NORTHERN Inland Football is reshuffling its administration decks, with self confessed “soccer tragic” Steve Griffith to head the way as general manager.
Griffith has had a long involvement with not only the game but the NIF.
As well as still blowing the whistle, he has served on the board for the past five and a half years as chairman and, before that, vice chairman.
His role change comes as part of an overall restructure of the organisation that will see the role of executive officer disbanded, replaced by the general manager.
Griffith said the aim of the restructure is to look at “developing greater staff capacity to support the development and growth of football through the region”.
It’s about streamlining the administration of the sport and combining resources.
“It’ll be a big and challenging role,” Griffith said.
But one to which he’s looking forward.
One of the main objectives of his role will be to help implement the strategic plan.
The plan covers a wide range of areas, one of which is growing and developing women’s football.
“Tamworth has done a fantastic job over the last two or three years but over in the northern part we’ve got some serious work to do,” Griffith said.
Armidale, for example, after being one of the driving forces of women’s football only a few years ago, has dropped away in recent years.
“By 2016 we hope to have a women’s premier league,” Griffith said.
“That’s the vision.”
He sees a bright future for the game.
It certainly couldn’t have got a better advertisement than the last few weeks, and what has been a fantastic World Cup.
“It’s been outstanding football,” Griffith said.
And a great opportunity to grow interest in the team, particularly too after Australia performed as well as it did in Brazil.
“We surprised quite a few, particularly when we took it to the Dutch,” Griffiths said.
He was in London for a fair bit of the tournament.
“It was funny. Once England was out it was like there was no World Cup,” he said.
He is tipping Germany to take the spoils but predicted it to be an arm wrestle.
Closer to home, he is happy with how the season is progressing with the McDonald’s Northern Inland Premier League.
“Some of the changes we’ve made this year have greatly improved the competition,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see Narrabri and Wee Waa working together.”
“It’s also been fantastic to see in the Northern Conference the development of Joeys.”
“They are a real threat.”
As things are going, they could host a semi-final.
They currently sit on top of the table and host second-last Guyra tomorrow.
Two Armidale derbies will round out the Northern Conference fixtures, with East Armidale and South Armidale clashing at Doody Park and Demon Knights and North Armidale meeting at Rologas 2.
In the Southern Conference, Gunnedah Hawks host Tamworth FC, Oxley Vale Attunga travels to Moree and Gunnedah is at home to Namoi.