Proceed with Caution

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The debate in football circles and social media surrounding issues such as expansion, promotion/relegation, cup competitions and other ways in which to promote the growth of the game in Australia has been raging for some time now. It shows we’ve come along way from the days of questioning if there will be a national competition to now discussing how to build it.

Melbourne Victory and Oțelul Galați board member, Florin Burhala, recommends caution as the game moves forward. His many years of experience in the game and having spent the last year in Europe has taught him if any changes are to happen they must be done after careful consideration as to how to implement them.

“I support promotion/relegation,” he told Football Central. “However, and with the risk that I’ll be drawing the ire of some other football people, I believe that promotion/relegation won’t work currently given the large financial and skill gaps between the A-League teams and NPL teams.

“To arrive at a promotion/relegation model we need to build a strong NPL and consolidate the A-league.”

Burhala, who is also a director at his own law firm, stresses that only by all parties “working together” can we achieve the results necessary to see the game reach it’s maximum potential. He views the inclusive nature of football as one of the game’s biggest assets and a key to engaging the broader community in order to give football a solid foundation.

“Football is one of the most inclusive sports in Australia,” the Port Melbourne assistant coach said. “The only sport where boys and girls, men and women, as well as people from all ethnic backgrounds can be involved.

“I cannot comment for other A-League clubs but the one where I have been involved with has a very strong community program and owners, directors, sponsors, and supporters are involved in all levels of football in Victoria.”

There were not enough adjectives for the passionate football supporter to express his delight that Australia finally has it’s own national cup competition, the FFA Cup but words like “excited” and “elated” were thrown out there. For Burhala, the cup represents a great way to unite the football family which has been fractured for as long as one can remember.

“As I said, it is paramount because it brings all levels of football together and creates the space for fairy tales to be born by allowing clubs, players, and coaches to shine in a truly national competition.”

Burhala reserves special praise for the men and women of the lower tier clubs who give up there time to support the club and game they love so much and sees the Cup as a just reward for their contributions.

“That man or woman is doing something for the game. And the Cup, in my view, is the culmination of their hard work and allows their club the opportunity to shine.”

Adam Howard

Adam is one of the founders of Football Central and the creator of  He has followed the career paths of Australian footballers playing in leagues all over the world.  Born in Adelaide and currently residing in Hiroshima, Adam brings a unique perspective to Australian football.  He is an ardent supporter of Australia's domestic competition and national team.

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