Thursday, 30 April 2009

Junior Football: It's back

How long before you hear one of these comments:

Loitering, yes we're talking about the lazy striker planted by the other coach.
Small Sided Games...whatderyermean it's good for em, just boot it will ya.
Hey Ref...where's your specks.
Hey Coach..what about my son..oh so I am the Coach now!
Who's got the whistle, any whistle.
That didn't go in, where's the net.
He's offside I'm telling youse. What is offside anyway?
Don't dribble it, pass it (to my kid)
I'll be back, what time does the game finish?

Oh yes Junior Football is back, over 12,000 kids in Canberra will do their best, can't wait....but steel yourself..and not just for the early starts and cold mornings.

May the kid have fun.

And remember the Ref's, the Coach and the Club's only a game and we need them everyone of them and more.


Canberra boys: Not good enough?

Canberra has produced a number of Socceroos, A-League players and currently has 4 Canberrans in the Joeys squad.

So when they announced the first Under 13 boys Australian team ever....thirty spots mind you..I felt sure with thousands of kids playing football, Coerver Coaching, and various Academy and Clinics around town surely we'd be able to get one or maybe two players into the squad.

Our kids have never had so much coaching....

But not one made the list of 30....oh well, not all is lost, the local lads can always transfer to AFL, League and Union..where the skill set is less demanding.

Qantas Australian Under 13 Boys Squad Selected for Training Camp

Qantas Australian Under 13 Boys Head Coach, Ante Juric has selected thirty (30) players to participate in a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from 7-10 May 2009.

From this training camp, a final squad of twenty two (22) players, will be selected to represent Australia at the upcoming Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under 13 Boys – Festival of Football which will be held in Sabah, Malaysia from 24 May to 6 June 2009.

Juric, along with Football Federation Australia (FFA) National Technical Director Han Berger, selected the squad from the recent 2009 FFA National Junior Championships in Canberra.

Juric was impressed by the standard of players and is excited about selecting the final squad of players.

“The players at the National Junior Championships had very good technical ability and game sense, in that they were very aware of the positions they were meant to be in.

“During camp, we will focus on intense game play and formation. It will also be important for the boys to get to know each other, as we will have only a limited of time together before the tournament starts.

“For the final 22 that are selected, the opportunity to play at an overseas tournament, like the AFC Festival of Football, is huge in terms of their development and experience,” concluded Juric.

FFA Technical Director Han Berger was also pleased with the process for selecting Australian Football's youngest ever national team.

"I was positively surprised by the skill level of players at the championships.

"The players in the squad have been selected based on their technical ability and potential and not necessarily their physical development as that will happen in due course anyway.

"This is one example of a new National Curriculum that FFA will be introducing over the coming months in regard to identifying and developing talented players," concluded Berger.


Qantas Australian Under 13 Boys Football Team
Training Camp
7-10 May 2009, Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, ACT

Leo Athanasiou (Cockburn City/ WA), Thomas Beadling (Perth SC/ WA), Richard Blanco (Sutherland Sharks/ NSW), Jordan Brown (Monash City JSC/ VIC), Noah Chianese (Blacktown City Demons/ NSW), Daniel De Silva (Stirling Lions/ WA), Jerome Dunphy (Noarlunga/ SA), Vincent Giannini (Sydney Olympic/ NSW), Pasquale Gioffre (ECU Joondalup/ WA), Thomas Hector (Adelaide City/ SA), Benjamin Hombert (Inglewood/ WA), Adrian Lara (Sydney Olympic/ NSW), Anthony Laus (Melbourne Knights/ VIC), Brandon Lundy (Manly United/ NSW), Kevin Ly (Blacktown City Demons/ NSW), Dimitar Mitkov (South Melbourne JFC/ VIC), Jordan Nadalin (Blacktown City Demons/ NSW), Aiden Naughton (North QLD Football/ QLD), Matthew Ntoumenopoulos (ECU Joondalup/ WA), Conor O'Neill (The Gap/ QLD), Reece Papadimitrios (Newcastle Football/ NNSW), Milos Ridesic (South Melbourne JFC/ VIC), Christopher Skull (Birkalla West Torrance/ SA), Lewis Smirlis (South Melbourne JFC/ VIC), Haralambos Stamboulidis (Essendon Royals JSC/ VIC), Jordan Thurtell (Sunshine Coast Football/ QLD), Okan Nabi Tuna (Richmond SC / VIC), Dylan Vandenberg (Wollongong FC/ NSW), Jaiden Walker (South Lismore/ NNSW) and Benjamin Warland (Campbelltown/ SA).


