Sunday, 30 November 2008

Ashleigh Sykes double in the West.

Canberra United trailed 2-0 in the West with ten minutes to go. Superstar Lisa De Vanna had scored after half-time to give Perth the two goal lead.

But Ashleigh Sykes, United's young striker scored two late goals and the points were shared.

Canberra are now in 5th place with four to play, a point outside the crucial top four.

Sydney, Queensland and Melbourne all at home but all are in the top four. It won't be easy.

Can Canberra do it? Sure, next week it's a do or die game with Sydney FC....and don't we love to beat Sydney:)


Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Chief has spoken: What do you think?

Canberra United Coach has handed in his report card after five rounds of the W-League season.

He's given the team an overall B, with the forwards falling below the mark. Lydia Williams brings the average up with an A.

Read Robbie's report card and feel free to write what you think....I know you will:)

Enjoy..andit's taken from on.

Canberra United's 1st Semester Report CardWednesday, 26 November 2008 After five rounds of the Westfield W-League, head coach, Robbie Hooker put his Canberra United side under the microscope to analyse the first half of the season. While scoring has been difficult to come by with only four goal, there's been little difficulty in keeping the ball out of the back of our own net with three clean sheets.

Comments: We’ve only had to use the one so far. Lydia’s saved us on a few occasions however that’s what she’s there for, that’s what she trains for, so at this stage she’s done her job how we expect her to.

Grade: A

Comments: Being the backbone of the team, we’ve only conceded four goals in the first five games which is good and two of those goals came from rare mistakes which you won’t see again this year. Three clean sheets says good things about the defensive structure however we’ve probably lacked a little bit of composure at times so there’s certainly some room for improvement.

Grade: B+

Comments: Midfield is a strange one because defensively they’ve been the key to a lot of our defensive structure along with the back four, however, when we’re in transition after having won the ball we tend to turn the ball over to quickly rather than try to keep possession. A little bit more composure when we get the ball would be good and a little bit more structured play would be a little bit better as well.

Grade: B

Comments: This one’s a double edged sword , because in terms of chance we’ve had by our forward players have been numerous and a lot of those chances have been created individually or with one other player. To do that requires a lot of hard work and skill however on the other side the number of chances we have created but haven’t scored from is a concern.

Grade: C+

Comments: We’ve still got a lot of room for improvement but I don’t think we’ve been outplayed by any team this year which is a really positive sign. We just need to make sure we get our selves into the finals and from there I think we’ve got the players and the game to maybe even go on and make the final

Grade: B


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Nearpost Radio: Hear from Canberra United star and ACTAS Coach

Interview with Canberra United midfield star Cian Maciejewski, Terry Henry rants against Craig Foster and Fozzie's Socceroos recent article, all the A-League and W-League news and reviews.

Download National Show

Locally we hear from ACTAS Coach Milan Milovanovic, who gives us an update on ACTAS and changes at the AIS and impacts on ACTAS.
Download Local Show here


Monday, 24 November 2008

Ellie Brush signs up

Canberra United Captain Ellie Brush became Canberra A-League Foundation Member 846 yesterday. You too can support the push, and, if you haven't already, sign up at


Talk-back Football on the radio in Canberra.

Where else can you phone-in to talk football on Canberra Radio.

On Tuesday from 7pm give us a call if you want to talk anything to do with Australian or Canberra football. Canberra United, A-League bid, Socceroos, A-League or local game, Futsal, Coaching anything you like...give us a call. 6247 4400 from 7pm.

Keep it clean, keep it free of personal stuff, otherwise you'll be dumped...quickly.

But call 6247 4400 if you have something you want to talk about on the Canberra airwaves...indeed you can call from anywhere in the World:)

Nearpost talkback...Tuesday from 7-pm.


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Sykes lights up the Canberra gloom.

Canberra United drew 0-0 with Adelaide United in a game shown live on ABC TV ,and called live on 2XX 98.3FM.

A miserable "summers" day kept the crowd down but still over 800 people braved the elements to watch a game, ruined by the referee....

and signs of Capital Punishment, Canberra United, and Brush em off were spread around the ground.

Thea Slatyer was sent-off in the eigth minute for supposedly having studs up. A disappointing decision but there was plenty more inadequate refereeing to come.

Missed fouls, dodgy bookings, an inability to keep the game flowing destroyed the entertainment value.

Having said that the Canberra side worked impressively throughout the game, and still managed to create the most chances, with Ashleigh Sykes turning in a stunning performance in the second half.

Sykes played the lone striker role against a backline that included Matildas Star Di Alagich.

The Dubbo Dasher worked the spaces, held the ball, laid if off well, and took the game to United. She hit the post, set up her team-mates, she was exciting.

Unlucky not to score it's exciting to think Sykes can only get better.

Steph Tokich the Canberra student playing for Adelaide also had a strong game, particularly in the first half.

In fact Coach Robbie Hooker must have been wondering if he'd missed a local player. Her ball control and ability to bring in other players was causing Canberra a number of problems.

Canberra were criticised by some for playing a long ball game against the Mariners, and had to revert to a similar pattern today once Slatyer went off. Grace Gill moved back to defence and adapted superbly but her ball composure were missed in the forward movements, and Sykes was the lone outlet upfront.

And with the amazing work-rate and spirit of this Canberra side the plan nearly worked.

Adelaide had their chances; the main one a long chip from 25 metres in the second half from Sharon Black saw an amazing finger tip save from Matilda keeper Lydia Williams.

But in truth the Canberra defence were strong throughout.

Amy Chapman was buzzing down the right. Cian Maciejewski was powerful again in midfield. Sasha McDonnell played her heart out. Bronwyn Studman was aggressive from full-back.

But you couldn't help thinking the control and skill of Caitlin Munoz is still being missed. Her ability to link with team-mates in the forward third, play with her back to goal and bring in and release others is badly missed.

Adelaide were missing their main strikers and as a result their goal threat was limited.

