FFA appoints Head of National Performance

Former Socceroo Luke Casserly has been appointed to the newly-created position of Head of National Performance.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop has today announced the appointment of former Socceroo Luke Casserly to the newly-created position of Head of National Performance.

Casserly, 39, has spent the past nine years working as a key senior corporate executive in the fresh produce industry with the Moraitis Group.

Luke-s football CV includes three years as a professional player in Europe including two UEFA Cup campaigns, 10 seasons in the National Soccer League including a championship with Marconi and eight full international appearances for the Socceroos.

His representative career also includes the Australian Schoolboys, Young Socceroos and Olyroos at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

As the Head of National Performance, Casserly will report directly to David Gallop on the management of the National Teams Unit and Elite Player Development.

Gallop said today that Luke Casserly brings the right mix of football experience and management skills to the new role.

“From the start, our ideal candidate would have been someone who knew the professional game and had top-level corporate and management experience,” said Gallop.

“Luke has those key attributes, as well as a great insight into how Australia-s national teams and elite player development pathways fit into the game-s structures.

“The fact that Luke has in recent times coached in the semi-professional ranks in NSW and now is a volunteer youth coach shows he will bring to the role first-hand knowledge of the game from grassroots to the professional tier.”

Luke Casserly said today he felt privileged to be appointed to a key role in Australian football.

“I-m very excited to be joining FFA at a time when Australian football is on such a huge upswing,” said Casserly.

“It-s a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the success of our national teams and elite player pathways, which are things I-ve spent a fair part of my life pursuing.

“It-s critical that this area of FFA is well managed and that we have the right structures, resources and processes in place for our national teams today and for the players we-re developing for tomorrow.”

The appointment of the Head of National Performance is the latest phase of an on-going FFA restructure under David Gallop-s tenure.

This process will include a review of structures in the Technical Department area with the news that the National Technical Director Han Berger will not seek a renewal of his term once his current contract expires in July next year.

David Gallop said Berger-s decision would provide ample time to find the right replacement and the best structure for the next phase of football technical development.

“Han has already created an outstanding legacy for Australian football through his guidance and mentoring of the National Youth Teams players and coaches, the creation of an integrated National Talented Player Pathway and the total re-structuring of Coach Education,- said Gallop.

“That legacy will be entrenched with the imminent publication of the updated National Curriculum and work on a Long term Football Development Plan.

“I think his decision to give FFA plenty of notice shows his integrity, and demonstrates his commitment to the cause of Australian football.”

In addition, the FFA will consider the expansion of the Board sub-committee on Football Development to include non-directors with the appropriate football technical qualifications.

The changes in the management of National Teams, Elite Player Pathways and Technical Development follow restructures at FFA earlier this year.

A new department of Community Football was established and Emma Highwood appointed as head of department. In addition, John Kelly was appointed as Chief Operating Officer to oversee strategic planning, business development and broadcast and digital rights.