listen to ron smith discuss how the ais dissolved
Former Socceroos technical manager Ron Smith believes the “philosophy” of the AIS changed when the FFA took over the football program in 2009.
The FFA centre of excellence dissolved in 2017 after it was revealed fewer than half of the graduates went on to have a professional career in the sport.
But respected football coach Ron Smith who was heavily involved in the centre believes it became more about fielding a ready made team for youth tournaments as opposed to developing players.
“It went from being one of developing individuals to one of preparing a team for an U17’s World Cup people were selected to play and qualify immediately,” Smith said.
Smith told FNR_Football Nation Radio he believes the program excelled in supporting the “national youth teams and beyond” and says it is a “shame we closed the centre.”
In addition, Smith says the philosophy of the program was “never [to] pick the National Youth Team” but to identify and develop the best players to be ready for professional football.
“We worked with the state federations to identify and develop the best individuals who could then play in the NSL or go overseas before playing in U20’s National Team,” Smith said.
Football Q&A airs every Wednesday from 5pm (AEST) hosted by David Davutovic on FNR_Football Nation Radio.