INTERVIEW: SANFL Head of Community Football Lisa Faraci
Updated: Sep 30
It's been an initiation of fire for the SANFL Head of Community Football Lisa Faraci.
Faraci's first 12 months in the role has been eventful. The impacts of COVID-19 have crippled the state's community football management setup. Staff had to be let go and competitions across the state were abandoned as the pandemic played havoc with all sports, not just footy.
However, Lisa has been dealing with more than just COVID-19. Other off-field issues were in the headlines, especially on the Eyre Peninsula with the fall of the Mid-West League. Through it all Faraci has not lost sight of what her end goal is, helping those volunteers in community football who need it the most.
Faraci hails from Woorinen in regional Victoria. Her time in Football administration began as a volunteer committee member and President at her home club (Woorinen Tigers) in Victoria's Central Murray Football Netball League. Hard work, dedication and a love of the sport has driven her to the position as the Head of Community Football in South Australia.
"Like anyone involved in a country club I put my hand up to do pretty much anything that needed to be done at the club," said Faraci.
"After moving to Melbourne (6 years ago) I decided I wanted to work in football and was lucky enough to get consulting work with the AFL".
Lisa's move to Adelaide came following a phone call from then SANFL Community Infrastructure manager Casey Grice. "I said I'm not moving to Adelaide. Yet, here we are!" Lisa quipped with a giggle noting that Adelaide was not foreign ground to her.
"I've been coming to Adelaide since I was a child. I was fortunate enough to have Christmas holiday's here every year,"
"I decided to give it a go and took on the Football infrastructure role. Later when the Head of Community Football role went up for grabs I threw my hat in the ring,"
"It's been a real rollercoaster, and a massive learning experience but really enjoyable too".
I was lucky enough to spend 25 minutes talking football with Lisa and her passion for Country football is infectious. This was my first, albeit belated, opportunity to speak with Lisa one on one and we covered a number of different topics. You can listen to the various topics discussed in the podcast below utilising the following timestamps.
2m-45s: Introduction to the meeting at Lameroo last week with members of the Mallee Football League.
3m-43s: SANFL Community Football's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it's had on community football.
6m-40s: The impact that Community Football has on regional areas outside of the sport itself.
8m-30s: What happened in February on the Eyre Peninsula with the folding of the Mid-West league.
14m-00s The current challenges faced by all Country Football Leagues and Netball Associations.
16m-30s: Looking at the future of Mallee Football.
20m-40s: Lisa gives her opinion on the question of will there be a Mallee Football league in 2022.
22m-50s: Who Clubs and Leagues can contact at SANFL Community Football if they have any questions to ask or issues to raise.