Sydney FC have appointed a fan development officer in the Sutherland Shire to drive support for the Sky Blues through junior player development.
The club's development officers oversee the Sky Blues' programs with each local football association and build relationships at a club level within the region, with links to Sydney FC elite pathways.
The officers also assist the development of junior players in a bid to attract more fans for the club's A-League and W-League teams.
The Sky Blues and Sutherland Shire Football Association have appointed Sutherland Sharks player Pat O'Shea to the role.
The shire resident has worked with the club and the association in skills acquisition program and community coaching roles over the last three years. O'Shea's experience will allow him to engage at the local club and school level in the area, assisting with programs that now run for more than 40 weeks a year.
The move follows on from the appointment of Billy Kirk in the St George Football Association area in July.
Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend hailed the expansion and welcomed O'Shea.
"Over the past 18 months Sydney FC have committed more time and resources to the football community than we ever have and this role will allow us to increase that commitment on a daily basis," he said.
"We've nurtured a number of young footballers at our successful joint holiday clinics and skills training programs already. This appointment will allow us to expand on that and jointly provide us with the opportunity to deliver even more football programs to the grassroots which will build a new generation of Sky Blue fans.
"We want our new stadium filled with Sky Blue members and this community program commitment will go a long way to doing that."
SSFA general manager Jeff Stewart was excited to be able to work with Sydney FC to deliver a professional pathway link for many of the association's young players.
"This appointment is the culmination of a long and collaborative working relationship with Sydney FC and will help to bring the grassroots and the professional portion of the game closer together," he said.
"Engagement with the community is of paramount importance and the appointment of Pat is a fantastic initiative.
"We at the SSFA look forward to continuing to work with Sydney FC for the betterment of local players and to ensure they have the opportunity to be supported by, and to support, Sydney FC."