Socceroo Legend and SBS commentator Craig Foster
Socceroo Legend and SBS commentator Craig Foster

Football institute direction queried

THE brains behind the establishment of the Asia Pacific Football Institute at Southern Cross University, Craig Foster, is believed to be unhappy about the direction the project is taking.

The former Kadina High School student, Socceroos legend and SBS commentator is set to meet with Page MP Janelle Saffin next week to discuss his concerns.

It was Mr Foster's backing of the project that brought it to the attention of Saffin, who then lobbied for Federal funding for the $15million project.

It's hoped the project, which will feature a two-storey educational facility, a grass pitch and two FIFA 2-star rated artificial pitches, will become Australia's premier centre for football education and development.

But when contacted by The Northern Star, Mr Foster would not be drawn on his ongoing involvement with the institute.

"Above all I am thrilled to know that the local football community will have an outstanding facility that will become the centre of knowledge and development for our kids and a prime driver of inbound sports tourism in years to come," Mr Foster said.

"As to my own continuing involvement, this is a matter for the Board and University and will be subject to agreeing on a process and structure that suits both parties."

"We are working through the process now and, in the meantime, my primary consideration is to see the centre finished."

"I am always willing and available to assist the local area at anytime."

Mr Foster will meet the APFI Chair, Page MP Janelle Saffin, next Friday to discuss his plans and the role of Technical Director of Football.

Ms Saffin said his involvement was critical to the development of the APFI.

Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney said Mr Foster "initiated the concept" and his involvement is still critical.

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