Stakeholders will have a rare opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns with the two most powerful men in Australian football at a community forum at Speers Point on Wednesday night.
Football Federation Australia Chairman Chris Nikou and CEO David Gallop are conducting a series of summits across Australia and will be at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility from 7.30pm.
"It's an opportunity for us to explain face to face how the game's resources are spread across the very broad agenda of the sport," Gallop said. "In many respects, football has a broader section of mouths to feed than any other sport, from the national teams' program, to the professional leagues, the NPL and grass roots.
"It's a great opportunity for us to get feedback from people who are at the coalface and also for them to meet Chris, who is relatively new in the chair."
Among the topics expected to be centre of the conversation are finances, pathways, education and investment in grass roots facilities.
"We will be talking about and looking for feedback on the cost of playing football, looking at the breakdown and where the fees are allocated, player development and the upcoming review of the NPL, the important task of lobbying government for better facilities and the issue of retention and education of grass roots coaches," Gallop said.
Northern NSW football is unique in that it is its own football state, boasting more than 65,000 registered players and 230 clubs from Lake Macquarie north to the Queensland border.
"If there are local issues we will be keen to hear about them," Gallop said. "Bill Walker (president), Dave Eland (CEO) and the board of Northern NSW are good operators and we will look to have them involved as well."
Newcastle is the second of nine community summits and follows Brisbane.
“Community consultation is an important first step for the newly-elected Board and the FFA management team and on the weekend we started on a journey to meet with the football community right around the country," Gallop said.
“Our next stop is Newcastle and we want to hear from as many members of the football community as possible over the next few months about the issues that are most important to them, so we can continue to improve our game.
“We will use the feedback from our stakeholders during these forums to help guide the development of the next four-year strategic plan.
“But most importantly our forums are about listening to our stakeholders, taking that feedback on board and working more closely with the community to improve our game.”
Register at https://ffa.formstack.com/forms/community_forum.