Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Finally Football's development plan out tomorrow

And you know it's important because Frank Lowy will be alongside Ben Buckley to announce it.

So what can we expect?

A plan to guide the development and enjoyment of all our young players boys and girls.

Small sided games with an emphasis on touch and skill. No secret there.

But will it incorporate a Youth league. Yes I expect, and a Women's National league as well.

How will territories, like Canberra, without A-League affiliated clubs, fit into a youth league if the Youth teams are attached to an A-League club?

Remember Canberra has produced Ned Zelic, Joe Simunic,Carl Valeri and Nikolai Topor-Stanley in recent times.

How will territories like Canberra, without A-League affiliated clubs, fit into a Women's league, if women's teams are attached in some way to an A-League club?

Remember Canberra has produced Julie Murray, Sasha Wainwright, Lydia Williams and Caitlin Munoz in recent times.

Are the younger versions expected to head up to the Central Coast at the age of 16 to play Youth team football, and the Women to do the same.

And if the Central Coast select only one or two Canberrans what about the rest of Canberra's players?

Will all Federations be allowed a Youth team even if there is no A-League team in town.

For the women should the teams take on the names of the A-League clubs. Is this a good marketing tool or not?

Canberra can have their own Youth team and a Women's team. There are enough players and qualified coaches at all levels in this town.

Linking them to a club, the Central Coast Mariners might be a nice idea. But the club is more than 4 hours from Canberra.

Or will a football hotbed like Canberra get it's own place. Surely if the game is to keep growing across the country, Canberra need their own youth and Women's side in the new set-up.

I await the announcement with considerable interest.


Big game big crowd coming up!

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC

A big game and a big crowd expected. With the Jets running hot, and Kossie inspiring the Sydney team and importantly the Sydney crowd this will be a cracker.

Fireworks, passion, on and off the field this will be of the anticipated games of the season.

Jets are expecting a crowd around the 20,000 mark.

If you like you football fast and furious dont miss it.


Podcast: Matilda's Coach Tom Sermanni, Lydia Williams, A-League and more

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Donwload part 1

In part 1 We run the best Michael Bridges accent competition and discuss: Is Kossie the Messiah. Arif says no!

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Part 2 Includes Lydia Williams and her Matildas journey, Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni reflects on the World Cup and the plans for a National Women's League to start in October 2008. Lydia and Nicole Somi discuss the plans.

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In part 3: Tom Sermanni discusses the future of the women's game, Cecilia is frustrated by the Victory, our Round 10 picks and all the local news.


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

On the 2XX 98,3fm 6:30pm radio tonight:

We've got Matildas and Young Matildas Captain Lydia Williams in the studio, Exclusive Interview with Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni.

Melbourne Victory blogger and fan Cecilia talks about her frustrations with the ref, Panta, Kemp, Ernie and more!

Arif and Nicole talk A-League, and we'll find out which member of the nearpost team can do the best Michael Bridges accent.

Local football and more.

And podcast available tomorrow on this site.

Type rest of the post here


Tom Sermanni: A-League for Women coming soon.

Speaking on the Nearpost radio show 2XX 98.3fm 6.30pm Canberra tonight (podcast available tomorrow arvo)Matildas coach discusses plans for a National Women's League to start next October.

And I believe it's tremendously exciting for all football fans and players in Australia

How likely is this to happen?

"I'm more confident than I've ever been, shall we put it that way," said Sermanni.

"Everything is in the mix at the moment, and we're looking at playing the games before the A-League games. The FFA want to link the women's game to the A-League in some way, with the large number of women and families attending A-League games, the FFA are keen to build on this."

What a fantastic idea. Wonderful stadiums, presumably the same name for teams much as in England where you have women's teams like Arsenal and Fulham WFC.

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory in the women's league has a much better ring than other representative or club names from those cities.

What colours? What scarves to buy? Who to support? It's simple isn't it.

A great way of getting cross-over support between football supporters of all gender.

And with the women and men's game booming across this country, with more football through Asia over the next ten years than we've ever had, the game is set to continue the boom

For the growth in female numbers, the rising stars of the Matildas, playing the women's league before the men's game on superb pitches would surely be an exciting prospect wouldn't it?

Now of course there will be naysayers, Not least the groundsmen but surely we can overcome this minor point.

Bring it on.

What next, it will be televised?

What a great way to bring the women's game into the national psyche. Netball and Basketball all have some level of publicity in the women's game.

Football can use one of it's major assets, the A-League, to raise the women's game to a new level.

The A-League should benefit as well. It's marketing wizardry.

And with the numbers of girls and women playing football increasing, the marketing guru's dream demographic, surely some company will leap on board soon with pockets of money just for the women's game.

Don't agree with the A-league for women? Well give me a better alternative.


Monday, 29 October 2007

Canberra's next Socceroo is..

Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

It's surely a no-brainer. The Olyroos and Perth Glory's left-back is clearly pushing hard for a place.

Sydney FC fans mocked me when I suggested this some time back. But this season Topor-Stanley continues to impress.

Only David Carney really stands in his way unless Scott Chipperfield returns...and Chippers won't be here for every or maybe any games next year.

Carney is hardly playing for Sheffield United. A level of football which might make him rich but not a better player. And with such limited game time at left-back he will need to be playing club football to impress the new coach, whoever it is.

Carney has played a couple of games at left-back for the Socceroos but Topor-Stanley's experience in the position once the Olyroo games pass may get him the place.

The Mariners Dean Heffernan is somewhat eratic this season, particularly when defending, Shane Stefanutto is playing in Norway. Who else is there?

With so few lefties around, and so many World Cup qualifiers to come, Topor-Stanley will get a chance.

Not only is he keeping the likes of Danny Allsopp and rising star Robbie Kruse quiet, he even has time to create exquisite crosses for Jamie Harnwell.

And how many times have you seen an exquisite cross in the A-League this season from anyone?

So Nikolai Topor-Stanley is Canberra's next Socceroo. You know it makes sense.


The rise and rise of David Williams

Former Queensland Roar striker Davis Williams continues to impress abroad.

He has played a number games for Brondby first team in the Danish League and hopes to achieve his aim of playing in England one day.

"I've got another eighteen months on my contract so we'll see what happens. But I want to keep progressing up the levels and achieve my goal of playing in England."

Williams sees himself as a striker, that's where he plays for Brondby, but Olyroos Coach Graham Arnold blessed with strikers has moved Williams to the wing.

Would be great to see another Indigenous player representing Australia at Socceroos level in years to come.

Williams looks like he could do it, although it is very early days.

Makes you wonder if Williams, Nathan Burns, Bruce Djite and others from the Olyroos could make some sort of contribution in 2010.

Suddenly the team wouldn't look quite so old and slow. Scott McDonald, Josh Kennedy and one or two of the above would add a bit of youth and pace. Noice me thinks.


Young Socceroos off to Vietnam.

Another week another Aussie team off to Asia.

Interesting to me is the make-up of this squad. Everton, Hearts and Reading provide Aussie players for this squad.

It's mainly AIS players but only a couple, Sebastian Ryall and James Holland, have made an impression on the A-League at this stage.

Full details from the FFA follow

The Qantas Young Socceroos (Australia U-20) will begin the long road towards the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup next week when the first stage of Asian qualifying commences in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Australia have been placed into Group G in the preliminary qualifying competition alongside Korea Republic, Indonesia, Guam and host-nation Vietnam. The top-two teams from each of seven preliminary stage groups will advance to the Asian finals in 2008 along with the best third-placed team. Hosts Saudi Arabia qualify automatically for the finals which will be held from November 1-16, 2008.

The 20-man squad is largely comprised of Australian Institute of Sport players but also features a number of players with Hyundai A-League experience, and also four players currently based in the United Kingdom. Notable local selections include Melbourne Victory defender Sebastian Ryall, Queensland Roar striker Tahj Minniecon, Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, Adelaide United midfielder Matthew Mullen and Newcastle Jets duo Jason Hoffman and James Holland.

The UK contingent consists of Everton goalkeeper Michael McEntagert, Reading and former Mariners’ midfielder Oliver Bozanic, plus Ryan McGowan and Rocky Visconte of Scottish club Hearts.

“The initial concern will be acclimatising as soon as possible, and we have six days to do so prior to the first match,” said Qantas Young Socceroos coach Steve O’Connor. “As always it will be difficult conditions but that is something we simply have to deal with.”

“The opposition will be most challenging and we are going to have to work very hard and be on top of our game if we are to progress to next year’s AFC U-19 Championship.

“The preparation has been reasonably good though we have a few injury concerns amongst the group with a few players carrying some niggles.”

The current generation of Qantas Young Socceroos commenced their international campaign in August by winning the six-team Weifang Cup in China.

The 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Egypt.

The Qantas Young Socceroos squad to compete in Vietnam is:

Peter Cvetanovski, Luke DeVere, Marko Jesic, Daniel Mullen, Milos Lujic, Matthew Theodore, Isaka Cernak-Okanya, Matthew Jurman, (all AIS), Tahj Minniecon (AIS/Queensland Roar), Sebastian Ryall (Melbourne Victory), Andrew Redmayne (AIS/Central Coast Mariners), Matthew Mullen (AIS/Adelaide United), Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (AIS/Newcastle Jets), Nathan Elasi (Marconi Stallions), Glen Trifiro (uncontracted), Michael McEntagert (Everton, England), Ryan McGowan (Hearts, Scotland), Rocky Visconte (Hearts, Scotland), Oliver Bozanic (Reading, England)
* All players AIS-based unless stated otherwise

Australia v Indonesia
Tuesday 6 November

Australia v Vietnam
Thursday 8 November

Australia v Guam
Saturday 10 November

Australia v Korea Republic
Wednesday 14 November
All matches to be played at Thanh Long SC, Ho Chi Minh City


"We could have won by six....but we held on."

