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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Bruce Djite rules ok!

What a fantastic game.

Adelaide United 2 Central Coast Mariners 1

The crowd, the colour, the pace, the skill the A-League rocked at Hindmarsh tonight.

The young guys once again did their thing for Adelaide and it was a joy to watch.


Adelaide fans decked out in red at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium warms any Aussie football fans heart.

With the table topping Mariners in town a big game was on.

For the Mariners Mori, Petrovski, Hutchison and Kwasnik showed why they are top of the league Quick, creative and direct with the ability to create chances at pace.

And if Damien Brown had matched the work of his team-mates the Mariners may well have won again.

But United were gorgeous. People talking about the boring A-League. Leave it out. Sydney with Juninho, Newcastle in full flow, Wellington on the rise, the leaders the Mariners and of course the awesome Nathan Burns led Adelaide United are keeping me entertained.

Burns show Heffernan a clean pair of heels with a delightful piece of skill. A match for Juninho? A World Cup winner against a young Aussie on the rise.

I'm loving the Nathan Burns development show. And he's developed. Again making an increasing number of crucial interventions. He set up the opener for Bruce Djite. Another Aussie on the rise.

And any young Aussie who dominates in the Aussie league can clearly perform overseas at a high level.

Remember Jason Culina and Brett Emerton in the old NSL, and I would suggest those two lack the skill of a Djite of Burns.

Dodds inspired, Diego worked hard and Adelaide were on the run.

But from somewhere the Coast worked their openings and their fitness began to tell. And eventually the goal came and Sasho Petrovski scambled home.

The ref, Matthew Breeze, must have been watching Craig Zetter at Sydney the night before. The standard was the same. Dismal.

A clear Djite second goal just had to be allowed. But Breeze standing right in line of the Burns foul, Djite goal called play back.

And would it impact on this game, this great A-League game.

End to end they went. Probing and challenging.

Diego was fouled by Tony Vidmar. Second yellow and Vidmar was off.

And then Bruce Djite scored. A man who plays his football with honesty and integrity scored. And I was delighted.

Djite has been criticised by many, but he's young and he's scoring and he tops the charts.

Time to recognise his talents and progression. He can only get better.

The Mariners were outstanding and contributed to this great game.

If anyone is the Manchester United of this league it is Adelaide. Over three seasons they have consistently played the football, the intricate but flowing football.

Like United they have the ball players and the flair to do it. And that is the difference.

Creative players all over the park. And this with Bobby Petta, Jason Spagnuola and Paul Agostino out of the side.

Agostino was injured. How many of our ageing returnees continue to miss games in this league? Makes you question their value but that's for another day.

Today Hindmarsh was red. When Vidmar was sent-off the camera's showed two women in the crowd dressed in red. they cheered with a joy and a passion.

It was a real football moment, in a 90 minutes of excellence in Adelaide, and I loved it.

Whenever Adelaide are in town. If you are a football fan do not miss it.

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Results day 1: Nat.Youth Champs

Capital Football unbeaten, as you'd expect:)

For full results

2007 FFA NATIONAL YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR BOYS

Venue – BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, NSW.

OFFICIAL RESULTS Day 1 – Saturday 29 September 2007



Under 14’s

South Australia 2 (M.Perrone 14min; N.Mileusnic 51min) def Northern NSW 1 (K.Davidson 23min)

Capital Football 1 (J.Geira 27min) def Queensland Metro 0

Football West 3 (B.Nguyen 21min; S.Michael 23min, 35min) def Victoria Country 0

Queensland country 3 (J.Brillante 7 min, 35min; H.Noble 23min) def Northern Territory 1 (A.O’Regan 53min)

NSW Metro 4 (Y.Kusdian 21min; R.Caria 37min; C.Gamerio 47min) def VIC Metro 3 (J.Maclaren 1min, 14min; M.Schroen 41min; C.Good *OWN GOAL* 52min)

NSW Country 1 (M.Mills 50min) def Tasmania 0

Under 15’s

Victoria Country 2 (M.Anderson 42min, 45min) – NSW Country 2 (B.Hall 52min, 68min)

Queensland Country 12 (R.Mottin 30min,33min,58min; L.Waugh 1min; B.Hay 22min,34min, 48min,54min,65min; J.McMullen 42min; H.Duffie 53min; B.Holt 69min) def Northern Territory 1 (A.Maniju 33min)

Victoria Metro 4 (D.Lokvanic 14min, 30min; K.Ibrahim 47min, 65min) def Northern NSW 0

Football West 1 (E.Babalj 9min) – Capital Football (D.Gapare 51min)

Queensland Metro 4 (K.Satake 4min; P.Lamin 6min; J.Mason 7min; J.Macintyre 45min) def Tasmania 0

NSW Metro 3 (D.Petratos 4min; J.Lum 33min; N.Stanojevic 38min) def South Australia 1 (S.Maio 60min)

Western Australia

2 (S.Kerr 8’, R.Davies 19’) Queensland 1 (B.Whitfield 4’)



NSW 3 (S.Kingsley 33’, L.Mahoney 36’/53’) South Australia 0




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Young Matildas in China

The Young Matildas are in China!

On Tuesday they travel from Chendu to Chongqing for the AFC Championship, which double as U20 World Cup qualifiers. Tey are in a group with Japan and DPR Korea (current U20 World Champions), so this is the group of death.

It is big challenge to get out of the group, top 2 go through to the semis. Then the top 3 from the tournament go to Chile next year for the World Cup.

The players have definitely been inspired by the Matildas performances, so are raring to go. The first match is on 6 October.

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Saturday, 29 September 2007

A review of A:League games to come.

To find out Why Adelaide must thrash the Mariners, and Wellington beat the Glory, and who will be sent-off tonight in the Sydney Jets clash:)

Sydney v Newcastle should be an interesting game, especially if Juninho plays and I'm intrigued by Adam Biddle.

Newcastle if Joel Griffiths plays will always cause Sydney problems, but surely Joel will be fired for this one.

Isn't he due a send-off?

Adelaide v the Central Coast.

I just would like to see the Mariners smashed! Just once. By an Adelaide team full of attacking options.

United are clearly going to miss Michael Valkanis and I would like to see Bobby Petta play a few games in a row in the more creative, less physically demanding midfield forward role.

He could really pull a few strings, but is the guy ever fit?

The Mariners well they're great, and physical and top of the league, but they just need to be thrashed. Just once. Should anyone think they are the greatest team the A-League have ever seen as they get further and further away from the rest of the pack a good thrashing would show what they are. A great hard working team with a load of points.

They aren't that good, and if they are they need to play a more attractive brand of football.

Wellington v Perth

Now Perth need a win and a few goals. But I want the Phoenix to get up. Because the crowds in Wellington have been sensational and I have loved hearing the atmosphere from across 'the ditch' as the commentators love to say, every week.

But I've grown to love or am growing to love Smeltz, Felipe and Daniel. And I'm even thinking about Michael Ferrante as he played a couple of good balls recently. it truly surprised me.

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Ned Zelic is top of the league

Okay most know Canberrans Carl Valeri plays in Italy with Grosseto in Serie B, and Joe Siminic is with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.

But did you know Ned Zelic has played every game this season for table topping Georgian side Dinamo Tblisi.
And you thought he'd retired after he played for the Newcastle Jets!

Well he's on a two year deal and has recently played, although lost, in the UEFA Cup to Rapid Vienna.

I'm surprised. Thought Ned was finished when he left the Jets, shows what I know!

But you knew that already:)

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Sydney FC:Please No Poppa!

Sydney FC won a game!

Last week they beat the Roar 1-0. Their first win. Not pretty but the defence held out with a little help from Clint Bolton.

No Juninho or Tony Popovic. Tonight they are both expected to be fit, but should they play?


Branko, I know you love yer man Poppa, and maybe you were behind his signing. But big Mark Rudan and Socceroo Mark Milligan would walk into any A-League defence in the league.

Everybody knows it. And of course Millsy can play elsewhere, but that's the problem.

Rudan and Poppa are too old, too slow together. And personally I'd take Rudan every time.

He is Sydney FC. He's won the Grand Final, he's won in Asia, and played well.

Poppa came back and you made him captain. For what? What has he achieved? Played with the Palace, big deal, played in Qatar, instead of coming home, we noticed that, we the fans.

And he nearly got sent-off in the first thirty for the Socceroos against Uruguay. Why does that matter?

Because we fans see the guy as a man under pressure. Under pressure to be the calm aggressive skillful leader Sydney need.

He didn't show it when your old mate Petrovski scuffed a shot past him in the game against the Mariners. And he certainly didn't show much against Adelaide even before his injury.

So bench the captain. Your team didn't concede last week. Build on your strengths and proven strengths.

Rudan and Milligan will keep the defence tight. Keep Ruben Zadkovich away from full-back. Just do it.

And let Juninho play. Maybe even bring him on. He will create we've seen that, and maybe in Patrick, Adam Casey, Alex Brosque an energetic Adam Biddle and dare I say it David Zdrillic there is enough of something to win at home, and with a bit of energy.

For me it's not about style. It's about energy. The team has enough skillful players but if they play with the energy of a David Carney they will break teams down.

Now how you do that Branko is up to you, and I'm not sure you know what your best formation is.

But the signs of Juninho, Corica and Brosque against Adelaide were good and if it wasn't for Ruben you would have won, and had something more concrete to build on.

Tonight might be the night, but leave Poppa on the bench.

