One of the benefits of the occasional 'failure' is the opportunity to reassess, refocus, re-innovate and reinvigorate.
A glorious letdown is not a bad thing every now and again. It forces us to apply the blowtorch to accepted beliefs, ways of operating, outdated methodologies and stale thinking.
Australia's perceived lack of success at the 2012 London Olympic Games will lead to plenty of introspection and analysis that will ultimately set us on the path to longer term achievement, once a new direction is set.
This happened in football in the early part of this century, when the Socceroos failed to qualify for the 2003 Confederations Cup after a shambolic Oceania Nations Cup campaign in 2002. The fallout sparked the necessary outrage that brought down the curtain on Soccer Australia.
Scott Chipperfield paying his own way to represent his country because the governing body could not afford flights for the overseas players, became emblematic of the regime and precipitated the end.
The national debate has quickly turned to making sport compulsory in primary schools, which is long overdue, particularly in light of the growing obesity and degenerating health of the general population.
Football must get politically active immediately to play a leading role in this regard. We are the ideal sport to satisfy all of these physical and psychological aims and the primary school system is the key to our competitive future.
It is imperative that football develops a yearly development program in primary schools nationally if we are to have any chance of competing with more populous nations.
Japan, France, South Korea, Germany and China, with a strategic plan to setup a network of over 3,000 football schools, are all excellent examples of utilizing football programs in early school years to develop large populations of technically polished players ready for later elite programs or, in the case of recreational players, for a life of enjoyment in this wonderful game.
Given the relatively brief club football season for most young players, the primary school system presents the perfect opportunity to provide a year-round developmental environment while imparting the values of the game as well as health education to a new generation of Australian kids.
I would love to see us go one step further, to develop dedicated football primary schools in which football is the main sport, in which every child receives outstanding coaching, can train during school time three to four days per week and maintain this program all year long.
This is the ideal way to address the greatest problem area the game currently has, the lack of quality education provided to our children between the ages of 6 and 12, during which the main technical gestures and basic game understanding must be in place in order to keep pace with the rest of the world in the important teen years.
Given the growing number of private academies, the vast majority of which are close to useless in terms of the football education but for which parents are collectively paying hundreds of millions of dollars annually - specialist schools have a major role to play.
The question is, how can we better harness all the passion and resources for the good of the game and redirect them into the public school system by being able to retain high quality youth educators for kids who pay nothing more than the minimum public school fees?
Can it be done? I believe it can, and the benefits for Australia’s kids in health outcomes, learning the values of the game and nursing a supporter base and potential population of elite players, is incredible and exciting.
Given that Australia’s last great sporting challenge is to win the FIFA World Cup in both male and female competition, I can’t believe for a moment that a leading Australian company could not be found to contribute to the realisation of a dream that will fundamentally change this country.
This step would expedite our complete integration into the global sporting community by becoming a regular and dangerous competitor at the very peak of world football instead of excelling at sports the world cares nothing about and which are draining the male athlete population and compromising our chances of international success. Excuse my honesty.
With several hundred football schools all connected on a central technical program, each child tested several times per year psychologically, technically and physically and all the data collected and used to innovate and guide, what a glorious future we would have.
With the incredible passion for football that exists already, there must be primary schools keen to develop leading football programs through which they can also teach the values of the game while maintaining the importance of an academic education.
Imagine tens of thousands of kids matriculating at year six with an outstanding academic record, an understanding of the principles of discipline, teamwork, sacrifice and humility and all ambidextrous, capable of instantly recognizing the main football problems and ready to play football a different way, one that will succeed internationally as well as provide decades of enjoyment as technicians, not runners.
This is the future.
Football schools are nothing new. They exist in many countries worldwide and, in Australia, there are non-exclusive football programs in quite a few secondary schools.
But football’s unique demands within the Australian sporting landscape mean we need to educate players at a younger age than any of the other major ball codes, with our far greater emphasis on technique and skill. The primary school system is absolutely fundamental to our long term aims, whether participatory or competitive.
Schools that focus exclusively on football, with other sports utilized mainly for co-ordination benefits, is a dream for which we must all strive to become reality.
Imagine up to 15,000-plus young Australians learning the game every week of the school year, an army of accomplished players being educated at no cost to the parents and the benefit to the long term strength and quality of the game.
The politicians are right, sport does need to become compulsory in our primary school system, and football should be the driver.
Meet Our Bloggers
Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all
the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup
football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.
As SBS’s chief football analyst, Craig provides expert opinion and unrivalled insight. He has also represented the Socceroos and played abroad. Follow @Craig_Foster on Twitter.
Considered one of Australia's most gifted players, Ned Zelic represented the Socceroos 34 times over a decorated career that spanned Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. Follow @NedZelic on Twitter.
After years playing abroad and a 20-goal career for the Socceroos, David turned his hand to football punditry and is a beach football fanatic. Follow @zdrila on Twitter.
Scott’s passion and knowledge of Asian football has consolidated his reputation as Australia’s foremost Asian football expert.
Vitor commentates for SBS and works as a presenter for The World Game. His passion for European football resonates through his blogs. Follow @Vitor_TWG on Twitter.
Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.
The Circus is The World Game's regular look at the beautiful game from left field. So join us every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for something a little more light-hearted than the norm.
British-born Tim works as a journalist and has lived in Brazil since 1994 and provides unrivalled knowledge of South American football.
Hailing from Amsterdam, Ajax tragic Cornell vander Heyden has over 12 years of journalism experience and cites covering the 2006 World Cup among his career highlights. Follow @dvanda101 on Twitter.