Football: FA investigates Brisbane Roar’s decision to axe junior academy

Football Australia has raised serious concerns over a move by Brisbane Roar to abandon its junior academy that blindsided coach Warren Moon.

In the wake of the Roar’s decision to withdraw four underage sides from competitions to “focus on the development of players from the age of 16 and up”, the FA has called for an urgent meeting with the club.

“In its regulatory capacity, Football Australia has some concerns with Brisbane Roar Football Club’s announcement regarding proposed changes to its academy and have scheduled a meeting with the club to gather information and discuss their decision in more detail,” an FA statement said.

“Only once this meeting has taken place will Football Australia be able to provide further comment.”

Roar coach Warren Moon, originally hired by the club to run their academy, said he was “shocked” and not consulted about the decision.

Moon said no club in the A-League had managed to create the perfect pathway system yet.

“I heard it like everyone else,” he said.

“It is obviously sad, but the club have their reasons and we just have to move on and prepare for the future.

“I could sit and rattle off three or four different clubs in the world that have very successful pathways that do something very similar to what we are about to embark on.

“Everyone wants to find the answer to the pathway problem in Australian football. No one has come up with a solution … (but the) best find their way to the top.”

Football Queensland confirmed the Roar’s decision “was made exclusively by the Brisbane Roar and by Brisbane Roar alone”.

Former Socceroo Alex Brosque, who began his A-League career at Brisbane in 2005, called for a change in club ownership after the decision to pull under-14, 15 and 18 teams from next season’s National Premier League competitions, with only an under-23 outfit remaining.

“It’s not surprising. I feel sorry for (coach) Warren Moon, the players, the club … absolute shambles,” he told SEN.

“The owners there are doing nothing for the club.

“We need to get some new owners and I know it‘s not that simple but … we need a change at that club because it’s embarrassing.”

Brisbane Roar is owned by The Bakrie Group, an Indonesian-based conglomerate that has had at least a 70 per cent share in the club since 2011.

The Roar, which has started the A-League season with a scoreless draw and a loss, plays Western Sydney on Saturday, with their next home game against Melbourne Victory on October 29.

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