Canberra will be disappointed to get a draw, even with ten players.

Most teams would be delighted to get a point having to play the game for 82 minutes with 10 players but United played so well and created enough chances to win, I reckon they'll be disappointed.

With a few tough games to come this could be a case of a missed opportunity despite the refereeing decisions.

Player of the match: Ashleigh Sykes.

Pain in the arse...the ref.


Friday, 21 November 2008

FFA: Get Heather Kayatz (and me) a ticket now!!!

Okay it's sort of funny, but I'm not laughing...just yet.

I've always wanted to go to a big Asian World Cup Qualifier so when Australia drew Japan in Tokyo I thought I'm off.

Sucked in by prices of $130 one way on JetStar I managed to get a price of $1000 for a return trip..funny how the price always ends up a bit higher than you think.

Anyway got my flight just had to wait for my match tickets...and lobbed my name on to the Green and Gold Army forum so the FFA could see the numbers who needed tickets.

And to make it an occasion I encouraged my brother and his Japanese partner to fly in from England.

Can't wait, a great occasion.

72,000 seats in Yokahama Stadium.

And Adam Gwynne, God bless him, emailed me to say tickets were on sale at 4pm yesterday.

Now I've followed the Socceroos with interest and noticed the away end in Tashkent, Doha and Manama. 100 people maybe at most, with heaps of room.

Okay Japan is a big one, but seeing the numbers of interested fans on various fan forums this was never going to sell out.

And I'm a seasoned football traveller so you get a feel for how difficult or otherwise it would be to get a ticket.

Anyhoo...I, the idiot, forgot about the 4pm deadline I was busy getting the Canberra A-League bid moving, and at 6pm logged on to see TICKET ALLOCATION EXHAUSTED.

At first I laughed, in that nervous sort of way. My brother is going to kill me.

Then I thought I've just wasted $1,000 and the rest to go and watch Australia in Japan on the telly!

The FFA released 200 tickets for Australian fans. Yes 200.

They have held 1800 for rip-off expensive tour parties, three different groups making money out of the fans.

It's a disgrace.

Fans should come first, not corporate entities.

In this case 500 tickets would probably have been enough to release to fans then the Corporate Travel can have the rest.

I'm livid. As are many more deserving fans.

What about the fans who actually went to Bahrain....they were in the air when tickets went on sale.

This is complete madness, and completely unacceptable.

If it's true Australia only got 2,000 tickets for a 72,000 World Cup Qualifier then this too is madness and the FFA are not doing their job.

And Aussie fan "Heather" mentioned on Fox by Simon Hill the other night, she is well-known and travels to most if not all Socceroos game...even she missed out.

Football is about the grassroots, the community and the fans.

If the FFA are serious about the fans they'd better do something and quick as why the hell would you bother to get a ticket for a home game if they treat us like this for away games.

I've contacted all my media contacts, and will contact the FFA today.

I'll let you know the outcome, but it should never have come to this, given the FFA knew how many fans were travelling etc.

As for Foxtravel Sports, The Fanatics groups and make my blood boil.

What football fan would ever want to travel to a game with such a group. And especially at that price!!

and I'll be bagging you on my radio show, here on the blog until you get Heather and hte rest of us a ticket!


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Canberra passion for football

Saturday 4pm live on ABCTV, but here's a chance to show your support for Canberra United and A-League4Canberra to the whole nation, and particularly the FFA.

Canberra United v Adelaide United.

Adelaide have two key strikers....out!

Wear your green, shout and holler for the team and show the FFA not only do we support the W-League in big numbers but we also want an A-League team.

Prediction: Canberra United 3 Adelaide 0.

Enjoy the game.,,,and tape it so you can enjoy the goals over and over.

At the game listen to the game on 98.3FM and it's being streamed live. And phone in on your way home from the game in your car and discuss the win with Aaron Tim and Kevin in the studio! 6247 4400!


April Fools day to confirm Aussie World Cup passage.

Oh Rebecca Wilson, you must be feeling stupid today. Do you know how much the World Cup brings to Australian football:)

Australia will, I believe confirm their passage to their World Cup if they can beat Uzbekistan in Sydney on April 1...with three games to go!

The table stands thus

Australia 9pts from 3 games (1 home 2 away)
Japan 7pts from 3 games ( 1 home 2 away)
Qatar 4pts from 4 games ( 3 home 1 away)
Bahrain 1pt from 3 games ( 2 home 1 away)
Uzbekistan1 pt from 3 games ( 1 home 2 away)

remaining fixtures

Australia : Japan (a) Uzbekistan (h) Qatar (a) Bahrain (h) Japan (h)

Japan : Australia (h) Bahrain (h) Uzbekistan (a) Qatar (h) Australia (a)

Qatar : Uzbekistan (a) Bahrain (a) Australia (h) Japan (a)

Bahrain : Uzbekistan (a) Japan (a) Qatar (h) Australia (a) Uzbekistan (h)

Uzbekistan : Bahrain (h) Qatar (h) Australia (a) Japan (h) Bahrain (a)

We need to finish second at worst and if we beat Uzbekistan irrespective of the result in Japan we'll have twelve points.

I believe Uzbekistan will beat Qatar in their next game and indeed Bahrain before they face Australia.

Uzbeks would have 7 points at most when they come to Sydney. A win for us we have 12 minimum. Uzbeks could reach 13 at most but highly unlikely given they have one point just now.

If Qatar get beat in Tashkent as I think they will, they will have at best 7 points heading into games against Australia and Japan. They cannot reach 12 points in my view.

And remember all teams have something to play for as they are all fighting for the third play-off spot and all have a big chance of reaching that spot.

Australia will qualify if they beat Uzbekistan, of course if they beat Japan it will be celebration time on April 1, I believe.


Australia: The luckiest country?

Marco Bresciano scored in the 92nd minute to give the Aussies a win, a lucky win, in Manama tonight against Bahrain.

