Les Murray – SBS and JWFF Board Member
Les Murray is known as the face and voice of football in Australia. As the most prominent commentator and presenter of football on Australian television, he is credited with championing the monumental rise in popularity of the sport in this country through the 1980s and 90s. He is known throughout Australia as Mr Football.
Les Murray is respected, both in Australia and internationally, as a foremost authority on football and as the game’s pioneering and tireless promoter. He, along with his late friend and cohort, the former Socceroos captain Johnny Warren, is credited with the immense rise in awareness and popularity of football in Australia over the past two decades. For instance, it was Les who coined the phrase ‘the world game’ in the mid-1980s to describe his beloved sport. Since, this term has not only established itself amongst common football vernacular, but as a football brand.
Les’ contribution to football and to sports broadcasting is highly recognised. In 2006 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, is a member of Football Federation Australia’s Hall of Fame and was named by the French publication, L’Equipe, as one of Sydney’s ten most influential people in sport. He is chairman of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Sports Group, is a director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and serves on FIFA’s Ethics Commission.
Les’ authority and rich experience in sports journalism, broadcasting and business, make him a much sought-after figure, opinion-maker, writer, raconteur and skilled speaker. He has spoken at the United Nations and at various international forums, on all manner of subjects, including sport, broadcasting, and the ethics of sport and the business of sport.
Craig Foster – SBS and Fairfax Journalists
Former Socceroo and SBS Chief Football Analyst, Craig Foster, has played an integral role in presenting football around the country. He is a valuable member of SBS’s weekly football program, The World Gameand is a columnist on the accompanying website.
Craig’s on-air duties also include a regular analyst spot on the network’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League, including a co-hosting role with Les Murray on the UEFA Champions League Hour wrap-up show. He also provides analysis for other major football events, including the FA Cup Final and UEFA Cup Final.
As a player, Craig started his football career with National Soccer League clubs Adelaide City and Marconi Fairfield and also briefly played for English side, Portsmouth. He made 29 appearances as a Socceroo, once as captain, and continued his leadership streak as club captain at Crystal Palace FC in the UK and skipper of the National Soccer League side, Northern Spirit FC.
Craig has been a strong advocate for player’s rights, having served for five years on the PFA (Players Association) Executive, as a Director of the PFA’s commercial wing, PFAM (PFA Management), and formerly as Chief Executive of the Player’s Association. Craig remains a life member of the PFA and a member of the PFA Technical Committee.
In 2007, Craig was invited as the Australian representative, to judge the prestigious Ballon d’Or, the highest award given to an individual European footballer. Such honourable invitations continued into 2008, when Craig was invited by the Australia Day Council to act as an Ambassador.
Anthony LaPaglia – Actor, Ex Player and Shareholder in Sydney FC
Anthony LaPaglia was born in Australia and moved to the U.S in the early 1980s to pursue acting and stage work. After performing in a number of theatre roles, he found success on TV, and was nominated for Emmy awards, for his work on Frasier and Without a Trace. In Australia he has received Australian Film awards including the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor for Lantana (2001).
LaPaglia is a lifelong football fan. He played professionally for Adelaide City and West Adelaide, and has strong ties with Sydney FC since the club’s inception in 2004. Since 2008, Anthony LaPaglia frequently plays football for Hollywood United, as the Goal Keeper.
Melissa Barbieri – Matildas Captain
Melissa Barbieri is the captain of the Australian women’s national team. Growing up in Melbourne, Barbieri began playing football regularly from the age of 14 as a left sided player. In 2002, Barbieri suffered a near career ending back injury. Unable to continue as an outfield player Barbieri, moved into the goals and quickly asserted herself as the number one goalkeeper for the Matildas.
In 2006 ‘Bubs’, as she is affectionately known, became the first female player to appear in a men’s professional competition when she began playing for Richmond Eagles FC. Since making her Matildas debut in 2002 Barbieri has won 73 caps for her country. Barbieri took over the captaincy vacated by Cheryl Salisbury (retired 2009) in 2010 when the Matildas resumed their program following nearly 12 months without a match. Since then Barbieri has a near-perfect record as captain and was the first Australian to lift the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in May 2010. In 2011 Melissa lead her team out at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany where the team reached the quarter finals for the second consecutive tournament, before being knocked out by Sweden.
Jamie Warren – Former Player, Johnny Warren’s Nephew and JWFF Chairman
Jamie Warren is the nephew and godson of Johnny Warren and is the Co-Executor of the Johnny Warren Estate. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and is the Executive Director of his family’s hotel in Jamberoo, on the NSW south coast. Like Johnny, Jamie is passionate about football and is committed to ensuring football continues to thrive in Australia.
Jamie starting playing football at age four. He represented the Illawarra Region from age 10 to 15 and represented NSW in the 13, 14 and 16 year age groups. At 14, Jamie travelled to Brazil with his uncle, where he was honoured to be signed with the world famous Flamengo Club of Rio de Janeiro. The next year, Jamie trained with Manchester United courtesy of a Big Brother Movement Scholarship. Following this, Jamie played for the Wollongong Wolves and St George Youth teams in the National Youth League before several injuries interrupted his playing career.
