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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Gallop excited by A-League vision

ESPN Staff

David Gallop believes football in Australia is heading in the right direction, claiming a landmark season in the A-League has sparked a positive revolution.

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive was buoyant about the future of the game while speaking at an Australian Associated Press sports conference on Wednesday morning, shedding light on his immediate priorities since succeeding Ben Buckley in August 2012.

As the A-League finals series enters week two, Gallop highlighted the success of the Western Sydney Wanderers and the high profile marquee players lured to Australia as key indicators of the growth in the sport.

Gallop is confident there have been significant changes in Australia's footballing landscape since he was appointed to head the governing body, insisting the old National Soccer League model has been usurped.

"I definitely think the time for 'old soccer, new football' theme is gone, it was certainly important in the creation of the A-League ... but we have moved on from that," he said.

"You've got a whole new competition and it's hard to compare apples with apples with NSL and A-League ... When I first came into the building (when I started at the FFA), it was a very sterile environment. If you come there now you will see a lot of change ... We are celebrating the game, and the history of the game for Australia."

Australia's draw with Oman in last month's World Cup qualifier raised doubts about the potential of the Socceroos to progress to next year's tournament in Brazil, despite being placed in a group they were expected to dominate alongside Japan.

Gallop admits the national team woes are a priority for the FFA and revealed he confronted Socceroos boss Holger Osieck to discuss areas requiring improvement ahead of three crucial clashes against Japan, Iraq and Jordan in June.

"I've certainly had conversations with Holger since Oman," he added. "We have been talking team camps and better preparation. We will not be leaving stones unturned in relation to our preparation for the remaining games."

A prominent item on the agenda was the potential for an FFA Cup to be introduced in the coming years and Gallop said talks are underway to place the final of the competition on Australia Day.

"The grand plan is to hold an Australia Day grand final of the FFA Cup," Gallop said. "There are people at the FFA working on it now. The first day on the job when someone told me about it I said what are we doing about it?

"There will be six or seven hundred teams involved and we all know about the FA Cup, we all get up for it, the chance for those (lesser) teams to come through. The FFA Cup will happen. There is a lot of work being done on it and there are some challenges involved. But when we do it we want to do it right."




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