Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Nearpost Radio tonight: Canberra Youth Football Development

Six Canberrans have training contracts with the AIS: A record for Canberra football and no doubt a record for any similar sized town/city in Australia...and yet we have no professional team, but we did introduce SSG's in 2004.

A great interview tonight with John Mitchell, the man responsible for bringing Small Sided Games to Canberra in 2004 way before it was introduced nationally by the FFA.

John talks about this and about the changes he's introduced to a local Canberra Premier League side this year. Part one tonight from 7pm, part two next week.

Anyone interested in Youth development would be interested in John's thoughts, and how he's applied them to Canberra football over a number of years. And of course the outcomes from a programme that has now run for 5 years.

Hear John tonight on Nearpost Radio. 98.3fm or streamed from or podcast here tomorrow.

Nationally, we talk Socceroos, relive previous World Cup memories and all the issues of the week.


AIS beat Canberra's best...

The AIS have been playing the local Premier League teams recently.

With oldest AIS player now born in 1992, that makes the oldest player just 17.

They've already beaten Canberra FC, ANU and O'Connor Knights. Belconnen did beat them but the AIS had a player sent-off in the 15th minute so maybe that influenced the result.


Monday, 30 March 2009

Australia focuses on the main game

If you see people walking around Canberra with huge smiles on their faces this week there's a fair chance they are heading to Sydney for the World Cup Qualifier against Uzbekistan on Wednesday.

The League has started (not for the Raiders), the AFL is running hot...(in Melbourne), the Super 14 continues (in other countries) but this is the game I've been waiting for...the rest merely a news item...and a depressing one at that as Canberra teams keep losing!

But an increasing number of Canberrans are excitedly telling me they are going on Wednesday and "can't wait," seems to be the general concensus.

I'm not going. But isn't it great to have so much competitive football. For a country so long starved of any real national football, the important games are coming thick and fast.

And if we beat Uzbekistan we are as good as off to South Africa.

And then I guess we'll all be smiling on Thursday...even those of us who didn't get to go.

World Cup Qualifier, points at stake, Uzbekistan desperate for a result, Aussies in dreamland if we win....Bring it on!


Rugby to face football style exodus?

According to Saturday's SMH Super 14 Aussie franchises will face an exodus of players heading to Europe in the next two years.

Aussie football fans have had to deal with this for years but it will be interesting to see how it affects the Aussie Super 14 fan base if, as expected, such an exodus would leave the Aussie S14 sides even further down the table than they are this year...

With three of the four Aussie teams in the bottom four any further exodus will clearly weaken the exisiting teams.

With the Union junior base pretty low in terms of numbers, a loss of players could seriously impact on the Aussie teams, particularly as they play in an International Competition.

It's not like the NRL or AFL. Should any players leave to other codes, or to play overseas, the domestic nature of the league means the results don't really suffer only the on-field quality...but that's always hard to measure in a domestic league.

Football has always had the problem of players leaving, but the depth of the junior base, plus the ability to bring in overseas players has meant we are still able to have a strong domestic competition, the A-League.

Socceroos have always played o/s based players but Union and Wallabies "protect" the local game by only playing Aussie based players in the Wallabies.

This may all be about to change.

And it will be interesting to see how many die-hard Aussie Union players make the trip home for some meaningless "test" match against France, Italy or whoever.

Union clearly faces many challenges in coming years in Australia.

And who can forget that the World Cup will be played in New Zealand in 2011 when they could have gone to Japan. With the state of the game that is one big blooper. I thought it then, it seems even bigger today.


NSW Football Federation = Pathetic

Do the FFA and NSW give a stuff about football development?

Imagine a football organisation that wants to improve it's organisation, it's Premier League. Well it's not NSW is it? You might argue it's not the FFA!

Australia is crying out for game improvement opportunities for its young players and NSW has an amazing opportunity to improve it's league. Put a team or two from Canberra in the league.

But because we aren't in NSW we can't get in. Have you ever heard anything so pathetic? They don't mind all our players going to Sydney or Wollongong to play do they?

NSW Premier League, through the NSW Football Federation, needs to put one maybe two teams from Canberra in it's league.

Is Canberra up to the task? Well we normally win it when we were in you'd think the NSW Premier League would be desperate to add a team or two from a city that produces quality teams.

Hey it would provide a further pathway for Australia's junior players. But no they don't want us.

It's about time the FFA got involved and sorted the mob at NSW PL out.

How long can this farce go on?

Maybe Belconnen United and Canberra FC merely apply from a postal office in Queanbeyan and play in Canberra! Is that how stupid football is in Australia?


Mariners community programs expanding in 2009

A Canberra A-League side would change many things in the football community over time.

Here's what the Mariners are doing just four years after they started, though I'm not sure what they mean by "learn to play the Mariners way." "the Mariners Way," is not my view of how the game could be played...but suppose it takes all sorts:)

The Central Coast Mariners’ community and player development program has re-commenced with a new and expansive model aimed to engage participants at all levels, while casting an eye over new talent.

With a focus on accessibility and affordability, the Mariners will host and support school holiday clinics and regional development centres across the Central Coast and the northern Sydney corridor in partnership with the Ku-ring-gai & District Soccer Association and Gladesville Hornsby Football Association.

School holiday programs scheduled for 2009 will number in excess of 40 programs, with this massive footprint set to engage over 2,000 children between the ages of 4 and 12 years in fun and developmental sessions that include visits from Mariners players.

The development centres will be conducted during school terms over eight advanced sessions to assist club-based players to 'learn to play the Mariners way'.

To facilitate the growth of the community football program, the Mariners have engaged the services of Tim Thorne as Community Development Officer – Sydney, who will work in conjunction with foundation Mariners player and now Youth Development Co-ordinator, Damien Brown.

"It’s a great time to be engaging kids in football and through the Mariners development initiatives we are driving community development to a new level," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"The Mariners provide a pathway to professional football that is unique in football in Australia and we believe it is a part of our responsibility to provide aspiring young players at all levels with some key opportunities and milestones along their journey towards this goal.

"Football is fun and we want every player who attends a Mariners program to enjoy their experience whatever their level of development."


Sunday, 29 March 2009

USA given free passage to the World Cup.

The USA are always guaranteed passage to the World Cup. They lead a group with Mexico and the mighty Honduras, Trinidad (don't forget Tobago) Costa Rica and El Salvador.

And from those six.....THREE teams qualify for the World Cup.

Talk about a biased farce!...and if you come FOURTH you get a play-off with, this year, the South American fifth place team.
How does this region, with those teams, get 3.5 places. Corruption I guess!


Socceroos: Local Media a little confused!

Win Wednesday and we're going to South Africa!

Japan went to the top of the group last night which according to local Canberra media is bad news for Australia...but because of that result we could actually qualify for the World Cup on Wednesday.....

so is it a bad result!!!

Some people have no idea! It's great news for Australia. Australia, obviously didn't play last night, but the result pushes the third place team further behind Australia...especially if the Aussies beat Uzbekistan on Wednesday. And of course the top two qualify direct with the third place team going into further play-offs.

