Meet the SSFA 2024 Committee
SSFA marks an historic moment in 2023 as the Association welcomes our first female President- Laura Cowell. Joining Laura in 2024, three new EC members – Cherie Donoghue, Karen Traynor and Marty Manns. Alongside them, re-elected member Russell Marsden – 2024 Vice President, Keith Ward- 2024 Treasurer and returning Committee members Mark Williams, Jim Hankins and Chris Lockwood. As Laura makes history within the SSFA we are also proud to have the EC with 33% representation of females a reflection of the current 34% total female participants in the Shire – A testament to the evolving landscape of football leadership within the SSFA. Our 2024 EC pride themselves on their passion for football and a commitment to community growth.
Laura Cowell’s vision for the Sutherland Shire Football Association (SSFA) is rooted in her passion for the sport and her commitment to community development. As she steps into the role of President in the 2024 Committee, Laura intends to lead with transparency, inclusivity, and positive growth within the association. Drawing on her extensive experience as a player, administrator, and community leader, she envisions initiatives that strengthen the connection between the SSFA and its 26 member clubs. Laura is dedicated to implementing strategic measures that not only enhance the football experience for players but also contribute to the broader well-being of the community. With a focus on integrity, communication, and collaboration, she aims to lead the SSFA towards continued success and a vibrant future for football in the Sutherland Shire.
2024 Vice President
With an enduring legacy in football spanning over 57 years, Russell Marsden has been appointed Vice President by the Sutherland Shire Football Association (SSFA), marking a new chapter in his illustrious journey. Russell’s dedication commenced in 1965, and he has since held various roles at Bangor Football Club, from Coach to Referees Coordinator and President, earning him a well-deserved Life Membership in 2013. Since 2008, he’s been a registered Referee with SSFRA, showcasing his commitment to diverse football roles. Elected to the SSFA Executive Committee in 2014, Russell’s extensive involvement includes chairing committees, overseeing facilities, and playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the Shire Premier League in 2021. Known as the “walking rule book,” Russell’s expertise and unwavering commitment have rightfully earned him the Football NSW 2022 State Award, a testament to his outstanding contributions to the sport’s integrity and advancement.
Keith Ward, the newly appointed Treasurer of the Sutherland Shire Football Association, brings a wealth of experience and dedication to the role. With a football journey spanning back to his early days at Engadine Eagles in 1962, Keith’s commitment has touched various clubs, including St Patricks and Cronulla RSL, where he played until 2014. Keith’s administrative prowess shines through 28 years of service at Cronulla RSL, holding pivotal positions such as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Registrar. Joining the Sutherland Shire Football Association Executive Committee in 2015, Keith has continued to contribute significantly, even having a stint as Vice President. His extensive involvement extends beyond football, with commendable roles in various community groups and a string of well-deserved awards, making him an esteemed leader and invaluable Treasurer for the SSFA.
2024 Executive Committee
Mark Williams, currently serving on the Sutherland Shire Football Association’s Executive Committee, is a seasoned advocate for club success. Having successfully navigated challenges in his first year on the EC in 2023, Mark’s focus remains firmly on the 26 member clubs that define the SSFA. With a remarkable track record, including a six-year presidency at Grays Point Soccer Club, Mark brings invaluable insights into the needs of players, coaches, and club administrators. Elected for another term, Mark plans to leverage his wealth of club management experience to enhance the EC’s efforts in striving for continual improvement. His dedication to fostering the best outcomes for football in the Sutherland Shire is a testament to his commitment to the sport and its community.
Chris Lockwood, currently re-elected to the Executive Committee, has been an instrumental force in the SSFA’s success. His extensive tenure includes key roles such as Judiciary Committee Chairman and representative positions within Football NSW committees. With a robust history at Gwawley Bay FC as President and Senior Vice President, Chris brings over 30 years of playing, coaching, and managerial experience to the SSFA. Having already contributed significantly to grassroots football and as an active coach, Chris aims to further elevate the SSFA, envisioning it as one of the largest and strongest football associations in Australia.
Jim Hankins, the incumbent Executive Committee Member, brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the SSFA. With a six-year tenure on the Disciplinary Panel, including three years as Chairman, Jim is dedicated to upholding fair play and integrity within the association. His multifaceted volunteer background, spanning leadership roles in various organisations, extends to his impactful contributions to the Engadine Crusaders and the SSFA. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and boasting over 30 years of professional experience, Jim’s expertise aligns with the SSFA’s goals. His ongoing dedication to improving football and fostering a diverse and inclusive community within the Sutherland Shire is evident in his continued service on the Executive Committee.
Karen Traynor, a familiar face in the football community, brings a wealth of experience to her Executive Committee candidacy. Having joined CJFC in 2014, her journey evolved into a dedicated role as Club Secretary from 2016 to 2022. In the challenging period of 2020-2022, marked by the absence of assistant roles and the complexities of navigating the club through COVID, Karen donned multiple hats, including Treasurer, uniform officer, canteen manager, and the go-to person for all soccer-related matters. Her unwavering commitment is highlighted by her continued support post-secretary role until a successful handover in May 2023. A Life Member of CJFC since 2020, Karen’s passion for the sport and dedication to fostering friendships within the club make her a valuable candidate for the Executive Committee.
Cherie Donoghue, currently contributing to the Sutherland Titans FC Committee as Communications & Website lead, is a valuable member of the SSFA Executive Committee. With a rich background spanning the Sutherland Titans Football Club committee since 2019, her ongoing role in the SSFA Judiciary Committee since 2017, and past service at Gymea United Football Club (GUFC), where she received Life Membership in 2018, Cherie brings 18 years of diverse football experience. Having managed various teams and excelling in club communications, Cherie leverages her skills for the benefit of the SSFA. She enhances communication channels, including regular newsletters, to keep all players, coaches, managers, and committees equally informed and engaged on the pitch. Cherie Donoghue’s commitment to ensuring a positive experience for all within the football community makes her a valuable member of the SSFA Executive Committee.
Elected to the Executive Committee, Marty Manns brings over 15 years of vibrant engagement with Shire football. His active roles in Miranda Magpies and later as Club President at Engadine Eagles reflect a profound commitment to community growth. Marty’s contributions to facility improvements and the junior grading process showcase his dedication to enhancing the football experience. As a parent of a participant in the SSFA SAP squads, Marty offers unique insights into youth development programs. With a deep understanding of the SSFA’s role in fostering inclusivity and skill development, Marty Manns continues to be a passionate advocate for football and community growth within the Shire.