What a game....for Bahrain.

Australia played a very poor match tonight but amazingly snatched three precious away points as Pim's luck continues.

A save in Kunming, a win over Iraq at home and now this...despite creating a chance...against a team with four players out in a game we were supposed to walk!

Bahrain attacked and attacked all night and Australia scrambled...all night and somehow despite the pressure and movement in and around the box Mark Scharwzer wasn't tested that much.

Harry Kewell was woeful. Tim Cahill looked injured, Josh Kennedy was shocking and the pitch made life very difficult for the Aussies.

Carl Valeri and Jason Culina worked in the midfield with Robbie Slater suggesting once again that Culina was the best for the Aussies...this time he waited 70 minutes but the words came just the same.

Chris Coyne and David Carney were poor. Carney struggled in the first half particularly defensively.

But somehow from somewhere the Australian team got the points.

Everyone would have been happy for a point, the longer the game went, but in the last moment a long long ball was launched Bresciano got on the end, and just when it seemed like he'd wasted the chance he lashed it home.

It was a joyous moment particularly at 4pm in the morning.

And amazingly Australia have three wins from three and are flying towards South Africa with three home games from five to come...and we're 8 points ahead of Bahrain and Uzbekistan with all teams having played 3.

Funny game football...not if you're from Bahrain.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ivan Slavich on the Canberra A-League update

"I'm feeling very positive that your listeners in Canberra will be watching a Canberra A-League team very soon in Canberra."

Ivan Slavich speaking on Nearpost Radio tonight.

"Terry Weber (PWC) Franz Weimper, (Millissa Fischer's advisor), Neale Guthrie (Canberra Stadium Group Manager) and myself met with FFA CEO Ben Buckley, John O'Sullivan and Rob Abernethy and their legal counsel today," said Slavich

"We went through the financials, sponsorship, market research, community support, foundation members etc etc.

"We were asked a huge amount of questions.

"The official response from the FFA was, that they were extremely impressed by the bid, said we had made fantastic progress.

"I feel that everyone in Canberra Region has stepped up to the plate.

"I can't say where we are in relation to other bids, but I can say I'm very happy at where we are at.

"The FFA would love to see a list of people supporting an A-League team. We've already got 1,000 Foundation Members including Corporates and Anthony Hatton's A-League for Canberra site but they would love to see a petition with around 10,000 signatures on it supporting an A-League team.

"I'm feeling very positive that your listeners will be able to go and watch a Canberra A-League team in Canberra in the very near future.

"The decision from the FFA will be made in March/April next year. Western Sydney, Wollongong and Tasmania are our competition.

"We need to shore up investors, get more Foundation Members and a major sponsor onboard.

"If any of your listeners haven't signed up as a Foundation Member then now is the time.

"If any of your listeners are in positions to influence Company Sponsorship they should contact me also," added Slavich.

You can hear the full interview on the local podcast below at the very beginning.


Nearpost radio: Ivan Slavich bid update

Nationally: Download
Amy Chapman Canberra United
A-League predictions
We pick the Socceroos team, and why Rebecca Wilson should lift her game.

Local Show we chatted to ;
Ivan Slavich on the FFA Meeting today
Steph Tokich the Canberran playing for Adelaide United



John Mitchell: A Canberra visionary?

John Mitchell is the new Technical Director of ANU.

He was also the guy that wrote the Mitchell Report in 2004 which basically laid the foundations for Small Sided Games across Canberra, indeed the FFA followed, copied many of his ideas some years later.

The reason Canberra is so far ahead in the adoption of SSG's is because of John's work some years ago, and it was interesting to hear at a recent FFA Coaching Course Canberra being held up time and time again by the likes of Craig Foster and many others, as the leading light in junior football.

And John is leading the way again to change a culture.

He's taken a job at the ANU, a team renowned for it's own friendly but less than competitive style in the Men's Premier League.

John has seen the future. An A-League team in town could bring a Youth team in as early as August 2009. Just eight months away.

And any guy wanting to get in to that team from Canberra...well how will we get 10 locals in that team?

Our ACTAS boys are generally too young yet to go to the team en masse, and any guys playing ACT Premier League football probably have had their fitness levels seriously reduced.....most would agree I'm sure.

John, I believe, is bringing some former-ACTAS boys to ANU, increasing training levels and introducing a gym program to match the aspirations and needs of players aiming to jump into a Canberra A-League Youth side or indeed trial, successfully for a place in another A-League Youth side.

Indeed ANU started training last week, they normally start in Feb!

Ned Zelic believes Canberra should have MANY more professionals coming through each year, and if you don't get to the AIS it should not be the end of your career, not any more. Watch out for news from Ned's vision and support for Canberra players coming soon.

Mixing John Mitchell's elite football vision and ANU culture will be no easy task.

But John has laid a vision, a vital vision for our young players. A pathway is now created.

Time for our leading clubs Canberra FC and Belconnen United to lift their game for young players...or do they think they are doing enough?

After all developing players to play at the local level can hardly be the goal of these passionate football clubs, I'm sure it's not, indeed I know it's not, but how do they ensure a Taylor Beaton, Nathan Denham or Ben Pagett is fit enough, and skilful enough to move to the next level.

An A-League team in Canberra is going to change many players, coaches and administrators attitudes to player development.

Some, like me, think an A-League will definitely happen, others are still unsure, Mitchell has taken the bull by the horns, and even if the A-League team comes later rather than earlier why should our players not get into other A-League Youth teams.

If they are playing ACT Premier League football, training twice a week at best, they won't will they?

They'll be so far behind a 19 year old in Sydney or Melbourne Youth team it would almost be embarassing to send them for a trial.

Take the ACT Rockets side recently against Sydney FC.

Sydney FC have had many Youth games recently playing against A-League players who have dropped down. Some Sydney players are now moving into the A-League team already, Antony Golec, Chris Herd to name two.