We win and Bahrain draw later on Wed night and Australia go to the World Cup.

So last night Japan needed to beat or draw with Bahrain Japan won 1-0
and Uzbekistan needed to beat Qatar and they did 4-0..which again was the perfect scenario for Australia.

Now to Wednesday and the best position Australia could be in after Wednesday is:

1 April, Bahrain draw with Qatar
1 April, Australia beat Uzbekistan

We would have qualified for the World Cup or with a win to us and a win to either Bahrain or Qatar then Aussies would need just 1 point from 3 games:)

Ladder Ends up after Wednesday if results go as above.:
Team--------- pts Sunday Games pld and Pts after Wednesday Max pts possible.
Bahrain--------...4...........6.............5..or (7)..........11 (13)

Worse case scenario if Australia win on Wednesday, Aussies need a point from 3 games to be certain of qualification:) although if we win on Wednesday it will be enough in my view.


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Ljubo Milcevic is he's back:)

"I'm looking forward to getting back to Newcastle and its beautiful beaches and for the side to have a strong remaining ACL campaign, starting with these two massive games against Nagoya," the 28-year-old told today.

Err long were you away...did you really miss those wonderful beaches.
The guy can clearly play, although he looks like a 38 year old on the field not a 28.

Like Ben Cousins in the AFL you miss a year in your later playing years and you are NEVER the player you were. Ljubo will be a great addition to the A-League if he stays. He can pass!

So here's hoping he stays around for awhile. We need players of his on-field quality.


Football on Commercial Telly...Wow!

When you see all the kids playing and the number of people involved in the game it's always amazed me that Commercial TV has been slow, very slow to get involved in one of Australia's major activities.

How hard can it be to get sponsors for this show and at the end of the day that's all Commercial Telly is about, isn't it?

How many other sports or interest groups have such a large number of women, girls and boys involved in a sport, and we are always told these are the people who influence so much discretionary spending.

Well finally Channel 9 is to show "Football Stars of Tomorrow,"..Football finally breaks through to commercially telly...what next they start talking up the code and include it in the their sports bulletins...hold step at a time..but a good indication of where the code is heading...

Apart from the fact I hate those commercial stations....this is a great thing for the game...see release below

Award winning television program Football Stars of Tomorrow will in 2009 debut on commercial television, after a deal between Football NSW and Channel Nine was struck.

Fresh from claiming the 2008 NSW Sports Federation Media Award, Football Stars of Tomorrow will initially feature on Channel Nine for eight weeks beginning in late June.

Channel Nine personality Stephanie Brantz will host ‘Season Four’ of Football Stars of Tomorrow which will be screened at 2pm on Sunday during the ‘Wide World of Sports’, broadcasting grassroots football across the nation.

Football NSW Chief Executive Officer Michael Quarmby was elated with the agreement.

“Channel Nine has given our sport every chance of growing not only in NSW, but across Australia.

“Our dream of being able to deliver a national message in order to promote grassroots football has finally been realised and with the help of various sponsors and Football Federation Australia, this fantastic prospect will be taken with both hands.”

Football Stars of Tomorrow, although primarily targeted at children aged 8-16, proved to be popular with adults as well and accumulated an average of 92,000 viewers a week in 2008, resulting in a total viewership of 1.75 million.

Its’ aim was to not only promote the game at the grassroots level, but also to target viewers from various demographic backgrounds.

Season Four will feature a variety of new segments including a Football Federation Australia (FFA) endorsed Socceroos segment, Women’s Football segment, Celebrity segment and a Coaching segment with special guests from FFA.

Football Stars of Tomorrow Producer and Football NSW Commercial Services Executive Manager Tony Peters is adamant the show can be a success on commercial television with the support of the greater ‘football community’.

“Clearly Channel Nine are putting their foot in the water to test the sport; it’s up to the football family to ensure the program stays on Channel Nine long term by supporting it.

“Football NSW applauds Channel Nine in their support of promoting the round ball game at grassroots level.”

The new season of Football Stars of Tomorrow can still be seen on Fox Sports and will feature exclusive access to the 2009 TeleChoice Premier League.

More information regarding times, dates and talent will be released when available.


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Canberrans: Harder to be a Socceroo than a Wallaby

We've got many more Wallabies from Canberra than Socceroos. Our Private Schools just produce better Rugby players.

Well what a crock. This came from a Canberra Sports Journalist I met recently.

First of all the Private Schools in Canberra.....
have a long proud history of producing Rugby players but ask Marist, Radford, Grammar, St Eddies and co and they'd all talk about the huge switch to football in recent years. And it will continue won't it?

Secondly until recently there were just THREE teams in Union. Brumbies, Waratahs and Queensland.

It makes sense, to me, that the Wallabies will be chosen from those three teams. Therefore any Canberran making the Brumbies has a great chance of making the Wallabies.

There just aren't that many Union players to choose from.

As for football. The code is played across the whole country, and indeed Aussies play across the world, and therefore to make the national team from any city is a tad harder. Particularly one that doesn't have a professional team.

So I would argue the fact that so many of our players have reached Socceroos and Australian Representative Level is a credit to our development processes.

When two Tuggeranong United Under 11's rise to Socceroos level it is a huge achievement.

When four Canberrans make the current Australian Under 17 team and a further four have made the Under 18 and Under 20 teams then clearly Canberra is doing something right.

It's much harder to make the Socceroos than the Wallabies; but just because Canberra has more Wallabies it's a misnomer to suggest that it's because the Private Schools develop their Rugger boys better.

In fact it's total garbage. Long-live the Canberra journo:)


Football the most difficult game in Australia

Take the four football codes, AFL, League, Union and Football.

I often discuss, alright argue, with my AFL mates about which code requires the greatest skills.

I maintain it's football. (No surprise there I guess!)

I reckon you can transfer from football to ANY of the other codes from the age of 12 up until 16 and you still could make a living from the game. (Of course Union and League you can transfer up until 30 or so;)

But if you haven't played football prior to 12 I reckon your chances of making it are extremely limited. The skill set is clearly superior.

I'd go further, athletes who can't master the game of football often switch to other codes.....

Makes sense to me!


Enjoy the 2010 World time we play we may be hosts!

We're bidding for the 2018 World Cup: Is the reason we are bidding because we know our Golden Generation retires in August 2010, and only Hosts are guaranteed qualification?

The Socceroos are so important to the growth of the game in Australia, the rise of the next generation, and there is nothing like a World Cup to focus our youth on football rather than League, Union or AFL. but it's starting to look very scary for football in Australia post-2010. (Remember the Beijing Olympic Team?)

Okay so we're nearly there for 2010,....

barring an Iranian-style finish Australia should make it. And we should enjoy it....because next time with the players we have we may not be able to get a draw in China, a win in Bahrain or Uzbekistan, we even could struggle at home to Iraq, and god forbid Qatar.