Football can learn from swimming.

Training once a week is enough for anyteam, particularly a girls team.
Parents don't want to commit more than once a week to sport?

Right, no wrong!

Had a great post from Mr A. thought I'd give it it's own heading...

We have many thousands of young swimmers in Australia doing a minimum of five training sessions a week between 1 - 2 hours per session. Thousands of them!

And that's the problem with football in this country! we don't do enough enough work at teh individual level to get a lot better.

But before someone suggests that we have never done this in sport - well think again.

We have many thousands of young swimmers in Australia doing a minimum of five training sessions a week between 1 - 2 hours per session. Thousands of them! As they get really good the training effort escalates and that is well before we talk about "State Academy", "AIS scholarships" or making an Australian age team and so on. They were training while the Near Post was being braodcast and will do so early in the mornings when most of us are sound asleep.

The result?

Australia is a leader in world swimming. No one questions it, because hard work in trainig and lots of it over a long time, together with available facilties and good coaching produces very good results.

Sponsorship dollars do not find their way down to talented swimmers at age in the clubs around Australia. It's no different in swimming clubs than it is for most of our football clubs and damn nearly all of our Premier League football clubs in the ACT. We run on the smell of an oily rag.

Now ask yourself why we are nowhere near the top of the tree in football, by comparison to swimming.

I have no doubt that many parents would be horrified if the local club junior coach said that he or she wants to train the Under 11s Red Div team every morning before school. Its hard enough getting them all to two short sessions after school.

The same parents want little Bill and Betty to be cracking good football players - without the sacrfices, without the hard work. That's the reality for many.

Our Captiol Football Academy program, which is shamefully elitest and discrimantory because it imposes a large fee for service (which many cannot afford)and only attends to a select few footballers at age (which leaves out others), doesn't seem to come anywhere near the rate of training effort that swimming clubs require of their swimmers on an ordinary basis - and all year round. As to coaching expertise, well that's another matter for debate (as it sometimes is in swimming clubs).

Of course there are some other differences that are instructive. The are a number of swimming clubs to choose from and they work all the year round. The competitoon never stops, like the training.The key coaching staff are professionals with appropriate qualifications. If you don't like a coach or a club you move to another and the training continues unabated.

There are many football clubs and not all are competing teams at the same levels,nearly all are based in almost every respect on volunteer effort, they run part the year and train part the year - never all the year, their coaches are a patchwork quilt with too many unqualified and poor technical developers, and of course, unpaid.

In other words, the structural arrangements for football do not make it easy to do what swimming has done, but they do provide a basis for development. The only one we have got here in the ACT.
We have an "academy" but it services relatively few players and takes players away from clubs, without helping to build club capacity. Again, it doesn't (of itself) enable football to move to the same committment levels as we see undertaken by dedicated swimmers (at any age). So seem to be are stuck and its not surprise that we have review after review for marginal forward progress!

We further compound the problem by returning Academy players to clubs when they can no longer remain with the academy. Training standards drop at club level. No one trains every day. No wonder swimmers look on bemused at footballers when they talk about how much they train. Footballers with aspirations and a willingness to do more and become better footballers are left high and dry, without the slightest assistance from Capitol Football and no means to do so at cash strapped and volunteer based football clubs.

Swimmers pay fees to train. Its real value for money! Footballers pay are registration fee every season to play. If you want your young players to get first class technical training (with a curriculum and well qualified coaches) then there is only one alternative in the ACT - Ceorver - it costs money, but its hourly rate is very favourable and genuine value for money. They make a difference.But only those with the available disposable income can access this option. It's like any other commodity - if you want it and can afford it and able to purchase it, good luck to you.

The Capitol Football Academy is an arm of the governing body for football in the ACT. It exists (in part) to ensure that football can accessed by all those able and willing to play. But play is different to pay! The Acdemy charge is a lot for the services said to be provided and its a matter of opinion as to whether this constitutes value for money. But is this the model of an academy that will see all our young players move closer to the ordinary training levels undetaken by competiton swimmers (at all ages)? Clearly it is not!