He has to earn the right to play for Sydney FC. To dislodge Rudan or Milligan and on his performances he hasn't.

It's time to value the players who have done it for Sydney FC, and I suspect for less money than Poppa needed.

Prove me wrong Poppa, but I'll be surprised if you can!

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Matildas get my vote

Vote early and vote often!

The Matildas are in the top ten for the most entertaining team of the World Cup, with Lisa De Vanna and Heather Garriock in the top ten goals on the FIFA site.

You can vote....

And spread the news.


http://fifa.com/womenworldcup/video/goalofthetournament.html

http://fifa.com/womenworldcup/teams/mostentertainingteam.html

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Aussie refs World Cup Final

Well done Tammy Ogston (AUS). Tammy has been appointed the referee of the FIFA Women's World Cup final.

Australian referee Tammy Ogston has been designated to officiate the Final of the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007, Germany - Brazil, scheduled to kick off at 20:00 local time in Shanghai Hongkou Stadium on Sunday 30 September.

Tammy Ogston also refereed the opening game between Germany and Argentina as well as the group stage match between Korea DPR and Nigera and the quarter final between Germany and Korea DPR. She also officiated at the Olympic Football Tournament Sydney 2000 as well as at the last two FWWCs.

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Are Victory on the way?

Foxsports commentators are not happy with what they are seeing this year in the A-League, or so they tell us every week.

Are you?

The thing is there have been some good games Sydney v Adelaide, Adelaide Newcastle, Wellington Adelaide, Wellington Victory, Adelaide Victory, Sydney Mariners.

the list actually goes on, but all the focus is on the poor games.

And this can become self-fulfilling as people seem to have realised our salary caps limits player quality, and the new players coming in are unlikely to match the quality that leave like Fred, Carle, Vidosic and others.

Last night Melbourne Victory were woeful in the first-half and the commentators told us time and time again in case you didn't know it.

Queensland on the other hand, in the first half played well. Chased, probed but couldn't get the breakthrough.

Any fan, any coach would be happy with their first half performance away in the Dome. So maybe the commentators need to focus on that side of the game when the home side aren't sparkling.

And Victory weren't. The long ball release To Archie and co. is last season's trick and overdone particularly in the first half, plus it's hardly sophisticated is it?

Also the Victory's midfield in Brebner and Muscat are way too deep to be an effective attacking force.

Maybe Merrick want's to tighten up from last year's home defeats. Who could blame him? But it won't be pretty not in the first half.

Chances are to throw in a Caceres or Patafta early on means more space for teams like the Roar and with Victory's shaky defence a goal wouldn't be too hard to come by.

Fans have been saying where's the Fred spark, but maybe goals against are just as important and Adrian Leijer's departure may count for some of this.

No goals conceded allows the team to attack with more confidence.

Leandro Love was clearly poorly deployed in the first half. Playng at times in a three man straight line attack. So far away from the slowing Muscat and Brebner that the long ball is all Victory had.

With Craig Moore at the back, it's not too difficult to stop.

Victory have to entertain. The team with the biggest crowd in any league just do.

Merrick has to get the balance right, and maybe he will as the season goes on.

But I suspect that given the nature of the players on view, and the quality in the final third it will be away teams what will prosper, much as Victory did last year, and therefore the likelihood of draws or away wins is higher.

How do you get a creative player with the current salary cap?

The pace of the game is good. So the skills need to be higher to create that extra spark. In football you get mainly what you pay for and that perhaps is what we are seeing this season.

Can Sydney earn a home win tonight. Certainly with Juninho back they should create chances,and I for one wish to see them rewarded for their attempt to bring in some creativity, real proven creativity into this league.

So, tonight I say go Sydney and to Victory, well Ernie you have a long way to go but a win's a win as they say.

And maybe, just maybe, you're on the way.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2007

ACT Under 15 Boys off to Nationals



Left to Right, Top: John Mitchell (Coach U15); Jack Pettit; Andrew Gibson; Louie Pochi; Zac Smedley; Stephen Domenici; Josip Jadric; Alex Meibusch; Marco Perinovic; Tom Rogic; Declan Poon; Jack Kaye; Karen Martin; Bottom: Phillipe Bernabo; Adrian Diaz; Christopher Bush; Joe Caruso; Ben Harrington; Danai Gapare; John Colley; William Campbell

Chris Gottaas writes.

The ACT boy’s under 15’s preparing for the 2007 National Youth Football Championships in Coffs Harbour this weekend.

The team will feature four Australian representatives with Christopher Bush, Ben Harrington, Danai Gapare and Stephen Domenici all suiting up for the Joeys earlier this year. Along with the internationals, the team is made up of Capital Football Academy players and ACTAS scholarship holders creating a strong and skilful squad.


The ACT will come up against Football West (WA), NSW Metro, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland Metro in Group A with the top two to proceed to the semi finals with the rest of the group playing off for final standings.

In the 2006 Championships this ACT squad finished in 5th as the ACT Under fourteen representatives.

According to Capital Football’s Technical Director Ian Shaw the results aren’t the be all and end all.

“We’re very pleased with the squad and its strength will certainly turn a few heads in Coffs next week but having said that we don’t base our success on whether we return home as the national champions, it all depends on who handles the situation best on the day. We’re just hoping to mix it with the best and play some good football,” Shaw said.

Eamonn adds: From this week's championship the Joey's Under 17 squad for the first round of Asian qualifiers will be named.

The qualifiers are in Singapore in October.

Australia will play Norht Korea, Malaysia and East Timor in the group stage.

2007 Under 15’s ACT Squad:



GK – PETTIT, Jack
9 – GAPARE, Danai

2 – DIAZ, Adrian
10 – ROGIC, Tom

3 – CARUSO, Joseph
11 – DOMENICI, Stephen

4 – BUSH, Christopher
12 – POON, Declan

5 – GIBSON, Andrew
13 – MEIBUSCH, Alex

6 – POCHI, Louie
14 – SMEDLEY, Zac

7 – HARRINGTON, Ben
15 – CAMPBELL, William

8 – JADRIC, Josip
16 (GK) – KAYE, Jack

Coach: MITCHELL, John
Manager: MARTIN, Karen





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ACT Under 14’s Representatives

From Chris Gottaas, Capital Football.

The ACT boys Under 14’s squad has been named ahead of the National Championships in Coffs Harbour this weekend with Capital Football to take on some of the nation’s best youth footballers over the week long tournament.



This is the first time this group of boys will be representing the ACT at the FFA National Youth Championships.

“It’s a young squad but I have no doubt that they will enjoy themselves and make the ACT proud. They get the chance to take on a lot of the other states and territories; it’s always a great thrill to be representing your region,” Capital Football’s Technical Director Ian Shaw said

The ACT will come up against Football Queensland Metro, Football NT, Football Queensland Country, South Australia and Northern NSW in Group B with the top two to proceed to the semi finals with the rest of the group playing off for final standings.

The entire squad is made up from the Capital Football Academy.

“It will be a great chance to bench mark our Academy program against those pathway programs from other states and territories and will provide us with a key indicators to determine our strengths and weaknesses” Shaw said.

2007 Under 14’s ACT Squad:

GK – HALL, Marcus
9 – FALLA, Dom

2 – BENNETT, Daniel
10 – FIELD, James

3 – BODDY, Jordan
11 – GERIA, Jason

4 – CHAPMAN, Joe
12 – JOHN, Michael

5 – CLEMENTS, Izach
13 – MARTIN, George

6 – DAWSON, Evan
14 – SPARROW, Daniel

7 – DROMGOLD, Mathew
15 – RUTHERFORD, Jack

8 – EVANS, Nathan
16 (GK) – SMEDLEY, Dom

Coach: GIBSON, John
Manager: MEIBUSCH, Peter


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Draw for Boys National Championships

The draw has been made for the boys Under 14 and Under 15 National Championships to be held in Coffs Harbour in the first week of the ACT school holidays. (Sat 29 Sept-Sat 6th Oct)

Under 15 draw

Under 14 draw

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Radio show coming soon

You've seen the blog, next up is a one hour football radio show...in Canberra!

2XX 98.3fm community radio, unlike many other media organisations in town, has seen the light.
We have a one hour 6:30pm Tuesday timeslot.
No other city in Australia has a primetime football radio show in Australia.
We're thrilled and starting soon.

Want to know what we'll cover....


We will be covering the issues of the week in Australian football, A-League, Socceroos, Matildas and all national Representative sides, including the Futsalroos.

The local game, local coaches, players, their stories and their football passion. Their teams and strategies, we'll aim to give a voice to the Masters to the Premier Leagues, the independent games around town, to the Indoor futsal comps.

The junior game. We want to hear from the coaches, of the pee wees, to the Under 16's. The games, the players, what you enjoy and what you hate.

We'll never got it right, not for everyone, but we're going to love giving it a go.

If you want to know when we are starting email nearpost2xx@gmail.com

When the starting date is confirmed we'll let you know.

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Sydney FC hunting a striker.

Sydney FC are hunting a striker. Seems Coach Branko Culina isn't happy with Socceroo Alex Brosque, former Socceroo David Zdrillic or new Brazilian import Patrick.

At least not happy enough.


And they do lack a real goal threat despite their win on the weekend.

Juninho's back this week and Tony Popovic maybe. But with the excellent Mark Rudan and Mark Milligan do Sydney really need Popovic in defence?

What has he given them that they haven't already got?

Sydney can make the top four, but it's not looking pretty. The defence isn't settle the forward line isn't settled, and bringing on new-boy Adam Biddle with 15 minutes to go against The Roar suggests the midfield isn't settled.

