Morris Iemma named new chairman of Southern Expansion steering group

New face: Former NSW Premier Morris Iemma has taken over as chairman of Southern Expansion. Picture: John Veage

New face: Former NSW Premier Morris Iemma has taken over as chairman of Southern Expansion. Picture: John Veage

Southern Expansion have announced former NSW Premier Morris Iemma as its new steering group chairman.

Iemma will lead the group’s bid to bring A-League and W-League teams to the St George, Sutherland Shire and Illawarra regions after taking over from Southern Expansion’s inaugural chairman, Les Murray, who died in July.

Mr Iemma said he was excited to take on the role and build on the platform set by Murray.

“I am deeply honoured to follow Les as chairman of this new club,” Iemma said.

“In a short time, Les worked tirelessly to establish our foundations and set out on his vision for A-League and W-League licenses for the southern region but sadly passed away before it was realised.

“Les has left a strong, long-lasting legacy and working with our CEO Chris Gardiner, head of football Craig Foster and our steering group, I believe we are now well-positioned to take-up A-League and W-League licenses and deliver professional football teams to the southern region.

“I have been impressed by Southern’s grassroots, football-hungry fan base, its community support and the club’s leadership, professionalism and organisational and financial capabilities and I am confident Southern can become one of the leading clubs in Australasia.

“As a football fan and a resident of the southern region, I’m really looking forward to taking the next steps with Southern on this exciting journey as we head toward our formal bid for the granting of A-League and W-League licenses.”

Gardiner welcomed Iemma’s appointment as Southern chairman and said his expertise would help steer the group’s strategic direction and assist with the formal bid submission to be lodged with the FFA this month.

“We’re all enthused and encouraged to have a man of Morris’ calibre teaming-up with Southern,” Gardiner said.

Iemma held a number of portfolios in his 17-year state political career and was NSW Premier from 2005 to 2008.

Iemma is chairman of Greyhound Racing NSW, Riverwood Community Centre, Miracle Babies Foundation and NSW Cancer Institute. He is also district commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission and sits on the board of TAFE NSW.

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