NOVOCASTRIANS Kate Gill and Beau Busch will share a crucial role in shaping the A-League's immediate and long-term future after they were announced on Thursday as joint chief executives of the players' union, Professional Footballers Australia.
The pair have been appointed to replace John Didulica, who stepped down from the CEO role at the start of the month.
Gill is a former Matilda who played 86 internationals for Australia, scoring 41 goals.
She spent her formative years in Northern NSW development programs, representing Northern NSW Pride and the Newcastle Jets.
Busch played for Hamilton Olympic and Broadmeadow Magic before an unfortunate three-month stint with the Jets in 2008.
After training with them full-time in the pre-season and playing in two trial games, the defender was cut from the squad and required intervention from PFA and Football Federation Australia to force Newcastle to pay him $12,000 in withheld wages.
He proceeded to play a season for both Sydney FC and now-defunct North Queensland Fury, before a stint in Scotland with lower-division outfit Arbroath.
At the end of his playing career, the former Newcastle Star journalist, who studied at Newcastle University, was offered a position as PFA's media-liaison officer.
He then moved into more senior management roles, handling player development and relations.
The first female player to be elected to the PFA executive in 2014, Gill had most recently been working as Didulica's deputy CEO.
"It is a privilege to be appointed as PFA co-chief executive," Gill said.
"The PFA has always been about the players and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your peers and former teammates have confidence in you to lead their organisation."
Busch described his new position as an "honour".
"The players have consistently demonstrated remarkable leadership and solidarity and never more so than during the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the agreement to restart the A-League," he said.
"This leadership and solidarity is at the heart of everything the PFA does and will continue to be vital as we enter yet another urgent round of collective bargaining."
PFA have a vital role to play in ensuring this A-League season resumes, as proposed, and that the competition survives and prospers for the long-term.