News Archived

Brisbane Roars’ Finest Kick Winning Goal at St John’s Anglican College Football Coaching Clinic

A Football Coaching Clinic held on July 15 2012 at St John’s Anglican College in South West Brisbane ended up being a “roaring’ success” according to St John’s College Head of Sport Richard Haines.

Headlined by FFI clients and Premiership winning Brisbane Roar players, Erik Paartalu and Shane Stefanutto, the clinic gave some very committed St John’s College football devotees a real taste of a professional football training regime and demonstrated why footballers are some of the fittest athletes around. According to Richard Haines,” The guys were absolutely fantastic and made a real impression with everyone who attended.

They both worked really well in conjunction with the Colleges own Coaches who put on a great day of football. It’s heartening to see sports people like Erik and Shane, who are at the top of their game, be so willing to give something back to students who could potentially be Australia’s next generation of football superstars. We would obviously love to see them back again.”

Poscoliero Hoping for a ‘Change of Heart’

Young Australian footballer Jacob Poscoliero trials with Melbourne Heart FC

10 July, Sydney, NSW: Back in Sydney for some well-earned R&R, Jacob Poscoliero who currently plays with Sandona Jessolo Calcio FC in the Italian Serie D League has been invited to attend an upcoming trial with Melbourne Heart FC.

With the help of former coach and now agent in Australia, Poscoliero turned up in Italy four years ago after spending time with Blacktown City Demons in the NSW Premier League where he won praise as a defensive/central midfielder. His previous clubs included Parramatta Eagles FC and Wollongong Wolves FC.

The 22-year-old, who originally hails from Wollongong, is one of a number of young, largely unheralded Australians who have been plying their craft overseas in the hope of an opportunity that will eventually lead to bigger and better things. With the game in Italy currently being in such disarray at all levels, the offer of a triall at Melbourne Heart according to Poscoliero was “just too good to refuse.”

Poscoliero said, “This has come as quite a ‘bolt from the blue’ but a very welcome one at that. Having been overseas for 4 years, I am looking forward to testing myself against some of the best players in the A-League here at Melbourne Heart FC and putting that experience to the test. I’m not in peak condition having just had 4 weeks of R&R, however I’m very grateful to the club for giving me such a great opportunity and I aim not to disappoint.”

Brisbane Roar Veteran Fullback Shane Stefanutto Joins FFI family

Contemplating ‘Life after football’ for Shane Stefanutto

8 July, Sydney, NSW: Brisbane Roar Vice Captain Shane Stefanutto has signed a two year deal with local football management agency Football Focus International (FFI) in what he says could be a ‘’springboard’ to other opportunities outside of football.”

Stefanutto, who has had a long and illustrious playing career, trained at the Queensland Academy of Sport before playing for the Brisbane Strikers in the now defunct National Soccer League from 1998–2004. After moving overseas to further his playing career, Stefanutto joined Lillestrøm S.K. in Norway in 2007. His contract with Lillestrøm expired at the end of that year whereupon he agreed to play for another leading Norwegian team Lyn Oslo for the 2008 season. Stefanutto returned to Australia in 2009, joining the North Queensland Fury, before signing a three year contract with the Brisbane Roar.

Stefanutto, a talented left fullback who enjoys exploiting attacking options down the wing, is now part of the Roar leadership group alongside club Captain Matt Smith, Erik Paartalu and goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos. Since joining the team, he has enjoyed a well-earned reputation for being one of the most consistent performers in the Hyundai A-League.

Stefanutto’s received his first call-up to the Australian national team for an international friendly against Ghana, in London but did not play. On 24 March 2007, Stefanutto won his first international cap in a friendly match against China. He then remained out of the team for more than two years before being recalled in Australia's final qualification match for the 2010 World Cup against Japan in June 2009.

Stefanutto commenting on why he chose to sign with FFI said,” Football is a tough sport and I have been injured many times. Each time I am sidelined, my thoughts turn to my other interests and of course, what I will be doing eventually after football. Being able to support my family is obviously important to me and I decided to take this decisive step because of FFI’s expertise in professional career development advice outside of the game. Football will always be important to me but the future beckons, and I have a number of other projects that I actively want to pursue.”

Football Focus International Managing Director David O’Keefe said,” FFI’s values based business model is predicated on taking a ‘whole of life’ approach to client’s business and personal affairs. In addition to the traditional sports agent role, we advise our clients about their aspirations and income potential, in other areas, not necessarily related to football. Shane is keen to pursue a career in sales & marketing and has also expressed an interest in coaching at a grass roots level. One of the things I am most passionate about is helping to facilitate players lay the foundations of some alternative options both during and after their football careers. The team at FFI are well-equipped to do this and we’ve already had some initial discussions with Shane regarding a couple of options which we are actively pursuing on his behalf.”