Sydney FC's Michael Bridges said that!

So tonight on the radio show 2XX 98.3fm watch out for who can do the best Michael Bridges's a competition I might just win, I've been practising for over 40 years...

However I lived about ten miles from Bridges so it's not as easy to match as you might think.

Arif and Nicole living over 12,000 miles are still in with a sniff.

Wish me luck. I could do with a win!


Sunday, 28 October 2007

A Bridge too far for Aloisi!

Sydney scored a crucial and uplifting win today against league leaders Central Coast Mariners.

Kossie will be happy, Michael Bridges will be happy and perhaps most importantly the Sydney fans will be happy..for now!

But they haven't been struggling this season for nothing. And again there were many worrying signs as the game went on.

Sydney started on fire. Fluent attacking football with Michael Bridges touches, strength and runs causing the Mariners a whole heap of problems and giving Sydney a physical presence up front.

And doesn't Alex Brosque look a different player. He scored two missed a penalty, but generally looks a different player now he is assisting the forward line rather than leading it.

Sydney broke at pace, Juninho, Corica, Bridges and Brosque were excellent early on.

The Mariners were down and out at two nil struggling to come to grips with the inventive Sydney play.

Sydney struggled after they scored their 3rd goal, a header through Tony Popovic after just thirty minutes. They are still an old team.

Their intensity dropped. Corica, and Juninho cannot maintain the tempo, even with a competitive Kosmina in the stands.

And Ufuk Talay enabled John Hutchison all the space in the world just outside the box, not once but twice, and didn't Hutchison finish well.

The Mariners fought hard. They are probably the fittest team in the competition. John Aloisi showed enough. He nearly worked the winner late on.

And it was the Mariners tempo which continue to cause Sydney problems.

Although some basic errors didn't help their cause. And Coach Lawrie Mckinna won't be happy

Dean Heffernan gave away a penalty. What was he doing? But he's done it a few times this season. This time he let his team badly down.

No defence on the Mariners back post enabled Popovic to score with ease.

For Sydney changing Brendan Santalab, an attacker, for full-back Zadkovic,says what most think about Ruben in defence and Sydney's bench.

And Dean Heffernan skinned Santalab and the resulting free kick nearly worked a late equalizer.

John Hutchison had a marvellous game.

But there were goals, skill and action all over the park

And what a delight to see a Sydney forward hold the ball, touch other players in and generally look like a striker, a leader.

Michael Bridge may just save Sydney's season.

Time will tell but he could be the saviour on which Kossie and the fans can rely.

With the Mariners losing, and Kossie in the hot seat, its now game-on.


Roar 3 the Glory 3

Great game. Lots of goals and The Glory first and then the Roar mus thave thought they won it.

And didn't Canberra's next Socceroo Nikolai Topor-Stanley have another great game. Watch out David Carney, once the Olyroo games are over, Topor-Stanley s a certainty for the Socceroos squad at some point in the future.

He was tested by inform Robbie Kruse..

but Kruse got nothing, in fact Topor-Stannley dealt with him and launched forward on many occasions.

Michael Zullo was also quiet. Perhaps to restricted by the Farina tactics. Can you really afford to have a guy like Zullo sitting wide all night. When any time he ets inside he causes havoc.

The Roar need to utilise the little fella a little more cleverly to benefit the team.

Liam Reddy had a great game, but let in three!

Robbie Kruse set up Marcinho, noice.

Topor-Stanley exquisitely found Jamie Harnwell. How many left or right backs have crossed like that this year. And he did the same last week at The Dome.

Glory were strong again. And this time they scored twoce to lead against a strangely subdued Roar.

But just when you thought it was all over, Marcinho scores his first goal a minute before half-time and it's 2-1 game on.

The Roar went ahead through two Simon Lynch goals, but where was the marking for his second. And then the Roar had won 3-2 with 5 minutes of injury time to play.

5 minutes? Where did that come from?

And Perth finished as they started. Attacking with flair and created a wonderful wonderful goal in the final minute scored by .David Coyne, made by Leo Bertos And still they nearly had time to pinch it.

Farina would have been spewing with his team. Ron Smith would have been fuming as well.

Bottom of the table, three goals away from home, a two nil lead and you still can't win.

Great game, can't wait for Kossie and Aloisi today.


From Belconnen United to Greenock Morton

It's not often we mention Greenock Morton on this blog.

But Belconnen United keeper Ben Cheyne is in Scotland training and playing with Morton, in the Scottish First Division.

Unfortunately Ben got an injury to his quad during the recent International break. He hopes to be back and between the posts soon.

I know Canberra's football community will wish him wellonhis adventure and I'll keep you posted on his developments.

Good luck Ben, especially with the Scottish winter coming on!

This from the Scotsman newspaper:

Three tussle for Cheyne

MOTHERWELL, Morton and Clyde are battling it out to land Australian goalkeeper Ben Cheyne. The 24-year-old is currently training with the Cappielow side, but Mark McGhee's Fir Park outfit and Colin Hendry's Clyde are also in the chase for the free agent.


Saturday, 27 October 2007

More Canberra Clubs on tour.

O'Connor Knights, Canberra Croatia men and Canberra Croatia women took part in the recent end of season Australian Croatia tournament in Western Australia.

The women had the most success. Although suffering a heavy defeat in the final he crushed Brisbane and Gwelup Croatia before losing to North Fremantle Croatia in the final.

All results here


How loyal are Victorians?

"I think you should interview me now, I'm pretty angry."

Cecilia author of A-Girls Guide to the A-League was slightly frustrated, okay dam angry after Victory's loss to the Jets.

Matty Kemp, Joe Keenan, Ernie Merrick,Carlos Hernandez, Joel Griffiths and Referee Matthew Breeze all copped it.

"I'm thinking of downgrading my season pass to GA," said Cecilia less than one hour after the game.

So it got me thinking how supportive of their teams are Victorians. What next crowds start dropping because they aren't in the four.

Sporting Capital of the World?

Well I guess we are about to see the Victorians claim tested.

Without a Fred, or an alternative strategic plan other than hoick it over the top to Archie, coz we can't ever break a defence down, will the fans turn up if they lose their next home game to Kozzie's Sydney FC?

Now that is going to be huge, and I can't wait to hear Cecilia's reaction to that one if Kozzie and Sydney FC take the points.

Cecilia's interview has been recorded for this week's radio show in Canberra 98.3fm 6:30 Tuesday but you it will be podcasted on Wednesday.


Canberra Cosmos still making the Guardian


Do you remember this game. We didn't have to many highlights when the Cosmos were around, but this and the 8-1 win over Sydney United were surely up there.

And good to see Canberra football is making the Guardian pages...thanks to Canberra ex-pat and Socceroos fan Andrew McDonald for sending it in.,13854,1538910,00.html


Will Dyer says: "I have a vague memory of sleeping off my jet-lag shortly after arrival in Australia 1996, while watching the TV highlights of a game in which an Australian league team came back from 5-0 down to draw 5-5. Was it a dream, or did it really happen?"

"Will was close," explains helpful Sydney resident Thomas Haerland. "On February 16, 1996, Newcastle Breakers drew 5-5 with Canberra Cosmos, yet it was only a measly four-goal comeback. After Canberra scored an own goal in the 49th minute to make it 4-0 to Newcastle, they pulled a goal back through Paul Wade soon after, before a 62nd-minute Troy Halpin strike (completing his hat-trick) left them 5-1 down. However, goals from Michael Musitano (69), Norman Kelly (78), Jason Dunn (83) and Wade again (88) helped them force the draw. The majority of the 2,817 crowd in the Breakers Stadium went home a little frustrated."


Friday, 26 October 2007

Belconnen United player goes to Celtic!!

A Belconnen United player, Paul Connell, is having a ball. Iwould say he's in Paradise, but that's just my green and white blood getting excited.

Paul is coaching while training with European Giants Glasgow Celtic Youth Side. Paul was a (good)student at the Canberra College where I was a teacher some years ago.

Paul sent this report through.

Hey Eamonn!

How is everything going mate? You'll never guess what I am doing at the moment.

I am a full-time football coach for Celtic in Glasgow! I am part of the football in the community. What that means is I get to go to schools and promote anti racism and against drugs whilst teaching a few football skills.

I coach for the football academy (ages 5-13), and I am involved in football camps and will be involved in either going to America, Ireland, Asia, Cyprus etc to do a few camps for celtic!

Can you believe it?

Coaching is great but I'd rather be playing ya know!

I'm training with the youth team at Celtic and I'm doing well. I still have Visa problems so i don't think i'd be able to sign with a Scottish club.

So there ya go! Pretty crazy. I thought I'd let u know when I thought of you and your love for Celtic! Hope things are going well for you.

Cheers, Paul

And thankyou Paul and good luck.

A fascinating story and journey for a young Canberran, I'm sure you agree.


Victory 0 Jets 2 Full-time

Victory slumped to another home defeat to Newcastle Jets.

A defining result in the season for both clubs? It could well be.

The Griffiths brothers scored a goal each and Victory had little response on the pitch.

Off the pitch the crowd support was outstanding.

The Champions after ten games are clearly struggling. They huffed and puffed much more than they did against Perth. With tremendous home support they pushed forward, even after Steve Pantelidis was sent-off for an elbow after 60 minutes, but they didn't create much inside the box.

The Jets set back for most of the game. And really weren't able to get the ball, even with an extra man, but you always felt they would get a chance.

Roddy Vargas helped the Jets, playing the ball straight to Mark Bridge, who found Joel Griffiths in space and he ran it into goal.

An intriguing game. Ernie Merrick, the Victory Coach, has problems. Danny Allsopp is so so and the team has little width. Leigh Broxham and Kevin Muscat and Grant Brebner rarely run beyond the front two, or wide, so the Victory have become much easier to defend against.

