge, hopefully in 12 months time the role's in a full time capacity.
"I'd even like to see the director of coaching become full time as well."
Phillips knows that the job isn't all beer and skittles and that he needs to roll up his sleeves to make his position a success.
He has made it a goal that the development of the many talented young players in the area be given priority.
"You've got to have a healthy competition at the senior level," he explained.
"If you've got 16 or 17 year olds playing a higher level of football it's going to better for their development.
"If the players can become a bit more streetwise and be made to grow up quicker, it's only going to better for them."