With the side that took the field in Japan in Feb, only missing Emerton, Viduka and Kewell from the one that took the field against Japan in the last World Cup....and all of these would have played if fit...

We're going to be left in dire trouble come 2014 qualification aren't we, unless you know something I don't.....

Chipperfield, Emerton, Viduka, Kewell, Neill, Scharwzer, Culina, Cahill, Grella, Bresciano, Sterjovski, Wilkshire, Moore, Coyne may all be gone.

If there are two of the above still walking around for the Socceroos that will be about it.

So welcome to the new team post-2010.


Spiranovic, Beauchamp, North, Kisnorbo, Carney..a few unproven there aren't there...can De Vere step up, Mullen Jamieson or anyone else in the next couple of years..step up to Internationl football?

Valeri, Holman, Jedinak....not the elite we have had in the past but maybe Culina can go around again, Kantarovski to sneak through as a new Zelic/Okon by 2014 he'll only be 21..the age Zelic was heading overseas.

Kennedy, Djite, Troisi, MacDonald, Rukavystya...we need Bruce and Nikita to shine in the coming years and Troisi but there's not much depth and no real star like Viduka.

Who else? Holland, Nichols, Celeski...the challenge is there and the gap between the current and immediate generation is lacking somewhat in my view.

We'd better enjoy our qualification this time...the Golden Generation is about to depart.

Milligan and Milicevic should have been able to go and be first picks in the post 2010 team but they have gone completely off the boil.

Have I missed anyone?


Canberra A-League bid drives Wikimania:)

Will Canberra be the 12th team in 2010; or left to wait for the 13th spot?
Time waits for no man...or football club unless perhaps Western Sydney!


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

AFL the clear leader in battle of the codes.

AFL might not exist in Canberra in any real form, but you have to hand it to a code that can sell-out the MCG for a game between two suburbs on a thursday night and then expect to sell-out the next night as well.

For the life of me I've no idea

For the life of me I've no idea quite why the game is quite as popular as it is in Melbourne (I've always lived in Canberra and AFL news is pretty scare here), particular when all other codes in Australia do well to get a crowd of 30,000 plus for any league/union/football club game...and why it is sooooo popular in Melbourne especially compared to other states and indeed other codes.

AFL continues, in my view, to lead the football codes in Australia but even as strong as it is it faces an increasing challenge to match the crowds in Melbourne across the Northern States, and even as entrenched as the game appears it has many clubs with financial problems.

Indeed part of it's challenge is that it's set-up and running costs are so high at each club that they need a higher revenue than any other code to maintain the clubs.

Port Adelaide with average crowds of over 23,000 (what league/union/football club wouldn't die for that average) are in a dire financial state, even the biggest club in Australian sport, Collingwood, lost $3.5 million last year.

Which leads me to think the AFL must be the most poorly run administrations of all codes. With the sort of TV deal they have how any club loses money is beyond me.

And for those who know this stuff, go the Sainters....

Guess you have to live there!


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ebbsfleet United v A-League4Canberra

Ebbsfleet. taken over by myfootballclub have 35,000 members who pay $100 a year.

The members are from 70 countries across the World. Ebbsfleet play in Division 5 have no chance really of making the top league, never mind the Champions League.

Canberra on the other hand would play in the top league in Australia, have an opportunity to play in the Asian Champions League and a chance to play in the World Club Championship.

An Australian Club with a Share Ownership model.

I don't think any other club in any code in Australia has such a model.
20,000 members at $100 would give over $2 million per year.

Could such a model work in Australia, for Canberra?

Imagine if you could have a say in a football club, one in the Premier League of Australia.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Raiders: I think we can beat that.

Now no-one would wish ill of other Canberra teams....some of my best friends are Raiders fans..and of course anyone who knows me knows me I'm a one-eyed sports fan...and it's football and nothing else...not even Aussie swimming!

But I noted the Raiders drew a crowd of 13,000 for their first home game of the League season.

Is this good or bad...I don't know, by I've a strong and increasingly confident feeling, a researched feeling at that, that an A-League team in Canberra would beat that for openers...

Interesting times for football.


Nearpost Radio: Canberran heads overseas for trial

Tonight, we'll hear from Lawrie McKinna on the Nearpost tonight and discuss Asia Champions League and the upcoming Socceroos game.

Locally Anita Cole, and her sixteen year old son, Woden Valley's Lukas Cole talk about their hopes and thoughts as they head to England as Lukas is set to trial with Blackburn Rovers.

Lucas was scouted by Brazilian Soccer Schools at the National Indoor Champs in January in Canberra. We wish Lukas a great trip. And you can catch the podcast here on Wednesday.


Sunday, 22 March 2009

Seattle show Canberra the way...

Seattle opened their first MLS season with a 3-0 win...not to mention a self-imposed season ticket cap of 22,000 sold and a sell-out crowd of 32,000. More season tickets than their baseball team apparently..although they have 81 games!

Still in the USA another sign of the growth of the game...must be lessons there for Australia and any Canberra franchise...we can do it:)


6+5= Correct! Even Sepp Blatter gets it.!

Sepp Blatter the FIFA President doesn't do much for me..usually....but he wants to introduce a new rule: At any given time 6 foreigners and 5 locals can play in an EPL and other national league sides.

Jesse Fink from SBS thinks he's wrong but I can't imagine there are any local fans in the World who would disagree.

The game has gone mad. Foreign imports galore, sometimes a whole team and then some.

And who doesn't get sick of the same old teams winning the same old leagues and even the Champions League is beginning to feel the same. How many new teams ever get into the last 16?

(And remember I support Celtic. A team which won the European Cup in 1967. All players were born within 30 miles of Glasgow!)

6+5 has to be good for all fans, all clubs and the future of the game in general. We need national if not local content at each club. So Sepp I'm on your side.

Also: As the J-League becomes the EPL of Asia this rule could help the A-League and other "lesser" leagues down the years as more Aussies stay home for bring it on...NOW.


Friday, 20 March 2009

A-League Bid tittle tattle?

As April 1st approaches the football media seems to be getting in early. Pumping out garbage at in increasing rate.

Firstly perhaps one of importance: A Greek newspaper in Melbourne, remember South Melbourne were ditched from the A-League bid just last year, even with Les Murray supporting the return of an ethnic bid:)...are reporting that rumours abound that the Second Melbourne bid, supposed to be a shoe-in for the 11th spot, are in serious trouble; no funds and an internal dispute of volcanic proportions.

The Tasmanian A-League Bid...(who will bid next Kangaroo Island?) have produced a rabbit out of the hat with the World's 37th Richest Man named as being linked to the bid.

Even if Tassie have such a backer, I reckon the FFA would redirect him to West Sydney or Melbourne. And Tassie need more than money. They need people, a major city a stadium and a whole heap more. Nice beat-up Tassie, top marks me thinks.

Personally I'd love to think Tassie can support a national football team. Would be great but I can't see it....yet.