A few more dodgy results and Branko would be feeling the heat.

His teams produced good performances in the Asian Champions League, players seemed to know their roles.

After 5 A-League games who knows the pattern of Sydney FC?

Confidence comes from winning and the performances of Clint Bolton, Tony Popovic, and Ruben Zadkovich in defence has been, for me, the key reason the rest of the team is struggling.

Keep your goal intact, as they did against the Roar, admittedly without Poppa, Zadkovich in defence and with Bolton back to his best, enabled Sydney to sneak a goal.

And if you are only going to score one, then you'd better have your defence sorted.

What has Branko learn't from the first five games? We'll see on the weekend, or when Poppa is available.

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Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Nicole Somi: What's the score?


Nicole Somi wins the Women's Grand Final for Belconnen, "and I didn't even know."


It's your grand final. You're expected to lose. You finished fourth in the normal season, but somehow you've beaten the favourites Belwest and find yourself in the final, the Grand Final.

You're playing Weston Creek. How many titles have they won over the years?

And they even cheer and thankyou at the official grand final breakfast, For what? For knocking out Belwest!

So the game is on.


Luisa Marzotta is upfront for Weston Creek. She's strong and skilful.

She's causing prolems all day, but somehow the Belconnen defence and keeper Amy Martin kept her out.

For Belconnen United Emily Davidson, Jessica Mcgurgan and Sarah Elford stood out. Cara Armstrong was also creative.

For Weston Megan Kehoe, Jenny Brew, Amanda Aurousseau and keeper Michelle Tifan were all great to watch.

0-0

It's a big pitch for the final. And it has grass! When was the last time you saw the ball bounce consistently, in a women's local game. Not at Waramanga oval anyway.

Big crowd. But no goals.

Somi tells her coach Andrew Woodman at half-time enough of this defence for me Andrew, I'm in the midfield now.

Woodman according to Somi loves to get her advice!

And Somi moves to midfield and the game changes a bit. Towards the end of normal time Luisa is clearly tiring for Weston, and Belconnen are creating more.

But Michelle Tifan is up to the task.

The temperature is dropping but the stakes are heating up.

It's penalties.

"Yes," yells my 8 year old daughter. "I love penalties."

And so they begin. Some fine finishers for both sides, and then Weston miss one, miss two.

Somi, former Young Matilda and Belconnen United captain scores.

Bedlam.

Somi turns and hasn't realised she's put the game out of reach. They have won the grand final.

Her team-mates soon tell her.

Imagine playing all year, your kick wins the grand final. The grand final you were never expected to make.

And you didn't even know!




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A-League for Canberra?

Townsville, Gold Coast and Canberra.

Probably only two places up for grabs, and the Townsville and Gold Coast bids are well ahead and cashed up with retirees from Victoria.

Can Canberra get the nod? Who knows but the race is well and truly on.

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Cardinal is over!


Well the Cardinals were placed together for the Under Ten season at the local club.

Of course it will be an even competition..and remember we want everyone to have FUN!

Well I know it's not all about winning, but it's not all about losing either, is it?

And The Cardinals lost every game, not just 1-0 or 2-1 but 9-0, 5-0 and 6-1.

Have you ever played in a team like that?

14-0, 12-0 17-0. When I was 12 that was my team. Some team!

The Cardinals never did that bad, but they never played as long as my team.

They tried, The coach's tried. They changed the goalie, the defence, the tactics, the pre-match talk, the half-time talk, sometimes even the Coach.

They were winning once, but then they lost.

Mostly they defended. Mostly they lost.

It's hard to hear the cheers from the other parents, every week and their kid gets to score the best goal ever....against The Cardinals.

There were reports of tears at half-time, brotherly jibes from the winning brothers and maybe even sisters. There were tears after the game. And there was anger.

Some won't be back. They placed these boys in a group, any old group. "We thought it would work."

But you can't change them. Not after two weeks they are a team. And they are getting slaughtered. Demoralised.

Oh you can't change a team, not after two weeks with 16 weeks to go.

And so to the last game. As I left I could see the Cardinals at it again. It was wet, not just a shower, but absolutely chucking it down.

"This time they'll get wet and they'll lose," I thought as I left the oval.

I wasn't staying to watch. Ah well at least the season's over.

The phone rang.

It was the Dad. The Dad of a Cardinal. We talked about the kids games every week.

"Well that's a relief, the seasons over," I said.

"They won, they won. 3-1 Can you believe it? they won. In the last game, they won. Oh the others had some players out but they won."

"God!, They won."

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Monday, 24 September 2007

Heather Reid reviews the Matilda's campaign

Capital Football's CEO Heather Reid writes a final note on the WWC campaign and the Matildas –

Bugger about the result last night. I agree with others that the ‘penalty’ awarded against McShea’s tackle should have been a free kick outside the box because that’s where the offence occurred.



And Australia should have been awarded a penalty late in the game when de Vanna was brought down. C’est la vie and the game of football. The fight back by the Aussies was tremendous but we were beaten by a better team on the day. We can be very proud of the Australian’s performances throughout the championship and other records set including:



- Having never one a game in nine previous WWC games, the Matildas secured one win and two draws against teams ranked much higher than us in the preliminary games

- They scored 7 goals and only conceded four prior to the quarter final

- Progressed to the quarter final where they fought back from 2-0 down to finish 3-2

- They are the only team to score against Brazil so far

- Australian players (McCallum, Garriock, Salisbury) were named as ‘Player of the Match’ in all three preliminary games

- Captain Salisbury continued her remarkable achievements in world football

- Lisa de Vanna matured into a new star for Australia

- Live coverage in prime time on SBS television meant the game was beamed into Australian households and women’s football now has greater respect, recognition and status

- Emerging players like Colthorpe, Polkinghorn and McCallum were brilliant to watch.

- And the whole 21-player squad demonstrated confidence in their abilities, fearlessness in their approach to more fancied opposition, and that determination to represent Australia in the most positive ways on the world stage.



Now the world’s leading ranked nations are into the semi final places. My tip for the final – Germany v Brazil and I don’t care who wins that because it will be a cracker of a game!



After the WWC, many of the younger players like Canberra’s Lydia Williams will stay in China for their assault on the Asian qualification tournament for the world youth championships. We wish the Young Matildas all the best in that campaign.



Heather

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Canberra Times article

This article first appeared in Mondays' Canberra Times.

Player Watch.

Canberrans need to adapt if they want a game in the A-League.

Former Belnorth and Belsouth junior Adam Casey scored his first goal for Sydney FC last week against Wellington Phoenix when he played as a striker. This week Coach Branko Culina moved him to right back.




Casey’s contribution was again significant. With the score at 0-0, Olyroo Casey cleared off the line.

“I was standing on the back post. Luckily I hadn’t moved out, and I just reacted quickly and cleared it. Clint Bolton made the rebound save,” said Casey.

“I see myself as a forward. But you have to be versatile. When Branko rang me during the week I said I would play where selected, but I prefer forward. When you see the players we have in the squad you play wherever you can get a game. I can play anywhere down the right hand side.

“The game against the Roar was frustrating. I was anchored in defence a fair bit and found it hard to get forward. But we got the result, our first win, and that takes the pressure off us a bit.”

Melbourne Victory’s Matthew Kemp is another player able to play a number of positions. Kemp, whose brothers David and Stephen both played for Belconnen United in the Capital Football Grand Final yesterday, played right back for Melbourne Victory in their 2-2 draw with Newcastle Jets on Friday night. He has played left-back and centre back already this season after just five rounds.

Former Socceroo and Central Coast Development manager Alex Tobin says, “the modern game is fast. Players have to be fit. In the old National Soccer League, you could get by with just being skilful, not anymore. I wouldn’t say skill isn’t important, just it’s important to be fit. With the numbers of players limited to twenty two or twenty three, versatility is the key. When we sign a player we look at how many positions a player can play.”

One Canberran whose position seems secure is Perth Glory’s Nikolai Topor-Stanley. Another strong performance at full-back from Topor-Stanley but the Glory still went down 1-0 to league leaders Central Coast Mariners.

Canberra referee Ben Williams was on duty in the Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United game. Despite former United hard man Ross Aloisi playing against his old club, Williams had little to do as the teams played out a 2-2 draw on the official FIFA fair play weekend. Back to normal next weekend I suppose!

The Matildas drive to the 5th FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-finals has impressed many. A local Chinese businessman was so excited by the Matildas performance he offered them $50,000 if they made the quarter-finals!

Caitlin Munoz and Sally Shipard played in the historic 2-2 draw with Canada on Thursday in the World Cup. Lydia Williams was on standby overnight to takeover if number one keeper Melissa Barbieri failed to recover from an ankle injury.

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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Australia v Brazil: As it happens(ed)

11.59pm. But weren't we fantastic again. Well done Australia. Unlucky with the referees decisions but a strong performance in this game and the tournament.

Lots of heroes and lots of memories, but the main one for me is seeing an Australian women's side playing great football on a World stage and live on TV.

Thankyou Matildas, and thanks to Tom Sermanni, I thought he was outstanding.

Whistle blows.
We're out.


But even in the last few seconds the Aussies have given their all to thwart Brazil. di Alagich heads off the line.

Brazil run down the clock and Australia must be gone now surely!

And with a minute to go we have a free kick and Di Alagich volleys it just over. Great effort Australia that may be it.

89 mins: This is it, but we don't have the ball.

Have the Aussies got anything left?

