Contributed by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D.
USFooty has announced that Hawthorn Premiership player and former Head Coach, Peter Schwab, will join their Australian Advisory Board. Schwab is currently the Chief Executive of Football Victoria and the Chairman of the AFL Match Review Committee. Schwab brings USFooty a lot of football knowledge, as well as respect and clout within AFL circles. USFooty recently formed the Australian Advisory Board with the objective of eventually having seven members with high profiles in footy and business in Australia.
According to USFooty, the Board's vision is for "Friends of the USAFL, in Australia, who have a stature in both business and football, who are willing to advise the USAFL on business in Australia, the inner workings of the game in Australia and their general understanding of everything football." The current three member board brings a lot of experience and expertise to USFooty’s aid. The high powered group is chaired by former West Coast Chairman and the AFL’s first interstate commissioner, Terry O’Connor. O’Connor holds the Order of Australia and was the Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia. Also on the board is Tom Potter. Potter is the owner and CEO of Eagle Boy Pizza, the largest privately held pizza chain in Australia and a commissioner for AFL Queensland. The Executive Director of USFooty’s Australian Advisory Board is Tony Fairhead, a Perth businessmen who helped form the very successful exchange between the West Perth Falcons and the Milwaukee Bombers. According to USFooty’s Paul O’Keeffe, “I’m really excited about the development of the Advisory Board as it really raises USFooty and International Footy’s profile in Australia. To have people of the caliber of Tom, Peter and Terry, working for USFooty is just fantastic.”
Schwab was introduced to USFooty at the 2006 USFooty National Championship Tournament in Las Vegas. AFL Game Development’s Dave Matthews arranged for Potter, Schwab, and the legendary Robert "Dipper" DiPierdomenico, to travel to Las Vegas to see USFooty’s show case event for themselves. It seems that Potter and Schwab were impressed enough to agree to join USFooty’s Australian Advisory Board to help grow the profile of the international game in Australia’s football and business communities. Potter believes "people with vision and faith need to be involved in USFooty as we are aware of the competitive landscape but also the opportunities available in the USA." Speaking after returning from a recent trip to the US, Potter said "I believe someone who has a broader understanding of the culture will have a better chance to understand what's required". According to Executive Director Tony Fairhead, "The addition of Tom Potter has given us high quality and energetic representation within the Queensland football community and his background and experience having studied in the USA is of great value to the Australian Board of Advice." In regards to Peter Schwab, Fairhead says "Peter can offer great experience and insight to our Board. His membership of the Australian Advisory Board is a notice to the Australian Football community that the USAFL is building a quality base in Australia as a corner stone to becoming the best Amateur Footy league in the World."
USFooty has always had a pretty impressive list of friends, Paul Roos, Kevin Sheedy and Ron Barassi to name a few. However, the Australian Advisory Board seems to be bring a lot of concentrated football and business power to USFooty as they and other international leagues try to navigate the complicated currents of AFL Head Quarters. No doubt it helps to have people like O'Connor who had to tackle similar issues when the AFL was expanding to a national league and interstate teams like the West Coast Eagles were trying to get their voices heard in the Melbourne-centric AFL. According to Fairhead, "From almost 'zero' recognition factor 12 months ago we have been able to attract three extremely high profile Directors each with a genuine interest in promoting the USAFL within Australian Football circles and developing Australian Rules Football in the USA." Stay tuned for this developing story.
World Footy News