The Jets are strong. Strong in defence and they defended with pride and numbers all night.

Coach Gary Van Egmond seemed stressed all night. But he'll be delighted with this result.

Half-time report

This game made a great start. Full of intrigue. It was a strong first half in Melbourne.

Victory started at pace. Joe Keenan was flinging the ball in early, with his ma and pa watching having flown over from England, but little came from it. That seems to be the way with Keenan's wing play.

Promises much but what has he really delivered in forward play this season. Not bad, but not much really.

The Jets weathered the storm and went up front and scored with basically their first attack. Adam Griffiths headed home from a Adam D'Apuzzo cross. Danny Allsopp, big Danny was pushed aside.

What could the Victory do?

Not much not really. They kept the ball but couldn't break through. Archie Thompson finished the half with energy and skill. He looked alive, and he hasn't really this season.

Carlos Hernandez had another good start, but still not really good enough. Losing the ball at times, therefore losing momentum for Victory.

Joe Keenan got forward less and less, and Matty Kemp over-ran numerous chances on the right.

Victory look most dangerous on the break or when they have width. But they have no wingers on the pitch, and it's hard to be effective on the break at home.

The Jets were physical and strong. Neat passing and of course raw energy with Joel Griffiths in attack.

Denni is pleasing the eye, Mark Bridge and Griffiths could have had a second.

Should be a great second half.


Nearpost makes the telly!

Sick of my writing..fed up with the podcasts...well now it's telly time

See the football evangelist here you may have to look under programme guide..or sports vision and scroll down to find the show..nearpost.

and no laughing!!

And I did offer my interview spot to Nicole but the producer wouldn't take the offer up...what can you do!


Friday Shorts

A-League player watch
Local Football
This week's games
Aussie dropped for a Kiwi!
Kossie back on fired-up already

Canberra's Kaz Patafta is left out of Melbourne Victory's 15 man squad for tonight's game against Perth. I'm not happy with that. I want to see more of Kaz.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley says, "the travel through Asia is taking a heavy toll on my body and fitness.But my aim was to play as much football as possible so I'm pleased with how things are going," and he added, "morale is low in the Glory camp, we're not winning games and it's depressing."

Woden Valley are sending a team to the former Matilda Ali Foreman run Dane Cup in Denmark next year. Former Tottenham physio Ed Hollis and former Socceroo George Kulscar are involved in coaching running the side.

As Nearpost takes over the world we're on the radio this week see podcasts below,and we're on later today. See me on the web...and no laughing. I've a face for a blog and radio...TV well I never asked for it..honest!

FoxSports Simon Hill will launch the Nearpost radio show in early December. We are delighted and excited by Simon's support. If you are in town and would like an invite drop me an email. It's going to be full by early indications so get in quick, young and old players and non-players.

Celtic dropped free-scoring Scott McDonald this week....for a Kiwi, Chris Killen. Celtic lost to Benfica 1-0. Hope you learnt from that Mr. Strachan.

John Kosmina is back. The promotion machine is on fire already. Talking on FoxSport last night, Kossie had the panel cringing, laughing, thinking. Love him or hate him (is that to strong) Kossie has strong views, and his teams take on a bit of his personality and my god Sydney need that.

I'm glad he's back and can't wait to enjoy the Sydney ride. It's going to be passionate, fiery and exciting. And that's just if they lose....can't wait.


Thursday, 25 October 2007

Women's National League on the way.

Matilda's Coach Tom Sermanni said this morning that he "expects a Women's National League to start in line with the next A-League season."

Speaking to me for next weeks Nearpost radio show Tom added

"At the moment the FFA are investigating playing games before A-League games to take advantage of the increasing number of girls/women playing football and the large number of women and families attending A-League games."


Sally Shipard will watch FOUR A-League games live in one weekend!

Matildas star Sally Shipard loves a challenge. Sally is off on a FourFourTwo football weekend road trip!

Sally writes about life after the World Cup.....

Sally writes about life after the World Cup.....

Hi Guys,

So I have been home for about 3 weeks now. Long enough to get back into the swing of things with uni, work and training. But not Football training:-) more like cross-training.

For instance I swam with my little brothers triathlon group last night. 3.5 kilometers later!!! I pulled up quite sore as you would assume.

It has been a bit of an anti-climax since we have been back. I have spoken with a few of the girls and I think we have all suffered from a small case of Post World Cup depression. Nothing to severe, but enough for us all to chill out and not think of football for a while.

We have been over whelmed with attention from home. The invitations to functions and A-league games has been great. I know the Sydney girls have been making the most of it, its a little difficult living in Canberra because of travel. But Caitlin (Munoz) managed to get up to Sydney for the Nickolodeon awards not long ago. The Matildas had a table there, from what I heard everyone had a great time.

Next for me is uni exams:-) yay! then a holiday with some of the girls to Fiji! Loz (Lauren Colthorpe) and myself are involved in the 442(Aussie football magazine) road-trip which will be taking place the weekend before David Beckham arrives.

We will be travelling along-side journo's and media folk, making it to every single game of the A-league in the one weekend.

So much to look forward to once these exams are over.

As far as kicking a ball and getting back into training. That will happen in the next few weeks:-) its difficult when we dont have anything to aim for at present.

All I know is that mentally and physically my body is loving this break:-)

bye Sal


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Where next for Dane Milanovic?

Dane Milanovic is about to graduate from the Australian Institute of Sport.

He is waiting to see if he is selected in the Young Socceroos (Under 20's) squad to play in next month's qualifying group in Vietnam for next year's Asia Cup.

And then what?

The former Tuggeranong United junior has a few options.

He could be invited back to the AIS for a further year or he could be released.

Or he could be snapped up by an A-League club. But there are only eight so places are limited.

Out of Dane's class of 25, Sebastian Ryall has already left to play for Melbourne Victory. James Holland has had a short scoring spell with Newcastle and Matthew Mullen had a time with Adelaide United to mention just three.

Dane has another option of course. The big plane can whisk him away to foreign shores. Asia, unlikely. Europe most probable.

Sounds great, but is fraught with uncertainty. Ask Shaun Ontong! Trials, injuries, reserve team football aren't as exciting as making your debut in the Premiership or even the A-League.

What would you do?

Me? Dunno it's a tough one, and you'd need some good advice. Nathan Burns, Brett Emerton are two who stayed in Australia for sometime after the AIS. Adrian Leijer another, but now he's gone to Fulham. Will he do an Ahmed Elrich and never play in England, or rarely?

Talking to Carl Valeri and Joe Simunic you can hear the emotion in their journeys. Their difficulties at being so far from home, so young.

I'm an Aussie I'd like Dane to stay.

But which ever way he goes like any young person starting out in any career, it will be the job offer(s) and his own career ambitions which will ultimately decide his first step.

I hope he gets to choose. Good luck Dane. you are living in exciting if uncertain times


Podcast: This one is historic!

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Nicole Somi, Arif Hossein and myself bring football back to the Canberra airwaves.

Part one. Download
Inlcudes, The historic Nearpost opening, Branko's downfall, A-League Round 10 predictions

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Part two. Download
Includes interview with Perth Glory and Olyroo Nikolai Topor-Stanley

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Part three: Download
Includes, Indigenous Australia and former World Cup Socceroo Germany 1974 Harry Williams and Capital Football wrap.

Type rest of the post here


Nearpost First Show report.

Well tonight Canberra got a football last. A one hour show and the support has been overwhelming.

It's been four months in the planning

training course completed, presenters come and gone before the opening night, podcasts practice, great support from fellow bloggers in Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane.

Players and Coaches, administrators and fans. The rich and the famous to the young and the aspiring. Young and old. The support has been immense.

And we went to air last night, the Nearpost team, Nicole Somi, Arif Hossein and myself, Eamonn Flanagan.

Thanks to all the team at 2XX our special guests Perth Glory's Nikoli Topor-Stanley and Indigenous Australian and Socceroo Harry Williams.

Channel Vision filmed the show or bits of it and you can watch the interviews and pictures on their site. on Friday.

It's over, we're all delighted and we'll be back to do it all again next week.


Harry Williams beat Rangers but lost to Celtic

The Nearpost first studio guest Indigenous Australian and Socceroo World Cup 1974 hero Harry Williams told the listeners of his times in the Socceroos, the comaraderie at the 1974 World Cup, playing with Johnny Warren, his thoughts on John Aloisi's penalty, the Harry Williams Cup and how Sydney FC are supporting this trophy for Indigenous children from NSW, and much much more. You can get the full interview on this weeks podcast above.

It was a priviledge to interview Canberra's legendary footballer. Thanks Harry for your support.

Did you know Harry played against Rangers and Celtic. Of course he lost to Celtic but beat Rangers...some things the more they change the more they stay the same...


Monday, 22 October 2007

Branko Culina sacked!

Nine games into the season and Branko's gone.

Didn't take long did it. Even Terry Butcher got longer. No-one seemed to give Branko too hard a time despite the miserable football, not like Butcher, I wonder why:)

Branko started so well in Asia, but he lost his way quickly. Tony Popovic? Was he Branko's signing?

If so Branko mis-read the situation big-time.

His team had done so well in Asia, played such positive football. But then he lost his left-side. All of it. David Carney and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, two of the best and most mobile lefties in the country.

And in came what?

In truth Branko had little time, and little preparation. Injuries, players signing late.

But he stripped Mark Rudan, Mr Sydney FC of the Captaincy. Plain dumb if you asked me.

And Poppa was/is a waste of money. Clearly Poppa's wage could have been spent on a Sasho Petrovski...funny how he's won three games, nine points for the Mariners, with his match winning goals.

