Monday, 25 February 2008

Grand Final: Germans think it's Soccer:).

Well 37,000 turned up in Sydney to watch the Grand Final, including me.

I sold my tickets, I had two extra, to to German fans. $65 each bargained down to $60for the pair. That was the demand for tickets on the day.

After about 70 minutes of fast, misplaced passes with some moments of joy one German said to me, "Now I know why you call it soccer." Mate of Fozzie's no doubt!

Grand Final report:

The Match
It was tense until the end. Like most finals perhaps it didn't live up to its billing in terms of quality but Mark Bridge's superb finish won the game.

Once again I loved, absolutely loved, being amongst 37,000 football fans in Australia. For me its still a novelty. The colours worn by both sets of families, I mean fans, showed this support is something bigger than a passing fad.

Since when did Families go to football? Never saw so many blonde haired families, mum, dad and the two wee kids at Celtic Rangers games. The Mariners is family heaven. With the Jets a close second. Picnics under the tree outside the ground, it was a very peaceful, non-agressive crowd. Wonderful.

Don't get me wrong the Jets fans were wonderful. Passionate, had great rhythm and sound. A great sight. Perhaps the history of the town giving them the harden edge in terms of support. They sang and danced with the gusto of any football crowd. Who says Aussies don't sing?

A moment to savour
Sitting high in the stand surrounded by Mariners fans, when The Jets scored the whole stand jumped to life. Jets fans were everywhere, and the wall of noise and passion surprised me. It was a great moment in sport. You had to be there.

Still can't get my head round the crowd. I reckon 18,000 from Newcastle, 15,000 from the Coast and maybe 3,000 absolutely tops of neutrals.

Who would have thought a city of 4 million people couldn't attract more than 2 or 3,000 neutral football fans to a Grand Final. The move to SFS was a great success, but what if it had been The Mariners v Queensland Roar? A successful day, but it didn't sell-out.

We're not as big as we think we are?

Danny Vukovic

A knob! Great keeper but a knob. Striking out at the Ref, and The Mariners lost the plot in the last few minutes. It seemed silly. The players reaction definitely affected the crowd. It was a flashpoint for the crowd. You could sense it. One bottle went on. I've seen worse.

Aussie Whiner
John Aloisi played well but nearly drowned out the crowd with his whining.

Coach of the day

Gary Van Egmond won it hands down for me. He changed his pattern for the game. And The Mariners had little threat in the first half, seemed almost reluctant to get forward.

Jin Hyung Song looked good at times. But he kept James Holland out of the final. Is this good for Australia's youth? And his defence is embarassing.

Mark Bridge. A goal to savour

Greg Owens Grand Final moment

He gets into all the big ones, last year for Adelaide this time he was right midfield for the Mariners, but never got passed half way in the first half. Not fit? But it severely limited the Mariners tactics and style.

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