Vince Grella's injury ruined stint with Blackburn Rovers will come to an end after the 2011-12 English Premier League season, the veteran midfielder has revealed. In an interview with Tuttosport, the 32-year-old former Australia international said: "I will be released in June, next year I will return to play in Italy." Melbourne-born Grella has made 45 appearances in four seasons for Rovers, and has featured just twice in all competitions this campaign. Before moving to Rovers, he enjoyed much more success in a 10-year stint in Italy, during which he had spells of note with Empoli, Parma and Ternana.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray is delighted to have Australian striker Scott McDonald back from injury. The 28-year-old returned to action for the Championship club on Saturday as a substitute against Brighton, after almost two months on the sidelines with a knee injury. Boro lie outside the Championship playoff spots by virtue of goal difference only, and Mowbray hopes his striker's return can prove a lift for his side. "Hopefully there is a freshness about his play and we can utilise him. Whatever the scenario is, he has scored 10 goals this year," Mowbray told The Journal. "He also offers an ability to press the ball from the front and has a great work ethic."
Veteran Central Coast Mariners defender Patrick Zwaanswijk wants to prolong his playing career into his 38th year. The Dutchman turned 37 in January but has shown little sign of slowing down, again proving a key part of Graham Arnold's defence this campaign. Ahead of the Mariners' AFC Champions League match against Seongnam Ilhwa on Tuesday, the former NAC Breda and FC Utrecht player told The World Game he wanted to re-sign for the Mariners for the 2012-13 A-League campaign. "I haven’t spoken with the club yet but I will be. I want to play on for another year. The body says yes, the wife says yes and the defence says yes, so we have three yeses," he said. "We will talk when the time is right. I am not in a hurry but things, I am sure, will be sorted out."
Football Federation Australia have launched their first Indigenous Football Development Strategy. The strategy is aimed at getting more indigenous Australians playing football, as well as being involved in coaching, refereeing and administration. Its key priority areas include maximizing participation opportunities and identifying and developing talented players. "This strategy aims to build on the successful initiatives of recent years, including the staging of two Indigenous Football Festivals as well as the delivery of underpinning school-based, education focused programs," FFA chief executive officer Ben Buckley said. "As stated in the National Game Development Strategy, FFA strives to ensure that football is accessible and enjoyable for all Australians. A key focus of this commitment is to work with the football community on supporting associations and clubs to be able to cater for Indigenous Australians to participate in football."