ACT Rockets players have, to my knowledge, not played another Youth team game at that standard yet.

This is not a criticism of the ACT Rockets program so please don't send emails or phone on this issue. It's merely an observation.

Any player from the ACT is falling behind in fitness and experience and therefore has much less chance of cracking an A-League Youth and obviously a Senior A-League contract.

As the year goes by those ACT players will be so much further behind their Sydney counterparts.

To further their development they need to move to the NSW Premier League. It's not an easy or cheap option is it?

We need to assist these young players now to get to the next level. With an A-League side coming to town change will happen and quickly.

Once more John Mitchell is ahead of the game. I applaud his vision.


Wellington Phoenix must stay

AFC President wants Wellington Phoenix out of the A-League in 2011 because they are a New Zealand side.

And undoubtedly this would be great for Canberra..providing an extra place...

but I say no! The Phoenix must stay.

They've proved their worth, have spent millions getting the team going, made a huge mistake not starting a Canberra Youth Team franchise this year, but have made significant signings in Jon McKain, Andrew Durante and now FRED!

And of course they have the Yellow Fever army, a fan group with the best website in the league.

So apart from the fact they represent 4 million people, we owe it to them to keep them in the league, assist the development of the game in NZ and President Bin Hammam needs to be a bit more thoughtful in his approach to these so-called problems.

How can Wellington Phoenix playing in the A-League be a problem for the future of Asian football Mr President?


Monday, 17 November 2008

Socceroos World Cup Qualifier Wednesday

The Socceroos take on Bahrain 2pm AEST Thursday morning Canberra time.

We're top of the group, Bahrain have four of their first picks out and it'll be a cool 24 degrees come match time.

So no excuses.

And it's vital we get a win, okay a point will do, but given we go to Tokyo next, where it's conceivable we could lose, although I doubt it...we need to take 4 points from these two away games to build on our fantastic start.

Brett Emerton, Vinny Grella, Craig Moore, Chris Coyne Scott Chipperfield and Scott McDonald are all unfit.

Carl Valeri is back, so is Harry Kewell and Marco Bresciano. With Tim Cahill in the mix this side should be strong enough in attack.

Luke Wikshire, Lucas Neill Jade North and David Carney across the backline

Expect Carl Valeri and Jason Culina in the midfield with Bresciano, Cahill and maybe Kewell upfront. Still leaves room for one more, I'm going with Brett Holman although Pim may go with Jacob Burns and push Culina wide right.

We'll see but I reckon Australia will get three's hoping we take another huge step to South Africa and give Rebecca Wilson something positive to write about for once.

And well done the FFA CEO Ben Buckley for putting a statement out to counter the trash from Wilson. You can see it on the FFA website.

Some say he shouldn't get involved. I say we have market power now to start throwing our economic weight around. We don't have to take this drivel in Australia anymore or ever again no matter how successful or otherwise our teams, at club or national level.

We all like to criticise but Wilson's sort of Australian sports journalism of yore needs to be challenged at every corner from now on.

She'll be thinking twice before she writes anything so stupid about football as will some of her other cronies.

To think she's labelled a journalist....

Socceroos to win by 1. Wilson to be on the first media plane to South Africa:)


Canberra A-League on SBS TV.

Canberra A-League bid on SBS yesterday.


Sunday, 16 November 2008

Canberra Times on Canberra A-League

Business Editor John Thistleton wrote this article on the Canberra A-League. It appeared in Saturday's Forum pages. Reprinted here in case you missed it:)

A positive yet realistic piece I thought. What say you?

And The stakes are high and potential ad-viewing audiences huge – for businesses backing Canberra's entry into Australia's A-League soccer competition. Armed with market research predicting home crowds of more than 15,000 fans – many more than the well-established Brumbies and Raiders – Canberra's bid team is also confident soccer's ascendancy will give the ACT a higher profile in South East Asia and Europe.

Their challenge is tailor-made for the national capital, which has world-class facilities at the Canberra Stadium – an in-principle agreement to use the venue was signed yesterday – and Australian Institute of Sport. For once the lack of a coastline

and having a town full of politicians – often hurdles when it comes to marketing Canberra – do not count against the city. And while Western Sydney and the South Coast are the favourites to fill the 12th spot in the fast-growing competition – Canberra and Tasmania are rated outsiders – NSW's ailing economy could harm the front-runners' claims.

In the so-called world game, having a national capital without a team in the top domestic competition is not a good look. Britain's

Guardian newspaper, noting which cities hosting a national government had no top-flight team, lumped Canberra with Abuja (Nigeria),

Ottowa and New Dehli. A-League bid team media liaison officer Eamonn Flanagan says the lack of a team could hinder Australia's

bid for the 2018 World Cup.

''Can they afford to put a bid in without the capital of Australia in there? You know, it's just politic. It looks better to have a team playing here, it helps their cause.''

Canberra's A-League bid leader Ivan Slavich says a five-year business case by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows annual operating costs to field a team and cover marketing, administration and travel would be about $6-$9 million.

''We have estimated there's a shortfall in the first three to four years, which will be funded by a $6 million sinking fund. We expect the club to be profitable in year five and there's certain aspects to cover. . . the provisions for a marquee player.''

Flanagan says player payments could amount to $2.5 million a year depending on the salary cap. The A-League's highest-paid marquee

player, Sydney FC's John Aloisi, earns $1.2 million a year. Each club is allowed one such player, whose wages are not counted within the salary cap, for pulling crowds and keeping sponsors happy.

The ACT Government has chipped in $2.5 million, sponsorship totals $2.5 million and, according to Flanagan, 1000 foundation members have contributed $200 each, an astonishing response considering there is no team as yet.

Slavich says five investors have each contributed $500,000, and backers are among the most prominent business people inCanberra who don't want their names splashed across newspapers just yet.

Owning a national sporting team sounds glamorous, but don't do it for the money warns developer Col Alexander, who tried for 25 years to establish the Canberra Cannons in the National Basketball League.

