Viduka headlines FFA 'Starting XI' think tank

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Football Federation Australia have announced plans to drive the growth of Australian football forward with the help of several Socceroos and Matildas legends.

The panel, known as the 'Starting XI', will work in an advisory capacity alongside the FFA's Football Development Committee, currently comprised of Mark Bresciano and Amy Duggan, among others.

Starting XI's inaugural members include: Mark Viduka, Josip Skoko, Clare Polkinghorne, Ron Smith, Mark Bosnich, Paul Okon, Frank Farina, Heather Garriock, Vicki Linton, Joey Peters, and Connie Selby.

All members will serve an initial two-year term on a voluntary basis, an initiative FFA CEO James Johnson hopes will make a positive contribution to the development of Australian football.

“Since joining FFA I have made it clear that we will be a football-first organisation that seeks to harness the collective knowledge and experience that our most successful contributors – be they current or former players, coaches, or officials – have to offer,” Johnson said. 

"We have had to act quickly to stabilise the organisation during this difficult period," Johnson said.

"In the background however, we have been moving several pieces to ensure that we continue to do the work which will be vital to launching the future of football in Australia.

"The Starting XI will provide a great platform for eleven of our best football brains to share their insights and ideas with FFA on key matters from grassroots to international football, national teams, player pathways, and the overall well-being of the game.

"Having people of the calibre of the Starting XI directly communicating with FFA on a regular basis will be invaluable for the organisation and help to achieve a shared vision for the game.

"We would like to thank the inaugural members of the Starting XI for agreeing to share their vast lived experiences with us, and believe the diverse range of people with world-class football acumen on the Panel will enable us to access a wide range of local and global views to help us drive football forward."