Q&A with Jeff Williamson about Canberra A-League bid

C anberra has long been awaiting a team in the A-League. It has not had a top-flight team since the Canberra Cosmos folded in 2001. The sport has grown exponentially since then. Business consultant Jeff Williamson has stepped up to prepare a bid for the Nation’s Capital. Williamson himself is a former UC graduate in Bachelor of Arts- Media and Writing.

Q: What drew you into Football and what are some your early experiences with it?

A: Well I was never an outstanding player, I played in juniors and through school. I always just enjoyed playing it. It is a simple game yet it is so tactically complex which is what makes it special.

Q: How did you get involved in the bid?
A: After the initial bid that was unsuccessful a few years ago, no one has since stepped up to do it. I saw that Ivan Slavic (the previous bid runner) said he was not going to run, yet invited anyone else that wanted to step forward. No one else ended up taking that offer, so I decided to step up and assume that role. Because I wholeheartedly believe Canberra needs a team.

Q: What will make your bid different from the one a few years ago?
A: Despite not getting the team Canberra put in a great bid. They raised more than $5 million. They were also very community based with talented people inputting and creating a terrific group effort. I do not think they did anything wrong, the FFA just did not want a team from the capital at that time. I want to continue the great work they did, and it expand on it. Like I want to collaborate even more with the community to make it work.

Also, emphasising the benefits of having a team here, because a few years have passed, they were not able to use, such as the huge participation rates and the crowd numbers for the Asian Cup and Socceroos matches. Which further highlights that we have an audience here.

Q: What will your bid entail that is different from other bids from other cities across the country?
A: First of all I want to stress that our bid is not about me. This is going to be a community effort. Anyone can get involved, there are a lot of talented people in Canberra that I do not know now and could be crucial in advancing the bid since we are still in the initial stages. This group effort will be crucial as we want to make this a real community feel. Not many other bids are community-based, they are all singular business owners without external input.

If anyone wants to get involved and help, you can email Jeff- canberrabid@gmail.com

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