Writers & Guests

Confirmed writers, guests and moderators.

Please note that the inclusion of interstate writers/guests/moderators is subject to COVID-19 travel and/or quarantine restrictions in place in November 2020. 

Adrian Arciuli


Adrian has been a reporter, presenter and producer with SBS-TV since 2016, prior to which he spent four years with the Seven Network and six months with SKY News. He is MC of the Festival, and also the moderator for FWF Supper Club.

Danny Townsend

CEO, Sydney FC

Danny was appointed CEO of Sydney FC in August 2017, after working as co-Global Managing Director of Nielsen Sports in New York, working across the NBA, NFL, English Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, to name but a few. He was previously the co-founder of Repucom, working with leading football clubs in Europe, Asia and the United States, and is a former NSL player with Parramatta Power and Sydney United,
where he was a member of the premiership winning team in 1999.

Fiona Crawford

Writer & Editor

Fiona is a writer and editor whose work spans social and environmental issues, the arts, and football. She has written for such publications as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Big Issue, and FourFourTwo (now FTBL), and she formerly managed FFA’s Matildas and W-League social media. Fiona's PhD examined how the Homeless World Cup uses football to tackle homelessness. Her co-authored book with Lee McGowan, 'Never Say Die: The Hundred-Year Overnight Success of Australian Women’s Football', is a history of the first 100 years of women’s football in Australia.

Heather Garriock

Optus Sport Football Analyst, former Matilda

Heather played 139 games scoring 21 goals for Australia over a 12-year international career, which included three World Cup and Asian Cup tournaments and two Olympic Games. Her domestic playing career included the former Women's National Soccer League and the W-League in Australia, as well as the USA, Denmark and Sweden. She is a Pro License coach, and most recently coach of Canberra United in the W-League. She is also a regular football analyst with Optus Sport on men's and women's games, and was appointed as CEO of Australian Taekwondo in September 2020.

Jack Snape


Jack works across politics and sport for ABC, and broke stories of the Olyroos Cambodian scandal and bias towards marginal seats in sport grants.

John Evans


John has extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physical activity and sport research across both qualitative and quantitative disciplines, and is a leading academic in the areas of Indigenous sport sociology, Indigenous sport and physical activity studies, pedagogy and coaching. His expertise is regularly sought by national sporting organisations such as Netball Australia, the NRL and the ARU.

Luke McCoy


Luke is the co-founder and CEO of Live Graphic Systems (LIGR), a graphics and sponsorship platform for live sports. Luke began his career in sports, completing a bachelor of sport science, interning with the Sydney Kings and Central Coast Mariners under Graham Arnold and Andrew Clarke. Luke went on to found VPA technologies, a sports analytics company which led to the founding of LIGR, where Luke has raised 2 investment rounds of over $1.5m to help sports and their broadcasters create professional streams without the traditional expenses associated with legacy broadcast technologies. LIGR is now deployed across the world by sports organisations and broadcasters of all levels, and is the dominant live graphics and sponsorship platform in the second tier and grassroots of Australian football, counting 7 FFA member federations as clients.

Michelle O'Shea

Senior Lecturer, Sport Management, WSU

Dr Michelle O’Shea is a Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University with research interests in sport, culture and society, particularly related to issues of gender and diversity, sport organisation, community and societal impacts, sport marketing and social media communications, fandom and sport financial sustainability.

Ray Gatt

Journalist & Author

Ray was Chief Football Writer with 'The Australian' for more than 30 years, part of a 40-year career in sports journalism. He is the writer of 'The Rale Rasic Story' (2007).

Simon Hill

Journalist, Commentator & Author

Simon was Chief Football Commentator with FOX Sports for 15 years, and has been a journalist, broadcaster and commentator for more than 25 years in the UK and Australia, principally focussed on football. He is author of the autobiography, 'Just A Gob on a Stick' (2017) and is a lifelong Manchester City fan.

Texi Smith

Author & IT Consultant

Texi is the veteran of nine marathons, an enthusiastic amateur player, a volunteer coach, manager and referee, and runs a busy IT consultancy. He is also the rarest of authors - of football novels - with three published so far: 'Introducing Jarrod Black' and 'Jarrod Black Hospital Pass' (both 2019), 'Jarrod Black Guilty Party' (2020) and one on the way, 'Anna Black - the girl can play' (2020).

Wally Mason

Sports Editor, 'The Australian'

Wally Mason is Sports Editor of 'The Australian' and has been a journalist for over 35 years. He grew up playing cricket and rugby league, but these days his sporting interests are much wider.

Andrew Howe

Author and Statistician

Andrew is a statistician by day (with the ABS) and night (football's statto), and author of the 'Encyclopedia of Socceroos' (2018) and co-author of the 'Encyclopedia of Matildas' (2019).

David Picken

Author & Writer

David is author of 'The Time of My Football Life' (2019) about his adventures in Germany at the 2006 World Cup, and a retired academic from Deakin University.

Francis Awaritefe

PFA Chairman, FIFPro Board member, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist

Francis was born in London, grew up in Nigeria and London, and played for Chelsea boys' club and non-league sides before emigrating to Australia in 1989 where he enjoyed a career in the national soccer league predominantly with Melbourne Croatia and South Melbourne. He was capped three times as a Socceroo. He was appointed to the Board of FIFPro, the world players' organisation in 2017, and was named Chairman of Australia's PFA in September 2020.