And South Coast have found another stadium in Wollongong. Apparently they know Win Stadium isn't worthy of the FFA. So they have plan B. There is another stadium in Wollongong:) Maybe it's called Canberra! or like St George the League team they'll play in Sydney.

Still no word from Western Sydney...meanwhile Canberra awaits it's ruling from the FFA.

And I'm not making any of this stuff up...I don't have to.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

Asian delight for Australian Clubs

Still recovering from the Socceroos debacle re:Kuwait..or maybe the current player exodus?

Mark Bridge may be playing for Tianjin, Joel Griffiths against his Aussie club Newcastle Jets last week, player exodus on the rise, but the Aussie clubs still achieved good results in Asia this week.

The Mariners got a 2-2 draw in Tianjin and the Chinese side has spent some real money on new players this season.

And The Jets look liked a football team again. Although Ante Covic's dash back to Sweden and Ben Kantarovski's Munich trial next week leaves them, once again, in some disarray.

Still Aussies clubs are making a mark in Asia....despite our player exodus and with two teams from each group to qualify both clubs have a good chance of progressing after two games. are next.


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

How many Season Tickets will Canberra A-League sell?

Before kicking a ball, the team (Seattle) has sold 20,000 season tickets at Qwest Field

Yes that's for an American "soccer" team. So why not Australia and of course Canberra?

Well I reckon we can sell 20,000 season tickets in Canberra for an A-League side. Stop laughing I hear you already those of you who have already howled down even the idea of a team in Canberra...never mind having the nerve to go for gold, 20,000 season tickets.

You are only limited by your dreams, your marketing ability, and opportunity to engage the community. We have all three covered in Canberra.

In Canberra an A-League team long-term is a gold mine. You have a different view? You must be a worn-out Cosmos fan still living in the past or just anti-Aussie football.

and feel free to disagree..just don't bother telling me!

Instead put your energy to better use tell me what we need to do to enable us to get to that golden 20,000 season tickets. Dare to dream.

Full article from the New York Times below.

New York Times wrote:
March 16, 2009, 7:04 pm
Carey Waits for the Other Boot to Drop in Seattle
By Andrew Keh
As host of “The Price Is Right,” Drew Carey knows a bit about the fickleness of good fortune, and as he prepares for his first season as an owner in Major League Soccer, the comedian can’t help but be a little fatalistic.

“It’s like being at a hot dice table,” said Carey, a minority owner of the Seattle Sounders. “Everything has gone so right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Carey is a recent convert to soccer, but he has embraced the sport quickly and wholeheartedly since attending his first M.L.S. match in 2003 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Four years after that game, he owned a piece of his own franchise. Now, as the Sounders prepare for their inaugural season, which begins at home Thursday against the Red Bulls, Carey appears to have every reason to be bubbling with optimism.

The Sounders have been warmly embraced in Seattle, a city still reeling after the Supersonics of the N.B.A. left for Oklahoma City. Much of the buzz around the Sounders can be traced back to Carey, who in the past months has brought a fan’s enthusiasm to the owner’s box.

Before kicking a ball, the team has sold 20,000 season tickets at Qwest Field — more than the average attendance for most M.L.S. clubs — and they recently raised the limit on subscriptions to keep up with the demand. These fans, Carey explained, are effectively purchasing a “say-so” in the club. Season ticket holders will automatically become part of the Seattle FC Alliance, the club’s official supporter’s group, and have the right to vote on various club matters, most significantly the hiring and firing of the team’s general manager.

“You vote for presidents, you vote for mayor, I don’t see why you don’t do it for the general manager of your local sports team,” Carey said Monday during a visit to M.L.S headquarters in New York. Similar systems are employed overseas at clubs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid of Spain. “We have to bring in a guy the fans like.”

To facilitate the community-oriented aspects of the operation, the club plans to open up a members-only forum on the Internet where fans can share stories, gripes, and multimedia content and make direct complaints and requests to the club. The Sounders will also have quarterly meetings with two fan representatives, an unusual practice for American professional sports.

“Not only are we letting them burn down the castle, we’re giving them the pitchforks and torches to do it,” Carey said.

The fans, for their part, are quick to light the match. When the franchise held an online vote last year to determine the club’s new moniker, the name “Sounders” — which has been closely associated with soccer in the city since the days of the N.A.S.L. — was not even an option on the ballot.

“While we should celebrate the past, we believe the M.L.S. Seattle team should be about where they are headed tomorrow and help position the club globally,” league commissioner Don Garber said at the time.

But a write-in campaign forced the name “Sounders” ahead of the other choices, an outcome with which Carey is now very pleased.

One meeting this summer between the club and its two fan representatives, meanwhile, produced a plan to have the team’s marching band (another Carey idea) escort fans from Seattle’s Pioneer Square, home to several of the city’s bars, to Qwest Field in what Carey called a “drunken march to the stadium” before each game.

Carey also said he wants to distribute team scarves and flash drives containing all of the club’s chants to fans at home games this season. Such subtle details — culled by Carey during his numerous soccer-viewing trips overseas — could help Seattle, as an expansion city, become one of the league’s premier destinations, just as Toronto did in 2007.

“I don’t think this could have happened in Cleveland,” Carey said of his hometown. People in Seattle, he said, are “a little more international. Soccer is not some weird sport to them.”

There are probably few cities, in fact, where the process of expansion could go as well as it has for the Sounders, with the groundswell of support and excitement they have engendered, and for Carey, it has all seemed almost too good to be true. He said that he has begun to tell himself and his co-owners, “Something’s got to happen bad.”

But then he paused to think.

“Maybe it could be one of those magic seasons where everything goes alright.”


Monday, 16 March 2009

Asia: Now Australia's biggest problem?

The fledgling A-League has had some wonderful games, wonderful goals, wonderful crowds and great hope. Of course it has it knockers..and mostly from within the football fraternity it has to be said.

Season 5 is looking at being something special with North Queensland and Gold Coast entering the fray....or it was...

Just as Robbie Fowler touches down in Townsville today and Jason Culina flies in later in the comes through to rock the a-league ship further...

Queensland Roars Matt Mckay has signed for Chinese side Changchun Yatai.

Okay you didn't blink..but maybe you should.

As yet the details are unclear. Is it a transfer or loan deal..and if it's a transfer are we doomed?

We all ready have the Aussie kids dream pathway to Europe where players like former A-League stars Adrian Leijer, Ruben Zadkovich, Nikita Rukavystya, Nathan Burns, Simon Storey, David Carney to name a few, wallow in the lower leagues or on a European bench often unable to get a game, now the unheard of and definitely undreamt Asian pathway is challenging our game even further.

Sas Ognenovski, Jade North, Joel Griffiths, Eddie Bosnar, Mark Milligan and now Matt MacKay are just a few Aussies unable to get a gig in Europe...but chasing more games and more money....they are now heading north. How many more will go in the coming weeks?

And where does this leave the A-League?

In short....lacking in talent.

