No sentiment as Matildas adjust to new world
E-mails dropped into the inboxes of the Matildas players this week, and in one case delivered the most unpleasant of Christmas surprises.
Six months ago Katrina Gorry was part of the World Cup squad, but the midfielder has been cut completely from the list of players given centralised contracts by coach Ante Milicic.
The list was finalised days ago and the players informed this week by letter, under the new pay structure that will see the highest-paid players earn parity with the Socceroos.
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The list of players is split into three tiers, with commensurate earnings, and the other contentious call was Lisa De Vanna, the country's leading scorer and still going strong in Serie A, who was demoted to a tier three contract - the lowest retainer.
Given her omission from the squad that faced Chile in November, the fact De Vanna has been given any sort of contract will give her hope that she might yet be selected for the squad to take part in Olympic qualifying in February against Chinese Taipei, Thailand and China.
Gorry, meanwhile, will be forced to rely on her contract with Brisbane Roar in the W-League, in the knowledge her international career is at least on hold if not finished after 76 caps for her country.
Only 11 players got tier one contracts, the most lucrative deals, perhaps reflecting the 18-woman limit on squads for the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the fact the Matildas were told by letter about which contract - if any - they will get this year has been much discussed among the players this week, especially those getting news they might not have wanted to hear.
That's something the new head of national teams at FFA might want to address, and we hear former Socceroo Craig Moore is one of the favourites for the role.
That's helped by the fact that Moore was drafted in as an emergency head of delegation at the U17 World Cup last month.
One of the other names under discussion at FFA is Terry McFlynn, Perth Glory's academy manager and previously GM of football at Sydney FC.
What the job will look like is another matter, with a debate going on within the FFA.
With the A-League spinning off to independence, you would think that whoever is in charge of the national teams would be holding a hugely important post.
Confidential revealed last week that interviews were going on even before the appointment of incoming CEO James Johnson, and now it transpires the role may not even have a place on the senior management team that runs FFA.
Big early impression
At least FFA staff are feeling a little more positive after months of external criticism and internal departures.
Johnson addressed his new employees last Friday by video link from Manchester, and left many of them feeling enthused by his rousing words.
Meanwhile, Johnson's appointment has caused a few flashbacks for former Gold Coast boss Miron Bleiberg - he released the then Young Socceroo after a trial at Queensland Roar.