Branko couldn't do much about Petrovski, maybe he couldn't do much about Poppa, but he did achieve so much in Asia.

Even Craig Foster was pleased. But now Branko's gone.

Short and sweet.

They say Kozzie or David Mitchell.

Graham Arnold, anyone, anyone?

And Ron Smith don't think they're not thinking about your job in Perth.

Just don't ask if you have full support Ron. Just don't.


2xx, 98.3fm: First guests

The Nearpost Radio show starts tomorrow(tuesday) at 6;30pm-7:30pm, on 98.3 fm

It will be podcast on Wednesday, through this blog, for those outside of Canberra.

Our first guests will be an Olyroo, Former Young Matilda and the Australia's first Indigenous Socceroo.

Win a 442 subscription, Mariners signed ball, sms, email us and phone in. All will be available during the show.

Hope you can join Canberra's only one hour football show on the the radio


Adam Casey out for the season?

Spare a thought for former Canberra junior and Sydney FC player Adam Casey.

Reports this morning say Sydney FC's Adam Casey is out for the season with a broken tibia!

Casey, who had an impressive performance in Sydney's loss to to Adelaide United will be very disappointed. He was starting to get plenty of game time, albeit in various positions.

A young player needs games to build confidence and improve. This injury hopefully won't be to big a set-back for Adam.

Hopefully Canberra's Adam Casey and Belnorth/Belsouth junior can make a quick recovery. I wish him well.


Saturday, 20 October 2007

Sydney 0 Adelaide 1

Adelaide punished Branko Culina and Sydney FC in Sydney tonight.

And they did it slowly.

Sydney had chances, Patrick hit the bar, Terry McFlynn miscontrolled in front of goal but really Sydney have little in the final third.

Adelaide were too strong defensively and played smartly on the break. In fact only Clint Bolton stopped them from taking the lead in the first half.

Of course, as the home side, Sydney were well in the contest until Adelaide scored early in the second half but Sydney's confidence drained and drained fast.

Adelaide have strength on and off the park. Paul Agostino, Bruce Djite and Bobby Petta injured and Nathan Burns on the bench. Amazing strength.

Sydney didn't have a forward to match any of those United forwards not playing, and that perhaps tells the story.

Sydney have not recruited well, not in the first year or ever since.

Brendan Santalab, Alex Brosque, Patrick, David Zdrillic, don't offer much no matter what combination Branko plays.

Tony Popovic hasn't added much. Certainly hasn't improved the team or the defence despite the hype. And to me Mark Rudan always seemed Sydney FC.

He was in the first year when he missed so many games,before firing Sydney into a crucial lead against Adelaide in the semi-final. And he was a giant in Asia.

And his reward: Captaincy to Poppa.

Where does such a club expect loyalty from the fans and the players to come from?

Adam Casey was given yet another role, and certainly responded positively. He ran hard at the Adelaide defence and created a couple of wonderful crosses one of which Patrick was unlucky not to score from.

But really Sydney are lacking confidence and it's not possible with the group of players to achieve this confidence. No forwards of note, no wingers, and Juninho starting to be drawn into the poor pattern of play.

Branko raised Sydney's standards in the Asian Champions League. But he doesn't seem to have been able to replicate it in the normal season. Why?

Adelaide are flowing. Travis Dodd powered forward for the goal and pulled it back for Lucas Pantelis to finish. A great goal.

Of course once they scored, United were able to play on the break. And they did.

Andy Harper is concerned about Branko's instructions or lack of them. But everyone knows Sydney doesn't have a forward line of sufficient quality.

So now hope turns to Michael Bridges. Will he deliver?

Who knows and that has been the story of overseas players. How long do they take to get up to speed?

But all is not lost for Sydney. They have a lot of away games to come and that may play into Sydney's strength, defence.

The A-League needs a strong Sydney. They have enough quality in the squad to get some results but it's hard to see this group of players being able to push the Roar, Victory, Adelaide, The Jets or The Mariners out of the top spots.

For now enjoy the rise and rise of Aurelio Vidmar's team. With two home games to come another two wins is entirely possible.

The small travelling flag waving Adelaide fans enjoyed the Pantelis moment. In truth their were many moments for United. Cassio and Diego had excellent offensive games. The former mainly because Branko set his team out to allow it to happen.

Travis Dodd is in a wonderful period, strength skill and leadership.

Nathan Burns exploded into the action. Kristian Sarkies should have finished the game, but it didn't matter.

Sydney were left to chase a game at home, without any real pattern or hope.

I hate to say it, but it seems to me Sydney are worse under Branko than Butcher no matter what other commentators say!

Alvin Ceccoli, Sasho Petrovski,Nikolai Topor-Stanley, David Carney are big losses in the skill, composure and forward play of Sydney. Has any of them been improved upon?

Sydney's season could get a lot worse yet!


Sydney FC v The Mariners

No I know they ain't playing tonight on the field, but off the field, I think the Mariners won 3-0

Mark Bridges v John Aloisi.

Which club got the better deal?

The Mariners may have trumped the big city side once again.

First they nicked Peter Turnbull, then they nicked northern Sydney, they nicked Sasho Petrovski, now they've nicked top spot and John Aloisi.

When will this pesky little coastal club start behaving themselves?

I know Sydney have a marquee, was there any coincidence that Juninho's contract was being discussed in the last couple of weeks.

Get rid of Juninho, gain a marquee Aloisi, it could have made sense.

Great signing for The Mariners, and Michael Bridge is being talked up already.


Either way both signings are good news at this stage of the season. With the Roar and Adelaide on fire, Ahmed Elrich to get fitter and Melbourne creating havoc, there is heaps to talk about..and that's just off the field.

Couldn't be better.


How many 2005 Joey's are making their mark?

Here is the list of Joeys from the 2005 World Cup.

Interesting to see how many have gone on, or are going on to make a name for themselves in Australia or overseas.

Guess it's interesting to see how selection in the Under 17's Joey's side is not a guarantee to future playing success.

No Michael Zullo(?), but Robbie Kruse, Kaz Patafta, Scott Jamieson, Matthew Spiranovic, Leigh Broxham and others.

1 Alex Vrteski GK 28.09.1988 Sorrento
2 Jamie Cumming DF 19.08.1988 Victorian Institute of Sport
3 David D'Apuzzo DF 05.09.1988 Blacktown City Demons
4 Wade Oostendorp DF 20.04.1988 Sydney FC
5 Matthew Spiranovic DF 27.06.1988 Victorian Institute of Sport
6 Matthew Mullen MF 24.02.1989 South Australian Sports Institute
7 Joel Allwright MF 04.03.1988 South Australian Sports Institute
8 Robbie Kruse FW 05.10.1988 Queensland Academy of Sport
9¹ – – – –
10 Kaz Patafta MF 25.10.1988 Australian Institute of Sport
11 Daniel Miller FW 29.01.1988 Preston Lions
12 Daniel Ireland GK 20.01.1989 New South Wales Institute of Sport
13 Jason Trifiro MF 03.06.1988 Westfields Sports High School
14 Nathan Burns FW 07.05.1988 Westfields Sports High School
15 Blake Charity DF 27.02.1988 Queensland Academy of Sport
16 Scott Jamieson MF 13.10.1988 Bolton Wanderers
17 Leigh Broxham MF 13.01.1988 Victorian Institute of Sport
18 Shanon Lancini GK 05.08.1988 Queensland Academy of Sport
19 Matthew Park MF 22.04.1988 Victorian Institute of Sport
20 Brendan Maroney MF 06.05.1988 Blacktown City Demons

Standby players were : Tayfun Buyukoppru (NSW), Scott Gannon (SA), Jason Naidovski (NSW), Ben Vidaic (NSW), Daniel Visevic (Vic), Scott Weidenbach (SA).


John Aloisi signs for the Central Coast!!!

Now that is fantastic news. Well done John and well done to the Central Coast!

Well done Australia. A-League rocks!




Report from FFA below:

The Qantas Joeys have secured qualification for next year’s AFC (Asian Football Confederation) U-16 Championship following a scoreless draw against DPR (North) Korea at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore overnight.

The draw against the Koreans, combined with a 2-0 win over Malaysia on Wednesday, guarantees Australia a top-two finish in the abbreviated three-team preliminary qualifying group. Malaysia and DPR Korea will fight out for the second berth in the final group match on Sunday.

Australia’s best opportunity came seven minutes after the interval when Kamal Ibrahim was hauled back in the penalty area, however Ben Kantarovski sent the spot kick wide of the post.

Kantarovski’s miss was almost punished by the Koreans, who had the ball in the back of the net in the 74th minute, but saw the goal ruled out following an offside after the initial shot had hit the post.

The venue for the 2008 AFC U-16 Championship is yet to be determined with the top-ranked teams to go on and represent Asia at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

For more match details see:-

Australia 0

DPR Korea 0

Australian line-up: Nicholas Tubbs (gk), Marc Warren, Petar Franjic, Jared Lum, Joel Miller, Ben Kantarovski, Nikola Stanojoeic (Million Butshiire 73’), Kamal Ibrahim, Chahine Noujaim, Trent Sainsbury (Brendon Hamill 92’), Eli Babalj (Mitchell Mallia 71’)

Cautions: Warren (15’), Kantarovski (29’), Miller (83’)

The Qantas Joeys squad is:
Eli Babalj (State - WA), Chris Bush (ACT), Million Butshiire (WA), Cameron Edwards (WA), Nick Fitzgerald (NSW), Petar Franjic (VIC), Brendan Hamill (NSW), Kamal Ibrahim (VIC), Ben Kantarovski (NNSW), George Klappas (NSW), Robert Kolak (NSW), Jared Lum (NSW), Mitchell Mallia (NSW), Joel Miller (SA), Chahine Noujaim (SA), Trent Sainsbury (WA), Nikola Stanojevic (NSW), Nick Tubbs (QLD), Marc Warren (NSW), Tedros Yabio (VIC)

Qantas Joeys Fixtures:
Mon 15 Oct training match v Singapore U15, Singapore Sports School, 7.30pm kick off local time, 1-0
Wed 17 Oct Australia v Malaysia, Jalan Besar Stadium, 7pm kick off local time, 2-0

Fri 19 Oct v DPR Korea, Jalan Besar Stadium, 7pm kick off local time, 0-0


Friday, 19 October 2007

Jets 1 Roar 1 Full-Time

Energy Stadium is a great place to play football.

