Football Australia have appointed storied American coach Paddy Steinfort as Socceroos and Matildas performance director.
Steinfort comes to Football Australia highly credentialed and experienced from the Major League Baseball team Boston Red Sox where he most recently held the position of Senior Performance Coach.
Steinfort is an American and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and currently runs a podcast called Toughness, in addition to working with the US Army's Human Performance section as an advisor.
His speciality is mental conditioning and the preparation of athletes, so his career has taken him across several major sporting codes.
His resume spans across several sporting organisations and high-performance environments in Australia and USA, with previous roles including NBA team Philadelphia 76ers, MLB's Toronto Blue Jays, the Philadelphia Eagles and AFL Club, Adelaide Football Club.
He was also previously Managing Director of Leading Teams New Zealand, where he played a vital role developing high performance cultures, teams and leaders across a number of sports around the globe delivering innovative and tailored programs to organisations in leadership and high performance development.
Steinfort’s role at Football Australia will encompass the High Performance of all national teams, including the Socceroos and Matildas.
His appointment highlights Football Australia’s strategic shift from a more administratively focused role towards one dedicated to working with the organisation’s highly experienced and skilled national team staff to enhance the high-performance environments around the national teams.
Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson said, he was a perfect fit for Football Australia and the strategic direction the organisation is heading in.
“Following an extensive recruitment process, Paddy was the stand-out from a highly competitive and global set of candidates. He brings an outstanding set of skills, cutting-edge global experience and high-performance knowledge and acumen to Football Australia,” Johnson said.
“Our national teams face some very unique challenges - players are located across the globe, they only gather a handful of times during the FIFA windows, qualification for major tournaments in Asia requires significant travel, and our players compete in some of the most demanding leagues and play for some of the most high profile sporting organisations in the world.
“We believe that Paddy is the ideal person to help us meet the challenges of modern-day international football and at the same time develop and implement innovative performance strategies for our teams and players. He will work in close partnership with our very experienced coaches to play a vital role in enhancing a culture of high-performance for our teams to perform at their optimum as we enter into a crucial period for our national teams,” Johnson concluded.
Trevor Morgan, Head of Technical Direction, Pathways and Coach Education, who sat on the recruitment panel alongside James Johnson and Board member, Amy Duggan, applauded the appointment.
“We are genuinely excited about the appointment of Paddy. He is an excellent communicator who understands the needs of elite athletes through experience he has developed across a range of professional sports at the highest level. His appointment is well timed for our organisation and the strategic direction we are taking with our high performance and national teams.
“Paddy’s expertise and diverse skillset will help us evolve our practices with the cutting edge initiatives to improve performance on the global stage as we embark on a busy schedule of national team activity going forward,” Morgan said.
Steinfort will be based in Australia and take up the role from 1 July 2021.