FFA Centre of Excellence
The FFA Centre of Excellence (formerly the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program) was a football talent identification and player development program run by Football Federation Australia (FFA) and was based at the Australian Institute of Sport, in Canberra. The Centre of Excellence ran this program for men: the program was one of the eight founding sports of the AIS in 1981. The FFA announced that the centre would close at the end of 2017.
|Full name||FFA Centre of Excellence|
|Ground||Australian Institute of Sport|
|League||National Youth League|
National Premier Leagues
The AIS soccer program was funded by the Australian Federal Government, through the Australian Sports Commission. In 2005–2006 this funding amounted to A$1,115,000. The format involved 20 students per year selected for an initial period of 12 months training and study, with the additional option of a second year. The men's program was residential, while the women's was training camp-based. Students were generally 15–17 years old when selected and required to have current, or pending, Australian citizenship.
The original stated aim of the men's program was
"To identify and develop players for the national under-20 youth team and to develop coaches through the Scholarship Coaching scheme".
Following the decision of several soccer graduates to represent other countries at a senior national level (e.g. Josip Simunic), the AIS implemented contracts whereby the cost of the scholarship would later have to be repaid by any graduate who went on to play soccer at a senior level representing a country – other than Australia – in international competition.
John Aloisi (1992), Marco Bresciano (1997), Brett Emerton (1995–1996), Joshua Kennedy (1998–1999), Mark Milligan (2002), Craig Moore (1992–1993), Lucas Neill (1994–1995), Josip Skoko (1992–1993), Mile Sterjovski (1996–1996), Mark Viduka (1992–1993) and Luke Wilkshire (1998), Josip Šimunić (1994–1996) for Croatia
2010 South AfricaEdit
Lucas Neill (captain) (1994–1995), Craig Moore (1992–1993), Brett Emerton (1995–1996), Luke Wilkshire (1998), Joshua Kennedy (1998–1999), Adam Federici (2002), Vince Grella (1996–1997), Carl Valeri (2000–2001), Nikita Rukavytsya (2005–2006), Mark Milligan (2002), Dario Vidosic (2005–2006), Marco Bresciano (1997), Josip Šimunić (1994–1996) for Croatia 
National Soccer LeagueEdit
Victorian Premier LeagueEdit
The men's program had previously entered a team in the New South Wales Premier League competition in 2005. In 2007 the AIS entered a team into the Victorian Premier League. This would allow regular, weekly competitive matches that were lacking for previous scholarship holders. As part of their inclusion as the only non-Victorian team in the VPL competition, all 'home' fixtures were played in Victoria for the 2007 season. The side struggled for consistency throughout the season, finishing 12th on the ladder, however great benefit was reportedly gained from the participation in a men's competition. In 2008 the men's program team continued to participate in the Victorian Premier League, improving from the previous year as the AIS finished 8th on the ladder. AIS home games were also played in Canberra, while some high-profile matches which includes the Round 21 match between the AIS and the Preston Lions FC was played in Country Victoria at Rumbalara Oval, Shepparton. This was designed to promote the competition and bring the top state league competition to new areas.
However the men's program team will cease to compete in the Victorian Premier League competition for 2009, as the AIS program will be designed to accommodate younger players, hence eliminating the need to compete in a senior men's competition.
National Youth LeagueEdit
List of players with 10 caps or more for their country. Names in bold for players who represented their Country at a FIFA World Cup.
|Name||Club||Position||Years||Current status||Country||International caps|
|Warren Spink||Cooks Hill United||FW||1983–84||Coaching||38|
|Paul Trimboli||Melbourne Victory||FW||1986||Administration||46|
|Jason van Blerk||Central Coast Mariners Academy||MF||1986||Coaching||33|
|Alistair Edwards||Johor Darul Ta'zim||FW||1988||Coaching||19|
|Steve Corica||Sydney FC||MF||1989–90||Coaching||32|
|Craig Moore||Coomera Colts||DF||1992–93||Coaching||52|
|Hayden Foxe||Perth Glory||DF||1993–94||Coaching||11|
|Josip Šimunić||Croatia U-19||DF||1995–96||Coaching||105|
|Luke Wilkshire||Wollongong Wolves||MF||1997–98||Coaching||80|
|Carl Valeri||Dandenong City||MF||2001–02||Playing||52|
|Robbie Kruse||Melbourne Victory||FW||2005–06||Playing||75|
|Nikita Rukavytsya||Maccabi Haifa||FW||2005–06||Playing||18|
|Dario Vidošić||Moreland Zebras||MF||2006||Playing||23|
|Matthew Spiranovic||Free agent||DF||2006||Playing||36|
|James Holland||LASK Linz||MF||2006–07||Playing||15|
|Nathan Burns||Free agent||FW||2006||Playing||24|
|Rhyan Grant||Sydney FC||DF||2008||Playing||12|
|Trent Sainsbury||K.V. Kortrijk||DF||2009–10||Playing||48|
|Adam Taggart||Cerezo Osaka||FW||2009–10||Playing||11|
|Milos Degenek||Red Star Belgrade||DF||2012||Playing||28|
- "Remembering the contributions of AIS Men's football to the Socceroos". The Roar. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Net loss: let games begin, SMH, 1 July 2006
- Croatia warned away from 'kindie', Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2006
- AIS get VPL spot Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, The World Game, 21 November 2006
- "Withdrawal of the AIS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- AIS Join The National Youth League Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Helmers, Caden (26 April 2017). "FFA Centre of Excellence to close under strategy to provide more young players with opportunities". The Canberra Times.
- "FFA to close Centre of Excellence in August". The World Game. SBS. 26 April 2017.