Last week 2010 graduate Riccardo Marchioli was named an Analyst for the Melbourne Victory Football Club.
We asked Riccardo about his post SEDA journey and his pathway to becoming an Analyst in professional football.
Hear Riccardo’s story:
What has your post SEDA journey looked like and the road to your current role?
“I graduated at the end of 2010 and began working through my FFA Advanced coaching licenses (currently FFA/AFC A Licence) while gaining coaching and analysis experience, often working at various clubs simultaneously. I was a state coach, Women’s Premier League head coach, the head coach of Victoria University (where I studied a Bachelor of Sport Coaching), an NPL Technical Director for 5 years before becoming a men’s head coach in the NPL in 2018, aged 27. I completed a ton of voluntary work over the journey, including analysis and scouting work for our national teams. That combination of experience led to my current role as A-League Football Analyst at the Melbourne Victory Football Club.”
How did SEDA influence your coaching career and help you get where you are today?
“Throughout my two years in the SEDA program, we gained a lot of experience in different coaching scenarios through school clinics, holiday programs and other coaching assignments. This helped to develop my ability to communicate with people of all ages with varying degrees of interest and skill. A number of my classmates have also gone onto roles as coaches, managers, personal trainers, business owners or journalists where the communication skills picked up through the program were crucial to their success. The program also allowed us to make face to face contacts, some of which I still work with or keep in touch with today, due to the program’s association with A-League clubs and other large sporting organisations.”
What were some of the skills you took away from your time at SEDA that are an asset to you as a coach?
“The ability to interact with various types of people, network and make connections that have helped to accelerate my career. Also, the confidence to work and communicate respectfully with older, more experienced people in the industry that I love. Another skill that was refined in the SEDA program was time management and what I call time professionalism. Being on time is never enough in this industry. You need to respect the process involved in setting up and running a session or program and give yourself the opportunity to do that properly.”
What would be some advice you would give to current SEDA Students who might want to pursue a career in coaching?
“Get out and coach! Be prepared to volunteer (a lot!) and get experience in a multitude of different situations, especially those that make you uncomfortable. Put yourself into situations where you will make mistakes, don’t get too comfortable. Always be respectful and professional in demeanour and appearance – the world of sport is very small with limited positions and you’d be amazed how many people know each other in this industry.”
What are you most looking forward to in your new role with Melbourne Victory?
“The opportunity to work in a professional environment at the club that I grew up supporting and interacting with professional athletes and coaches on a daily basis. As staff we need to maintain an environment that creates the best possible conditions for success and I love the responsibility that brings.”
Was there anyone influential you met during your time at SEDA that helped you get where you are today? What would you say to them?
“Both my teachers were outstanding. They were able to maintain an excellent balance between discipline and fun – something that I tried to emulate in my coaching! I was lucky enough to complete work experience at Football Victoria alongside many great people, Anthony Grima in particular, who I still keep in touch with and see around occasionally. However, the most influential people have turned out to be my classmates over the two years at SEDA. They have not only become lifelong friends, but their own success post-SEDA has also helped to fuel my career and it’s reciprocated. We constantly open doors for each other as we work our way up the ladder. There are many in this boat but the ones that stand out are Michael Varkopoulos and Samet Kolay (Elite Training & Sports Medicine), Sacha Pisani (writer for Stats Perform) and Stephan Achilleos (Kelly Sports). The two words that I have for all of them are, thank you!”
Photo Credit: Melbourne Victory Football Club