FFA Centre of Excellence
|Full name||FFA Centre of Excellence|
|Ground||Australian Institute of Sport|
|Technical Director||Peter de Roo|
|Head Coach||Tony Vidmar|
|League||National Youth League
National Premier Leagues
The FFA Centre of Excellence (formerly the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program) is a football talent identification and player development program run by Football Federation Australia and is based at the Australian Institute of Sport, in Canberra. The Centre of Excellence runs this program for men: the program was one of the eight founding sports of the AIS in 1981.
The AIS soccer program is funded by the Australian Federal Government, through the Australian Sports Commission. In 2005–2006 this funding amounted to A$1,115,000. Currently, 20 students per year are selected for an initial period of 12 months training and study, with the additional option of a second year. The men's program is residential, while the women's is training camp-based. Students are generally 15–17 years old when selected and the only compulsory requirement is that they have current, or pending, Australian citizenship.
The original stated aim of the men's program was
"To identify and develop players for the national under-20 youth team and to develop coaches through the Scholarship Coaching scheme".
Following the decision of several soccer graduates to represent other countries at a senior national level (e.g. Josip Simunic), the AIS implemented contracts whereby the cost of the scholarship will have to be repaid by any graduate that goes on to play soccer at a senior level representing a country other than Australia, in international competition.
National Soccer League
Victorian Premier League
The men's program had previously entered a team in the New South Wales Premier League competition in 2005. In 2007 the AIS entered a team into the Victorian Premier League. This would allow regular, weekly competitive matches that were lacking for previous scholarship holders. As part of their inclusion as the only non-Victorian team in the VPL competition, all 'home' fixtures were played in Victoria for the 2007 season. The side struggled for consistency throughout the season, finishing 12th on the ladder, however great benefit was reportedly gained from the participation in a men's competition. In 2008 the men's program team continued to participate in the Victorian Premier League, improving from the previous year as the AIS finished 8th on the ladder. AIS home games were also played in Canberra, while some high-profile matches which includes the Round 21 match between the AIS and the Preston Lions FC was played in Country Victoria at Rumbalara Oval, Shepparton. This was designed to promote the competition and bring the top state league competition to new areas.
However the men's program team will cease to compete in the Victorian Premier League competition for 2009, as the AIS program will be designed to accommodate younger players, hence eliminating the need to compete in a senior men's competition.
National Youth League
Current squad (2016)
The following 17 players from across Australia were selected for scholarships in 2016.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
List of players with 10 caps or more for their country. Names in bold for players who represented their Country at a FIFA World Cup.
|Name||Club||Position||Years||Current status||Country||International caps|
|Farina, FrankFrank Farina||Fiji||FW||1982–83||Coaching||67|
|Spink, WarrenWarren Spink||Cooks Hill United||FW||1983–84||Coaching||38|
|Hooker, RobbieRobbie Hooker||DF||1984–85||Retired||22|
|Polak, JasonJason Polak||MF||1985–87||Retired||32|
|Trimboli, PaulPaul Trimboli||Melbourne Victory||FW||1986||Manager||46|
|van Blerk, JasonJason van Blerk||Central Coast Mariners Academy||MF||1986||Coaching||33|
|Foster, CraigCraig Foster||MF||1986–87||Media||29|
|Horvat, SteveSteve Horvat||DF||1987–88||Retired||32|
|Murphy, ShaunShaun Murphy||DF||1988||Retired||18|
|Zelić, NedNed Zelić||DF||1988||Media||34|
|Sorras, GeorgeGeorge Sorras||FW||1989–90||Retired||27|
|Edwards, AlistairAlistair Edwards||Real Mulia||FW||1988||Coaching||19|
|Corica, SteveSteve Corica||Sydney FC||MF||1989–90||Coaching||32|
|Muscat, KevinKevin Muscat||Melbourne Victory||DF||1990–91||Coaching||46|
|Moore, CraigCraig Moore||Coomera Colts||DF||1992–93||Coaching||52|
|Foxe, HaydenHayden Foxe||Western Sydney Wanderers||DF||1993–94||Coaching||11|
|Skoko, JosipJosip Skoko||MF||1992–93||Retired||51|
|Aloisi, JohnJohn Aloisi||Brisbane Roar||FW||1992–93||Coaching||55|
|Viduka, MarkMark Viduka||FW||1992–93||Retired||43|
|Neill, LucasLucas Neill||DF||1994–95||Retired||96|
|Šimunić, JosipJosip Šimunić||DF||1995–96||Retired||105|
|Emerton, BrettBrett Emerton||MF||1996||Retired||95|
|Grella, VinceVince Grella||MF||1996||Retired||46|
|Colosimo, SimonSimon Colosimo||DF||1996–97||Retired||26|
|Šerić, AnthonyAnthony Šerić||MF||1996–97||Retired||16|
|Sterjovski, MileMile Sterjovski||MF||1996–98||Retired||43|
|Bresciano, MarkMark Bresciano||Unattached||MF||1997||Playing||84|
|Ergić, IvanIvan Ergić||MF||1997–98||Retired||11|
|Wilkshire, LukeLuke Wilkshire||Dynamo Moscow||MF||1997–98||Playing||80|
|Kennedy, JoshuaJoshua Kennedy||FW||1998–99||Retired||36|
|North, JadeJade North||Brisbane Roar||DF||1999||Playing||41|
|Brosque, AlexAlex Brosque||Sydney FC||FW||2001||Playing||21|
|McKay, MattMatt McKay||Brisbane Roar||MF||2001||Playing||58|
|Valeri, CarlCarl Valeri||Melbourne Victory||MF||2001–02||Playing||52|
|Milligan, MarkMark Milligan||Baniyas||MF||2002||Playing||46|
|Kruse, RobbieRobbie Kruse||Bayer Leverkusen||FW||2005–06||Playing||40|
|Rukavytsya, NikitaNikita Rukavytsya||Maccabi Haifa||FW||2005–06||Playing||13|
|Vidošić, DarioDario Vidošić||Liaoning Whowin||MF||2006||Playing||23|
|Spiranovic, MatthewMatthew Spiranovic||Hangzhou Greentown||DF||2006||Playing||30|
|Holland, JamesJames Holland||MSV Duisburg||MF||2006–07||Playing||15|
|Burns, NathanNathan Burns||F.C. Tokyo||FW||2006||Playing||20|
|Sainsbury, TrentTrent Sainsbury||Jiangsu Suning||DF||2009–10||Playing||14|
- Net loss: let games begin, SMH, 1 July 2006
- Croatia warned away from 'kindie', Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2006
- AIS get VPL spot, The World Game, 21 November 2006
- "Withdrawal of the AIS" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- AIS Join The National Youth League
- "Talented youngsters chosen for FFA's Centre of Excellence". Football Federation Australia. 9 February 2016.