I’ve seen the All Stars meeting thousands of kids in the Illawarra and Sydney at schools and football clubs, giving these youngsters memories that will last a lifetime.
When it comes to connecting the grassroots to the professional tier, this is gold.
I’ve seen 7,000 people turn up on a chilly Tuesday at WIN Stadium to see Alessandro Del Piero and his All Stars team mates play the Young Socceroos.
What an experience for our next generation of young stars.
I’ve heard Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich saying they feel like they will be representing Australia in Sunday’s clash against Juventus.
That speaks volumes for the pride, credibility and professionalism in our burgeoning Hyundai A-League.
I see players from all 10 A-League clubs coming together with a real spirit and by their presence giving every A-League club and every market a connection to Sunday’s match.
There are dozens of images that bring a sense of mission. Juve fans at the airport at 6am to greet Buffon, Pirlo, Tevez and co. The NSW Government rolling out the red carpet at the Sydney Opera House to launch the All Stars event. The Seven Network giving football prime time exposure into thousands of Australian households. A blue-chip sponsor Telstra coming on board to join Foxtel and other major companies in the stable of sponsors. And ticket sales that put the All Stars match in the top tier of major event sport in Australia.
What’s the mission? It’s to make football the biggest and most popular sport in Australia. On every measure, the All Stars are torchbearers.
Whether it’s fan engagement, rewarding the A-League’s finest with a representative game, helping develop elite players, cementing government relations, working with new corporate partners or simply taking the game to mass audiences, the All Stars concept delivers.