Ambassadors to the USAFL

The Mission of the USAFL Ambassador program is to promote the interests of the USAFL and the growth of Australian Football in the US. The USFooty Ambassador program is comprised of individuals who have a high profile who will help promote the USAFL in Australia and America and have the capacity to assist the USAFL board in a number of different arenas.

The USAFL is excited to have such a distinguished group of football individuals as the first crop of Ambassadors. The mixture of players, administrators and media expertise will greatly enhance the future of foot in the USA. The Ambassador program was launched as part of the Tenth Anniversary celebrations of the USAFL.

Robert DiPierdomenico (aka 'Dipper')

Dipper started his AFL career with the Hawthorn Hawks in 1975 and his flair and toughness on ground saw his reputation quickly develop as one of the game’s most exciting players. He played in five day Premiership sides and four night Grand Finals. Dipper was one of football’s great characters of the 1980’s and one of its fieriest customers. He will be remembered for his trips to the VFL tribunal just as he will be remembered for winning the 1986. Since retiring from footy Dipper’s involvement as a media personality – on television & radio - has been legendary. He has also devoted himself to assisting in the growth of Auskick in Australia. Dipper attended the 2006 USAFL National Tournament in Las Vegas and his coaching, commentary and support of players was appreciated by all.

Colin Carter

Colin spent his career as a management consultant, mostly with The Boston Consulting Group in Australia. His footy connections started with a project he led in the mid 1980s for the then VFL which led to the expansion of the competition and the introduction of equalization strategies such as the draft and salary cap.

Colin was on the board for the Geelong Football Club from 1988 to 1992 and is now a member of the AFL Commission.

Ian Dicker

Ian worked for Pacific Dunlop Ltd for over thirty years, the last 15 years as Managing Director of Ansell International. Ian has been the owner and Chairman of Steritech Pty Ltd since 1990, and has served on many boards.

Ian was President of the Hawthorn Football Club from December 1996 to December 2005. In that time Ian was very supportive of USFooty and campaigned for greater recognition of International footy. He had the opportunity to see the strengths of USFooty when he attended the 2003 Nationals in Kansas City.

Michael Voss

Michael is a 15-year AFL veteran, a triple premiership captain, dual All-Australian captain and Brownlow Medalist, respected and admired by teammates and opponents alike, as much for his modest, down-to-earth, unaffected and ever-considerate manner off the field as for his inspirational, fearless and uncompromising approach on the field. As captain of the Brisbane Lions, Voss helped develop the AFL code in Queensland to a point where the Brisbane Lions were recognized as the number one brand in the AFL. He remains committed to the continued growth of AFL both in Australia and internationally.

Rod Grljusich (Grilla)

Grilla has pioneered play by play announcing for the United States Australian Football League first bringing his market specific brand commentary to The Nationals in Kansas City in 2003.

“The Grilla’s” dynamic and colorful style has influences dating way back to his adolescent years from an infatuation with American sports presentation, ignited through an involvement with baseball as a State player and keen spectator. In 1995, after 12 years as a semi professional football player in the Western Australian Football League (Triple A equivalent), Grljusich evolved on a career as play by play announcer for minor community through to major commercial Radio and TV networks calling and covering Australian Rules.

2008 Grilla’s fifth in the USAFL as a play by play announcer with his interest and duties continuing to expand into player and cultural exchange in conjunction with the associated Australian Advisory Board and the Initial USFooty Ambassadors Program.

Leigh Matthews

Leigh Matthews has a distinguished record as both a player and coach in the Australian Football League. Leigh moved to Brisbane to coach the Brisbane Lions in 1999 and since then the Lions have enjoyed a period of immense prosperity and famously led the Lions to a hat-trick of premierships from 2001 to 2003. Matthews is now presiding over the development of a new youthful Lions era.

In addition to coaching for almost a decade at the Lions, Matthews played a total of 332 games with Hawthorn (between 1969 and 1985) and coached Collingwood for 224 games (between 1986 and 1995). In 2007, he became only the third person in AFL history to be involved in 750 matches as a player or coach, behind only Jock McHale and Kevin Sheedy. As a player/coach, Matthews has been involved in eight premiership sides – four as a player and four as coach and is widely recognised as one of the true legends in VFL/AFL history.

As a player, Matthews was an unstoppable force and is largely considered one of the finest footballers ever to take to the field. In fact, he was voted by the media as the sports best player of the 20th century. Leigh has always had an interest in the International game and looks forward to his ongoing support of footy in the United States.

Wayne Clark

A medium/quick seam bowler and successful coach, Wayne Clark played in 10 Tests for Australia - taking 44 wickets at 28.72. He coached Yorkshire to the County Championship title in 2001, their first since 1968, before moving home to coach Western Australia.

Wayne coached the Western Australia Cricket team (Western Warriors) in two stints for a total of 10 years, retiring at the end of season 2006/07. He guided the Warriors to two Sheffield Shield successes and three domestic one-day titles during his reign. His record in delivering trophies to the WACA was outstripped only by his record in developing players who have gone on to represent Australia. During Wayne's tenure seven Western Australians made their debut for Australia at Test or one-day international level.

Wayne’s interest in the United States Australian Football League was heightened in the summer of 2007 when, during an extended stay in the US, he was fortunate enough to see a number of our US teams compete and even umpired a number of USFooty games.

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