Tonight was no exception.

Craig Moore missed a penalty, Joel Griffiths cancelled out The Roar's early goal but a draw was probably a fair result. A game either side could have won.

And Steve Laybutt is hacking anything that moves, and it hurst to see.

He gave away a penalty, kicked at anything that moved and generally is the worst type of player we could have return home. Overweight as well.

Still at least I'm getting fun seeing Robbie Kruse and his mates speed past him. Give me more!

The Roar scored early through the work of the new Batman and Robin combination of Michael Zullo and Robbie Kruse.

The Jets were stunned inside a minute. Zullo drove hard and at pace and then the ball ran to Kruse who slammed it home.

Adam D'Apuzzo was still in Beirut, but Kruse took his chance. 1-0 to the Jets and the crowd went quiet.

Zullo was electric, he should have been given a penalty, broke at pace, amazing pace on many occasions, skinned Jade North...Michael Zullo is one to watch.

But The Roar aren't just Zullo, his mate on the other flank Robbie Kruse was equally delightful. Great touches and great runs.

Reinaldo was strong. The Roar have an attack for the first time in three years that can shake the league.

At the back Craig Moore had a great first half. Compare him to Sydney's Tony Popovic. And Liam Reddy saved well on a number of occasions.

And it wasn't just the Roar. The Jets were full of running and would have broke weaker teams.

Mark Bridge played some stunning football. Matty Thompson and Joel Griffiths are always great value. Tory Hearfield should have scored but Liam Reddy kept him out much as he kept Mariners Matt Simon out in last weeks game.

Great first half. An early goals always helps but the Roar didn't go into their shell this weak.

Surely more goals to come, but who could pick the winner at half-time.

And the next goal came early. And it was the Jets that scored.

Troy Hearfield drove between two defenders, but one was an attacker, starman Zullo pulled him down.

Joel Griffiths scored from the spot.

Robbie Kruse kept pressing, Reinaldo missed a couple, but the Roar did get a penalty.

Robbie Kruse was too good all night for Stave Laybutt and his quick thinking drew a foul and a penalty resulted.

Craig Moore missed.

And the Jets came home strongest with a passionate crowd behind them.

But they are playing too narrow. Particularly when you bring on Mario Jardel.

Why bother, the ball never gets put into his so-called aeriel strength?

Great game, Zullo, Kruse, James Holland, Mark Bridge, Reinaldo and Troy Hearfield caught my eye.

But the star for me was Craig Moore.

And Steve Laybutt entertained. As a player you love to hate. But he's character full of pride, but I want to see the Ref's put a stop to it, early. Continual persistent blatent fouling. There should be a law against it.

Watch him next week. Count how long before he fouls, and how long before he's booked.

It's not right!

Two teams look settled now. Plenty of options on the bench for both sides. The extra three players in the squads are starting to show their value.

Good decision FFA.


Thursday, 18 October 2007

Round 9 kick's off

Previews of all the A-League games starting with Victory v The Glory

Everyone loves to slate the Glory but the last time down in Melbourne the team from the West probably should have won.

This time they may find it harder, as Victory are sulking on and off the field after the trip to Adelaide.

I fancy Perth for this one, but reckon it will be a heck of a game as Melbourne go for it. They have to don't they. They certainly should be fired up.

The Glory scored three against Tony Popovic, so they can score:)

Glory by 1.

Sydney v Adelaide.

Should be a humdinger. If Juninho leaves as rumoured, due to injuries and a lack of contribution, then Poppa should follow. He might be playing but he hasn't contributed anything on the field this year. And don't tell me he's a good influence in the dressing room.

What a load of baloney. What has he done on the field? Hardly improved the Asian Champions sides defence.

Will Branko drop him for Milligan and push Rudan out to full-back once more. Don't do it Branko.

You've sorted Ruden Z, time to sort your defence. Rudan and Milligan. It's a no-brainer. But bet you persist with Poppa

Reputations suck in football. Especially once you're over 30 and delayed your passage home for some shopping in Dubai. No, we football fans haven't forgotten Poppa.

Adelaide can they back up? Pantelis, Spagnuola, Petta, Agostino, Dodd, Burns, Djite, don't tell me this league is boring.

Adelaide to win, even without Bruce.

Sydney still unsettled, with injuries and stuff. When will it come right for the boys in blue?

Phoenix v The Mariners

The Phoenix can't travel. Well, only to play their local derby in Sydney. Beyond that it's three points for everyone else and a few goals as well.

But at home with a uniquely NZ and passionate crowd they could beat anyone. Especially a Mariners side missing a forward line.

Sasho Petrovski on his own is not a forward line.

So the Nix will be up for it and the Mariners may take a flogging. 3-1 I reckon

And the Jets v The Roar

Should be a cracker. Jets at home against The Roar minus Danny Tiatto but a team on the up, with some young blood making their mark.

Craig Moore is playing well. Perhaps the best of the returnees and it's good to see. He is younger than Poppa and came straight back to build his house without shopping in Dubai or anywhere else. Maybe that is the difference.

This will be a good test for both sides. Can The Roar play away from home? They didn't inspire last week despite having the extra man. Will the Jets run them ragged?

The Jets have some good young players desperate to play. Troy Hearfield and Tarik Elrich are just two pushing for starts. And also able to make an impact of the bench.

Could be a draw I reckon. 2-2.

So there you have it.

Enjoy the football where ever you are.

I'll be reporting in after the game on Sydney Adelaide and The Jets Roar game on Friday.


Canberra Clubs on the march.

Did you know that some of Canberra's football clubs have been overseas this year.

Woden Valley Under 15's went to Sweden. The luckiest lads in the world got to meet one of Glasgow Celtic's greatest ever players and gentleman, Henrik Larsson.

Also Canberra FC headed to Croatia mid-season where youngster Ivan Pavlak was highly thought of by the local Croatian community.

And Woden Valley girls Under 14's are heading off to the Dana Cup in Denmark

This Woden Valley side has an impressive set-up.

Former Spurs Physio Ed Hollis has a daughter in the side, former Socceroo and Queens Park Rangers player George Kulcsar is the Coach and Capital Football Vice-President Rachel Harrigan is the Manager.

Any other clubs from Canberra on the move? Feel free to let me know.


Joeys 2 Malaysia 0

The Joeys won 2-0 in the Asian Cup U16 Qualifier opener against Malaysia in Singapore overnight.

With East Timor dropping out at the last minute that just leaves the easy going DPR Koreans in the group.

Don't expect that one to be easy!

With two to qualify Australia should go through to next year Asian Cup U17 at a venue yet to be decided.

Last night's team is below

The line-up is: Nicholas Tubbs (QLD, GK), Marc Warren (NSW), Petar Franjic (VIC), Joel Miller (SA), Ben Kantarovski (NNSW), Nikola Stanojevic (NSW), Kamal Ibrahim (VIC), Chris Bush (ACT), Chahine Noujaim (SA), Trent Sainsbury (WA), Eli Babalj (WA)
Subs from: Million Butshiire (WA), Cameron Edwards (WA), Nick Fitzgerald (NSW), George Klappas (NSW), Robert Kolak (NSW), Jared Lum (NSW), Mitchell Mallia (NSW), Tedros Yabio (VIC)

The match kicks-off at 9.00pm AEST.


Olyroos held in Lebanon

Australia were held to a 0-0 draw in Lebanon overnight. The report below from PA suggest that it's a big blow for the Olyroos.

Maybe but with Iraq drawing against North Korea Iraq and the Aussies are on 8 points with two to play.

Australia play Iraq at home in the game of the group. A win their would still mean they have to go and get a result in North Korea.

One game at a time as they say, but qualification is still on track.

BEIRUT: Australia's hopes of qualifying for next summer's Olympic Games in Beijing suffered a blow as Graham Arnold's Olyroos were held to a 0-0 draw by Lebanon at the Beirut Municipal Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Despite dominating for much of the 90 minutes, the Australians were unable to breach the Lebanese defence and the draw puts them under pressure ahead of their next qualifier against group leaders Iraq on November 17.

Missing the A-League's leading scorer Bruce Djite, who is out due to injury, the Australians lacked a cutting edge and were unable to turn their significant possession into goals.

The Olyroos controlled the tempo of the game but Australia came away with little to show for their superiority as they struggled to find a way through a resolute Lebanon back line. As a result, Graham Arnold's team was left to try their luck from set pieces or from distance.

Nicky Ward saw his seventh minute header palmed away by goalkeeper Hassan Mogneigh before Kristian Sarkies' shot was deflected wide.

However, it was Lebanon striker Akram Moghrabi who had the best goal scoring opportunity in the first quarter of the game when his turn and shot on the corner of the penalty area was just wide of Daniel Vukovic's left upright.

Mogneigh was again on hand to deny the Australians in the 27th minute when he pushed Mark Bridge's header to safety before Moghrabi went close again at the other end when he volleyed Jihad El Helwi's free kick just wide of the target.

Sarkies was then off target with his free kick before James Troisi blew a great chance to give the Olyroos the lead in first half injury time when he lifted the ball over the bar after a fine one-two with Bridge finally put him behind the Lebanese defence.

