On top of her expected earnings in Europe next year, Kerr will likely receive a minimum sum of $83,000 from Football Federation Australia as a tier-one contracted player and rakes in a considerable amount through her endorsements, notably being one of the faces of Nike Australia.
Clubs not sold on Zlatan
Perth Glory’s bid to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic recieved a blow this week when the Swedish star informed them he would weigh up all offers over the next month – but it’s not dead just yet. Sources close to the deal suggest there remains some hope of signing Ibrahimovic for a guest stint for the remainder of the year, but it will require access to FFA’s marquee player fund. Gaining support for that, however, is not necessarily shared by all other clubs.
A-League sources informed The Hairdryer most club owners are supportive of a guest stint for Ibrahimovic but there are a small handful who remain cautious. Now the league is semi-autonomous of the FFA, disagreement between the clubs over funding for Ibrahimovic could influence the release of funds.
Saturday’s friendly between the Matildas and Chile looms as an historic occasion with a record crowd for women’s football in this country expected at Bankwest Stadium, but it should be an extra special moment for some true pioneers of the game.
Last month, the 40th anniversary of the first ‘A’ international football match in Sydney was marked. But there were Matildas before that. In 1978, a team of Australian women took part in an invitational tournament in Taiwan. They were the first women selected to represent Australia and members of that team will be formally recognised in a pre-match function at Parramatta, as well as on the field where the women who followed the trail they blazed will form a guard of honour.
Among them will be Jim and Connie Selby, who were coach and captain respectively for that tournament but would fall in love, marry the next year and have three children together – the first, of course, forcing Connie (née Byrnes) to miss the Matildas’ historic clash with the Kiwis at Seymour Shaw Park in Sydney.
It won’t be streamed or live-tweeted like the last one, but the date has been set for FFA’s next annual general meeting: November 21.
While most of the recent focus has been on the field with the start of the A-League, the impending W-League season and the various national teams all in action, there’s a fair bit going on at boardroom and administrative level.
Two new directors will be elected at the AGM to replace outgoing Lowy-era board members Crispin Murray and Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, and naturally noise is emerging about who might toss their hat in the ring.
FFA’s deputy chair, Heather Reid, is yet to give any formal indication to the board about when she plans to return from her medical leave of absence. Reid would not comment when contact by this column, but the expectation is she will resume her position in the not-too-distant future.
The board hopes to have David Gallop’s successor as FFA chief executive confirmed by the AGM, too, with the race for that job now in its final stages. There are believed to be between three and five contenders still left, and some final interviews have been conducted this week.
Meanwhile, the board will next week consider the findings of the independent report into the ugly sacking of former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic. There’s also the recent indiscretions of four Olyroos players in Cambodia bubbling away in the background, plus the ongoing A-League independence negotiations.
Australia wins Toure tug-of-war, for now
Adelaide United sensation Al Hassan Toure thrashed out his international future in a half-hour conversation on the phone this week with Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.
Toure, 19, was tossing up whether to commit to playing for Australia, his adopted homeland, or Liberia, the country where his parents are from. The talented striker has been picked for Australia’s under-23s, who will play a friendly tournament in China next week, a match which Arnold plans to attend after the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifier against Jordan.
While Toure could theoretically still change his mind until he is officially tied down in a competitive senior match, Arnold said he believed Toure has made a decision.
“He’s a beautiful kid and he understands, clearly, that he’s got a lot of work to do and it’s all about hard work moving forward,” Arnold said.
“The conversation I had with Toure was just around what’s next, and what’s next is the Olympic campaign, and does he want to be a part of it? He assured me 100 per cent that he does. He’s pretty much said that to me, that it’s Australia. He wants to play for Australia and be part of this country so it’s great. Let’s have one step at a time, see how he is with the Olyroos.”
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.