Danny Maher & Andrew Parkes, at the 2021 Senior Presentation, along with (from l to r) Laura Gerber MP, Michael Thwaite, Eloise Fryer, Grae Piddick, Riley Thomson King, Alex Bundalo, Maher and Parkes (photo – Monny Bailey)
A changing of the guard with Danny Maher stepping aside from his role as Chair of Gold Coast United FC to focus on an ‘all-of-city’ push for A-League and W-League on the Gold Coast.
Founding Chairman and one of the key driving forces behind the club’s re-emergence and entry into the National Premier Leagues Queensland competition in 2018, Maher’s attentions now turn to corralling a local, unified effort to finalise a return to the A-League for the Gold Coast.
“It’s an exciting time for the game,” Maher confirmed.
“There are opportunities to bring top flite, professional football back to the Gold Coast, and that’s the goal.”
Excited by what looks set to unfold, Maher leaves United knowing the club is in a good place and in good hands.
“The club is now well established and well-positioned to grow.”
“We’ve worked hard to continually improve ourselves.
“In 2021 we were recognized by Football Queensland as the number one academy in the State, our senior women won the league last year and on all levels across the club we continue to raise the bar for football in Australia.”
Maher acknowledges that this success stems from building a culture that attracts the right people to the club, at the board level, among staff, coaches, players and volunteers.
To that end Maher is confident that newly appointed Chair, Andrew Parkes, brings the right qualities, energy and vision to continue the club’s push for excellence at all levels.
“Renewal and transition is an important part of the job of being Chair and is a part that is often missed for sporting clubs.”
“Andrew’s been involved at all levels of football, across many years and I am thrilled to be supporting him as the new Chair of the club.”
“Andrew understands the football landscape and the challenges it faces, from the grassroots of the game to the elite level of the sport.”
Parkes has been involved in various capacities in football, including most recently as Chair of Football Gold Coast. He brings much experience and knowledge of the game and the frameworks it sits in and like Maher, understands that the current flux of change washing over the code provides some unprecedented challenges and opportunities.
“I’m humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to Chair Gold Coast United.” Parkes confirmed.
“I’ve watched the growth of the club with much interest, what’s been achieved in a short space of time is impressive.”
With expansion plans earmarked for the game, Maher and Parkes both know the importance of being well prepared and positioned to be part of that expansion.
Parkes added, “equally as impressive is the road map and strategic plan being laid out by the Club for the short and medium term.”
“The club is looking to maintain its trajectory, building on a strong foundation. The club is the Gold Coast’s representative to the National Second Division and we fully support the push for an all of city A-League and W-League also.”
With Gold Coast United currently undertaking a ‘refresh’ of its Strategic Plan, and A-League discussions having progressed significantly, now was seen as the opportune time for a baton change at the head of the club, with Anthony Farr, President of Legends Football Club Gold Coast also appointed to the Board replacing long-serving Director, Nick Hare, who steps aside to focus on growing business and family commitments.