The Australians came out in determined mood in the second half, with Bridge seeing his 49th minute effort pushed away by Mogneigh while Troisi's shot was cleared off the line by Hussein Amine from the resultant corner.

Five minutes later Moghrabi looked set to give Lebanon the lead as the hosts hit hard on the break only for a last-ditch challenge from Adam D'Apuzzo to block the shot and leave Zhakaria Charara to fire into the side netting.

The Australians then contrived to create and miss a host of chances, with Sarkies among those sending his header just wide while, with the game deep into stoppage time, Bridge saw his attempt deflected wide of the target as Lebanon held on for a point. - PA Sport


Wednesday, 17 October 2007

powered by ODEO

This weeks poddie:
Cecilia talks Melbourne Victory, "We deserved to be thumped, and I can't stand Ljubo."
Arif discusses the big issue with Eamonn and former Young Matilda Nicole Somi
The Nearpost team discuss their Round 9 picks.

Next week we're in the studio for the first time:
Special guest: First Indigenous Australian to play at a World Cup, 1974 Socceroo Harry Williams.


Chris Bush wins Australian sports rookie award

Chris Bush is from Goulburn in NSw, but plays in Canberra with the ACTAS side. He's also a member of the Joey's.

1,000 young people from 65 different sports and Chris beat them all!

In a talented sports nation that is no mean feat!

Congratulations to Chris.

Read the full Capital Football media release from Chris Gottaas below.

ACTAS' Christopher Bush Honoured with Rebel Sport Award
Capital Football would like to congratulate the ACT Academy of Sports' Christopher Bush following the announcement of his latest honour as the 2007 Rebel Sport Rookies Talent ID Program recipient.

With a more than a thousand high quality applicants ranging from 65 different sports, the programs ambassadors Liz Ellis, Kostya Tszyu and Rebel Sport Group Managing Director, Mr Stephen Heath have chosen Bush as one of seven well deserved winners.

Whilst playing with an U14’s squad Bush was invited to train and play with the ACT Academy of Sport U20 Premier Pathway League and was recently selected to join the Australian U17 Joeys Team to tour Japan a couple months ago.

Christopher Bush will again be playing on the international stage when he lines up as the only ACT representative in the Qantas Joeys qualifying campaign for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The Qantas Joeys will travel to Singapore for the first stage of qualifying where they will face Malaysia, DPR Korea and East Timor with two of the four teams to progress to next year’s AFC U-16 Championship. The top ranked teams in the AFC Championship will then represent Asia at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Keep your eyes and ears out for Christopher Bush as a very bright prospect for the future of Australian football.

Congratulations to Christopher Bush from the Capital Football family!


The season is over in Canberra but the football rolls on and on

So you think the football season is over in Canberra, you're dreaming!

Football just rolls on. Scooting around the various local club websites, Tuggers are running junior sixes, theirs is an all-day non-stop mad cap football charity event see below, Futsal registrations are 10% up across Canberra, Belnorth, Gungahlin Belsouth and Belwest and Majura all have competitions and training events running through the Spring.

And ANU Mixed football is ready to start, the Women's Summer Sixes is soon to fire up..and on and on it goes. I've missed many other competitions I'm sure, but check out the website for your local club on to find out more details.

The Tuggeranong United Football Club is organising a 12 hour non-stop charity..... football match

The Event: The Tuggeranong United Football Club is organising a 12 hour non-stop charity football match in conjunction with the 2007 Tuggeranong Community Festival (Saturday 24 November). The Football match will be from 7am till 7pm.

The 2007 Dawn till Dusk non-stop charity football match will raise money for a local charity.

The match will be played at the Kambah 2, Laidlaw St Kambah.

The Event Rules and Regulations document and Individual/Team Registration Forms are attached below.


Ahmed Elrich is back, bigger than ever!

Ahmed Elrich is back in the A-League. Great news.

But he's fat!

The dashing winger who has missed so much football due to contractual problems with his previous club in Korea, and then years in the reserves with Fulham in England, is back in the A-League.

And when I heard he was coming I couldn't wait to see him. Wondering how he'd perform after all that work in England, playing in training at least, with players of supposed higher standard.

So he comes back to Australia at the age of 26 having decided game time in the A-League is better than reseve football in England.

But he's fat!

Don't believe me? Well his brother Tarek plays for Newcastle and made the comment on Fox Sport after the recent Jets/Phoenix game.

And when you saw the two lads standing next to each other, Ahmed's weight could not be hidden.

How can a professional player be so overweight? Did he leave Fulham and do a Boony on the flight, remember it's abit further to NZ, so maybe chance to stack on a bit more.

Steve Laybutt, playing defence, can get away with a little excess it seems.
Mario Jardel playing striker can't.
Carlos Hernandez has lost heaps, but another professional who came hugely overweight.
How can a dashing winger like Elrich carry excess, and losing it so quickly, how will that affect him?

Presumably Ahmed was training pre-season etc with Fulham so you would think he would have arrived in reasonable, if not peak condition.

Given he's been here for three weeks, and only started on the weekend, how fat was he when he arrived?

Anyway let's hope he can shift the weight. But for me it's disappointing as it suggests he's way way off peak fitness and with the A-League so short, we may not see the best of him for another year.

Me thinks the Phoenix and A-League fans have been had!


FFA: Time to announce (some) plans

When I was a kid my younger starving brother used to ask our mum when he came home from school, "When's dinner?"

Mum always replied, "Soon."

I'm feeling the FFA are a bit like my mum!

When will we get a National Coach? When will get the Technical Report, When we will get the National Women's league and the Youth/Reserve league?

There must be a plan for all of these major events, if not now then in a year or three's time.

Surely there is a plan!

The answer to the release of the technical report by author Rob Baan when I interviewed him in April was,

"The Report is finished it will be released in June."

But the report is coming...soon. It's now October!

The football fans on Australia need to have a blue print for the game released. We deserve to know what is going on. The plan, the problems.

The fans are mature followers of the game, the Australian public understand budgetary constraints.

We also understand when we are being taken for a ride.

CEO Ben Buckley needs to come clean, give us the plan, after all they do have one. It was mentioned when the Socceroos player payments were negotiated recently.

The FFA want grassroots support but I reckon they need to earn it.

Tell us what is going on. We've been left in the dark for too long!


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Lebanon v Olyroos

Olyroos away to Lebanon tomorrow. It's a crucial game with Iraq and Australia vying for the crucial top spot.

Coach Graham Arnold will be hoping for a win from Australia, in Beirut tomorrow.

Press release from FFA follows:

The Qantas Under 23s will tomorrow (Thursday morning Aust time) meet Lebanon in Beirut in the team’s latest match in the final stage of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Australia currently sit equal first with Asian champions Iraq at the top of the group table with three matches remaining. Regardless of the result tomorrow, the match on November 17 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford against Iraq will be crucial.

The 20-man squad for the match against Lebanon on October 17 is:

Nigel Boogaard (Central Coast Mariners), Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Mark Bridge (Newcastle Jets), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Adam Casey (Sydney FC), Billy Celeski (Perth Glory), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Adrian Leijer (Fulham, England), Trent McClenahan (Hereford United, England), David Micevski (Perth Glory), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle Jets), Kristian Sarkies (Adelaide United), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), James Troisi (Newcastle United), Tando Velaphi (Perth Glory), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Nick Ward (QPR, England), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC)

Australia have been drawn against Iraq, DPR (North) Korea and Lebanon with only the group winner to qualify. Australia have already progressed past Chinese Taipei in the preliminary stage of qualifying and finished ahead of Iran and Jordan to qualify alongside Saudi Arabia for the third stage.

Iraq v Australia 0-0
Wednesday 22 Aug, 7pm local
Al Rayyan Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Australia v DPR Korea 1-0
Saturday 8 Sept, kick-off 7pm AEST
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle

Australia v Lebanon 3-0
Wednesday 12 Sept, kick-off 7pm AEST
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Lebanon v Australia
Wednesday 17 Oct, 6pm local time
Beirut Municipal Stadium, Beirut

Australia v Iraq
Saturday 17 Nov, kick-off 7pm AEDST
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

DPR Korea v Australia
Wednesday 21 Nov, 3pm local time
Kim Il Sung Stadium, Pyongyang


Monday, 15 October 2007

How does your junior clubs pick their players/teams?

So the Junior season is over..but I get lots of feedback from people, mainly parents and coaches on how their season, kid's play, development and enjoyment was ruined by the way the team was allocated/sorted in the first few weeks....or not sorted!

Here's one club praised by many observers in Canberra for getting things right.

But, if you get put in the wrong team,......

too high or too low, play in the wrong grade for your skills or put with a weak team in an intra-club competition then things can go wrong pretty quickly.

And people, Club Administrators, Parents and Players can get pretty upset, angry and defensive not to mention disillusioned, and frustrated.

So which method works best, and is their a better way for your club!

Well, there's always a better way and unless you are involved in the picking process then it is probably hard to understand what the process is.

Most clubs have trials, some use last years coaches assessment, some don't.

But it seems to me with the junior season in Canberra being incredibly short...less than two terms and with many clubs starting academy programmes, short competitions, and trials early in the new year, it shouldn't be too hard to get it a little better.

So given every club has a process and given even the best coaches in the World leave out some of the best on occasions, perhaps it's not the process that is important but the ability to review and review quickly any concerns before and even shortly after the season starts.

One suspects clubs that have trials, announce teams, and then have a one-day carnival will have done a strong job. On top of that a quick appeals process before the carnival would enable most problems to be ironed out.

Seems to me such a system would have a better chance of ensuring a better time is had by all players during the season.

Have you ever played in a team that won 5-0. Fantastic isn't it. But try playing in the team that loses 5-0, every week. Especially in an intra-club competition. It sucks.