Is it any wonder we are not doing well as we might in football? The technical review that has been spoken of is important, a curriculum is useful, but how do you enable parents to embrace and support the requirement for football training as other parents do in swimming? Until we get closer we will not get better. Review football till you are blue in the face, the example has been with us for generations - swimming.

And what of musicians and dancers and those young Australians that compete for the science olympiad, or the children that form the choral group in my son's school and compete and gvie recitals? You think they get good on one or two training sessions a week? The hell they do! The boys who play football for this school do a good deal less and you know the rest.

Football is every bit as important as the rest. Time Capitol Football saw this problem in a new light and got itself organised to deal with it. That's where the leadership must come from.


Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Mark Viduka: You can do it?

He's back, the big fella, but his team is going down.

52,000 Geordies will be crying in their beer if as expected they don't get the points they need in the next four games.

And it will make for great TV....unless you are a Geordie fan.

Must admit watching the last game of the English season is always a hoot, something about watching football fans cying when their team goes down...gets me everytime...

anyway on to the Master...

He's back and playing and judging by his attempts on goal against Portsmouth his touch has deserted him, or more like his luck.

And he's out of contract, but with a World Cup looming where now for the injury prone 33 year old?

He'll want another contract and the A-League is not an option either financially or in terms of World Cup preparation; our season finishes in March....although can you imagine if he did come back...I'll stop there.

The big man has missed most of his two year contract with Newcastle due to injury and he's slowed a lot already, and finds it harder and harder to get back to Premiership form, never mind 90 minutes fitness.

He could go to Croatia. He's has a long attachment to that country of course.

He could stay with Newcastle for one more season....if he scores a couple they'll beg him to stay.

He could stay with the Geordies in the Second I can't see Viduka doing that can you.

More likely a promoted team or lower reach Premiership will offer him a one year deal or some overseas team may entice him with a two year deal.

My thoughts:
His body is gone, he knows it, we know it.
He may make the World Cup, if he gets another contract and is pampered a bit, as a striker off the bench...and he stays fit.

Very big if's, and of course will the Duke settle for a lesser role with any club in England?

Can he really continue in the Premiership?
Will he join his mate Josip Skoko in Croatia?

Is it the end for one of Australia's greatest?

I'd love to see him in the World Cup Squad, but only if he's fit enough to play a decent role.

He was one of our greatest, who my only regret was that he didn't stay with Celtic and form a long lasting partnership with Henrik Larsson.

Football for Viduka is clearly about money, or else if it was about working with the best and achieving something special....

Larsson and Chris Sutton took Europe by storm sending Celtic to their first European Cup Final in thirty years....

What could Larsson and Viduka achieved?

As for Viduka he's never scored a World Cup goal.

Could this tempt the big fella now the work has been done.

If he's fit he'll need to play in June for the Socceroos otherwise I guess that truly is the end for Australia's best ever striker.


Football Kulture: Finnish style

Canberra Rad Trpkovski is taking a group of Woden Valley Under 15 Boys to play in Finland, England, France and Holland in July. See earlier post for podcast of Rad and the trip. No easy task and hats off again to Woden Valley.

But he also mentioned he's arranged for his daughter, who will travel with the group, to play a game in the tournament with a Helsinki local Under 13 side.

"How good is your team," said Rad to the local Finnish Coach
"Mid-table in Divison 1, they go okay."
"How often do they train, my daughter's team does an hour or so a week," said Rad.
"The girls train on grass under a dome four times a week, one and half hours each time," informed the Finnish Coach

Imagine the reaction you'd get from the team and the parents doing that with an Under 13 girls team in Australia.

Stop laughing.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Welcome home Australians're joking, never, Scottish...not after last weeks results in the World Cup.

Guess who is going to the World Cup in 2010..Australia...and suddenly Rhys Williams (Wales) Dean Bouzanis (Greece) and Brad Inman (Scotland) Shane Lowry (Ireland) have all decided they are AUSTRALIAN.

"Mate always was, just played for (insert other country here) for the craic, to take the michael really, but once Pim rang dinky di...he just said..World Cup and I thought you know I've always been so Australian, in my just feel right.

Note: At the time of writing Scotland, Wales have little chance of quaifying..wouldn't you know it!

Guess we'll be a better stronger after 2010 after all, with Euro based James Troisi, Bruce Djite, Brett Holman, Nikita Rukvystya, Mile Jedinak, James Holland, Michael Beauchamp, Matt Spiranovic, Carl Valeri all expected to move to the next tier post 2010.


