Contributed by: Brett Northey
In February, as part of ongoing efforts to provide an organised football structure in Europe, with a view to the formation of AFL Europe, the Australian Football League appointed Gerard Murphy to liaise with European leagues.
Murphy has previously had an association with the AFL and has moved to the UK in a promotional role with the English Premier League (soccer). The AFL has advised leagues to deal with Murphy to "work on building an AFL Europe body over the next 6 months".
In a message addressed to affiliated leagues and prospective members of AFL Europe, the AFL stated that "The AFL’s desire is simply that the most effective structure exists to ensure the game develops within the region and we can support affiliates in an appropriate way".
The statement from AFL Game Development’s Josh Vanderloo stated that Murphy is from Leading Teams, an Australian based company that specialises in the delivery of leadership and team development programs and that he "has agreed to take up the opportunity to work with affiliated EU nations as they strive to develop the game in their own country and across the EU. A functioning and self sufficient AFL Europe body is the long term goal and I appreciate your foresight and commitment to this direction from you all".
Murphy's bio on the Leading Teams website explains that he is a founding director of the organisation and has worked with the Geelong Football Club (AFL) and has facilitated with Wellington Hurricanes (Super 14 Rugby), the Australian Rowing Team and the New Zealand Breakers (NBL - Basketball). It continues "Gerard also has a passion for educational leadership and is currently working with a number of the regional offices and over 80 schools (secondary, primary & special) around Victoria. Gerard’s corporate clients include Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Alcoa and Leadership Wimmera. Prior to Leading Teams, Gerard was the Communication and Public Relations Manager at the Melbourne Football Club, where he worked for five years. Gerard has a Bachelor of Education with eight years teaching experience, a Graduate Diploma in Sport Management, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication and is currently completing a Master of Education (Leadership and Administration)".
Leading Teams specialise in the delivery of leadership and team alignment training for elite sporting teams/organisations. They have proven to be very popular with AFL clubs, in some instances radically changing the way teams structure their leadership. A quick summary listed by the organisation was that, "We align teams by creating shared vision and behaviours that empower all members of the team to engage in open dialogue. We develop leaders who model and defend the behaviours that the team identifies as non-negotiable".
It’s understood that Murphy is aiming to bring the European leagues interested in the formation of AFL Europe together for a forum in October, possibly lining up with the International Rules series in Ireland and the EU Cup.
World Footy News