The new boss of the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and National Youth League has a house in Torquay and coaches the Junior Academy Program at local football (soccer) club Surf Coast FC.
Damien de Bohun, who was recently appointed to run the premier men’s, women’s and youth football leagues in Australia, loves spending time in Torquay – where he can relax, recharge the batteries and spend quality time with his wife, Quetta, and their two kids.
He’s certainly going to need a place to relax, as Mr de Bohun is taking on what many believe to be the ultimate sports administration challenge in Australia – bedding down the A-League and securing its long-term sustainable future.
With a strong pedigree in sports management – being the current executive general manager for game and market development with Cricket Australia, previously having helped set up the A-League, and in the past having also been the CEO of Football Federation Victoria – Mr de Bohun will bring a breath of fresh air and plenty of experience to the task.
But with the A-League about to go into negotiation over TV rights, a new A-League club being established in western Sydney, and some colourful characters who are “club owners”, there will be immediate challenges mixed with the opportunities.
“It has been a privilege to work in the two sports I grew up loving in cricket and football (soccer)”, Mr de Bohun said.
“One of the great opportunities for football in Australia will be to convert the hundreds of thousands of boys and girls participating in the sport across the country at junior levels, into life-long supporters of the game who attend A-League matches and become ongoing supporters of their local clubs.”
For the last two years, Mr de Bohun has volunteered on his weekends to co-coach Surf Coast FC’s academy program, where he puts local 9 and 10 year olds through their paces, including his son Harrison. A couple of times, when other coaches were away, he took large groups of up to forty kids – often with the help of his daughter Scout.
That would be a daunting prospect for an experienced coach, but for Mr de Bohun he appeared to be somewhat of a pied piper, with all the kids getting into it.
“My time coaching with Surf Coast FC has really deepened my passion for the game, and has helped me more fully understand the pivotal role of local clubs, participants and volunteers in the future success of football in Australia,” Mr de Bohun said.
“Surf Coast FC is doing a lot of things right and has a great future, especially given the support for juniors and the family culture and inclusive nature of the club. Our family experience with the club has been outstanding, and like many others I have spoken to around the club we have all been welcomed with open arms.”
Last Modified on 01/02/2013 22:34