Australian Goalkeeper Ben McNamara flies out for European club trials

18 June, Sydney, NSW:: Ben McNamara, who currently plays custodian for NSW Premier League competition leaders Bonnyrigg White Eagles, flies out today for formal trials with European clubs AFC Wimbledon and Doncaster Rovers in the UK and Irish Premier Division club Shamrock Rovers.

Pending the outcome, McNamara may also take up an invitation to go to Malmo FC in Sweden to showcase his goalkeeping skills, which have been honed in a succession of solid Australian clubs like Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Rockdale City Suns and the Newcastle Jets FC over a career spanning 10 years. During the coming weeks/months, the plan is for him to experience some solid training and several trial games in the United Kingdom with a view to a long-term stay as part of the next chapter in his playing career.

Football Focus International (FFI) Managing Director, David O’Keefe said,” Ben has quite rightly decided the time is now right to make the move overseas after becoming frustrated by the lack of opportunity and interest from any of the A-League clubs in Australia. This is despite a positive track record with the Newcastle Jets FC back in 2007/2008, and also having been in outstanding form in the NSW Premier League (NSWPL) competition for the past two seasons.”

He continued, “Ben is one of the most dedicated footballers I’ve come across both on/off the field. I’m very confident he will adapt well to the challenges that lie ahead in the UK and Europe.

He’s in great physical shape and is mentally prepared to remain overseas for as long as it takes to secure a professional contract. Australia has a habit of producing top quality Goalkeepers, and whilst Ben hasn’t been given the opportunities he deserves in Australia, we know that he will fulfil his true potential overseas and prove a few people wrong in the process.”

Lara Pitt Now ‘Streets Ahead’ After Signing with Football Focus International

FFI signs first professional sports presenter from Fox to its growing stable of talent

Sydney, NSW 21 May 2012: Football Focus International Pty Ltd (FFI) - an Australian management company dedicated to the sport and business of football has today signed Fox Sports presenter Lara Pitt in a one year management deal.

Originally from Bondi in Sydney, Lara joined Fox Sports in 2006 as part of the team that originally launched Fox Sports News Active. She became a regular reporter on Fox Sports in 2007 and from 2010 onwards, found her responsibilities being split between presenting Fox Sports News and acting as an on-field sideline reporter covering the Hyundai A-League.

FFI Managing Director David O’Keefe commenting on the signing said, “We obviously consider Lara joining our stable of talent to be quite a coup. I have personally watched Lara’s career with great interest over the past couple of years and have marked her down as one of Fox Sports ‘up and comers’. What impresses me about Lara are not just her technical abilities, but her down to earth personality, and an engaging on screen presence that makes her stand out from the crowd.”

”Lara’s presenting career in 2012 currently seems to be going from strength to strength. She counts an appearance on ‘Hens FC’ - an all-female talk show segment on ABC’s Grandstand sports show and Fox selecting her to be their first ever female NRL sideline reporter as just a couple of her key successes this year,” he continued.

Lara’s love of football is very much in evidence with her highlighting the Socceroos qualification for the 2006 World Cup ranking amongst her most memorable sporting moments. Lara has also grown up with a passion for Rugby League. She is a lifelong St George Illawarra Dragons fan, and it is her interest, combined with her general knowledge of the game, which has led to her becoming an integral part of Fox Sports' NRL coverage. . This includes a weekly role on magazine shows 'NRL on Fox' and ‘NRL Xtra’, as well as some behind the scenes editorial work for the network’s popular weekend sports broadcasts.

Lara holds a degree in Bachelor of Commerce Marketing & Tourism Management from the University of New South Wales.

Commenting on why she decided to sign with FFI and not one of the larger agencies on the scene, Lara Pitt said,” I am at a stage where I feel I need professional management to shift my career to the next level. Football Focus International is an emerging, young management agency that knows and loves sport and has shown a willingness to work with me… as well as for me. This is something that I found refreshing right from the very first meeting that I had with them.”

David ‘O Keefe concluded,” Looking at Lara’s particular strengths as a presenter, we will be aiming to develop some general commercial sponsorship and ‘Master of Ceremonies’ opportunities on her behalf, as well as looking to promote her as being capable of hosting the full gamut of ‘Women in League’ and other key match day events.”

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