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Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) president Simon Colosimo announced the appointment of prominent lawyer and former Australian Football League (AFL) player Nick Holland as PFA chief executive.

 

‘The players are delighted that we've been able to attract someone of Nick's caliber’, Colosimo said.  ‘Throughout his playing days and more recently during his legal career Nick has demonstrated a strong commitment to and understanding of player rights. He is relishing the challenge of leading the PFA, especially with our negotiations for new Collective Bargaining Agreements due to begin once Australian football’s new media rights deal has been negotiated.’

 

Holland said he was honoured to be appointed to lead the PFA at such a critical time for the players and the game. ‘It has been a long time career goal of mine to be able to contribute to the players’ association movement and the cause of player rights in Australia’, Holland said.

 

‘My AFL experience combined with my legal training has given me a unique understanding of the pressures and scrutiny that professional footballers encounter in their careers. I am acutely aware of the enormous responsibility the PFA carries in not only protecting and improving the rights of the players but also assisting these young athletes mature and advance in a very public space.’

 

‘I am committed to the challenge of advancing the cause of the players and developing them both on and off the field for the good of the game and their future development.’

 

Holland replaces long serving PFA chief executive Brendan Schwab (photo) who has stepped down to focus on his responsibilities for FIFPro, the world players’ union, especially as chairman of FIFPro Division Asia/Oceania. He will also devote more time to the work of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance, the peak body for Australia’s elite athlete and player associations.

 

Colosimo said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brendan for his wonderful contribution since 1993 and particularly over the last 6 years where he has established strong foundations across the breadth of our organisation. The PFA has never been stronger.'

 

‘Of course and despite the improvements that we’ve seen in our game since the inception of the A-League we still have a long way to go. We are delighted that Brendan will continue to advise the PFA on its CBA negotiations and alongside Nick will make for a formidable combination.’

 

Holland will start in the role on August 13th with Schwab formally finishing his duties as PFA chief executive on 10 August.