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Sydney FC defend controversial advertisement for voluntary strength and conditioning job

9:02 am AEST 28/8/19
Steve Corica Sydney FC
The Sky Blues were forced to respond after social media outrage about the posting

Sydney FC have withdrawn an advertisement for a 'voluntary strength and conditioning assistant' with the club and chief executive Danny Townsend clarifying the role was intended as an internship.

The original advertisement, which was posted on job site Sports People, asked for 'highly motivated' applicants with a 'strong work ethic' to consider an unpaid role at the club which would involve six-hour shifts over three-to-four days a week in a nine-month role.

Applicants would need to have a sports science degree or similar and fulfill duties including post training recovery protocols, assist with programs for development squad players and help with psychotherapy screenings.

Criticism was expressed about the advertisement on social media, with many users stunned that a professional sporting club would not be paying employees in that capacity.

The Sky Blues took the advertisement off the website shortly after it hit the headlines, with the club and Townsend using Twitter to explain that the advertised role has been worded incorrectly.

"After an investigation it seems the role is intended to be an internship for 3/4 students each working 1 day per week for 9 months in our High Performance Dept," Sydney FC tweeted from their official account.

"However it was incorrectly worded & badly phrased when posted by a team member not usually experienced in such matters."

Townsend revealed how many full-time Sky Blue staff had graduated from their intern program in the past after using his Twitter account to answer questions about the issue from angry supporters. 

"Understandable feedback on the errant "volunteer" ad listed. As our recent post clarified it was intended to be one of the many internships we offer young aspiring professionals," he tweeted. 

"We often post ads to provide a fair application process for these internships. We are proud of the many professionals now working on our industry who have gained some first work experience 

"In fact we have 6+ current full-time staff who started out as interns with us!" 

The defending champion Sky Blues are shaping up for a big A-League season having made the signings of quality attacking duo Kosta Barbarouses and Alexander Baumjohann from rivals Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers respectively.

Having been knocked out of the FFA Cup at the round-of-32 stage by Robbie Fowler's Brisbane Roar, their next competitive game will come in their A-League opener against Adelaide United on October 11 at Coopers Stadium.