Capital Football reporter Maddison Sawkins caught up with Dylan Deep-Jones, Club Development Manager, to discuss the Game Changer Program and how it can help clubs achieve goals that will help propel the sport forward and increase participation across the board.
Madison Sawkins: Can you explain what a Game Changer is?
Dylan Deep-Jones: “Game changer Is a development program for clubs to help empower and to drive infrastructure in clubs. Its aim is to create future proofing in the next generation of players, so clubs can have governance and finance and development of their club in a standardised way.”
Madison Sawkins: There are 15 modules in the game plan, how does Football Australia plan to help clubs complete them?
Dylan Deep-Jones: “There is a three tier system, 1-star clubs, 2-star clubs, 3-star clubs. The first and foremost focus is the girls in football module. That is the first module you complete. Then you create an action plan for a first star. To move on for your second star you need to do safeguarding and then you also have to complete your women’s and girl’s module again. Then you have to pick another module of your choosing. Whether that’s governance, whether that’s finance, whether that’s one of the other 13 modules.
“It’ll be the same with the 3-star club. You need to do your safeguarding, you need to do your women’s and girls and then two more modules of your choosing. You don’t necessarily need to do every single module because obviously there are unique circumstances for clubs. It doesn’t need to require all fifteen modules to be complete so it’s not too overwhelming for clubs, but they are there just in case it is needed.”
Madison Sawkins: What changes do you expect to see in Women’s football over the next 5-10 years from the help of Game Changer?
Dylan Deep-Jones: “Participation. A really big emphasis on participation of girls by Football Australia. They are hoping by 2025 to have a 50/50 equity split of players. It’s an ambitious goal, a goal that I like. So, participation of players is important but another factor we want to improve on is participation of coaches. Massive increase of upskilled coaches for women because as nice as it is to increase participation of girls on a playing level, I think there would be a lot of benefit to have upskilled coaches to increase those role models in regard to players, but you want to see some role model coaches as well.
“After the game you see a pathway into coaching. More Women participating in committee and presidential roles because there’s really not enough. It sometimes seems to be more of a “boys club” so it would be nice to see that change. Football Australia would like to do a 40-40-20 split, 40% Women, 40% men, and 20% unspecified, which is something we would like to see not only across the ACT but across the nation as well.”
Madison Sawkins: How does the Game Changer benefit parents and technical staff?
Dylan Deep-Jones: “It’ll benefit the parents because they will hopefully see a pathway for their kid, especially girls. Which is the biggest focus with the women’s world cup coming up soon. Hopefully parents will see a clear pathway in all clubs for boys and girls and those pathways be the same. It’s beneficial for technical staff because it creates guidelines and structure. There’s assistance and resources and that can really help small clubs. Every state and territory has a Game Changer official who clubs can contact if they need any type of help or question.”