Mariners to Canberra: More competitive football

Looks and sounds like the Mariners will bring two A-League games to Canberra. V Adelaide and Perth Glory.

And if Perth Glory sign Denilson or Alvaro Recoba as rumoured we'll be in for a treat like never before.

These are not pre-season games but regular competitive fixtures.
First the Socceroos now A-League. Good stuff.
The record Socceroos crowd recently in Canberra obviously woke a few people up in football land and local Govt, Business land, to many of us it merely confirmed what our evidence was saying.

But we don't want these games instead of an A-League team, but maybe this is another step on a long but inevitable journey.

And if the local Government can bring a few Sydney Swans AFL to Canberra for a few games this is the least the burgeoning football community deserves....and of course more Socceroos games will be in the mix as well.

Canberra will be the 12th team, or if West Sydney are given the nod as the FFA clearly wish, then the 13th..where else can the A-League go? We'll get there; just hang in.


Nearpost Podcast Ante Juric, Rad Trpkovski

Like to be a Radio Host. The local football half hour is looking for a few presenters to share the load. We'll train you, no problems, and it should be fun. Email


Nationally we hear from Ante Juric the Australian Under 13 Coach, the first one ever, we talk Mariners and Jets in their ACL tournaments and we have news, opinions and all the latest Aussie football talk.

Locally below we hear from Woden Valley's Rad Trpkovski on the latest, extensive Woden trip to Europe. It's a hugely impressive football tour and Russ wraps the local news and football



Football: Most popular in which State or Territory?

It's Canberra of course..with the highest percentage of registered players. Surely a base to build long-term local football support for an A-League side...

but NSW have 232,000 players whereas Victoria has just 37,000 players. Now we know the Vic's won't allocate pitches to football, away from their beloved AFL but the difference in numbers between the two states is incredible. See numbers below.

The FFA 2008 Annual Report shows the players per state and if you add the NSW & ACT player number you get 58% of Australia’s total player numbers refer to the chart below.

State ......Player No....... % per State..... Aus Pop ........% of pop
NSW ....... 232,897 ............... 55% ...... 6,967,200 ...... 3.34%
QLD ..........65,270 ............... 15% ...... 4,279,411........ 1.53%
ACT ......... 13,147 ................. 3% ........ 344,200 ........3.82%
TAS ......... 13,579 ............... 3% ......... 498,200......... 2.73%
VIC .......... 37,964............... 9% ........5,927,600 ......... 0.64%
WA .......... 32,117 .............. 8% ....... 2,163,200 ..........1.48%
SA ........... 25,365 .............. 6% .......1,601,800 ...........1.58%
NT ..............2,773 ...............1% ........ 219,900 ...........1.26%
Total ........423,112 ...........................22,001,511 .........1.92%


Monday, 27 April 2009

FFA fight for women's rights: Dubbo Dinosaurs re-educated?

Canberra United players Ashleigh and Nicole Sykes maybe be barred from playing in their local Dubbo/Bathurst Under 18 team in the Western District boys league...but the story has reached the FFA....

And the FFA has it seems engaged their Legal Department quicksmart.

Some members of the local association were laughing almost mocking when I rang them recently. Guess who is laughing now?

Reckon there is only one winner in this. So forget the legals and let the girls play..if others deem they are good enough, physical enough blah blah

Isn't that what ANY coach does when picking an Under 18 team? Anything else is purely discriminatory isn't it?

And while we're on it..what a way to thank two players who have by their pure talent done so much to promote the Dubbo Football District.

You'd think that Western District would be doing it's utmost to help any player male or female who has reached or the potential to reach the very top.

Football Administrator's: A rare breed!


We've done it!

No, sadly not Canberra, not yet..but Burton Albion.

I was born in the Brewing Capital of the World, surrounded by Brian Clough League Champs Derby County, European Cup winners Aston Villa, and Notts Forest, and the super Baggies of the 1980's.

Burton is just eight miles from Derby, 21 from Nottingham, 25 from Birmingham, 30 Stoke, 25 Leicester, 25 West Brom, 25 Wolves so plenty of local football around over the years.

It was the local Monks who added the special properties from the local water to make that first pint.

After 100 years or so we made into the Football League proper. In true Burton style we needed a win on the last day or even a draw having thrown a 19 point lead away.....but we lost.

Which is how we like it in Burton. For the record Cambridge United the over-educated U's drew 0-0 so whilst the Brewer's drooped..we're up. Can you believe it!

