A familiar face has returned to Football Wagga’s development officer position.

Liam Dedini was the organisation’s inaugural development officer back in 2016 and has returned to the position after the recent departure of Kyle Yeates.

Dedini created a big impression during his initial three-and-a-half-year stint and is excited to be back after a couple of years away.

“Yep, it’s something I love doing,” Dedini said.

“It’s a new challenge. I’ve been out of it a little while so to get back into it and start some new programs. There are some programs that I started that Kyle kept going, which is awesome, but there’s a few new ones to get going.

“The only reason I left it was I had a dream in Sydney. I went up there and really enjoyed it in Sydney but it was just bad timing with COVID and everything.”

Dedini initially moved to Sydney to take on a head of goalkeeping position with Football NSW. He returned after 12 months and took on a part-time development role with Griffith Football Association.

“I enjoyed doing it in Griffith and Griffith was really good. When I came back, they got me back into the role,” he said.

“It’s just when you’ve got a job and you can do the same thing without four and a half hours travel each week, it makes it easier.”

Dedini finished up with Griffith a couple of weeks ago. He officially starts back in his Football Wagga position on January 17 but will be busy beforehand.

Dedini will help with Football Wagga’s Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) trials, for under eights to 12s, over the next two Friday evenings at Gissing Oval.

He will also help with Wanderers trials this weekend.

Dedini returns to the job with big plans.

“Working with future Matildas and things, I learnt a lot up there that I can bring back,” he said.

“I loved it in Sydney but I want a change now, I wanted to get back into the stuff here and get back involved with all the clubs.”

Driving growth in the women’s game is a major focus for the 25-year-old.

“With the women’s World Cup coming to Australia and New Zealand in 2023, I’m keen to really push the women’s side of things and get some programs going for that because I’m sure Football NSW and Football Australia will be throwing a lot of things out in that space as well,” he said.

“I want to keep driving the women’s game and keep the juniors involved, really grow the game.

“Soccer is growing so much here and Wanderers have created one pathway but whether we can create another pathway for those that just miss out on that pathway, or can’t commit to the travel to Canberra, to get some programs and trainings so that everyone can continue to develop.”

Coach education is another area Dedini wants to focus, particularly to upskill and provide more support to parents who are coaching junior teams.

Dedini will be busy, given he is also coach of the Wagga City Wanderers under 23s, while also juggling his coaching business, LFD Training, on the side.

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