AFDP supports Mr. Soccer program for social cohesion in Australia


The Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) and Mr Soccer have launched a new partnership supporting grassroots football in Sydney today. This partnership is based on the promotion of fun, friendly exercise and skills with the common focus on youth football development across the Asian region, one of AFDP’s principle pillars. AFDP and Mr Soccer also share the belief that social inclusion and mutual respect is at the heart of the game.

The AFDP, launched in Jordan in February 2012, is a non-profit youth commission founded and chaired by Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (FIFA Vice-President). It focuses its needs-based support on strengthening football as well as promoting social development through the game across Asia in a fair and transparent manner. The AFDP has four principle pillars, which include supporting grassroots and youth football development, advancing women’s football, and protecting and developing football.

Since 2008 Mr Soccer has continued to provide fun and effective football coaching to boys and girls of all ages and abilities. Founded by former Socceroo Mark Robertson, Mr Soccer offers every child the opportunity to develop their skills through a range of structured and professional training programs. Earlier this year, Mr Soccer announced Socceroo captain Lucas Neill and Matilda star Kyah Simon as its official ambassadors.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein from AFDP welcomed the new partnership with Mr Soccer and the inclusion of Australia in the project, and provided the following comment:

“Investing in our youth in Asia is the only guarantor that our continent will indeed realize its full potential and take its rightful place on the world stage of football, that is indeed why we are supporting Mr Soccer.”

“For many children in different parts of the continent, football is more than a sport. It is a culture, lifestyle and a natural equalizer, thereby giving these children hope.”

“AFDP strongly believes that football is a powerful medium through which our youth can come together regardless of their differences and backgrounds and that social inclusion and mutual respect is at the heart of our game. We believe Mr Soccer has a dedicated team of coaches and staff to deliver needs-based football programs for young boys and girls that represent different backgrounds in Australia representing the country’s multiculturalism.” Added Prince Ali.

Socceroo captain and Mr Soccer Ambassador Lucas Neill believes that this partnership is another example of Australia making an impact in Asian football.

“Over the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy success in Asia with international and club football, but it’s very special to be part of a grassroots project in the region. The AFDP and Mr Soccer share many beliefs and values, and we hope this partnership will be the vehicle that allows our football programs to make an even bigger impact on the youth across Australia and Asia,” Neill said.

Mark Robertson, the founder of Mr Soccer, takes great pride in seeing the coaching and education that Mr Soccer provides reach out to more communities.

“Since Mr Soccer was established in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney in 2008, we’ve enjoyed delivering quality coaching to boys and girls of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and beliefs. I’m very proud and excited to be aligning with the AFDP, which is a project that I’m passionate about as we both share a commitment to not only giving children a chance, but also a positive and enjoyable experience via unique football programs,” Robertson said.