The managing director of Canberra Investment Corporation and onetime NSW basketballer says the Cannons took the league by surprise, winning three of the five grand finals they contested, only to be trounced off the court by a lack of money.

''To be brutally frank, the problem with the NBL was they did not have a strong hold over the players andsalary caps, and really, the players and salaries drove the owners to such an extent, the cost to make both ends meet was just not achievable.

''The Cannons could raise $1.5 million each year, but it cost $1.8 million to run it. All the big boys around the country thought they

would raise basketball to a level that was going to compete with football. It was just never going to be the case.

To be blunt, they believed their own bullshit.''

The Cannons paid through the nose to use AIS facilities and could not accommodate more than 5000 fans at home. Alexander says that

Canberra Stadium's 20,000-plus capacity will help soccer's cause.

At their peak, the Cannons gave all of their rivals a touch-up – and Alexander as well, financially, physically and mentally.

''When the Cannons were finally buried, people came up to me six months, nine months later, saying, gee you look well'. I didn't realize what it was sucking out of me.''

His best wishes for the soccer bid are tempered by this observation:

''Canberra likes winners. The moment you start to lose, they desert you in droves. The loyalty in this city doesn't exist. You can see that in the Brumbies and Raiders over the


Raiders chief executive Don Furner says it is hard to get people to games in snow and driving rain, and even harder since the introduction of pay television, which ended the Green Machine's golden era of the 1980s, when crowds averaged between

15,000 to 22,000.

In the 2008 season, the Raiders'biggest home game – against the eventual grand finalist, Melbourne Storm – drew 15,550 fans. Canberra

Stadium group general manager Neale Guthrie says the A-League's summer season will appeal to people, and in revenue terms, having

a Canberra team would be like having another Raiders club using the stadium.

Furner has no doubt an A-League club would compete in a limited pool for business sponsors.

Canberra Business Council and ACT Tourism Advisory Council spokesman David Marshall says when they are on a roll, the Brumbies

and Raiders generate excellent publicity for the national capital. He says the ACT Government has cleverly marketed its Live In Canberra campaign on the back of the Brumbies playing in South Africa and New Zealand.

He says Slavich has done a fantastic job generating community support, which is essential. ''Now if we could secure some national sponsors, not necessarily locally based, who could see potential, that would be something organizers are looking at. There are companies

around who are very keen to infiltrate this market because they deal with the Commonwealth Government and so there is a certain attraction in sponsoring something on a national basis, but Canberra-focussed.''

On the question of consistently drawing 15,000 crowds in the quietest summer months of the year,

Marshall says many Canberrans are still around over December and January. ''There used to be an exodus [but] if you go to Boxing Day sales, the place is packed, so that doesn't necessarily need to be an issue. If you've got the product people will come.''

Slavich says Canberra has 18,000 active junior players and with their parents, add up to 50,000 people with a direct interest in soccer.

''It's the world game. Football is going to get bigger and bigger in this country. Have a look at Adelaide (United, beaten finalist in this season

Asian Champions League). They have this Asian exposure, and if we get this for Canberra, there are many Canberra-based companies looking to go into Asia. If we have an A-League team, as an icebreaker, they will have a corporate box for clients from Asia. There's also the opportunity for demonstration matches.''

The Canberra bid team will meet Football Federation Australia on Tuesday to press its case and expects a decision early next year. Flanagan says it is a mistake to compare any future A-League side with the Canberra Cosmos national league venture,which ended after the 2000-01 season, because of soccer's revolution in Australia since then. ''A 20-year-old today doesn't know what you're talking about when you talk about the Cosmos. ''We now qualify (for the World Cup) through Asia, which is one of the reasons, even if you are not a soccer fan, that you've heard more about the

Socceroos in the last few years than you did in the previous 30 years.''

Joining the Asia Football Confederation gave the Socceroos and the women's national team, the Matildas, a higher profile in a fiercely

contested competition.

''Next week we're playing Bahrain, we're playing Japan in February in Tokyo – it is a completely different time for football.''

■ John Thistleton is

Business Editor.


My God! Wellington to be dumped!!!

AFC President Bin Hamman said on SBS today that the AFC wish to see Wellington Phoenix dumped from the Australian A-League in 2011, when their FIFA agreement ends.

Now whilst I do not support this idea, the implications for the Canberra A-League bid are very exciting.


Amy Chapman happy with the win in Melbourne

Canerra United star Amy Chapman was delighted with the win in Melbourne yesterday and praised the United defence for their resolute second half display.

"We played a good attacking first half, perhaps unfortunate not to capitalise on our chances, but the strong headwind in the second half made it very difficult for us to get into their half," said Chapman.

"We were definitely pleased to get the three points and we are concentrating on getting results at this stage.

"Melbourne had some girls over 6 foot so we were a bit outdone physically, but our backline did really well. I thought Ellie Brush and Thea (Slatyer) and Bec (Kiting) when she came on did really well.

"Young Ashleigh Sykes had a really good game upfront. She caused havoc with her speed.

"We need to capitalise on our chances, but it was hard to get forward with the wind in the second half and ultimately we're happy with the win.

Canberra United sit third in the table after 4 games. Having defeated Queensland 1-0 then losing to the Mariners 2-1 last week at home Chapman was surprised to hear Queensland had thumped the Mariners 5-0 and bottom side Perth had defeated next weeks opponents Adelaide 3-2.

"Adelaide are definitely beatable, we want to get another record crowd. Last home game the crowd was fantastic, we were disappointed we didn't get the result.

"The big crowd does put a bit of pressure on the team but it puts a bit of excitement around the team and we really want to get a record number of spectators at any non-double header game because we had a massive crowd last time, and although there are the critics out there, we really enjoy supporters being there for us as we know how well we can get the points this weekend is really important for us.

"The main thing is it's entertaining and young people aspire to where we are at and we can come away with a good performance in front of a massive home crowd," added Chapman.