Brazil are looking physically stronger.


This is it Australia.

Brazil shoot again from distance.85 mins: Aussie still hanging on.

Caitlin booked for a foul.

Aussies are robbed of a penalty.

Hits the bar, and Aussies survive.Free kick to Brazil just outside the box. Only 20 meters out so probably to close:)

80 minutes: Jo Burgess replaces Jo Peters.

Canberra's Caitlin Munoz replaces Sally Shipard. Well done Sal, good game, come on Caitlin.

Now Brazil have energy. Big energy as they come forward again but the ball goes wide.

75 mins: 3-2 to Brazil. Australia wnet to sleep.
Christiane turns and hits from outside the box. 3-2 Brazil.

Garriock seems to have found a new energy.
Brazil have lifted their tempo. It's getting harder. If we can survive the next few minutes we can do them, surely.

Briliant Sally defends well. Brilliant Sal.

Brazil are giving it to De Vanna.

Marta breaks for Brazil, nothing comes of the cross.

Come on Lisa, one moment is all we need.

Sally Shipard is driving on, good on yer Sal. keep going.

68 mins: Brazil are tiring, really tiring or maybe it's just me!!

Australia has the momentum in the quarter final. Come on Australia.

Tommy's into it. He's on his feet.

Game on.

Lauren Colethorp scores!!!1 A fantastic header from a cross form Garriock, it's 2-2

Aussies 2 Brazil 2. We're level!!

Brazil are keeping a very close eye on De Vanna and Walsh. De Vanna may get a chance to cuasse havoc if she can just persist.

Walsh and Shipard trying to link much closer this half.

64 mins: Brazil attack again but it comes to nothing. Australis survive and may just get a chance to test the Brazilian defence.

This is our best period of the whole game. This is our time. Come on Australia.

Australia has a chance, I really believe we do.

60 mins Still 2-1 Aussies still in it, and Brazil still impressiong but not like they were in the first half. Next goal is crucial.

No more pace to come on. But maybe Caitlin Munoz for Sarah Walsh.

Brazil second goal is starting to annoy me. The foul was clearly outside the box and now the Aussies are having to work that bit harder.

Aussies starting to drop the tempo.

Free kick to Aussies on the edge of our box.

Slatyer heads clear.

Thea Slatyer saves the day! Corner to Brazil.

Garriock again showing positive attacking signs. Australia are in this game.

Aussies pressure again but ball runs fo a goal kick.

Barbieri gathers a through ball.

52 mins: Foul throw from Brazil in a World Cup.

Garriock links well with Walsh. Aussies are asking questions.

Come on Australia, this is your time.

Aussies are impressing with their work rate.

De Vanna wins a corner. Big chance.

It's a physical battle.

Aussies are working hard, very hard.

Kate McShea did well then Slatyer, but De Vanna loses out.

Come on De Vanna fire up. Your country needs you now.

Good corner punched clear.

MCCallum to take.Walsh forces a corner.

Next goal is crucial. Corner ot Brazil, and Aussies clear.

Brazil had 65% possession in the first half. How tired are the Aussies? They are going to have to chase and keep together.

Here we go. Australia to win, somehow 4-3. Let'see.

If we win we play the USA, all 7 million of their registered players!!

Half-time 2-1 to Brazil.

Aussies still have a sniff, according to the scoreline.

It's nearly half-time but Brazil still pressing. Cooler conditions are allowing the Asusies to chase. And Elaine pings it from 35 yards. Mad stuff!

Aussies are still chasing. De Vanna chases like crazy and has no energy to break forward when the ball is won.

De Vanna is wasting her opportunities, and I'm not happy about that, as Australia need her now more than ever. I reckon Tommy will killher at half-time.

Another shot from distance comes in. But it's high and wide.

Corner to Brazil.

Heather Garriock seems to be lacking her zip the further this tournament goes. No surprise maybe but the Aussies need more from her.

Tom Sermanni is desperate to get to half-time without conceding further.

There is no guarantee the Aussies can stop the attacking stylish Brazilains.

What would another goal do to Brazil...I mean a goal to the Aussies. Would it stun them?

Brazilians look like they have three Lisa De Vanna's in their forward line.

Aussies have to get to half-time without conceding again. Can they do it?

Makes that dodgy penalty call even more frustrating.

Australia 1 Brazil 2

And then a mistake by Brazil and De Vanna rounds the keeper and scores to become the highest ever Aussie World Cup scorer.

Julie Murray isn't too excited. I am!

Aussies are under the pump, finding it hard to get out of their half now.

Fierce defending from the Aussies. Brazil are looking for a third. In fact they are making the North Koreans who beat the Aussies earlier this year, they are making them look ordinary!!

Lisa De Vanna looking very frustrated.Can she last the pace?

Brazil shoot from 30 yards and Barbieri saves. The Brazilian team can shoot from anywhere it seems.

Barbieri grabs the corner in he 24 degree heat!

Aussies defending well.Sally Shipard blocks corner to Brazil.

Crowd is quiet.

Australia sitting very deep. Too deep. And having to play winning balls every time they get it. It's not going to work.

There is a huge gap from midfield to forward.

25 mins:Game is set. Aussies looking second best. Walsh and De Vanna having little ball.

2-0 to Brazil

Marta earns Brazil a foul. Ref says penalty. It was a beautiful penalty, but it should have been a free outside the box.

20 mins: Okay I've seen enough, it's going to be very very tough for the Matildas. Grit and determination is required in bucketloads. It may not be enough.

Can the Aussies hang in their and work an opportunity? Aussies not linking well in their forward play. And Kate McShea replaces Cheryl Salisbury.

Now they are looking like Brazilians again.

17 mins:Interesting point of the game. Brazil looking human.

Cheryl Salisbury in difficulty. She struggles to play so many games in quick succession these days. Sarah Walsh ahs had three knee re-constructions. Yuck.

Aussies were singing the Celtic song on the bus before the game. Looks like Collette has taught the Matildas to sing!

mins: Have we weathered the storm or is there more to come?

Matildas are working hard. Salisbury and McCallum are starring.
Thea Slatyer is a bodyguard in her spare time says Julie Murray. Apparently the SBS are in Sydney!

Where is Fozzie. Didn't here any analysis from him?

Good work from Walsh. Corner.

Long ball to De Vanna strategy isn't working...yet. We have to score next methinks.

Brazil are looking well like Brazilians.

Another Brazilian shot from distance, another superb save from Barbieri.7 mins: Aussie forwards need to get in the game quick to influence this game.
Coach Tom Sermanni on screen look like his fears are coming true. Perhpas that's why he played De Vanna. He knew the Aussies could be gone byhalf-time.

5 min Barbieri saves Australia in a one on one. Aussies in big big trouble.

Australia go behind again.

4 mins. Goal for Brazil. A great side foot into the roof of the net from outside the box. Formiga 4 mins.

3 mins: McCallum steals the ball and sends it....long for De Vanna. No chance.

Melissa Barbieri is fit to play.Brazil look like the best team we've met after 2 minutes can I say that?

De Vanna presses early at pace. Save it Lisa.

Here we go

De Vanna starts, Barbieri winks.

Game on.

Let's hope we don't concede early, in fact at all.

This could be tough

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CEO Heather Reid, "This was all so annoying!"

Capital Football CEO Heather Reid missed the Canada game in China, due to the postponement. Heather's back in town and sent this update on her World Cup journey. Thanks Heather.

Hello again Eamonn

I'm now home in Canberra where the sun is shining, the
sky is blue and we're in for some great grand finals
in the PL competitions today at McKellar. And of
course we'll all be watching SBS at 10.00pm as the
Matildas take on Brazil in this historic quarter final
clash of the WWA.



The last hour postponement of the scheduled game
against Canada on Wednesday in Chengdu meant that many
members of the Matildas family touring group, as well
as we (including me and hundreds of others from
Australia and Canada) just simply couldn't change our
arrangements to fly later than our scheduled Thursday
flights. Qantas required at least 24 hours notice in
order to get alternative flights and changes just
couldn't be arranged in time. This was all so
annoying but completely out of our control. I felt
sorry for not only our group but the thousands of
others involved in the game who were also
inconvenienced - including a young volunteer who had
to stay an extra day in Chengdu when he'd been
expecting to go home and study for his final year
exams. At least those who were able to stay in
Chengdu would have seen the game - for me I had to
wait until getting home to see it again, and again, on
video.

Andy Munoz left Chengdu on Thursday at 1.00pm and I
left at 4.00pm along with Katie Gill's mum, dad and
brother. We'd hoped to be able to catch the game on
telly at Hong Kong airport but there was only rugby on
the big screens. We got the news via SMS from Katie
that we'd drawn 2-2 with Canada and there was quite a
scene of jubilation at the arrival lounge as we jumped
up and down, hootin and a hollerin.

I went as fast as I could to the Qantas lounge to
check the FIFA website for all the details on the
game. It was clear that the game was a nail-biter and
that the Matildas had left their charge until the
last minutes again (as they did against Norway). No
matter, we were through to the quarter finals and
likely to face Brazil. I absorbed as much info as I
could from the FIFA website and then checked the
nearpost.blog and Australian newspapers for other
stories. With copies of the media clippings I was
happy to then get on my flight home to Canberra via
Sydney.

