Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has appointed former Australian Football League player Nick Holland as its new Chief Executive, replacing Brendan Schwab.
The decision to look outside the football family and appoint the lawyer and media personality was announced by PFA president Simon Colosimo in a statement Tuesday.
“The players are delighted that we’ve been able to attract someone of Nick’s calibre,” 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.
“The process of selecting Nick has been extensive and follows a comprehensive search which attracted an outstanding list of candidates. Members of the PFA Executive were directly involved in interviews and all key membership groups consulted. In the end, the players are unanimous in their choice. Nick has most recently been a solicitor with Holding Redlich and was an active AFL Players’ Association delegate during his successful playing career with Hawthorn, testimony to his passion and commitment to the players’ cause,” Colosimo added.
in the statement, 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.”
Schwab stepped down to focus on his responsibilities for FIFPro, the world players’ union, where he is Chairman of FIFPro Asia. 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 announced two other appointments to the PFA.
“Former Drake International Area Manager Adam Vivian has been appointed PFA General Manager with particular responsibility for the PFA’s commercial activities as well as our essential player development and community programs. In addition, former National Soccer League goalkeeper Jim Kourtis of JK Partners has been appointed to manage the PFA’s finances.
Holland will start in the role on August 13th with Schwab formally finishing his duties as PFA Chief Executive on 10 August.
Holland played 179 games for Hawthorn between 1994 and 2005.