City of Football: Dalmatia’s First Football Meetup Features Andy Goldie of Swansea City

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Duje Bonačić
Duje Bonačić

City of Football is an informal community taking football networking in Dalmatia to the next level. The first Meetup was held on Sunday at Fabrique Pub in Split, featuring the current Academy Director of Swansea City – Andy Goldie. 

Andy started his development journey at Dundee United as Academy Director, responsible for working with players from the U15s and U17s. He continued at Hamilton Academical FC, then became Middlesbrough FC’s first team scout. 

His work was recognized by the Scottish Football Federation, where Andy was in charge of developing the elite performances of the most talented young Scottish footballers and was also an assistant coach of the young national team.

He achieved his greatest success as the director of Dundee United’s Academy, where he earned top results from 2019 to 2022.

Andy lectured in front of a packed room of eager participants on the theme: “From one full-time employee to a talent factory.” This theme walked us through his journey of creating and implementing the strategy for young talents within Dundee United’s Academy.


“It is a great honor to be here today to present my work at Dundee United. I have often used Croatia in my analyzes and comparisons because it is fascinating that such a small country has great success in the world and European competitions and is always at the top. I am also glad that I had the opportunity to watch the pioneers and cadets of Hajduk and see firsthand the potential and quality of young players that this area offers,” said Goldie at the beginning of his presentation.


The Meetup was opened by Andro Fistonić, the man responsible for launching the new City of Football community. 

“The idea was to start with informal events where we talk about football in a relaxed atmosphere. Meetups are quite normal in other industries, especially in the IT sector. What excited me is how they push each other forward, encourage knowledge sharing, and ultimately encourage people to stay in this region. The idea is to gather people who want to know more about football, from coaches, parents, managers, and investors. Through this Football Meetup, they can encourage and improve football development in Dalmatia,” Fistonić said.


Andy Goldie presented the results of three years of work at Dundee United’s Academy. He explained how with a clear strategy and plan, he raised the budget from 60,000 GBP and one employee to 400,000 GBP and fulfilled the goals of development and return on investment. 


TCN caught up with Andy after the event to hear his thoughts about kicking off City of Football:

“When Andro presented the opportunity and explained the program and its future, I was excited. I think it can significantly impact this region, not only on the professional side of the game but also on the recreational and business side. It will help to build that connection and understanding and, ultimately, a more strategic direction. 

This is my second visit to Split. I fell in love with it when I first visited and still love it. I love how it mixes modern and traditional. It feels authentic – nothing is commercialized here.”

And his thoughts on Hajduk this season?

“Hajduk has had a period of struggle and had to refind who they are. It appears that they have refound their identity. They understand the process it takes to succeed, and it looks like they’re getting that back. In football, anything is possible. Given my strong connection to Hajduk, I bought my two sons Hajduk tops to bring back home. We will definitely be supporting Hajduk.”


After the presentation, there was a Q&A with Andy, followed by networking among the attendees.

“The general impression is very positive. The pub area was full, and the Q & A lasted about 30 minutes, meaning the attendees were confident to discuss and connect with the topic and speaker. The attendees included primarily coaches, but there were also agents, parents, futsal and football players, and some potential football investors. The versatile audience improved the discussion with different perspectives on the given topic,” Fistonić said. 

So, what’s next for City of Football?

“The next Meetup will be in about two months. The idea is to continue bringing people who proved themselves internationally. For example, in the next Meetup, you can expect to see local football workers building something extraordinary in Dalmatia or Croatia. Things that you don’t hear about in the media,” concluded Fistonić. 

The next Meetup is scheduled for early February.

All photos by Duje Bonačić

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