After the news on Wednesday about the postponed game,
I went to the Stadium Media Centre in Chengdu to
see/hear what was really going on. A journalist from
AP and a broadcaster from Canada both told me that
Australian and Canadian as well as China FA officials
had requested all last round games to be played at the
same time, ie. Thursday. China FA was especially
concerned about making sure their game v NZ was played
at the same time as the crucial Brazil v Denmark game.
Both China and Denmark were on 3 points and both
needed to win to qualify for the quarters. As it
transpired Brazil beat Denmark and China beat the
Kiwis meaning that Brazil finished first in group D
(and hence played Australia) and China finished second
(and they play Norway). Denmark was on its way home
along with Sweden, Argentina, Japan, NZ, Nigeria,
Ghana and Canada.

On Friday after landing in Canberra, I headed to the
Capital Football office to catch up with staff on
what's been happening locally over the past two weeks
and to get all the details on arrangements for the JL
presentation day at Hawker and the grand finals in the
men's divisions and the Premier League games today.
Expecting to only spend about 20 minutes there, I
ended up staying a couple of hours as we had so much
to share on international, local and national football
(seems I'm really struggling in the A-League tipping
competition).

Yesterday was a beautiful Canberra spring day and
Ioved being back with my dedicated and wonderful CF
staff and volunteers for the celebration at Hawker. I
also presented the men's Div. 2 trophy to UC as they
beat ANU. In the Div 1 final, White Eagles ran away
in the second half to defeat Cooma 3-1.
Congratulations to all teams and to others in the
men's finals.

We've got a full agenda today with grand finals in
men's PL 18s, Pathway and Premier leagues as well as
the Women's PL. Hopefully there'll be a big crowd at
McKellar to support the teams - and no doubt
Belconnen United will have geat numbers as they've
made three grand finals !

And then, we'll be in for the world cup game at
10.00pm. Looks like Germany had a comfortable game v
DPR Korea beating them 3-0, and USA defeated England
3-0 in the other game. So, two semi final places are
now sealed and if the Matildas beat Brazil then we'll
be up against the might of USA - winners of the first
World Cup and Olympic Gold medallists.

The media coverage has been terrific in some areas.
Finally the Matildas are being recognised on the front
pages of newspapers, The coverage is for their
football skills and not for things like nude calendars
or toothpaste commercials for Japan television, or
allegations of financial misdealings or
misappropration of funds, or for relationship issues
between a coach and a player. This is about world
class football at it's best - bring it on and go the
Matildas!

Heather

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Jo: from inside the Matildas camp

Here's a message from Jo Sanders the Matildas team manager. Jo will be sitting next to Robbie Hooker the Matilda's Assistant Coach on the bench for the big game against Brazil tonight. Thanks Jo.

Tianjin is our town. We've been here twice before, two years ago and a few weeks ago for some friendly games. On 16 August, Matildas v China was the first-ever match at the new Tianjin Olympic Stadium, behind closed doors, which we won 3-2.

The second friendly on the 19 August was the first ticketed international match there, played in front of 51,980 local fans and around 20 Aussie screamers (more on that later), which we convincingly won 3-1. The team played great. So Tianjin holds good vibes for us.

So it will be déjà vu in many ways. Tonight's match will be a repeat of our last good performances in Tianjin, I can sense it. And it will be just like the other World Cup matches. The team will prepare for the game in the same way. Tom will still do his crossword in the morning and sip tea on the bench. Some players will find a Starbucks for a coffee and chill out, some will watch DVDs, surf the net, sleep, some will be hyper all day. And for the match itself, well everyone has their own routine. I'll be wearing the same shirt and shorts and do my hair the same (as will most of the players) for the match. No, none of us are superstitious really .....

What will be different will be our playing strip, Brazil is the home team so we'll be wearing our away strip. The gold and green is traditional and looks great, but the away strip is also special and looks fantastic. So the players will love wearing it, they have been wanting to wear it, but FIFA instructs the teams what to wear match by match. Today is the day when the away strip is revealed. Nothing superstitious about a change of playing strip, especially when the players are keen to pull it on!

The "Aussies" who found us at the August Tianjin games were actually a bunch of non-locals who gathered to get some non-local entertainment. Dutch, Scots, Germans, South Africans, etc - even a few Aussies. All of them dressed up in green and gold. Apparently after a while working in Tianjin one needs to get to any type of entertainment similar to their various homelands. So ex-pats from around the globe gather as one and support whatever international activity is going on. We're hoping they'll be back today.

Who can sleep before a big match. And who could sleep after the Canada game. Really, who sleeps at all during a big tournament like this. The adrenalin is pumping - and that's just the staff! Have no idea how the players cope with all this excitement and play as well. They are doing brilliantly.

Germany and USA are through to the semis so far. Everyone thought DPRK could cause a surprise, but the Germans were just too strong. England played well but had a 12-minute blowout in the second half, USA scored 3 goals and then held on comfortably. Most punters would be predicting that Norway and Brazil will be through tonight. But we've done all our bookings for Hangzhou for the semi. Brazil will underestimate us and that will be their undoing. We're still not ready to come home yet!

Again, thanks heaps for all of your good luck and congratulations texts and emails. I am getting them all and really appreciate them all, just a bit strapped to reply individually at the moment. So it's a big collective THANK YOU!

So let's all make Sunday night rock. 10pm kick-off your time. I know it's a school night but you'll be in bed by around midnight having the satisfaction of just witnessing a great match and history being made - again. No I'm not superstitious but here's the same message again - don't forget to cheer EXTREMELY LOUDLY! Enjoy the game everyone.

Cheers, Jo


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The Roar 0 Sydney FC 1

Sydney FC win!

Another pulsating game. The physical approach of the Roar was matched by Sydney FC.

The Roar despite playing some good football struggled, I'll know you'll find this hard to believe, to score.

They had chances and keeper Clint Bolton made some superb saves, it must be said, but once again Simon Lynch, Reinaldo and the non-scoring Ante Milicic failed to do what needs to be done. Score.

Milicic has looked well past his best in all three seasons of the A-League. It is sad to see. The pace has gone. His goal threat is now timid.

Can he reinvent himself for the good of the team, or will he play out the season as a shadow of the dynamic player he once was. It's not pretty, and not pretty for the fans.

Maybe he just needs a goal, but I think it is more than that. I think it's age.

Branko Culina got lucky. Bolton and others saved him and his goal threat continues to be his biggest problem.

Last weeks scorer Adam Casey became this weeks full back. I suppose anyone but Ruben Zadkovich at full back after he continues to give away crucial goals from that spot. But your goalscorer. Interesting.

Brosque, pretty but light. Patrick scored. Maybe he can and maybe he will. But the rest of his play leaves a lot to be desired. He can only get better surely.

And Adam Biddle into the centre of midfield. Strange decision but it paid off in terms of results, but surely it is asking a lot of a young man in his second game to come into such a vital position and control Danny Tiatto in fact the whole game.

And of course Culina got lucky because Tony Popovic was injured. Mark Milligan and Mark Rudan have proved to be a strong defensive pairing.

Why change them? In fact why buy Popovic but that's another story.

Didn't Sydney look better defensively without Popovic or was it just because the Roar don't score. A bit of both maybe.

The Roar change the manager but it doesn't change the home performance. Farina is stuck with the Miron Bleiberg's forwards and the best coach in the world can't do much if your forwards can't put the ball in the net occasionally.

Michael Zullo excites everytime he's on the pitch. Sasho Ogenovski on upfront. Says a lot of about the Roar, the League's strikers and has shades of the Jamies Harnwell's.

And the sad thing for me was it nearly worked, so expect more of the same from Farina.

Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto are settled in, but the Roar's defending for the Sydney goal was inexplicable. Not one but two Sydney players unmarked close to goal.

And credit to Zadkovich for his pass to Stevie Corica, and Corica for making the run. No Roar player went with him. Well I was amazed.

Phycial, full of the Matt Mackay's and Danny Tiatto's. A liitle bit of the Terry McFlynns.

Plenty to keep you involved and a win for Sydney. Who would have thought?

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Saturday, 22 September 2007

Great games this weekend

Jets 2 Victory 2

Phoenix 2 Adelaide United 2

Great goals, great games, great crowds. Aussie football at its best.

Jets 2 Victory 2.

Great to see the Jets playing attractive football again.


Their best performance of the season in an attacking sense.

Stuart Musialik scored a cracker, and while the FoxSports commentators thought the game should have been over for the Jets after the first half, in truth the Victory created enough to give them hope.

Mr. Love started to impress in this game, creating one for Archie. And Adrian Caceres danced his way into the box and drew the Victory level.

A great game, open football and lots of skill on show.

Mark Bridge, Joel Griffiths and Troy Hearfield impressed for the Jets.

I now want to watch them play.

Victory showed signs in attack of entertaining. Caceres, Archie and Leandro sprung to life for the first time this season. Good stuff.

Wellington 2 Adelaide 2.

What a cracker, Great crowd, great noise. Only caught the second half, but wonderful to see the Phoenix attacking with zest.

Nathan Burns skinned his man again and of course Bruce Djite scored a great goal.

For the Phoenix,Smeltz, Felipe and Daniel produced enough quality to give the Nix and neutrals much enjoyment.

Another draw for Adelaide and they are starting to concede simple goals.

Keeper Robert Bajic looked suspect for the first.

An open second half with both teams going for it.

Have they all been watching the Matildas?

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Sally Shipard writes about that game!


Sally Shipard writes from the plane to the quarter finals!

Hi guys

We are on the plane flying from Chengdu to Tianjin, yes that’s right we are not on our way home to Australia.

After a nail-biting finish to the game last night against Canada. We needed a draw or win to secure our quarter finals birth. I tell you what I don’t think any of us have been so happy to draw before.