You can hear the full interview with Amy Chapman on Tuesday on the Nearpost 6-30 to 7-30pm and of course we are now streaming go to and listen from anywhere in the world, or catch it on the poddie on hear on Wednesday.

Canberra United media release:

Canberra United Victorious in Melbourne

Canberra United moved into the top four for the first time in Westfield W-League history after securing their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory at Bob Jane Stadium last night.

Sasha McDonnell’s second goal of the season in the 24th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides as Canberra United continue their impressive form away from home which also recorded an upset victory over Queensland Roar a fortnight ago.

The Canberra side outplayed their opposition in a physical contest which saw Canberra’s Cian Maciejewski collect her second yellow card of the season mid way through the second stanza.

Both sides has opportunities in the first half but stellar goalkeeper from both Matildas goalkeepers Lydia Williams of Canberra and Melissa Barbieri of Melbourne, denying the opposition on several occasions.

Canberra nearly took an early lead when Maciejewski’s connected with a great header off an Amy Chapman corner kick, it was stopped by Barbieri initially and then spilled, but no one besides the Victory backline was there to clean up.

Minutes later, the Victory nearly punished Canberra United for their missed opportunity when Louisa Bisby shot left Williams wrong footed after the ball took a deflection on the way to goal but struck the upright and away to safety.

In the 24th minutes, Canberra’s Ashleigh Sykes made a blistering trademark run down the left wing before cutting in towards goal along the baseline which drew Victory custodian Melissa Barbieri off her line to create the only goal of the game.

After dragging Barbieri from her line, Sykes found McDonnell at the top of the penalty box who calmly slotted what eventually became the winning goal mid way through the first half.

Coming out from the break with a 1-0 lead, Canberra had the opportunity to extend their lead when McDonnell was brought down on the edge of the 18-year box but Grace Gill missed the target from the free kick.

Ten minutes later, Canberra United’s Kara Mowbray thought she had doubled the visitors lead after Maciejewski’s flick on header left Mowbray all alone with Barbieri but was ruled to be offside in the 60th minute.

Melbourne started applying pressure in search for an equaliser which left the Canberra’s backline on their heels as the defence were put under more and more pressure as the clock wound down.

The result was nearly put in jeopardy ten minutes from time when Melbourne’s Rebecca Tegg was awarded a penalty after going to ground inside the 18-yard box but after match official Casey Reibelt consulted her linesman, the decision was reverse as Tegg was determined to be offside.

The pressure continued into injury time as the Victory continued to push for a late goal but a shot from Sophie Hogben narrowly missed the target as Canberra United hung on to record a vital three points away from home."

Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker, praised his side after the tough 1-0 victory for sticking with the game plan.
“We played pretty much to the way that we said we were going to play before the game,” Hooker said.

“We waned a little in the second half, but certainly in the first half, we did what we set out to do in terms of how we were going to play against their defence, where we were going to defend from and where we were going to press from, and how we were going to attack and we did that well.
“With a little bit more composure in the final third and better decision making, we probably could have had a few more.

Despite the three points and a spot in the top four, Hooker still believes there’s room for improving as the competition nears the halfway stage.

“Having said that, the second half was a battle, and obviously Melbourne were pushing to get something out and I think we also lacked a lot of composure at the back at crucial times, we just didn’t get rid of the ball first time and kicked wildly at things when we just needed to get it down and play it and that’s what happens some times”

“I would like it to continue with a few more goals, one probably isn’t going to be enough in future games, but it’s good to get some points away from home considering that last week at home we probably threw away a few points it’s a good turn around for us.”

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 3.Marlies OOSTDAM, 4.Tal KARP (c), 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7.Sarah GROENEWALD (13.Deanna NICESKI 84) , 8.Louisa BISBY, 9.Rebecca TEGG, 11.Brittany TIMKO, 15.Daniela DIGIAMMARCO (18.Ursula HUGHSON 56) 19.Enza BARILLA (12.Sophie HOGBEN 56)

YELLOW CARDS, Maika Rutyer-Hooley, 49.

Canberra United squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5.Sasha MCDONNELL (15.Nicole SYKES 92)., 7.Ellie BRUSH, 9.Grace GILL, 11.Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12.Kara MOWBRAY, 13.Thea SLATYER, 14.Ashleigh SYKES (19.Jennifer BISSET 88), 17.Christine WALTERS (8.Rebecca KITING 57).

YELLOW CARDS, Cian Maciejewski, 74.
GOALS: McDonnell 24’

Crowd: 700 (approx)
Referee: Casey Reibelt


Canberra United win away: United 1 Victory 0

Canberra United recorded their second win, and second away win of their campaign to move into the top four of the W-League after 4 games.

A goal from Sasha McDonnell sealed the win. But Melbourne Victory had a penalty claim turned down, Robbie Hooker said we should have scored more, (heard that before) and Grace Gill had a goal chalked off for offside.

I wasn't there, but a report is here

And this week we're home to Adelaide United. 4pm Saturday.

It's on the telly, so wear your green, get to Fortress McKellar early, it's going to be a bigger crowd than the first game.

Canberran Steph Tokich is back for Adelaide United.

But the Canberra team will be desperate for a win and we're going to cheer them home in front of a National TV Audience.

And some guys are working on setting up a football forum for Canberra football, to garner W-Leage and A-League support.

And given the number of responses to W-League games on this blog, we need a forum where football fans can discuss the game at all levels in Canberra.

I'll keep you posted as soon as it's organised.

For now you'll have to do with me....Go United....


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Rebecca Wilson: Football in Crises:)

Rebecca Wilson thinks football in Australia is in crises.

Rebecca Wilson says,

"Either the game does surgery on itself here or soccer faces a future that is very bleak indeed.

Soccer is in crisis and Adelaide United's horrendous two losses proved once and for all that something has to be done to fix it.

