The directors are drawn from National Premier League (NPL) clubs in each of the eight states or regional federations and will guide the organisation through its next phase.

“This is a key step for the Association in achieving the objectives we set for ourselves in our inaugural national meeting in March,” said Tom Kalas, Interim Chairman of the steering committee formed to manage the establishment of the Association.

“We now have a fit for purpose Constitution, along with directors from every federation.

“The AAFC represents the NPL which is a critical development and performance pathway for football in Australia, in which more than 30,000 players take part,” Kalas said.

Those elected to the four statutory board positions are:

  • Chairman: Rabieh Krayem, Townsville
  • Deputy Chairman: Victoria Morton, Hobart
  • Secretary: Gino Marra, Sydney
  • Treasurer: Christo Patsan, Newcastle

The four other directors will be responsible for specific activities, including former Socceroo and national soccer league coach, Gary Marocchi, as director of football.

Krayem said that the new Board now has a number of priorities to pursue as agreed at the national meeting in March and enshrined in its new Constitution.

Among these is pursuing the concept of a second-tier competition and linked to the ALeague. This is of critical importance to the development of the game.

“We want to work with FFA, the state federations, the A-League, PFA and, importantly, our member clubs and players to get the best possible model within the resources available.

“The experienced football people on our board, such as Gary Marocchi and Dean Hennessey, know that having more young men and women playing football more often is a vital factor in improving our football standards and quality.”

Collectively, the NPL clubs have more than 30,000 registered junior and senior players (men & women) including the semi-professional sector of the game.

They are responsible for management of significant community assets through boutique football facilities and sporting infrastructure and crucially their collective members and supporters, which number in the hundreds of thousands, not only attend matches per week but provide thousands of knowledgeable football volunteers.

The Board members are:

ACT : John Thiele
NSW : Gino Marra
NNSW : Christo Patsan
QLD : Rabieh Krayem (Chairman)
SA : Amin Ayoubi
TAS : Victoria Morton (Deputy Chairman)
VIC : Dean Hennessey
WA : Gary Marocchi

Krayem thanked the founding directors who established the AAFC, the Steering Committee, National Delegates and the Interim Chairman who managed the transition from the
inaugural meeting to this point.

“Many people and clubs assisted the AAFC in various critical areas but we would like to commend Tom Kalas and Nick Galatas in working so diligently to guide the AAFC in becoming
one of the most significant football stakeholders in Australia.

“Their energy and dedication in getting this going in the first place is an important contribution to the growth of the game. It’s a fantastic shot-in-the-arm for football.

“The new board intends to continue in the same way, to ensure that we have a viable and sustainable second tier competition, which will grow to become a key plank in the Australian football landscape for years to come.”

Access to PDF of AAFC document