We all know the Griffiths, Milligans and Mackays are not the greatest in the world but they have all contributed wonderful moments to our Australian league, and they are more than good enough for our League just now.

What can be done?

Well the FFA may have already taken steps.

Not one Asian player was recalled for the recent Socceroos game v Kuwait. If this is the policy, not dis-similar to the Wallabies policy..stay in Australia or in our case stay in Australia or go to Europe...any division, and you're welcome in the Socceroos team...go to Asia and you can forget the Green and Gold.

Time will tell but the message seems loud enough to me.

And also if the guys continue to go to Europe, most are misguided...just ask Adrian Leijer..who hasn't played a first team game in two seasons, and a similar number head to Asia where does that leave the Aussie game?

Most Aussie clubs have enough money to pay our young players more, maybe they should and keep them here a little longer.

Would the million spent on John Aloisi be better spent on the best three young Sydney players?

Whatever the outcome, the FFA and it's clubs must be truly worried. With so many of our clubs struggling financially and Asia pouncing for the best players from each club then where is the quality going to come to replace them?

Not from our youth. We just don't have the depth, not yet. It takes years for a 16 or 17 year old to match a Milligan or Griffiths, not to mention an Ognenovski.

We have a million juniors or so we are told but not all of them are desperate to play at the top level and of those there are not enough coming through of sufficient quality...yet!

This may change as more money is on offer but in the mean time, the next 5 or more fragile A-League years, we have a problem.


ANZ too big for Australian sports fans?

Full Stadium or not so full? Which do you prefer?

SMH are reporting this morning that a crowd of only 60,000 is expected to watch Australia take on Uzbekistan for a place in the 2010 World Cup finals. We could be the first to qualify.

In which other country would such a crowd, 22,000 below capacity, watch such an important game?

We've clearly got our ticket prices way too high, or indeed we've still got a way to go in Australia, in football, to break through the crowd barriers. Or maybe Aussies just don't need a sports stadium (other than the MCG) this big.

60,000 is a good crowd, but if the Sydney Stadium holds 82,000 then clearly 60,000 people is not enough!!

And how many times does the stadium in Sydney ever sell-out, for any sport?

Not for Rugby League weekly games, nor State of Origin in recent years, or even Wallaby tests other than when the Kiwi's bring 30,000 or more. AFL? Not ever in my memory, Super 14, nope..only maybe David Beckham, Bledisloe Cup, NRL Grand Final and the Uruguay game can fill it.

Three or four events in four years. Not many is it? And it clearly shows Aussies passion for sport just isn't as big as some would have us believe.

Home World Cup Qualifiers are still not sell-outs. And that's with the current level of stars, Kewell, Cahill and co. How many will come to watch Australia if:

1) We are bottom of the group.
2) We have no Kewell, Cahill and co in the line-up in years to come.
3) We continue to play major games in Sydney Olympic Stadium

The FFA need to think about where future World Cup games are played. You'd think Suncorp, the MCG and certainly the Dome would have sold out.

There's nothing worse than thousands of empty seats in a stadium for a big game is there.....ask the NRL they use ANZ every's not a good look is it?


Sunday, 15 March 2009

Football gone mad? Viduka's wage and United THUMPED:)

Mark Viduka was asking for a salary which would equate to half the Middlesborough gate income when he was looking to extend his contract two years ago.

Wouldn't it be great if the clubs were restricted by their match-day crowd revenues to some extent. Then we may see more balanced leagues across the world, not-unlike the A-League, AFL and NRL.

For now just rejoice that the World's Second Richest Club Man United, got thumped 4-1 by Liverpool at home. It just felt good to see the team that is so good, purely because it can buy the best in the world, getting thumped.

Steve Gibson, Chairman of English Premier League club Middlesborough has explained the relationship of his club's match-day gate income with payments to players. Very little, it seems. Referring to the salaray request by the club's former striker Mark Viduka, Gibson claimed the player's agent had said Viduka would go to the highest bidder. "Mark Viduka is 32 on his next birthday and he was asking for a three-year contract and asking for a figure which, over a year, would equate to over half of our gate income," Gibson said. Viduka now plays for Newcastle.


Friday, 13 March 2009

'It's lovely playing beautiful football and never mind if we get beat'.

If you listen to their songs, they celebrate wins. I don't hear too much in their songs about beautiful football, 'It's lovely playing beautiful football and never mind if we get beat'. It's not like that.

Who said that? Craig Foster, Les Murray, Phil Micallef or another Aussie football pundit?

Gordon Strachan, Manager of Celtic FC ahead of Scottish League Cup Final on Sunday morning. Maybe the arch-critics of our Aussie game can learn a little about the game of football....right now.


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

SBS: Give us a break! This time Phil Micallef writes garbage

One time football visionary's, SBS have become the whinging heart of Australia football.

Now I love what SBS have done for football but their negative slant on the game in recent times continues and many fans have switched them off...and SBS must surely know it by now.

The latest drivel is from Phil Micallef see below but it is drivel so be warned.

It’s about time we stopped pretending that the A-League is the best thing to hit our sport since Guus Hiddink.

FURPHY NUMBER ONE Phil: It is Phil...we have nothing get over it. And in case you dind't know I've seen Dwight Yorke, Juninho, Hernandez, Archie score 5, Djite, Burns and Nicholls...and that's pretty good for a new, young league. Not to mention record crowds, great stadiums and minimal crowd violence. It's fantastic

Comments (0) | Your thoughts?

The competition is going alright and the main thing, I suppose, is that it has survived in a difficult market and next season will have two new teams.

Furphy number 2: The main thing Phil is that we have a national league without any racial tensions and a league we can improve and see our young players aspire to and improve it and them.

But the overall standard of play leaves a lot to be desired and the time has come for change.

The most embarrassing aspect of the A-League Australians’ clash with Kuwait last week was not the humbling 1-0 defeat that came out of the blue.

The side of the game that hurt most was the way a bunch of semi-professionals and amateurs ranked 98 places below Australia went about what must have been a tough away match for them with an attitude of “let’s play football and see what happens”.

And, boy, didn’t the men in blue show up the cumbersome Australians whose play reminded us of the days when we used to be outplayed and outclassed by touring teams before we pinched some 0-0 draw and then claim a moral victory on the basis of having created a couple of half chances.

Kuwait showed us that our game is unappealing, unimaginative, pedestrian and predictable and some of our players lack the necessary skills to play representative football.

Furphy 3: No Phil Kuwait showed us that when our whole team bar one is changed in two years since the last Kuwait game you get that sort of team performance. It also showed us despite what SBS seem to think, players count as much as systems. And take out the best ten Aussie A-League players from this season and you are left with..well the next best. Jedinak, Holland, Griffith, Bridge, North etc were all not selected. So a little more analysis please Phil.

Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners, Australia’s ambassadors in this year’s AFC Champions League, enter the competition with this backdrop and it will be interesting to see if they can emulate Adelaide United who reached last year’s final against Gamba Osaka.