It was so exciting;


everyone had tears in their eyes. It honestly felt like we had won the World Cup obviously not; let’s not get ahead of ourselves...

Thanks to Tommy sending Cheryl up front leaving only 3 in the backline for the dying minutes of the match, Lisa DeVanna created the opportunity for Chez to slot it pass the keeper.

We had plenty of opportunities during the match to win, but we are all so ecstatic about qualifying we didn’t really care as long as we got through. You could say the good old ‘Aussie spirit’ and the ‘never say die’ attitude shined through...

We were all fairly weary eyed this morning. Some of the girls couldn’t manage to get to sleep even with the assistance of a stillnox (sleeping tablet). We were all on such a high last night.

The next couple of days will be comprised of resting, massages, more resting, a light run tomorrow, and then the Brazilians on Sunday night!!!

As much as we all miss Australia, we don’t want to be home till the 2nd of October. We have some unfinished business to take care of. The game against the Brazilians will be tough, we will be the underdogs but that has never bothered us before. Hope to hear you cheering us on
Thanks for all your support back home guys


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Friday, 21 September 2007

Press Conference: Matildas Friday



Goalscorers Cheryl Salisbury, Collette McCallum talk from Tianjin.

Good news is there are no injury concerns other than Thea Slatyer's hip injury. A decision will be made on her tomorrow.

Cheryl Salisbury said,"For me four World Cup's and we've finally made it through to the next stage. I'm delighted to have made it with this group of girls.

"Hopefully, it will have a big impact on the girls watching or playing back home, just like the Socceroos did."


With five minutes to go The Matildas were 2-1 down.

"I said to the girls it only takes a few seconds and passes to score a goal. We held our nerve and we did it," said Salisbury

"As the ball came to me, it all happened in slow motion. All the Canadian players were going one way, and I thought I'd just hit it to the other side. And it went in.

"For me, to create history and put the team through is a great achievement, but it's the whole team that got us here.

"Brazil can score goals,so we need to not concede. But we have some great weapons. Lisa didn't score last night, but came close, Sarah came close, Caitlin came close, and Collette scored. So we have players who can hurt teams.

"We'll see which team Tommy selects, we have faith in him and he in us."

"This team has heart, it was an emotional roller coaster. But you have to dig deep in these tournaments.

"In 1995 at my first World Cup, I don't think we were called the Matildas, or that the public even knew we had a women's team or that there was a World Cup. Now it's great that the young players can see that there is a team and they have somewhere to aim for."

Collette McCallum doesn't usually take the free kicks, but last night she did when it mattered.

McCallum, "I practiced the free-kicks at training, and I felt confident so I gave it ago. Shunsuke Nakamura, and John Collins from Celtic were my influences. I love watching Nakamura.

"Lydia Williams showed me the dance celebration and I thought we'd just give it ago. It's a little dance thing where you touch feet. It wasn't planned, I just did it.

"I'm feeling okay, I'm happy about the rest day tomorrow so we'll be rested for the big game on Sunday.

"Brazil play similarly to the men's side, and we'll probably have to play similar to the Socceroos, but we have some great players.

"We deserve to be here and hopefully we can keep going further. Hopefully we won't concede early.

Collette was born in Scotland, but came to Australia when she was four.

"I learnt all my football in Australia. That's what I did when I was younger, just kicked a ball around all the time."

And hasn't it paid off.

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Nado Spaleta: "Football is life."

Canberra FC Premier League Coach Nado Spaleta hopes to lead his side to glory in this weekend's Capital Football Grand Final against Belconnen United.

"Football is life," says Nado speaking at this week's Grand Final breakfast.

"I've got my two sons playing in the team and I love it. I played in the 70's in Canberra and when I retired I started coaching my sons in the Under 7's. Apart from one year in Hobart, all my football has been here in Canberra.

"Paul Ivanic, my captain, I coached him when he was under 7. It's great experience to see the progression of players. Some went on to bigger things beyond Canberra football. I was involved in some way with Ned Zelic, still playing in Georgia, Peter Buljan and Joe Simunic. These guys were all very dedicated.

"It's a special time to have a Father and two sons in the same Grand Final team. Both Adam and Mark will start on the weekend," laughs Nado.

"It will be a close game. We've beaten them four times but I just hope we continue to do that."

Game kicks-off at 5pm at MacKellar Stadium, Belconnen



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Hero Fax to the Matildas

Send your best wishes message to the Matildas, as they strive to reach the quarter finals of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup being held in China.

So send a Hero Fax to the girls with a message of support.

Fax No is: 0011 86 28 8550 7550

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Luisa Marzotta on Canberra's Grand Final



Weston Creek's Luisa Marzotto and Ping Saengmany enjoy their Grand Final breakfast.


Luisa Marzotto is pleased to playing for Weston Creek.

The former Young Matilda's keeper is now a striker for local club Weston Creek and will lead the attack alongside Kim Channing in Sunday's Grand Final.

She doesn't regret stepping back from the Matildas.

"It was the right decision. I thought long and hard about it. I'm relaxed, running around the field. I might go back to keeping next year. I'm having fun, enjoying training, it's good.



"At one stage football meant everything, being part of the Matildas and following that path. But it's a lot of commitment and had to give up schooling and work to keep up with all the training. But in the end the decision was mine not to be part of it, I discussed it with my parents over a number of weeks.

"The Matildas have the right keeper in goal. Melissa Barbieri is great. I've just spoken to Emma Wirkus (South Australian Matildas reserve keeper) she says the whole team is on a high.

"It's good to see how far women's football has come."

Her Weston Creek team-mate Ping Saengmany thinks Lusia could be the match winner on Sunday.

"She didn't score last time, so I think she'll score this week."

Game kicks-off 3pm at MacKellar on Sunday.


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Matildas v Socceroos

Got me thinking.

Historic wins in first game, advance at the death in 2-2 do-or-die group game.

Advance to the next round to play a tournament favourite.

Let's hope there are no dodgy penalties.

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Jo Peters: Sums it up



Get up Jo, we've got another game, against Brazil.

Sorry, but you have to do it all again!

Matilda's march on to the Quarter-Finals...just.

Now wasn't that game just great.

More photo's here...











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Thursday, 20 September 2007

We're through!!

Australia 2 Canada 2

What drama!

Captain Cheryl Salisbury scuffed a shot into the Canadian goal with one minute to go as Australia gained the draw they needed to qualify for the Quarter Finals of the World Cup for the first time.

It wasn't pretty, not in the second half.




Australia made a horror start in their crucial final group game of the World Cup in Chengdu, China.
Melissa Tancredi scored with a great volley inside the first minute. Again the Matildas found themselves with a uphill battle.
The Aussies didn’t panick and started to play themselves into the game.
Caitlin Munoz started strongly creating havoc in the Canadian defence. Sarah Walsh was working hard and the midfield was pushing forward well.
But Canada were confident and sat back in the heat waiting for their chances to get forward. Lang hit the bar with a freakish shot and Australia stayed in the game.
Then the Aussies lifted, They started to control the play switch around the back and make the Canadians chase.

The wonderfully gifted Collette McCullum got on the ball and released Sarah Walsh on a number of occasions. With the best chance Walsh hit the post.

Munoz, Sally Shipard and Walsh all went close form a scramble in the box but still the Aussies couldn’t break through.
Coach Tom Sermanni has the pocket rocket Lisa De Vanna to come on.

At half-time the Aussies can still do it. Come on Australia we cried.

Collette McCullum scored a sensational free-kick early in the second half, but from then on the Aussies made very hard work of it.

At 1-1 they were through but Sinclair scored for Canada with five minutes to go. 2-1 Australia were out until De Vanna twisted and turn late inside injury time and Salisbury shot home.

But didn't they give the ball away.

Time and time again Australia lost possession. They were looking long when they should have kept the ball.

Were they tired? Were the tactics to keep hitting long.

But it wasn't working as Canada started to press and press again.

Salisbury and Di Alagich the most experienced played on the pitch kept playing the ball to the Canadian midfield making it harder and harder for Australia to moved forward.

The Aussies hung on, until Sinclair scored at the back post.

Surely Australia were out, but the priceless smile of Cheryl Salisbury, Australia's most capped player ever, told the story.

It's Brazil next.

Well done Matildas.


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Thiefs, Police, fans, and disappointment

Fantastic read from Jo Saunders, The Australian Team Manager below. Gives a real sense of the impact of yesterday's cancellation in the fans and family's and a group of Queensland schoolchildren.

Adjust your sets, tonight is the night...we hope.

From Jo,

Round 3, take 2. Hopefully this time we'll actually get to the stadium for our match! By all accounts there shouldn't be any last-minute changes today. But there is time, it is only midday after all ......



I've just come out of a surreal meeting with about 30 policemen. Yesterday one of our players had her wallet stolen when walking in the street, from her bumbag which she had slung over her shoulder. No real big deal, she cancelled her cards, there was only about 100 Yuan ($18) in it.

We met with tournament security yesterday to report it, but never thought any more of it, of course you never expect to see it again. But we were both called into a meeting just now, all the policemen there talking all at once and very animated, the head guy actually had the wallet there and presented it back to our player.


A zillion photos taken, felt like the red carpet at the Oscars. Smiles all round, ours in amazement and theirs in pride and excitement. Apparently they are very proud of their policing and security, and in particular want to ensure that visitors go away happy and with only good memories of their stay in Chengdu. For the police to find a wallet-snatcher in a city of 10 million people in one day, it is just unbelievable. No wonder they were all so thrilled! And can you imagine even this being a remote possibility in Australia?