Ian Syson

Academic & Author

Ian holds a PhD in Literature and is the author of 'The Game that Never Happened' (2018).

James Johnson

CEO, Football Federation Australia

James is CEO of FFA, a role that he commenced in January 2020. He has played professionally in Australia, Vietnam and the USA college system, and is a former Australian U-17 international. He has previously worked with the PFA, the AFC, FIFA and the City Football Group.

John Maynard

Professor & Author

John is Professor of Indigenous Education & Research at the University of Newcastle. He is also Chairman of the Charles Perkins Soccer Academy. The second edition of his book 'The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe' was published in 2019.

Michael Cain


Michael was a senior journalist for Network TEN in Sydney until September 2020. Earlier this year, produced and wrote ‘Mark Viduka Uncovered’ broadcast on ESPN. He is now a freelance journalist who is also a passionate Liverpool, Newcastle Jets and Adamstown Rosebud supporter.

Murray Shaw

Executive Producer & Journalist

Murray Shaw is a journalist, presenter and executive producer who, for 15 years, oversaw the production of football content at FOX Sports. More recently, he has been involved with projects for the Australian Institute of Sport.

Remo Nogarotto

Football fan & FFA Board Member

Remo has had a long involvement in football at the highest management levels, encompassing both the pre- and post-Lowy eras, starting in 1983 with Club Marconi. He is a former Chairman of the NSL and Soccer Australia, and was elected to the Board of FFA in November 2018.

Simon Pearce

Deputy Chairman, Melbourne City FC

Simon has been on the Board of the City Football Group since September 2008, and is Deputy Chairman of Melbourne City Football Club. He is also a Board Member of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management and the Manchester Life Development Company.

Trevor Thompson

Author and Journalist

Trevor spent 10 years as Chief of Staff in the ABC's Sydney newsroom and reported on football in Australia for 35 years from his arrival in the 1980s until his recent retirement. He has written two books: 'One Fantastic Goal' (2006) and 'Playing for Australia - the First Socceroos, Asia and World Football' (2018).

Craig Foster

Human Rights Activist, Author, Lawyer

'Fozz' is a former professional football player in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and England, Socceroo, and, until recently, was also Australia’s leading football advocate, personality and analyst with SBS-TV - as well as human rights campaigner. He is also a Pro-License coach, and lawyer. He is a member of the Australian Multicultural Council, a Human Rights Ambassador with Amnesty International and an Adjunct Professor of Sport and Social Responsibility with Torrens University. He is author of the books 'Fozz on Football' (2010) and 'Saving Hakeem' (2019).

Emma Kemp

Deputy Sports Editor, Guardian Australia

Emma is Deputy Sports Editor with The Guardian Australia. She who has previously worked with the Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Telegraph and AAP in Sydney. She also recently completed a Masters of International Relations.

Greg Werner

Author & Radio Producer

Greg is co-author of the 'Encyclopedia of Matildas' (2019) and is currently working on his second book, to be published in 2022.

Jack Anderson

Professor & Author

Jack is Director of Studies and Professor of Sports Law at the Melbourne Law School prior to which he was at the University of Limerick and a Visiting Fellow at the ANU Law School. His primary research interest is in the relationship between sport and law and he has written widely in the area including on the future of sports broadcasting. Jack is a former editor-in-chief of the International Sports Law Journal, and is a member of a number of sports dispute resolution tribunals including the FA of Ireland. He is a member of the International Tennis Federation’s Ethics Commission and last year was asked to chair the Australian Government’s advisory committee for the establishment of a national sports tribunal.

Jason Goldsmith

Author & HR Systems Consultant

Jason is author of 'Surfing for England - Our Lost Socceroos' (2019) and is co-writing with Lucas Gillard his second book, to be published in 2021.

Jonathan Howcroft


Jonathan is a freelance sportswriter and broadcaster whose work can be found most often in 'The Guardian'.

Michael Lynch


Michael is Chief Soccer Writer with The Age in Melbourne.

Peter Kunz

Author & Archivist

Peter is a retired archivist and author of 'Chronicles of Soccer in Australia - the Foundation Years 1859 to 1949' (2019).

Rose Valente

Reporter, The Ladies League

Rose is the founder and Managing Director of The Ladies League, an all-female online fan media publication which she created in 2018 due to frustration with the lack of female representation in the men's football landscape. From its beginnings as a hobby and social project, The Ladies League is now a trusted source of entertaining information for football fans across Australia, with a website, podcast and YouTube videos.

Stephanie Brantz

Commentator, Journalist

Stephanie is the leading commentator on the W-League and women's football internationals in Australia and is a host and writer for ESPN Australia.

Val Migliaccio


Val Migliaccio was the football and cycling writer at 'The Advertiser' in Adelaide for more than 25 years. He has worked at three FIFA World Cups, two Olympic Games and three AFC Asian Cups, and has reported regularly on the A-League, W-League, Socceroos and Matildas and issues pressing the local game in South Australia. He is now working on a freelance basis.

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