Furphy 4: Will it be interesting Phil or will you just rant about how crap we in Australia are if we fail to progress.

This season’s ACL should tell us if the Reds’ surge was purely accidental or a true reflection of the A-League’s standard.

Furphy number 106. Accidental, why not say United were the luckiest team in the World ever to get to a final and if the mess that is Newcastle Jets and the "only play Aussie Mariners" don't get out of the group than clearly Adelaide's success was fluke.

The Canberra match was a microcosm of the A-League: vigorous, muscular play with little thought and even less flair to back it up, an attacking mindset that is not supported by creative passing in the last third of the field and a “hope for the best” long-ball approach when patience runs out.

While Australia huffed and puffed in search of an opening that never came, the Kuwaitis showed composure and mastery of the ball from the first whistle and actually played their best football when they were under pressure.

This is not the first time that a Socceroos match involving A-League players has received an unflattering report card.

Furphy no 110. You forgot to add "from SBS." Maybe you should have hooked into the FFA not the players. Verbeek didn't select any of the A-League players in Asia or who have gone to Europe in January. The FFA needs to look at team selection strategies. And if Pondlejak had scored would we have won and everyone been delighted even the Aussie whingers SBS?

Remember China who gave the domestic Socceroos a football lesson in Sydney in their last match of the previous phase of World Cup qualifying?

Fans are entitled to wonder how long it is going to be before we realise that our style of league football is tactically antiquated and we are being exposed by countries that are ranked below us. Or when we are going to bite the bullet and import a few foreign coaches to give our competition a breath of fresh air.

Furphy no.120
Phil the Coach, who is out their every week bringing his wisdom to our players. Give us a break Phil. It's time Fozzie, Les and yourself took another line. Sure we want to see our game improved but it takes time and re-education, writing this sort of crap...saying we are exposed by teams ranked below Phil your the journo teams ranked below the Socceroos containing Viduka and Kewell or maybe Dodd and Carney but a Socceroos side containing Zullo and M. Thompson and Simon aren't ranked in my view.

Oh and for the record Sydney FC have a Czech coach, and Perth had Steve Mcmahon, Sydney had Terry Butcher, Fury have Iain define foreign Phil.

Football Federation Australia gets a bit twitchy when the standard of the A-League is brought into question.

Yet the FFA cannot remain in denial when the evidence suggests that the domestic game is clearly stagnant because overall standards are not rising.

And the reason they are not improving is because our style of football from grassroots upwards is still centred too much on raw physique and too little on subtle technique.

Furhpy SBS:
Small sided games, you all wanted them. Now you've got them. Unfortunately the 7 year old who started playing small sided games to supposedly improve his technique and therefore our league is ONLY 8. Give them a chance to come through and stop your whinging.

Australia's domestic football might score the odd international success which could be the result of various circumstances, not least our innate fighting spirit.

Adelaide’s run to the 2008 ACL final was a case in point. The Reds fought bravely against all odds, showing true Aussie grit and producing a magical half an hour in the semi-final against Bunyodkor that will go down in football folklore.

But in the competition's decisive match they were outclassed by Gamba essentially because the Japanese play a much better and more refined type of game.

Furphy no 1000:
So Gamba were better. Thanks for that:) They outclassed Adelaide. They play a much better game. Phil do you know anything about the history of the two sides, the two leagues, the players. Endo is an International for Japan. And our best Djite and Burns left half-way through the season two of the more gritty and brave Aussie players but unfortunately we couldn't replace them with grit and we got a couple of technical Brazilians in Diego, Cassio and the even less technically gifted Jamieson. Somehow we fluked it through.

Watching football in Australia today is an infinitely more exciting and rewarding experience than it used to be, not least because we are now involved in Asia and facing all the stiff challenges this vast continent is presenting us.

Furphy no 1004.
Can you write this at SBS? After all I've read we have a positive comment...but hang on not because of anything in Australia but because of Asia..a back-hander I guess..but the team will surely have words

Even the A-League has an open, pleasant feel about it. Most games are fiercely contested but thankfully gamesmanship is virtually non-existent.

But unless we learn to play with far greater technique and more modern tactics, our long-term prospects for success abroad won't improve.

The Kuwaitis impressed a healthy gathering at Canberra Stadium with their first touch and their ability to pass the ball with intelligence to players who ran into space with intent. Australia could have stolen an undeserved draw in the end but in reality they should have lost by more than one goal.

It took a double humiliation by Hungary (6-3 at Wembley and 7-1 in Budapest) in 1953 for the English to take a good look at themselves and realise that they were deluding themselves with their archaic ‘made in England’ football.

Total furphy: This is crap. Did England change their style of play? Didn't they win a world cup at home playing the English way. Does Fozzie and Lez agree that England have changed their style since 1953...stop laughing at this one guys...and haven't we had lots of "modernised English coaches" in the A-League..I'm missing something clearly

The Poms were forced to modernise their game. They did so, perhaps even reluctantly, but 13 years later they won the World Cup.

An unequivocal disaster on the international stage might just be what the A-League needs for change to take place.

Furphy no 2001: Well we will probably get our unequivocal disaster in South Africa because with our once in a generation Viduka and Kewell less likely to play we will be left with what. But of course Australia will expect..and be disappointed. So far we've had a header in Uzbekistan and a shot in Bahrain...and it was late...maybe our overseas aren't as good as SBS try to make out.

Now Phil exactly what would you like to see. More tactics...hmmn interesting, more passing,...better skills, less goals, less space and when would you like week, next year and how do you propose we, or any club might do this. Come on Phil you are the expert so educate us..can't wait:)


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Recent Posts
A-League's delusions of grandeur
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A-League's delusions of grandeur
By Philip Micallef

It's about time we stopped pretending that the A-League is the best thing to hit our sport since Guus Hiddink. The competition is going alright but the overall standard of play leaves a lot to be desired and the time has come for change.

Comments (0) | Your thoughts?

Kuwait and an inconvenient truth
By Les Murray

Calls are being made, by those who make a hobby of stating the bleeding obvious, that Pim Verbeek should revert to using only Australia's best, European-based players for the remaining Asian Cup qualifiers. Rest easy. He will and he should.

Comments (68) | Your thoughts?

Is there a gulag for referees? We need one
By Half Time Orange - Jesse Fink

Referee Matthew Breeze seems to have taken a lot of lessons from his performance in the A-League grand final after the two red cards he meted out to Cristiano and Danny Allsopp were rescinded. But an admission that he could have done better? Not a chance.

Comments (36) | Your thoughts?

ACL preview 2009: Part I
By Scott McIntyre

For those who questioned the relevance of the ACL to local football the successful march of Adelaide United to last year's final has proved once and for all that it is the pinnacle of club football in the region. And this year there's five times' as much prize money!

Comments (12) | Your thoughts?

Your Views
Your right about opportunity, look at Adelaide, It's fair enough that the loser of the top 2...

Says James on Plundered by Asia, A-League is still a land of opportunity

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A-League Poll
From which continent would you like to see more imports brought in to the A-League?