But check out the Burton Albion Study Centre...not bad for a non-league club is it?


Friday, 24 April 2009

Asia review: Matchday 4. McKinna regains credibility..but not Tobin?

Mariners and Jets both needed wins in matchday 4 and despite some notable performances they both flopped badly to Japanese sides.

Yes that's right the "technically better Japanese sides".

But maybe it's not the technical difference between the players that is so crucial to results against Japanese sides...maybe it's the difference between the Coaches.

First the Mariners.

They flopped badly. Yes that's right because it was basic professional errors that ensured they were narrowly defeated. At this level of football such errors are unforgiveable.

Did the Mariners not listen or watch Adelaide United. Aurelio Vidmar's mantra, "we're going to work on defence," was trotted out daily from January to the start of the Asian Champions League in March last year and they proceded to play at home with one forward..yes at home with one forward..even I saw it!

Of course the Mariners performance was almost a victory compared with their five nil thrashing to Kawasaki in the previous round. This time the 2-1 defeat was heralded as heroic stuff.

If anything this defeat was worse than the previous one.

Lawrie McKinna sent out a team and formation which should have been sent out for the home game, a la Aurelio Vidmar and Pim Verbeek. And consequently we had what we knew we could always have between Aussie and " technically superior Japanese club sides," a close match.

But wait despite employing the energetic Matt Simon upfront and praying for a truckload of continuous rain Kawasaki had to work for their ball, and their chances... but unfortunately not for their goals.

Why couldn't this have been the case at Blue Tongue in the previous game?

An unmarked header, a goalkeeper who spilled it's simple delivery and no defence helping out. Goal one to Kawasaki. Nothing technical about that one.

Having pulled themselves into the game through the amazing Simon, Matty missed easier chances to finish the game..but then set up the winner.

Two Mariners jumping for a header, no-one marking the man who received that Mariners header and of course no-one marking the subsequent delivery. 2-1 A shocking goal to concede. Nothing technical about that Japanese goal either.

And certainly nothing professional about the Mariners defending.

Truth is if you defend to a "normal" professional level this so-called wonderful "technically superior Japanese side" would not have scored.

So the Mariners blew it and finally, thankfully, they are realising the type of player they are recruiting is going to leave them way below the standards of the rest of the least outside the 6...and of course you can forget Asia.

For the Mariners:
Matt Simon done good, Lawrie McKinna did good, Andrew Clark did good for an old fella and generally the team worked better to an effective system...and it nearly prevailed.

but what does Alex Tobin do? Does he take responsibility for the defending, the corners, and the general defensive display? Why are the Mariners so poor at defending? The physical side of their game is supposed to be their strength, and Nigel Booguard and Alex Wilkinson have played enough and are big enough to have sorted it. Alex..just sort's basic and cost you any credibility in Asia..even in Australia.

Newcastle Jets:

Themselves up against a Japanese side, sorry that should be a "technically superior Japanese side," though this one clearly isn't so good or else the Jets wouldn't have drawn with them would all the Japanese apologists in the Aussie media have already labelled Nagoya as, well almost Aussie...yet they are in the J-League so how does that work?

Gary Van Egmond. Different to Lawrie McKinna, and our great coaching hope for the future started with one home. Where did he get that idea Lawrie?

No-one criticised Duchy. Indeed it was smart stuff and nearly worked, despite the "technically superior Japanese" running the Aussie's ragged in the second half.

Ljubo Milicevic was sorely missed, Ange Costanzo showed why Adelaide released him after he got skinned alive in the Asian Champions League final. The pace is gone if not the verbal replies.

But Sasho Petrovski did a Berbatov and took a shocking penalty.

The game should have ended 1-1. Somehow a Jets side, without Milicevic and for the most part Fabrio Vignaroli, and a team which included Danny De De Groot Dutch for useless I'm wondering.... the Jets should have got, even if they didn't deserve, a draw.

The Jets disappointed in truth.

My favourite player...Kaz Patafta again showed why no-one will play him. He loses the ball, holds it in the wrong places, and sends too many passes to the others. Technical he maybe but, if so, he needs to return to the dazzling displays of the Under 17 world Cup and maybe the same position..but if he distributes the ball like this who would risk him in that position?

Jason Hoffman, Brodie Mooy all worked hard but are very young, inexperienced and/or unfit for this level of football yet.

