With the Female Football Week theme in full swing, we spoke to one of our administrators from our largest club Coomera Soccer Club, Helen Falcone. See what Helen had to say about the football landscape below!
MM: How long have you been administrating in football and what made you start all those years ago?
HF: I started in 2006 when my son started playing. I was team manager, then started helping out as treasurer and did that for a couple of years. I started helping as I believe that if everyone gave an hour of their time to help out in any way clubs would benefit and so do the volunteers as you get the satisfaction of giving back. I don’t believe people realise how much work goes on behind the scenes to get players on the park. I had a break from 2008 to the end of 2010 as treasurer but stayed at the club as manager of my children’s teams all four of my children played at some stage. I eventually came back at the end of 2010 and unfortunately the club was left in a tricky position but with a great bunch of people we managed to bring it back to one of the biggest clubs on the Coast.
MM: What is the biggest challenge you find in the administration side of football, especially dealing with such a big club?
HF: There are many challenges to running a club, especially as Football QLD and FIFA bring in more guidelines and regulations. All most people want is to get their kids playing sport and really don’t get the regulations and restrictions especially when it comes to ITC International Clearance for players as young as 10. The amount of documents you need for this is more than you require to buy a house, it is ridiculous. Then the clearance can take up to 4 weeks if you are lucky to get. As we are in a very fast growing area we do go through phases where we have a lot of people coming and going so it is great that the transfer system has become easier for players and clubs. A club of any size is just like running a small business, I always say that for us it is like running a small school. You do your best to get in as many good coaches and volunteers as you can to help train and guide the young players coming through, like anything we don’t always get it right but we certainly try. The administration side of the club is a full time job and requires lots of helpers to get it done on a daily bases. The one thing I believe the clubs need assistance with is people transferring and not paying their fees.
MM: Do you find it challenging to be a female administrator in what is classified as a male dominant sport? If yes, why and if no, why not?
HF: I don’t really find it an issue as I do work in the building game and the marine industry- both very male dominate industries. For me I don’t really have an issue, as we have a great bunch of people on our committee and we are all very supportive of each other. If we are dealing with male chauvinists and they are still out there Alan will normally deal with them and I stay behind the scene. In the administration side it is fine but when you are the ground official it can be a different story.
MM: What would be your biggest advice to anyone who is wanting to help out within their club in an administrator role?
HF: Get in and give it a go. You would be amazed at how much you can learn. Every club needs assistance in some form. You get to contribute your skills and knowledge and make some great friends along the way, while helping lots of young players get out there and have fun playing a great sport. It really is great to walk out on the fields on a Saturday and see all the kids having a great time. That is what makes it all worthwhile.