Asia Africa South America North and Central America Europe
submit vote

Launch playerVideos
GLOBAL OZ FOCUS EXPERTS ACL - Beijing Guoan 2-0 Newcastle

11 Mar 09 | 00:51
UCL - Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid

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UCL - Juventus 2-2 Chelsea

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UCL - Bayern Munich 7-1 Sporting

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UCL - Panathinaikos 1-2 Villarreal

11 Mar 09 | 01:45
Champions League Preview

10 Mar 09 | 35.3:
Ronaldo scores for Corinthians

10 Mar 09 | 4.2:

10 Mar 09 | 34.0:
Captain Socceroo Presents Ep5

10 Mar 09 | 05:13
Lille 2 - 0 Lyon

10 Mar 09 | 00:57
ADO Den Haag 1-1 Ajax Amsterdam

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Spanish Primera Liga Big Wrap

09 Mar 09 | 05:53
FA Cup - Arsenal 3-0 Burnley

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FA Cup - Everton 2-1 Middlesbrough

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St Etienne 2-1 Nantes

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Scottish FA Cup - Rangers 5-1 Hamilton

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FA Cup Latest

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Overnight Leagues Wrap

08 Mar 09 | 02:35
Kuwait Feature

08 Mar 09 | 05:21
Elrich ACL Preparations

08 Mar 09 | 02:09
Porto remain on top in Portugal

08 Mar 09 | 19.5:
Rio Ave 1-1 Maritimo

08 Mar 09 | 40.1:
Mix Zone Interview with Socceroo Archie Thompson

06 Mar 09 | 02:01
Mix Zone Interview with Socceroo Matt Thompson

06 Mar 09 | 01:09
Mix Zone Interview with Yaqooub Abdullah from Kuwait

06 Mar 09 | 02:34
MIx Zone Interview with Jarah Alateeqi Kuwait

06 Mar 09 | 00:54
Batistuta playing polo

05 Mar 09 | 22.8:
Overnight Leagues Wrap

01 Mar 09 | 03:14
HIDDEN STORY - Top Of The World

24 Feb 09 | 04:38

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EXCLUSIVE: Ossie Ardiles Pt 1

24 Feb 09 | 07:10
EXCLUSIVE: Ossie Ardiles Pt 2

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EXCLUSIVE: Ossie Ardiles Pt 3

24 Feb 09 | 05:07
Exclusive Osvaldo Ardiles

22 Feb 09 | 07:58
FFA Coaching Conference

22 Feb 09 | 03:13
EXCLUSIVE Zeljko Kalac Pt 1

19 Feb 09 | 07:06
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19 Feb 09 | 06:32
HIDDEN STORY - One Game One Family

17 Feb 09 | 04:33
Socceroos WCQ Review

15 Feb 09 | 05:17
WCQ Japan Wrap

15 Feb 09 | 03:59
Green Point Stadium

11 Feb 09 | 01:36

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HIDDEN STORY - Child's Play

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27 Jan 09 | 03:33
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Captain Socceroo Ep5 Pt1

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Captain Socceroo Ep5 Pt2

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Socceroos ACQ Review Pt1

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Socceroos ACQ Review Pt2

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Exclusive - Scott Chipperfield

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ACL Chat Pt1

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Review THAT Socceroo historic game in Canberra

Are the FFA punishing the Australian's leaving the A-League to play in Asia by not selecting them for the Socceroos.....the Nearpost Podcast reveals all...

We discuss the Asian Champions League, the Socceroos performance and is Coach Pim Verbeek the man for the job?

We look back on what that night meant for Canberra, all the A-League bid news and the Fed Cup.

Locally download


Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Central Coast beat Canberra to Asia

The Brumbies have always showcased our city to South Africa, the Raiders to Balmain or Cronulla only football can take us to Asia....

And the Central Coast, the dear old Central Coast, have stolen a march on our Capital...

Powers combine to showcase the Central Coast to the world

The Central Coast Mariners’ maiden AFC Champions League campaign, which kicks off at Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday night, today received an exceptional off-field boost thanks to contributions from the NSW State Government, Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council.

Each of the aforementioned organisations have contributed $200,000 – totaling $600,000 – to assist the Mariners with their debut continental quest and Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, which will see the web address displayed on the front of the Mariners’ AFC Champions League playing strips., which will be officially launched on the morning of the Mariners’ highly anticipated showdown with Korean FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers at Central Coast Stadium, will contain information for businesses and tourists that are interested in the vast opportunities that exist from a professional, sporting and lifestyle perspective on the Central Coast.

The Mariners’ AFC Champions League campaign will showcase the Mariners club and the Central Coast region to massive television audiences throughout Asia and the world, with future visits to Tianjin in China, Kawasaki in Japan and Pohang in Korea potentially exposing the Mariners to a cumulative local television audience of nearly two-billion people.

"The AFC Champions League represents a chance for regions and clubs to be showcased to Asia and the world that simply does not exist in any other competition of any other code in this country," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"To that end, we are simply delighted that the NSW State Government, Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council have identified with the possibilities that exist through avenues such as business and tourism that only the Mariners and the AFC Champions League can offer.

"A commitment to showcasing the Central Coast region to Asia and to the world has been a core belief of our club since our inception and on Wednesday we’ll first have the opportunity to witness the spectacle of an elite Asian sporting event in our own backyard.

"Further to this, we will be taking with us to each of our visits abroad, with Tianjin in China alone home to over 11,000,000 people."


Socceroos team ripped apart..and why no Asian Socceroos Pim?

Pim Verbleak, as he is becoming known across Australia, A-League Socceroo's side played a poor game last Thursday. But why didn't he select our Asian Socceroos?

True, if Tom Pondlejak had stuck it in instead of hitting the post the whole crowd would have smiled and we'd have probably won the game. Kuwait weren't that good.

But a thought. How many National teams change all their players in 2 and half years?

I'm sure you can name a few English and Italy players in the main team over the last three years. Even Tim Cahill, Harry and co still play in the main Socceroos side.

But our Socceroo A-League based team?

Last time we played Kuwait in Nov 2006 with an A-League side we won 2-0. Only Archie was in the team last Thursday from that game just two or so years ago.

Milligan, North, Carney, Dodd all missing this time.

Hence a new team, and poor performance.

Pim, needs to train the guys in Camp but even if he did during the season Milligan, Jedinak, North who were likely starters were all gone by matchday.

The Socceroos A-League team has a problem, but including the players from Asian in Asain Cup Qualifiers is surely a must.

And next time we'll be playing the full team in the ACQ. The games are on FIFA dates so we may still expect to thinks!

For the record Australia v Kuwait 2006 ACQ 2-0

(gk) Clint Bolton 51
Joel Griffiths 19
Archie Thompson 22
Alvin Ceccoli 27
David Carney 30
Mark Milligan 33
Jade North 35
Michael Valkanis 38
Steve Corica 44
Travis Dodd 45
(c) Kevin Muscat 46

(gk) Danny Vukovic 52
Alex Brosque 28
Sasho Petrovski 29
Kristian Sarkies 47
Matthew McKay 49
Stuart Musialik 50
Iain Fyfe


Sunday, 8 March 2009

Wow a Canberra Times Editorial!