Don't take my word for it, ask the kids!

Bad organisation in intra-clubs comps leads to bad experiences.

And what's wrong with changing an intra-club team after two weeks if they are getting flogged.

How does your club do it across Australia? What works, what doesn't?


Junior Football: How does your club rate?

If your son or daughter is playing junior football, or maybe your a coach or a fan,

It's time to rank your local club against the FFA benchmarks outlined below.

In Canberra all clubs have changed their junior football structure to meet the requirements of the Mitchell Technical report over the last few years.

There is still a little way to go for some clubs in Canberra but we are way ahead of other states.

The FFA are about to release a Technical report which has been signed by ALL States.

All States and clubs will bring in the new structure over the next three years.

Check out how your local club is tracking:

The aim is to give children a better learning environment which will assist them to become better players and for the elite to become more technically adept.

Basic more touches at an early age, more involvement in the game, which means smaller pitches, less players and removing the points factor, should assist player enjoyment, player development at all ability levels.

Makes complete sense to me!

Key details in the report are:

From Under 12's down, it will be small pitches with smaller numbers.
Points will be taken out until 10 years of age.

Under 11 and Under 12's will play 9 a side on a modified pitch.
Intra club for children in Under 6, 7, and 8, and smaller teams and pitch sizes for the younger players. In many cases, no goalies.

Aussie kids will not play eleven a side football until the age of thirteen.

Age 5,6, 7, 8 and 9. kids will focus on the game. Talent ID will begin at the age of ten. The best ten year old players will be joined with the best junior football coaches to improve these children's' skills.

A big issue for many States and clubs, but the support across the country is unanimous.

Lets' hope things get moving for the next junior season and more kids get to have more fun, more often.

Seeing the Under 7 standing in goal, for 15 minutes on a freezing morning, with nothing to do, hopefully will soon become a thing of the past!

And seeing a group of players playing 9-a-side at under 7 level will also be out of favour. The kid who never gets the ball!

In smaller size games surely that child will have a better experience.

Can't wait, can you?


Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Roar win again!

Central Coast Mariners 0 Queensland Roar 1

Young guns combine again, Referee O'Leary has a shocker, and the Roar win again.

Queensland Roar Coach Frank Farina is getting a bit of luck. He kept his young guns upfront and after a few minutes a deft back heel from Reinaldo set Robbie Kruse free, he played in Michael Zullo who danced in front of a Mariners defender to produce a great save from Mariners Reserve keeper Matthew Trott.

The corner produced the goal. Trott made a hash and the ball bounced to Josh McCloughan. 1-0 The Roar.

And that was the end of the goals.

The Mariners are a physical side and have risen quickly to the top of the league.

Coach Lawrie McKinna has recruited cleverly from within Australia and added to his goalscoring ranks.

The Mariners saw new signings Sasho Petrovski and Nik Mrdja push them to the top of the league, but things are getting tough now.

Two losses and a draw. Mrdja out for the season, possibly. Damien Mori on holiday in America! Replacement Damien Brown pulled a hamstring after six minutes and Adam Kwasnik also off injured after 20.

A physical team, suddenly reorganised.

And then Bradley Porter slides in gently on Matt Mackay and he's off as well. Sent off by an angry looking Peter O'Leary. A Kiwi perhaps upset about his country's Rugby loss. What else could explain his decision?

Unlike Sydney with ten men against Melbourne last week, the Mariners had the energy, and tactical nous to make a game of this. They drove forward, particularly in the second half, and if it wasn't for the Roar's keeper Liam Reddy, Matt Simon would have scored in the last few minutes.

But the Roar didn't concede nor did they go forward. And when they did players were on their own.

Farina must have planned this. It wasn't pretty but they gained a vital win. Another one!

Confidence is on the rise up North and with Simon Lynch coming on this is a team that could cause a few problems as the season goes on.

It may even be the first Roar side to make the four. Well why not. Craig Moore and Danny Tiatio are impressing. Matt Mackay is himself, and if Robbie Kruse and Michael Zullo can keep performing, Reinaldo is strong enough, even without goals, to assist the whole side. Simon Lynch adds depth from the bench. The Roar are on the up.

The Mariners may struggle. Particularly away from home.

Dean Heffernan isn't really threatening yet, unless he's playing a NZ team on the travel.

Sasho Petrovski can't really threaten on his own up front. He doesn't have the pace, and struggles in the midfield.

The Mariners need some goals, but where will they come from?

Not Damien Brown(hamstring) not Mori (USA beach) not Mrdja (Out for the season?) nor Adam Kwasnik (injured) Matt Simon (yet to score consistently).

They have goals from midfield in Tom Pondlejak, Greg Owens and John Hutchison, but not enough.

McKinna is looking abroad. But who?

Only non-playing Aussie John Aloisi would do, but he will take weeks to get fit. And his price?

Maybe a loan deal from the highlands of Scotland.

With McKinna's canny bench do not be surprised.

McKinna's men need to dig deep over the next few weeks. At least they have room to breathe after a flying start.

For the Roar. A team from Queensland that can win at home and away.

Now there's a thought!


Egg-faced eggperts!

Last time the Olyroos squad was taken out of A-League games, it seemed like every football expert in the country whined about the FFA, the boring A-League games and the loss of so much quality from the league.

Of course there had been a tendency to focus on the negative, the lack of goals etc etc.

What now?

Adelaide 4 Victory 1 and The Glory 3 Sydney FC 3

After two superb games, with goals, goal, goals, will the experts declare themselves eggperts, call for more Olyroo's games, or tell the A-League to play their reserves every week!

So take 10 or 15 of our best players out, add Kevin Muscat, Grant Brebner and others to the list and the quality of games is outstanding.

Next time some of the eggperts quickly criticise the A-League, well maybe they should think twice.

There is plenty to enjoy in this league. And surely we'll hear a lot of positives from the football media this week.

And there are still two games to go. I'm looking forward to the Mariners clash with the Roar.


Saturday, 13 October 2007

Venice, Women, Sienna and football. Guess who?

Ships in Venice, stunning women in Sienna, oh and he's enjoying the football as well!

Socceroo Carl Valeri writes:

Hello from Tuscany!

Grosseto are going well, I won't say anymore as I dont want to get to ahead of myself. We drew away against Bari who have won every game at home so far. And we missed a penalty in the 92nd min of the game!

Our coach is really good, he is very pleased with our approach to all of the games regardless of the result and we are also playing some decent football.

Our objective is salvation,we wish to remain in Serie B.

Our aim will be mid table and if it happens that we are ahead of our goal fantastic but our main focus is staying in the league. Evryone is very focused on our goal, staff players and the fans, but we still manage to have a laugh and enjoy our tough trainings which for me is very important.

This weekend the Socceroos were meant to be playing against China, but things worked out well for me as we have an important game against Messina on Sunday!

Unfortunately football in Serie B, like the leagues in england do not stop.

I had two days off last weekend so I went to Venice and saw my cousin Dani who works on a cruise ship, his ship was in Venice for 3 days so I got to spend some quality time with him and have a great laugh.

On the way home I stopped at Siena which is 40min from Grosseto. I needed a walk and I love Siena! Beautiful place,small, great shopping and plenty of good looking woman, what more could you want. Every chance I get I drag someone along with me to visit Siena.

The difference I found from Serie C to Serie B is that there is more quality...which means for a footballer he has a little more time on the ball, it is still physically tough but not so much a war with the ball bobbling around like in Serie C.

Serie C is one tough league! Im so glad we won haha. I am really enjoying my football at the moment. You would think I would be sick of it considering I had little break!




Capital Football end of season awards.

Capital Football Awards. The whole list and report from Capital Football below

Capital Football Award Winners (List below)

Two Men’s Premier League players shared the spoils when Belconnen’s Danny Macor and Woden Valley’s Victor Yanes were named as 2007 ‘Players of the Year’ at Capital Football’s Presentation Gala at the Auditorium in Erindale last night.

It’s Macor’s second ‘Player of the Year’ honour with his first coming a staggering 13 years ago while it’s Yanes’ first time for the award. Nicholas Caggiano from Belconnen United won the Premier League Pathway ‘POY’ while Yianni Karabalis won the award in the Premier 18’s division.

In the Women’s Club Pink Premier League category, Kate Stork from ANU grabbed the ‘Player of the Year’ medal for her efforts this season which saw ANU narrowly miss out on the top four ahead of Belconnen’s Nicole Somi and Weston Creek’s Louisa Marzotto. She also took a place in the Capital Football Women’s Invitational squad who demolished American touring side Cal United mid season.

Australian representative, Chris Bush, was named as the ACTAS ‘Player of the Year’ for his outstanding year which saw him take his first steps on the international stage as a member of the Qantas Joeys who took part in the Toyota International Youth Football Championship in Japan. Also Bush played an important role in the ACTAS remaining undefeated during the National Institute Challenge.

Other awards included Belconnen United as the inaugural ‘Premier Club Champions’ for their impressive season which saw the Premier Pathway, Club Pink Premier League and Men’s Premier League sides making the Grand Finals. The University of Canberra was crowned as ‘State League Club Champions’ for their grand final victories in Division 2, 5 and 6.

Tuggeranong’s Scott Conlon won the men’s ‘Coach of the Year’ for his efforts in guiding the Premier League side to fifth on the ladder in their debut season, missing out on a top four and subsequent a finals spot by just one point. Patrick Mills was named as women’s ‘Coach of the Year’ following Belwest’s League Champions title in the Club Pink Premier League and Gerard Fitsimmons from Belsouth won the ActewAGL junior ‘Coach of the Year’ award.

Along with the awards, long time Capital Football servant and referee Chris Conti was inducted into the Hall of Fame to join the likes of Australian football ambassador Johnny Warren and Socceroo Harry Williams. Also, former Capital Football President, Walter Valeri, and veteran referee Bill Simeonovic were honoured with Life Memberships.