Chengdu is a mixed place. Our hotel typifies the mélange of influences. It's got some genuine art deco furnishings and architecture, but then has broadband and all the usual mod-cons. There's some very European features mixed in with, of course, Chinese features. There are a couple of turban-wearing Indian concierges plus the usual hordes of locals (it seems there are always many more people to do jobs here in China than we're used to back home). Anyway, back to the focus of the day.

Yesterday's postponement created many headaches - for the teams of course, but also for the local organisers - stadium, security, hotel, travel staff to name a few. To suddenly call off the teams' police escort - road closures etc - must have been a task in itself! Plus the impact on TV schedules around the globe, with satellite time being purchased etc, apparently that is a real big deal in a financial sense. But I think the most disappointing part about the match postponement was the impact on spectators.

Just a few examples. Fans had already been queuing up at the stadium yesterday to get in. A few of our team's family and friends had flights booked home today, and some have been unable to change their plans (work reasons etc), so they will not see the game tonight. There was a young Qld club team who flew over from Hangzhou yesterday to watch us who had no choice but to go back today.

If everyone had known the day before I'm sure that travel plans could have been altered more easily. But to find out less than two hours to kick-off, when everyone was already dressed and war-painted ready to go, well, it did make life more tricky for the fans. And not least, you lot back home - having to readjust your TV watching and beer swilling schedule by a day - I hope you've been able to manage it OK!


The team is in good spirits, hey, football matches have been postponed for many reasons. The cliché of the day - that's just football. They're raring to go today, and we'll still be heading to Tianjin or Wuhan for the quarters tomorrow. We're not ready to come home yet.

Best wishes everyone, and don't forget to cheer EVEN MORE LOUDLY!

Cheers, Jo

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Sally Shipard writes: I start!


G'day Eamonn

Sorry i havent been forwarding anything onto you! hav been all over the place. getting so much support from those at home. Got a little caught up in it all.

Was very bizarre yesterday being told 2 hrs from kick-off that the most important game of our careers was called off!



We went to the pool and mucked around in there. Expended some energy and went out for dinner last night to a place called Tex Mex, with some family members. It was great to get our mind off the game and the food was amazing. I think it was the first time we had been full for about 3 weeks:-)

My toe is fine now, still bruised but the swelling has gone down!!! I'm on the starting team tonight! Nerves are very much settling in now. We have lunch/pre-match meal in 10 minutes. I've got to go.

Also I saw Heather Reid yesterday(CEO Capital Football). She had to go home. So some of the folks have to fly home today, and they miss the match!!! Some were able to change their flights:-)

Sal

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From the ABC Canberra newsroom

I was lying in bed this morning listening to the ABC Canberra News.

No mention of the Matildas last night, either on radio or tv sport, and this morning nothing....

So I rang journo Mike Donaldson, and he said good point, and put it on the 7:45am news...

but with a football radio show about to start on FM radio in Canberra, it got me thinking about a wee skit so here's my first work-in progress.

The Scene: Triple 9, BCA Newsroom

The three Tim's are in the studio discussing the morning's sports news.



Tim Sport, Tim Timaldson and Tim Timble are all busy at work

"Morning Tim,"

"What's on today," says Timble

"Well we've got Rugby League, Union, AFL and that should cover it."

"What about the cricket....Aussies and then give a result between England and Bangladesh."

"Hmmm," says Timaldson, "England Bangladesh, no Aussie or Canberra interest there"

"Good one Timaldson, it's cricket." Timble looks away disgusted.

Timaldson, "Here's a story on the Matilda's."

Sport says, " Come on Women's sport."

Timaldson, "Remember the BCA Charter."

Sport trembles, " God yeah, do we have to include it?"

Timble, "Yes we know the BCA Charter, but does it meet the internal guidelines."

Sport smiles, "Thank god for the internals."

Timaldson, " What are the internals?"

Timble, "Well we must follow the charter, fair go for all Aussies including minorities groups, and women and girls. But the internals are also important."

Sport, "Lets test the internals, only if they tick all the boxes do we have to run it."

Timble," Internal 1: Is it a sport?"

Sport, "It's Soccer, ha ha ha."

Timaldson, "funny Sport, but that's one tick."

Timble, "Internal 2: If it's sport, and it's women's it has to be, has to be a World Cup."

Sport, "It is a World Cup, bugger."

Timble, "Has to have a crowd of over 30,000 at each game...ha ha no chance."

Timaldson, "Sorry guys, 36,000 average at every game. Honest." Timaldson looks genuinely sorry.

Sport, "Internal Three: Has to have two Canberrans in the team?"

Timble, "They've got three."

Sport, "You're joking, why didn't we know that."

Timble, "Internal four: Has to be shown live on a TV station."

Sport, "Bloody SBS apparently."

Timble, "Has to be news for a game only to be played on that day."

Timaldson, "It's tonight, but John Thurston, Wallabies, and Geelong aren't playing until friday or even sunday. What's the go?"

Sport, "They are male sports. Internals only apply to men's soccer and women's sport."

Timble, "We're in trouble here, we might have to run it."

Sport, "How about we don't run it until someone complains."

Timble, "Good one."

Timaldson, "What about internal number
five."

Kimble, "Yes you beauty."

Timaldson, "Internal number five states, you don't have to cover it if you covered women's sport in the last seven days."

All together, "thank god for the Norway result."


ps. Timaldson has a daughter who plays football, but he has tried hard to keep it a secret.

Next week. Timble tells Sport abot Timaldson's daughter.

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Heather's view on the Matildas cancellation

Heather Reid sent this report through on the Matildas cancelled game. An interesting view, I'm sure you'll agree.

Heather writes:

Wednesday = With less than 2 hours until kick off, FIFA declared the Australia v Canada game is postponed until tomorrow evening. Check the FIFA and AP websites for the 'official story',

The unofficial story is that our team officials actually asked for the game to be played at the same time as the Norway v Ghana game - ie. the one that is now scheduled for Shanghai tomorrow evening.




The other more pressing suggestion is that the Chinese FA has been 'negotiating' with FIFA since yesterday to have their game v New Zealand which is also scheduled for tonight, deferred until tomorrow. China must beat NZ and by a number of goals if it's going to advance to the quarters. The other game in their group involves Brazil v Denmark which FIFA had already said would be deferred til tomorrow.

Brazil is the only team to have two wins (6 points) and can afford not to win against Denmark. The Danes, however, sit on three points, along with China and therefore also need a big win (anticipating China smashes the Kiwis).

So politics and negotiation rule here in China, while around 50-60 Australian
family members and other supporters are going to miss out on watching their daughters and friends play tonight in this crucial match. Most of us are heading home tomorrow and despite hours of wrangling with Qantas and travel agents, their arrangements just can't be changed.

Many parents made the decision yesterday to stay in China regardless of tonight's result, but the latest news in the final hour before play has shattered them. I realise that spectators and new fans of the Matildas in Australia will be disappointed too and that this impacts on sponsors and broadcasting networks but also the tens of thousands of spectators who were making their way to the stadium in Chengdu and the hundreds of volunteers, caterers and security who are at the stadium now packing up for the night.

The result of the Australia v Canada game shouldn't have any impact on the other games - especially those Group D matches. At 3.30 we were all dressed ready to go to the stadium 'With the SMS news from the players about the FIFA decision, I headed to the team's hotel with a bunch of very angry and upset parents. The team manager, Jo Sanders confirmed the decision and even Ben Buckley, CEO of FFA said it was "most unusual" decision.

Now I think I'll go and have a beer or two or more... In terms of seeing the game, I'll be like like others like Andy Munoz and we'll miss the game completely because we'll be on a plane flying home. Catch up with you at the JL gala day on Saturday or our PL grand finals on Sunday at McKellar B

In closing, whilst the FIFA media statement may say the postponements are based on the "latest weather reports about the evolution of typhoon Wipha", I think you should read more into the final statement that says "the new match schedule also complies with the requests of the participating teams" - and that includes Australia and CAnada. Ah ya gotta luck politics in football especially when it's framed on the basis of maintaining a level playing field.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Matildas game postponed 24 hours

Just in from China..

We have been advised - at 3.08pm when we were to be at the stadium at 3.30pm - that our match today has been postponed until tomorrow night. FIFA has outdone itself on this one. As the decision to uphold any protests was not made yesterday, we certainly did not expect it to be made less than 2 hours to kick-off! No further details at this stage, but you have the scoop. Put the beers on ice and clear your diaries for tomorrow night!


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Matildas have no shirts!!! Fire up

I say; Can you feel the passion, the big game, it's getting close. Bring your blokes in, and your sons, everyone. Australia are playing.

Tonight the Aussies can make history...again!

Grab anyone, anyone who loves sport and plonk em down at 6:50pm for the National Anthems of Australia and Canada.

Come Australia fire up for The Matildas!!

The Matildas team manager is Jo Sanders, she'll be on the bench next to Assistant Coach Robbie Hooker. Jo gets to travel the world organising the Matildas and Young Matildas.

Jo, the Matildas team manager, has sent us this update....what no shirts?
Hey football fans

What a few days it's been.


The story of the shirts is too long to relay now, the summary is that all of our playing shirts were destroyed by the hotel laundry on Sunday, after much angst and many meetings and emails and calls, replacements from Australia are on their way here now, they will be police escorted from the airport and arrive at the stadium around 2 hours before the game (yes, VVIP shirts!).

