Melbourne Victory’s strategic advisor Rob Sherman has been named as the long-awaited new technical director for Football Federation Australia.
Sherman was previously national Technical Director of Football Association of Wales and New Zealand Football and was Head of Coach Education at Football Federation Australia.
Announcing the appointment, FFA CEO David Gallop said he was delighted to welcome Rob into the role, made vacant after Eric Abrams left following the World Cup. The role was due to be filled by last November but the FFA governance row forced it onto the back burner.
“We have spent the past few months speaking to some excellent candidates in Australia and abroad,” Gallop said.
“It was important that we found the right person with extensive knowledge of the Australian football landscape and an ability to unite the football community through a clear vision and we believe Rob is the perfect fit in that regard.
“We recognise we are at a critical point in our football development in Australia. Technical Development involves building the football of the future. One of the first tasks for the new Technical Director is to lead the development and implementation of a new National Technical Vision and Strategy across the whole game.
“Rob will have ultimate responsibility for and input into everything that touches on the National Football Curriculum, Pathways, Competitions, National Teams, Coach Development and Participation, in partnership with the Technical Department, National Teams and key stakeholders.
“There will also be closer alignment with the Head Coaches of the Westfield Matildas and Caltex Socceroos to oversee the alignment between the Youth National Teams programs and Senior National Teams and work with the Hyundai A-League clubs and their academies.”
Gallop thanked Melbourne Victory for their professionalism during the recruitment process.
“Melbourne Victory have recognised how important an opportunity this role is for Rob and accepted that he is the ideal person to take the position. We thank the club for its support,” he said.
Rob said he was honoured to be given the opportunity and understood the significance of the task ahead.
“We know we have a big job ahead to bring all parts of the ecosystem together,” said the Welshman.
“We need to provide our players with the best football environment, from grassroots and into senior and professional football to ensure our Matildas and Socceroos can compete with the best in the world.”
He said youth development is a key area of focus for the new role: “We will review the current system of youth development – and ensure we adopt world best practice for elite youth development including resourcing and the requirements for elite National Teams.”
This will include the implementation of an Elite Talent Pathway to ensure high quality Academy Programmes within professional clubs and work with the National Teams Unit on a sustainable annual programme of International activity for U17/16/15 National Teams.
Sherman will join the FFA at the end of next month, reporting directly to Gallop, a decision made prior to the commencement of the recruitment process and joins FFA’s Senior Management Team.