Head of Football Craig Foster has outlined Southern Expansion’s vision and philosophy for its new professional football club for the southern region in a presentation to the Technical Directors and Administrators from Football South Coast and the Sutherland and St George Football Associations.

Former Matildas Julie Murray and Di Alagich were also in attendance to hear more from Mr Foster about Southern Expansion’s desire to invest in a W-League team and academy to progress the women’s game.

“We have made very clear publicly our strong desire to invest in a W-League team this upcoming season which we believe would be immensely beneficial for the women’s game, however we are ready when the moment comes whether it’s this year, next or indeed the following,” Mr Foster said.

Mr Foster said Southern Expansion’s ongoing engagement and consultation with the local associations, particularly its technical directors (TD), was crucial in creating a shared direction for the new club and its partners.

“The opportunity to meet with our TDs and administrators to outline our technical vision, Football Department structure and sporting and human values that underpin the way Southern plays, recruits and operates was very worthwhile,” he explained.

“Southern Expansion aims to create a football identity that inspires our local football family and beyond. Importantly, all of those present shared a belief in the importance of sport embodying the values of fair play, sportsmanship and espousing appropriate behaviours for our next generation of kids.

“The associations are very excited about plans to create the country’s premier football program and how our free youth academy will create a development pathway into the A-League and W-League for both male and female local talent, so much of which is presently being overlooked. I am acutely aware of this having coached so many Southern kids at the elite youth level who I believe can achieve a professional career given the opportunity.

“We also discussed at length the vital importance of being a local brand with our players always visible in local communities and accessible to our partner associations. This is the value of collaboration between the professional game and grassroots from the inception of a club, to ensure we are fully integrated.”