I will be the most relieved looking person around before the game!

Then there's the typhoon story which was just as long - the matches in Shanghai and Hangzhou are affected, for some time it looked like ours would be too (the last round games are meant to be played at the same time), but FIFA's decision is that our match will proceed tonight and Norway v Ghana will be played tomorrow night (and yes, for football heads, that does give Norway an advantage - but the "force majeure" provision was enforced so our protests were to no avail).

So we have to wait in Chengdu until Friday (normally we move the day after a match), once we know the Norway result, before we move on to our next city.

Anyway I'd better press on. Our documentary crew - who have been following the team since earlier this year (watch out for it early next year on SBS) want to film a re-enactment of the shirts saga - watch out Hollywood, here I come! (not really, they just want to ask me a few questions ....).

Thank you so much for all your good luck and congratulations messages in the last few days. Apologies I haven't been replying individually, life is one big exciting hectic ride at the moment.

I'm sure you all know already, apparently the press are doing a pretty good job back home covering the Matildas. The game is on at 5pm Chengdu time, so 7pm Sydney time. Biggest game ever. Aiming for our first quarter final berth at a World Cup. Can I write the word exciting again?

Ciao for now, enjoy the game and cheer LOUDLY!!

Cheers, Jo




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CEO Heather Reid before the big game


Hi Eamonn

still can't log in but no worries - I think your assessment is right - just can't log in when in China.

Tuesday - spent a nice but hot day yesterday on a tour with about 15 from the Matildas family group. Big budha and big pandas plus some shopping.

There was a possibility and hence a bit of panic amongst us about FIFA's plan to postpone the game tonight because of cyclone in Shanghai area.


The game there, Norway v Ghana is scheduled at the same time as ours (to limit possibility of match fixing) and that game will be affected if cyclone hits. Fortunately the decision is to leave our game as scheduled and move the Norway v Ghana, plus Brazil v New Zealand games to Hangzhou tomorrow (20th).

Wednesday - The Australian contingent (and the players) are very confident of us making the quarters and many are now making plans to stay longer in China. Their destination is uncertain due to the change in scheduling and not knowing who we're likely to meet.

Two other groups are now decided with Germany (winner of A) to face DPR Korean (runner up of B) and USA (winner of B) to face England (r-up of B). As we're still taking it one game at a time, I wont speculate now on the likely opposition for Australia if we get to the semi final stage.

First, the game against Canada and we're in for a dousy. Macca of KangaCup fame has said he'd like to sign up for the 'Vanna Manna from heaven fan club' and I reckon he'd be on a winner with that one. With the likes of Lisa, Walsh, Munoz, McCallum, Garriock, Salisbury, Alagich,Barbieri - and now Peters and Shipard back into the line-up Australia will be at its strongest for tonight's game.

I'm preparing a story on the increasing need for a national league (A W-League) to start in 2008 and will send that soon. In the meantime, sit tight and get ready for the biggest game on the Matildas calendar to date - these teams have met 13 times with six wins apiece and one draw. Tonight surely must be in Australia's favour?

cheers, Heather

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Surely Canberra can beat this?

More than 3,000 riding the wave in season three for the Matiners. Great news and big increase, but surely Canberra with it's football fans and numbers can beat this figure when the A-League teams gets started.

For more on the Mariners wave....


The Central Coast Mariners’ early season success on the field has been duplicated off it, with Mariners Membership numbers surpassing 3,000 in recent days ahead of the Mariners’ Hyundai A-League match up against the Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium this Sunday.



Having registered 600 Members in season one and 1,800 in season two, the Mariners’ landmark achievement in 2007/08 illustrates the staggering growth the club has enjoyed since their inaugural fixture in May 2005.



The rapid escalation in Membership numbers experienced by the Mariners is comparable, at least in terms of ratio to most mainstream sporting clubs in Australia, including those in the AFL and NRL.


The Mariners Membership base has been expanded by 60% in season three, following on from a 300% increase from season one to season two.


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ACT Primary Schools Futsal Cup


Report from Capital Football's Chris Gottaas

While the men and women are preparing to contest the grand finals this weekend, ACT juniors will have a chance to show off skills of their own starting tomorrow in indoors as they compete for the ACT Primary Schools Futsal Cup.




A record number of 50 teams nominations has been received this year with matches to be held at the Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium with action kicking off tomorrow for the 5/6 boys, and on Friday 21 September - for the 5/6 Girls and years 3/4 divisions with games commencing at 8:30 am on both days.

The competition began in 2003 and has enjoyed steady growth since it’s inception but as the fifth year approaches the previous record of 33 teams looks insignificant compared to this year’s impressive number of registrants.

Last year’s winners include, Miles Franklin Primary (division 5/6), Kaleen Primary (division ¾) and Emmaus Christian School in the girls 5/6 division.

“The ACT Primary Schools Futsal Cup it’s a great opportunity to endorse the indoor version of football to the junior school students across the ACT and hopefully see them take part in our local junior competitions,” Capital Football’s Futsal Manager Michael Edwards said.

“Football skills are transferable between the indoor and outdoor versions of the game with Futsal providing a great opportunity for juniors to improve their technique and skill following in the footsteps of many top footballers world wide.”

Competition results will be regularly updates on the Capital Football Futsal website (www.actfutsal.asn.au ).

The Capital Football Futsal competition is set to kick off in mid October with registrations to close for the seniors at the end of the months while the juniors need to hurry with limited spots available.

Please find attached a list of the teams involved.



Ends

Contact for this Release:


Chris Gottaas – Public Relations Officer 6260 4000 media@capitalfootball.com.au

David Lee – Capital Football Futsal 6293 2223 info@actfutsal.asn.au



Teams:

Mixed 3/4 - Pool A

Mount Rogers Community School

Sacred Heart Primary B
St Thomas the Apostle C

St Josephs Primary A

Mixed 3/4 - Pool B

Miles Franklin Primary School

St Josephs Primary B

Cambell Primary School

St Thomas the Apostle A

Mixed 3/4 - Pool C

St Thomas the Apostle B

Gordon Primary School

St Johns the Apostle

St Josephs Primary C

Mixed 3/4 - Pool D

Sacred Heart Primary A

Fadden Primary

Emmaus Christian School





Girls 5/6 - Pool A

Evatt Primary

Sacred Heart Primary A

St Josephs Primary

Girls 5/6 - Pool B

Emmaus Christian School

Fadden Primary

Gordon Primary School

St Thomas the Apostle

Girls 5/6 - Pool C

Cambell Primary School

St Bedes

Sacred Heart Primary B

Miles Franklin Primary





Boys 5/6 - Pool A

Gordon Primary School

St Johns the Apostle – Blue

Marist Primary School

St Thomas the Apostle B

Evatt Primary

Boys 5/6 - Pool B

Cambell Primary School Black

St Thomas the Apostle C

Emmaus Christian School

Mount Rogers Community School

St Josephs Primary B

Boys 5/6 - Pool C

Sacred Heart Primary

St Josephs Primary A

Fadden Primary

Cambell Primary School Gold

St Thomas the Apostle A

Boys 5/6 - Pool D

Bungendore Public

Miles Franklin Primary

St Johns the Apostle - Red

Rosary Primary School

Torrens Primary


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Latest Podcast: Round 5, Craig Foster's comments and more


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Terry Henry discusses Craig Foster's latest comments on Graham Arnold
Cecilia talks Melbourne Victory
Terry and I talk A-League round 5.

hope you enjoy the football chat!


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"Every National League Club I play for folds"


Is Canberra FC's Paul Ivanic the unluckiest man in local football?

"I was with the Canberra Cosmos and they folded, then Sydney United and the whole league folded!"

I'm surprised Canberra FC signed him with that record.

But on Sunday Ivanic will lead his side out against Belconnen United in Capital Football's Grand Final.




Ivanic has been unlucky. He missed almost two years of national football when the old NSL folded and it has been hard to get back to that level.

"Sure I'd have another go at the national league but it takes a lot of time so the money would have to be right. I'm 25 now but I'd give it a go," ays Ivanic speaking at the Grand Final breakfast today.

Canberra FC, Club President, Martin Radic, says, "He's only 25, he's just coming into his prime."

But for now all thoughts are on Sundays finale against Belconnen United

"We had a good trip to Croatia earlier in the year, so this brought the guys closer together I think. We're looking forward to Sunday, I think we have the players to win."

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Nicole Somi: Heading for glory?


Belconnen United's Nicole Somi hopes to lead her team to victory in Sunday's Grand Final.

"We're a close group and we'll have a big party on Sunday," said Nicole speaking at Capital Football's Grand Final breakfast this morning.

Nicole, a former Young Matilda, says football has played an important part in her life.


"I started playing when I was eight, my whole family plays. Most of friends are soccer players. I've been successful at it, so it's been enjoyable. I've travelled the World with football, with the Young Matildas

"I've been to China, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand"

Nicole has no regrets about missing out on the Matilda's World Cup campaign.

"I looked at it realistically when I finished with the Young Matildas last year. The chances of me making the Matildas wasn't high, and I'm at Uni now studying Coaching Science so I hope to get into coaching over the next couple of years.

"A lot of the Young Matildas have stopped playing after missing out this year. The gap between the Young Matildas and next level down is to big. There is no national league to go back to, so it's hard for players to step from Young Matildas back to club football."

On Sunday Nicole expects Belconnen to win.

"We've only conceded one goal in the last five matches, there is a really good feeling among the team. I think we'll win."


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