See her full article, and yes she got paid to write it!!! Has she followed the game in the last 15 years? Anyway here's my two cents.

Dear Rebecca,

If Adelaide hadn't got to the ACL final by beating Chinese, Japanese and Koreans sides
If we had no juniors playing the game
If we weren't heading to South Africa
If our first real TV deal wasn't expected to grow
If more clubs weren't dying to get into the league
If the FFA weren't making a profit
If the Wilson's of this world weren't writing this crap
If Club Sponsors and Memberships weren't continuing to increase
If we weren't in Asia
If the A-League wasn't 5 times faster than the old NSL
If we didn't have a Women's League..on National TV

If Adelaide had beaten Gamba Osaka

We might be in it is we have a standard to aspire to, and a whole heap of reasons to be positive

Indeed Rebecca, if this is a crises, then bring it on baby:)


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Charity football in Tuggeranong.

Dawn to Dusk Charity Football Match

The annual 12 hour non-stop marathon charity football match will take place on
Sunday 30th November 2008 in conjunction with the Tuggeranong Community Festival.

Teams and individuals of all ages and abilities are welcome to register.

Player and team registrations are due by Friday 21st November 2008. to download Registrations forms


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Canberra A-League bid...been busy

Organising stuff for the Canberra A-League bid.

Phones running hot, there's talking and smoozing going on. It's feeling good.

Came out of the A-League Committee meeting last night, a lot of purpose, a lot of focus starting to happen.

Money, real money changes many things and it seems the Canberra bid is going ahead at real pace.

Next Tuesday 2pm FFA Headquarters Sydney. Ivan Slavich will present the Canberra case.

The easy bit the start-up $6 million reckon we're all over that one.
The next bit: Infrastructure, we have some of the best in Australia.
The community: We need to connect, and start to connect in a real way over the coming months. We can once we are at this stage.

And the hard bit; getting the annual $6 million plus budget to build a really strong club. Bit by bit we're starting to tick the boxes.

Can you assist to open doors, can you assist to volunteer to take the message to the community. Contact me if you can, or watch the official website details to go up soon. A smalll amount of time, be a part of the bid, hand out leaflets, stand at shopping centres in the coming weeks, W-League games, at the Clubs, meet the children talk the message, can you do that? One hour a month, one hour a week?

And Saturday's Canberra Times, expect to see a big article in The Forum section of the paper and SBS World Game will run the story on Sunday...miss it and catch it on the Web.

We'll never get as close as this, so let's get it over the line.


Nearpost Tuesday

Nationally Ivan Slavich from the Canberra A-League Bid and all the ACL and A-League, W-League reviews and news.


Locally download Ben Padgett interview from the Stromlo Futsal Courts and all the W-League reviews.


Friday, 7 November 2008

Listen to the Canberra United Mariners game live

on Sunday Click through and follow the links.


Canberra A-League bid: AAP update

A night at the A-League.

Neal Guthrie (Canberra Stadium) Heather Reid (CEO Capital Football) and Franz Weimper (Millissa Fischer's advisor and Assistant Head Coach Altona Magic.)

An inspiring group of Canberrans

Former Socceroo Danny Moulis, Matildas and Canberra United star Caitlin Munoz (Get to the game Sunday 5pm at Fortress McKellar), Ned Zelic, and Canberra A-League Bid Leader Ivan Slavich.

Here's just one story from last night's Canberra A-League Function from AAP News Service

FOXSPORTSCanberra close to launching A-League bid

By Peter Veness

CANBERRA, Nov 6 AAP - Canberra appears close to launching a fully-funded bid for an A-League licence after winning backing from Victorian businesswoman Millissa (Millissa) Fischer.

Fischer already owns the Victorian Premier League side Altona Magic and will financially back the Canberra bid.

"We can work together and I look forward to seeing a winning team in Canberra. It's very exciting," Fischer said.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) requires a $6 million base before considering the bid and tonight a crowd of about 100 people heard $5 million had been raised.

The ACT government has committed $2.5 million and a further $2.5 million had been promised by unnamed investors.

It is understood Ms Fischer's support will bring Canberra to the $6 million required but the bid committee would not confirm this.

Former Socceroo great Ned Zelic is also involved in the bid and has not ruled out returning to his home town full-time as coach.

"I've always been one in the past to pretty much only do things that I believe in and this is something that I really do believe in," Zelic said.

"I'm convinced that Canberra deserves a team in the A-League."

Bid leader and local business leader Ivan Slavich told tonight's crowd market research had indicated a Canberra A-League outfit would attract an average crowd of 15,000 people - another of the federation's prerequisites.

"It's for the whole community," Slavich said.

The bid committee will meet with FFA on November 18.

"I can see no reason why we would not be accepted into the league for season 2010/11.
AAP 06-11-08 2009

Foundation Members wil get an update in the coming night and FFA meeting coming up.

And will have updates from early next week.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

It's the's our city our team...come and join us.

Win Canberra United Season Passes and a Socceroos Shirt.

Socceroos Ned Zelic, Danny Moulis, Steve Hogg, Matildas and Canberra United's Caitlin Munoz, Futsalroo Jason Lancsar are just some of our National Team representatives confirmed for Thursday's event.

Millissa Fischer's advisor, Franz Weimper will be in attendance.

And Football Analyst Scott McIntyre from SBS, AAP, Win TV, Football writer Merryn Sherwood Canberra Times, Tim Gavel ABC Canberra, Paul Newman, Sports Editor Canberra Times, Jorian Gardner City News, Erin Nolan, Win are all joining us...and a few more expected to confirm tomorrow.

Be sure to make them all welcome and let them know what an A-League team for Canberra would mean to you. They want to hear from you, so tell them!

Come along 5:30 - 7:30 Deakin Club, Grose Street Deakin, meet the stars of past and present from the Indoor and Outdoor game. RSVP

Find about the bid, it's our city our region our team. Find out what an A-League team might do for you, your children, your business and the region.