When was the last time football got a Canberra Times Editorial. Soccer turnout puts A-League on front foot

FFA impressed by A-League bid front page of sport on Saturday's Canberra Times

And football magazine 442: Canberra Bid Boys thrilled.


Socceroos impact on Canberra

Thanks to Michael West for the photo.

So we cracked the 20,000 mark for football in Canberra. And as many naysayers reminded me before the game this was "only the A-League Socceroos," a reference perhaps to why they wouldn't go or why we wouldn't get a crowd.

The FFA were delighted and surprised by the size of the crowd and indeed the passion from the crowd.

Does the game and size of the crowd have any implications for Canberra football, for our A-League bid?

I think it does.

Some have already said the teams performance put our bid back. Others have said what does the crowd for a Socceroos game have to do with an A-League team in Canberra.

Well it's another major step for those involved in the bid. The FFA clearly lean towards a second Melbourne and Sydney team but now with this display from Canberra and of course the strength of our bid they are faced with some serious questions.

Can they afford not to grow the game in Australia and in the Capital when the momentum is clearly there? Can they afford to turn away in their words, the best prepared bid they've ever seen?

Time will tell, we can do little more.

However what crowd do you think we will get for our very first Canberra A-League home game?
What crowd do you think we will get if we are in the A-League final series for the first time?
What crowd will we draw against Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory?

The naysayers continue to be loud and proud but mostly they are older men, pained from the memories of the dear old Cosmos.

Thursday showed it's a different time, I've been repeating it to anyone who wanted to hear.

And consider this:

The eight year old boy who had his birthday on the night. The venue was changed and they all went to the Socceroos for the party.

Or the six year old boy walking into the stadium caught up in the excitement. "How Can I be a Socceroo Mum?"

No Canberra 8 year old has ever had an opportunity to watch the Socceroos. To connect with the game they play.

And that for me is the long-term success of the Canberra A-League team. When we have six or more Canberrans running out to play against Robbie Fowler, Sydney FC or Asian Champions League Runners-Up Adelaide United there will be a great feel for the fans and we'll have our own stories.

Thursday meant it's easier to sell the dream, to the media, to the sponsors, to the whole community.

"You'll never get a crowd for football, remember the Cosmos." Well we did, we have made the jump, the rest is easier to sell I believe.

Now we just need the FFA to say, "the winner is Canberra."

And for the ever decreasing minority who choose to knock, I say, embrace the opportunity and work with us to make something happen.

The people of Canberra have spoken of their love for the game.

Did you know there were so many Socceroos tops and scarves etc in Canberra? They have been well hidden.

And the audience, men, women, children young and old for football. Just as it should be.

Another step forward for football in the region.


Photos from the night at the football

Michael West took some photos of the night the Socceroos created history in Canberra.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Match Day: Canberra. 20,000 pre-sold

Well I was 26 when I came to Australia. I was used to watching Glasgow Celtic play Juventus, Rangers, Real Madrid, Aberdeen, Dundee United and co.

I was used to standing, singing in passionate crowds of 67,000 people, sometimes more. With everyone singing in unison.

And then I came to Canberra in 1990.

So when I walk up tonight, as a football fan, I'll be thinking a little of what I've missed, the big matchday, the big crowds, the great games, the atmosphere.

But mostly like so many Canberra football people I've spoken to this week I'll probably just have a big smile on my face, dumbstruck that my city will fill the stadium for football.

Enjoy the game...I will:)

Oh and the really cx!!p thing is I've got to go into a Corporate Box. I'm so not a Corporate Box fan!!!!!!


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

17,500 tickets sold

Should be a night of nights for sports fans in Canberra.

Any volunteers who can collect pledges and/or sell Foundation Memberships on the

You are guaranteed to be in your seats prior to National Anthems.


Free Actions Buses..and get your special C. Times tomorrow. Songs, where to meet and more

Capital Punishment fan co-ordinator Anthony Hatton, "I've waited along time to see such a crowd for football in Canberra."

Kuwait's defence minister flew into Canberra yesterday, with one player, in his private jet.

Socceroos songs in the Canberra Times tomorrow for all the fans to join in the craic of the football.

Canberra firm Project Co-Ordination are building the Kuwait Embassy in Canberra

At the Socceroos Kuwait Mascot practice last kids wanted to be a Kuwaiti mascots..that's my spirit of Australia, the spirit of the game shining through..but hey they are 8 so give em a break

Tumut Radio demanding for more tickets for the game such is the interest from Radio Talk back callers

Griffith, NSW Wine Growers will drive the 3.5 hours here and dash straight back after the game. "We have to be up picking the fruit the next day so we can't stay over, but it's our chance to see Australia play.

Clare Dunn from Broulee, "I m bringing a group of 10 football players. We just want to inspire them to see where they can go.

Southern Highlands Football Association are bringing their Acadamy boys to watch the Socceroos play live, It's part of their program to watch live football.

Cooma handed over 1,000 pledges showing A-League support they have organised a busload to come to the game.

Also FFA have arranged free buses someone wrote this on me blog:

Just found out that Action will be providing free special bus services to the Socceroos game courtesy of Football Federation Australia. See for details.

Type rest of the post here


Nearpost Socceroos special

National Show with Chris Conti

Capital Football


Monday, 2 March 2009

Ticket sales update: Will we sell-out?

As of last night over 15,000 tickets sold so it will be a record for a Socceroos game in Canberra and expected to be bigger than the Brumbies crowds so far this year which is interesting.

With three days of sales to go and Canberra Stadium predicting over 4,000 fans will try and buy tickets on matchday at the gate, 20,000 plus seems can we sell it out?

Don't do it buy at the gate. Get your ticket now and save the hassle. Do you want to miss the national anthems?

Although I've heard it sounds good from outside the stadium.

So 20,000 plus well done to Canberra sports fans? and that includes the 4,000 grumblebums in the queue outside

That will be one of the two FFA boxes to be ticked this week. And the other is the money at the meeting this week.

At the start of the week I was more confident about the money than the crowd so....will professional football be coming back to the Capital?

And the Wollongong bid is down the gurgler for this year I see from their local paper.


Free tickets for a Foundation Member.

2 Free tickets for A-league 4 Canberra Foundation Members and a mate to the Socceroos Kuwait game.

Best football blog in Canberra now gives a prize....what more do you opinions, okay that's a joke, photo's, an A-league bid up and running and now free tickets.

Too much from one wee blog? First in gets em! email me at

and at 3.52pm on monday we have a winner. So no more entries...just buy from


Drivers needed for Socceroos trailer ASAP

Contact Mike on 0402 439 665 at Couch Creative if you can volunteer for a couple of hours today Tuesday, Wed or Thursday morn.