Jamie holds an FFA Advanced C License and is currently the coach of the South Coast Wolves Under 15 team which plays in the NSW Premier Youth League. He enjoys coaching junior players at the Kiama Junior Football Club, Jamberoo Public School and Kiama High School. Additionally, Jamie is very active in his support of the Foundation. He organises the ‘Johnny Warren Memorial Cup’ and is a Co-Organiser of the ‘Johnny Warren Golf Classic’, two events that help to financially support the JWFF. Jamie also organises the ‘Johnny Warren Jamberoo Classic’ which raises funds for the Sydney Cancer Centre Foundation.
George Negus – Media Celebrity and Football Fanatic
After studying Arts and later journalism at Queensland University and pursuing a career into his late 20s as a high school teacher, George entered journalism commencing with several years of reporting for The Australian and Financial Review newspapers.
Over the years, George’s list of interviewees and profiles, both nationally and internationally, spans politics, the arts and sport. He has interviewed the entire last generation of Australian Prime Ministers and a myriad of national icons including Cathy Freeman and Paul Hogan. Like any versatile journalist, George has also covered a huge gambit of community issues whilst working alongside some of the great cameramen and producers of the past twenty years.
Throughout his public career, George’s commitments extended to various boards and committees including the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal’s Violence Inquiry, the Federal Government’s Environmental Futures Group, the Order of Australia Committee, and Football Australia.
Moya Dodd – Former Matilda Player and FFA Board Member
Moya is a former vice captain of the Matildas, with a successful international football career spanning from 1986-1995. She showed great ability and leadership on the football field, and continues to do so post-career. She is a vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and chairs the AFC’s Legal Committee.
Moya has a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in Media Law, and has completed a Masters of Business Administration. Moya Dodd is a Partner with law firm Gilbert and Tobin and a member of the firm’s Competition and Regulation group. She was previously Vice President of CRA International and headed up Fairfax Media Group’s new media business. She is currently a board member for Football Federation Australia
Jack Reilly – Former Player and FFA Board Member
Born in Scotland in 1945, Jack Reilly played with Hibernians and in the USA before migrating to Australia in 1969. He settled in Melbourne and joined Juventus as a goalkeeper. Reilly transferred to Sydney St George before returning south to play with Melbourne Hakoah. He won selection in the 1970 World Tour squad and had a strong opening game against New Caledonia, followed by games in Iran, Israel, Greece and Mexico.
Jack was known for his hard work and say never attitude, which helped him to be selected in the 1974 World Cup squad in Germany. Reilly played in all three World Cup finals games against West Germany, East Germany and Chile. During his career Reilly played 35 internationals, 15 of them A internationals. Jack Reilly is currently a board member for the FFA.
Michael Cockerill – Fairfax Journalist and Fox Sports Analysts
Michael Cockerill is an award winning football journalist. He writes for Fairfax, appears regularly on Fox Sports and formerly C7 Sport. He is also a football pundit, match commentator and appears regularly on the football show Fox Sports FC.
Mike Cockerill has served as the chief football correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald for 26 years and has arguably become the leading football affairs writer in Australia. Over the past 26 years, Mike has reported on hundreds of matches involving the Socceroos and Australia’s national competitions, including six FIFA World Cup finals and three Olympic Games. His work also includes duties as a TV commentator and analyst for SBS, Optus Vision and now Fox Sports.
Mike’s sustained and meritorious contribution includes developing the profile of Australian football by covering the growing number of players who moved to Europe in the 1980s. Tracking the careers of pioneers such as Eddie Krncevic, David Mitchell and Frank Farina as they made progress in Europe gave the Australian football public the belief that the nation could produce top-class home-grown talent.
He jointly founded the Football Media Association Australia and was inducted in the Football Hall of Fame in 2011. His stature and credibility as a football writer, his longevity with one of Australia’s most respected newspapers and his continued passion and insights have made him a leading figure in the game.
David Davutovic – Herald Sun, ESPN and News Limited
David Davutovic is a highly respected football journalist in Australia. As the chief football writer for the Herald Sun and a Senior News Limited football writer, David’s articles and opinions are well recognised and valued in the football industry. He is a member of the PFA Awards Committee and is a regular correspondent for sports radio station SEN.
For many years David has covered and analysed the World Game not only in Australia, but internationally. David was based in London for 3 years as Fox Sports English Premier League correspondent and has also covered 3 FIFA World Cups (2002, 2006 and 2010). He continues to cover football globally as the European/Australian correspondent for BBC World Service and ESPN Soccernet.
Andy Harper – Former Player and Fox Sports Analyst
Andy Harper holds an impressive list of credentials. Not only is he a former Australian National League Football player, Andy is a credited author and high profile media commentator. He currently presents the Hyundai A-League on Fox Sports, amidst a variety of other high profile international football fixtures.
Andy played in Australia’s National Soccer League for clubs such as St George, Marconi, Brisbane Strikers and Newcastle United. Playing a total of 321 games for seven clubs, he is widely regarded as the best Australian player not to gain national selection.
Since retiring in 2001, Andy Harper has taken on an increased media role. He has written three books, the most popular “Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters – The Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer in Australia”.
He has been a commentator on SBS covering the 1998 FIFA World Cup, covered the European Championships in 2000 and 2004 with Fox Sports, hosted Channel 9’s coverage of the 2002 World Cup and on 29 July 2006 he joined the Fox Sports team covering the A-League and hosting the Total Football Show. Andy regularly contributes as an expert Football commentator to the coverage of football in the Australian media.