And check out the new website

And it's free. Free food, free tickets to win Canberra W-League Season Passes and a Socceroos shirt which I'll get Ned Zelic to sign..should you win!


Canberra Football: What a week ahead

A night at the A-League tomorrow. Thursday 6th Nov. Ned Zelic (fmr Socceroo and Canberran), Danny Moulis (fmr Socceroo and Moulis Legal) and Ivan Slavich (Bid Leader) will be our speakers. Mark Parton the MC. Canberra Deakin Club, Grose Street, Deakin.

And find out about the Canberra A-League bid. DO NOT MISS OUT THIS WILL BE HISTORIC. RSVP: some places still available and it's free!

And Canberra United's first home game on Sunday and get a taste for the action right here:)



Adelaide United: Tonight it's historic

When Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967 with all 11 players born within 30 miles of the Stadium, we beat Inter Milan 2-1 btw after being a goal down, it marked history. I still mention it today to all my EPL fans:)

Man United, Liverpool or even Notts Forest have never been able to take that title the away from us.

Tonight Adelaide United have the opportunity to be the first Aussie club ever. It'll be remembered 50 years from now if they can achieve it.

And Aurelio said this is as important as the Socceroos Uruguay game. I believe him even if the rest of Australia don't...yet.

In our fourth year of competition, our second year of the Asian Champions League an Aussie club is in the final.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and FIFA President Sepp Blatter will fly to Adeldaide for the second game.

The significance of the occasion has not been lost on those at the highest level, with the broadest view. Only many Aussie media outlets still struggle to deal with the code, and the "uninteresting" opposition.

Tonight will be United's hardest game. Just ask Melbourne who demolished home and way by Gamba earlier in the season.

But for Australia it will be our biggest club game ever.

How many people have ever watch an AFL Grand Final. 4 million?

In Japan alone the game will surely top 10 million and then there's Brazil, Europe and Asia all with an interest...and don't forget the 100,000 pat tv viewers in Oz.

Football's journey continues, and the United journey has been extraordinary.

It will be a great occasion, don't miss this one. Fox circa 8pm.


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Nearpost: Tune in Sunday!!!

Tonight. we crossed live to MacKellar Stadium where Russ Gibbs set the scene for the weekend. In the studio we talked to Caitlin Munoz.

The first half hour we talked Asian Champions League, Finals, and A-League.

And we hope to have talkback phone-in after the game as you leave MacKellar in coming weeks, so you can listen in your motor car!

This week we'll have thirty minutes before and after the game a preview on radio with match callers Russ Gibbs, Heather Reid, Christine Ng, Merryn Sherwood and after the game we'll hear from the United players if we are lucky!

Catch the stream if you can't get to the game, Here's the link

Download National show

Download Local Show


Football in Iran!

Young Matildas v Iran coming up. A player from Iran is in the photo above taken from the FIFA site in a recent match

Has there ever been any other football team compete in anything like it. Iran won't qualify this time apparently but they are not too bad. Go Iran!

Hats off to them:)


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Spirit of Canberra shines - United gain first win

Canberra United beat Queensland Roar 1-0 in Brisbane today to gain their opening win of the W-League season so I thought I'd better write something, because we all love a winner:)

A hard fought win, United were focused for the full ninety with so many heroes all over the park.

The game was televised on ABC, and it was great to see the local team on the box.

And for the listeners Coach Robbie Hooker's comments entertained as much as his side.

United lost their opener last week and away to one of the favourites for the competition this week only diehards thought they'd get the win.

Lauren Colthorpe, Claire Polkinthorne, Kate McShea, Alicia Ferguson all represented Australia at last years World Cup and formed a formidable defensive Roar unit.

But Hooker showed why he is called, "the Poacher," he's moulded a pacy outfit with a determined team spirit showing through even at this early stage.

Kara Mowbray and this weeks Nearpost guest Sasha McDonnell despite carrying injuries were a pain in the Roar defence all game. Their pace and work rate caused many problems. Isn't it great to see hard-working fast forwards.

Mowbray scored the only goal and was outstanding all game, indeed the ABC gave her the player of the match award.

Canberra opened well, controlling the tempo and were quick to the ball. A bouncing ball on a hard surface made it hard to play quality football, but there was plenty on show, particularly from Canberra.

And it was great to see young players playing their part. Nicola Sykes, from Dubbo, Rebecca Kiting played well on debut. Kiting alongside Thea Slatyer kept the Roar strikers quiet for most the game.

The drive of Weston Creek's Cian Maciejewski and the guile of Grace Gill were important in the midfield. And their efforts in the second half were vital to this result.

And of course the effervescent Amy Chapman was never far from the action. And nearly snatched a second late on with a typical inventive shot.

Leading 1-0 at half-time United came under severe pressure in the second half.

Players were dropping with the heat and intensity of the game. But United stood firm.

And they had to. But in truth the Roar huffed and puffed but lacked any real inventiveness or any ability to change their tactics during the second half

Thea Slatyer was all class, Lydia Williams showed why she is the Matildas keeper. She dealt with everything that got past the United defence. And even had to take some Roar Bore fans chanting against her everytime she kicked the ball.

All class in Brisbane!

But with Captain Ellie Brush and Thea Slatyer leading the defence, in truth the Roar didn't really penetrate.

And once the storm was weathered United started to play some good football late on. And with a little luck could have grabbed a second.

Next week United are at home for the first time and if they can grab a win they'll be well placed to give this competition a shake.

At the moment it would seem only injuries can halt this side.

Pace all over the park, neat quick interpassing and a robust and gutsy team effort were all evident.

This United team is on a roll and could be the surprise packet of the tournament.

Nice one United!

My player of the match: Cian Maciejewski.

You can hear the Nearpost team gloat over the United win on Tuesday from 7pm on the 98.3fm 2XX.


Canberra A-League: New website update

Check out the new updated Canberra website: