Socceroos’ Premier League star Adam Federici has been announced as an official Ambassador for the Wollongong Wolves’ A-League expansion submission.
Bournemouth stopper Federici developed his skills on the South Coast as a Huskisson Football Club junior, just south-east of Nowra, NSW and rose to the very top, representing Australia and competing in the toughest and most prestigious competitions in the world.
Craig Foster and Les Murray’s Southern Expansion group, along with National Soccer League club South Melbourne and Team11, from South-East Melbourne, have made public their desire to be included in an expanded A-League over the past few weeks.
NSW NPL club Wollongong have ramped up their intentions with the announcement of 16-time Socceroo Federici who raved about the talent in the region.
“What really impresses me about the Wolves is they are engaging the entire region and genuinely looking to provide the best options and opportunities for our juniors,” Nowra-born Federici said.
“The Illawarra and South Coast is one of Australia’s great football nurseries and the amount of talent who have come from here and gone on to play A-League, overseas and for Australia is staggering.
“Having an A-League presence for the Wolves means the complete pathways are right there for all our kids and they won’t have to experience the difficulties and disruptions I did to make it.
“We’ve proven in the past we can more than hold our own on a national level and we can do even better in the future.”
He added: “The South Coast/Far South Coast of NSW is a massive catchment area, brimming with talent. We just have to make sure they have the chance to progress regardless of their background or financial status.
“I am a huge advocate of giving the kids in my old stomping grounds pathways to progress which is why I’ve agreed to get right behind the Wolves in their push for inclusion in the expanded A-League.
“The Wolves have already been very positive is engaging that area and it will prove to be a gold mine for talent for the future.”
The 32-year-old goalkeeper, who is currently unavailable for the Socceroos due to a knee injury, said expansion was exciting for the domestic competition despite Football Federation Australia deferring it until 2018-19 at the earliest.
“I think talk of expanding the A-League is very exciting,” he said.
“Growing the game nationally is crucial for our future. I’ve been closely following how the Wolves have positioned themselves over the last few months and have no doubt they are the perfect addition for an expanded A-League competition.
“The Illawarra and South Coast has more than enough local talent to draw from and we can easily justify a stand-alone team.”