Award Winner Club

Special Service Awards Media Channel Vision
Capital Football Life Members Walter Valeri
Bill Simeonovic
Hall of Fame Chris Conti

Cathy McCallum Award Danny Gray Tuggeranong United

Pre Prem. Awards
Vicky Baxter Diplomacy Trophy Weston Creek
Heather Reid Trophy UC Pumas
Sarah Briggs Shield Weston Creek
Julie Murray Shield Weston Creek
Elaine Watson Cup Lanyon

Capital Football Academy Awards

Under 15 girls Capital Football Academy POY Liz Pearson
Under 17 girls Capital Football Academy POY Maja Blasch
Bronwyn Studman
Under 14 Boys Capital Football Academy POY James Field
Under 15 Boys Capital Football Academy POY Alex Meibusch

ACTAS Players of the Year
Tony Pangallo Memorial Award- ACTAS Male POY Chris Cush
ACTAS Female POY Ellie Brush

Australian Reps
Chris Bush Joey
Ben Harrington Joey
Danai Gapare Joey
Stephen Domenici Joey
Dane Milovanovic Young Socceroos
Sally Shippard Matilda
Amy Chapman Matilda
Caitlin Munoz Matilda
Lydia Williams Matilda
Grace Gill Young Matilda
Allyson Flynn FIFA Ref
Ben Wiliams FIFA Ref
Ben Wilson FIFA Ref

League Champions (finished on top of the points table) and Premiers (winners of the grand finals)

Men’s masters div 3
League champions Belnorth Soccer Club
Premiers Brindabella Blues 1
Men’s masters div 2 Double
League champions Belconnen
Premiers Belconnen
Men’s masters div 1 Double
League champions Woden Valley
Premiers Woden Valley
Women’s Masters Double
League champions Gungahlin United
Premiers Gungahlin United
Men’s div 9 Double
League champions Burns
Premiers Burns
Men’s div 8
League champions ANU Football Club
Premiers Canberra City
Men’s div 7 Double
League champions Belconnen United
Premiers Belconnen United
Men’s div 6
League champions Belnorth Soccer Club
Premiers UC FC Pumas
Women’s SL6 Double
League Champions Lanyon United
Premiers Lanyon United
Award Winner Club
League Champions (finished on top of the points table) and Premiers (winners of the grand finals) Men’s Div 5 Double
League champions UC FC Pumas
Premiers UC FC Pumas
Women’s SL5
League Champions Belsouth Blue
Premiers Belsouth White
Men’s Div 4 Double
League Champions Narrabundah FC
Premiers Narrabundah FC
Women’s SL4
League Champions Woden Valley
Premiers Lanyon United
Men’s Div 3
League Champions Monaro Panthers
Premiers Weston Creek
Women’s SL 3
League Champions O'Connor Knights
Premiers Brindabella Blues FC
Men’s Div 2 Double
League Champions UC FC Pumas
Premiers UC FC Pumas
Women’s SL2
League Champions CGGS
Premiers Weston Creek
Men’s Div 1
League Champions Cooma Soccer Club
Premiers White Eagles
Women’s SL1
League Champions Lanyon United
Premiers Belwest
Men’s Premier 18's Double
League Champions Woden Valley
Premiers Woden Valley
Women’s Under 18s
League Champions Weston Creek
Premiers STFA
Men’s Premier Pathway Double
League Champions Belconnen United
Premiers Belconnen United
Women’s Premier League
Federation Cup Belwest
League Champions Belwest
Premiers Belconnen United
Men’s Premier League Triple
Federation Cup Canberra FC
League Champions Canberra FC
Premiers Canberra FC

Junior League Awards Junior League Fair Play Awards
Divisions 2/3 Woden Valley
Division 1 Monaro Panthers
Coach of the Year Nominees David Cohen Woden Valley
Douglas MacNicol Majura
Gerard Fitsimmons Belsouth
George Sullivan Tuggeranong

Coach of the Year Winner Gerard Fitsimmons Belsouth

Award Winner Club
Referee Awards
Men’s Premier League Grand Final Referee Les O'Donoghue
Women’s Premier League Grand Final Referee Jenna Hinton
Dennis McDermott Award Les O'Donoghue
Women’s Federation Cup Referee Walter Kmet
Men’s Referee of the Year Les O'Donoghue
Women’s Referee of the Year Jenna Hinton and Laura Davis

Women’s League Awards Top Goal Scorers
U18 Sophie Travis Weston Creek
Masters Tiahn Rukavina Gungahlin
SL 6 Kathryn Devoy Lanyon
SL5 Jennifer Holland UC Pumas FC
SL4 Emily Baillie Lanyon
SL3 Lauren McAppion O'Connor Knights
SL 2 Jessica O'Brien CGGS
SL1 Natalie Toms Lanyon
Clarissa Zaffina Lanyon
Lee Dickson Belnorth
PL Luisa Marzotto Weston Creek
Women’s League Best and Fairest
Masters Kerry Neall Tuggeranong
Sue Townley Weston Creek
SL 6 Dhigna Rubiano ANU
SL5 Margaret Iles Brindabella Blues FC
SL4 Jada Mackenzie ADFA FC
SL3 Jessica Groves O'Connor Knights
SL 2 Jessica Pagett Belwest
SL1 Melissa Ye Belnorth
U18 Allie Marumo Belnorth

Women’s League Coach of the Year Patrick Mills Belwest

Men’s League Awards Top Goal Scorers
Masters 3 Graham Abbey Brindabella Blues
Masters 2 Paul Chalmers Belconnen
Masters 1 Paul Faichney Woden Valley
Div 9 Ronald McLeod Burns
Div 8 Barry Dugdale Tuggeranong
Div 7 Mark Stewart Belconnen
Div 6 Les Jordan Brindabella Blues
Div 5 Michael Apperley UC
Div 4 Morris Karouf O'Connor Knights
Div 3 Stephen Lazzari Weston Creek
Div 2 Ivan Miloloza O'Connor Knights
Div 1 Brody Willis STFA
P18 Adam Morton Canberra FC
PPL Nicholas Caggiano Belconnen
PL Daniel Macor Belconnen
Best and Fairest
P18 Yianni Karabalis Canberra Olympic
PPL Nicholas Caggiano Belconnen United

Coach of the Year Scott Conlon Tuggeranong United

Club Champions - Premier League
State Leagiue UC FC
Premier League Belconnen United

Premier League Players of the Year Female Player of the Year - Runners Up Ellie Crossman Canberra City 4
Stacey Close Woden Rival 3
Luisa Marzotto Weston Creek 2
Nicole Somi Belconnen United 2
Female Player of the Year Kate Stork ANU
Male Player of the Year - Runners Up James Perry Canberra City 5
Justin Selkirk O'Connor Knights 4
Laurie Harbon ANU 3
Male Player of the Year Victor Yanes Woden Valley = 1
Danny Macor Belconnen United = 1


Friday, 12 October 2007

A-League rocks in Adelaide.

Adelaide United 4 Melbourne Victory 1 Full-Time score

Great geam, great goals and great skill. A classic at Hindmarsh tonight with two teams going full pelt.

Adelaide were good value, but Victory contributed to a wonderful game.

United came out at pace. They were missing Nathan Burns, Bruce Djite and others, but you wouldn't have known it.

Jason Spagnuola, Lucas Pantelis and Travis Dodd were exciting. There were chances galore but no goals, not early.

Melbourne had their moments. Danny Allsopp linked with Leandro Love and the much improved Carlos Hernandez. And Allsopp nearly scored.

But Adelaide were firing, and at pace. Ljubo Milicevic and Matthew Kemp were replacing Kev "The whistler" Muscat and Grant "that's B as in booking ref" Brebner. And they were rotten in the first twenty. Ljubo was off the pace and Adelaide ripped through time and time again.

Ljubo urged his troops to concentrate as the corner was about to be taken, but it was himself who stretched and headed it home. An own goal.

That wasn't enough. Travis Dodd fired home soon after nutmegging Joe Keenan for 2-0.

It was great and when "two weeks" Giraldi missed, or rather Michael Theoklitos made a wonderful just wondered if the most dangerous lead in football would rear it's head again.

And Hernandez was pulling strings in midfield as Adelaide dropped the pace a little. Kemp was getting forward in support and Victory were looking a little more on the ball.

Adelaide were still getting chances, but less now.

And then there were four Victory players attacking at pace.

It was great to see and when the ball broke Archie Thompson put a smile on all football fans..well at least those not wearing red.

He stroked it home beautifully from outside the box, a few seconds before half-time and it was 2-1 at the break.

Great stuff.

Victory started stronger in the second half and started to control the play. Danny Allsopp caused problems all night and Archie was buoyed by his first half strike.

You sensed a goal.

And it came, but not from Victory.

After surviving a Victory onslaught, Adelaide regained their two goal lead when Travis Dodd rose to head home a wonderful Richie Alagich cross.

3-1 Adelaide. United were looking good and Diego nearly rubbed salt in the Victory wounds.

Victory tried and Coach Ernie Merrick responded with attacking substitutions and with Victory's creativity tonight they didn't look out of it.

But when Lucas Pantelis dropped his shoulder and screamed the ball into the top right corner the whole stadium cheered with joy.

A superb goal and no more than Pantelis and the wonderful Travis Dodd deserved.

Great game, and Muscat will be back and Victory will improve, have no doubt.

But with home games to come, and Burns, Djite, Agostino, Bobby Petta and others out Adelaide must be very hopeful of climbing the league.

The rest of the league must be wondering how United have be able to attract so many exciting attacking players.

Next week, Aurelio Vidmar has a few headaches. Too many players, and too many players in form!