Ben Kantarvoski is starting to shine but still makes many errors, check out the goal But he's young and playing well in a high level of competition, good to see another Aussie with real class on the field.

Gary Van Egmond was superb. He sent a team out to do a job, a tactical plan and he nearly stole it. He had hugely depleted resources, but he still put up a show and if Petrovski had scored he'd have pulled it off.

And you have to admire the way Van Egmond is getting more from less. Tarek Elrich finds the reserves and nous from somewhere to push on and create overlaps late on. Petrovski penalty aside looks like he wants to play. Van Egmonds influence surely.

In conclusion:
The Mariners were never 5 goals worse than Kashima...McKinna simply ensured they were by sending out the wrong team, with the wrong plan. The second leg proved that.

And I was delighted to see Lawrie and co could produce a plan to be competitive, pity they hadn't practiced defending this year.

Maybe it's not the technically difference between the players that is so crucial to results...maybe it's the difference between the Coaches.


Gold Coast or Hartlepool? You choose

"I think he's selling himself short, but I think it's a lifestyle decision." so says Chris Turner Hartlepool manager talking about Joel Porter's decision to play for the Gold Coast.

No Chris, you blinkered Englishman, it's about the football:
He'll play alongside Champions League player Jason Culina,
He'll play at a Stadium Hartlepool can only dream of,
His first game will be in the Bird Nest Stadium in Beijing, followed by SunCorp in the League.
He has a strong chance of representing his country in coming years,
He has a chance of exploring other countries through the Asian Champions League,
He may get loaned to Beijing, Shandong or elsewhere if he is any good,
He will be able to build a career beyond football, beyond Hartlepool in coming years.
He's joining a growth industry,
He'll be playing a different style of football, less, much less direct,

oh and then there is the lifestyle, and you are probably just a tad jealous Chris...
A year in the Gold Coast, in the Nation's Premier League under Clive Palmer and Paul Okon or another year in Hartlepool.

JOEL Porter's current boss insists the Gold Coast United-bound striker is selling himself short by signing up for the A-League.

Porter has spent the last five-and-half years with English third tier club Hartlepool United and will head for Skilled Park when the English season ends in a fortnight.

He has scored more than 60 goals in that time and Hartlepool are very reluctant to see him go.

However, United boss Chris Turner doesn't believe that Porter has made the best career decision and suggests that the forward is worthy of a higher quality competition than the one he has chosen.

Turner told BBC Tees: "He's been a magnificent servant, his contribution to the club has been enormous.

"I think he's selling himself short, but I think it's a lifestyle decision."


Bahrain to stop Australia: Yeah right.

First it was the wacky Uzbek video now it's Bahrain...can't wait to see the Japanese promotion...guess it will be all about trying to score goals..them not us!


Young Matildas in Camp

Squad details below

22 April 2009

Head Coach of the Westfield Young Matildas, Alen Stajcic, has selected a 27-player squad for the training camp at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood, Sydney, from Saturday 25 April through to Monday 27 April.

The camp, another in a series being conducted, forms part of the preparations for the upcoming AFC U-19 Women's Championships 2009 to be held in the Chinese city of Wuhan from 1 to 12 August. The Championships will also double as the qualification process for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup to be held in Germany next year.

"The camps are an invaluable part of our preparations for the Championships in August," said Stajcic.

"Not only is it important to give the players as much opportunity as possible to play together, but it also forms part of our selection process for the final squad that will head to China in August.

"Following the qualifications in Kuala Lumpur last year, the Westfield W-League gave us the opportunity to identify new players and gave them the chance to perform and develop over the 10 round competition.

"We need as much match practice together as possible to prepare us when we come up against the likes of China and Japan in August, two powerhouses of women's football," noted Stajcic.

Australia qualified for the chance to compete in the AFC U-19 Women's Championships late last year in Kuala Lumpur by winning three of their four matches to finish a convincing second in their group. The Championships will see Australia match up against Japan, China and Chinese Taipei in their Group B matches.
For further information on the AFC U-19 Women's Championships 2009, please visit the AFC's website


Westfield Young Matildas training camp squad:
Courtney Beutel, Ruth Blackburn, Tameka Butt, Trudy Camilleri, Alesha Clifford, Nikola Deiter (gk), Casey Dumont (gk), Angela Fimmano, Sophie Hogben, Elise Kellond-Knight, Samantha Kerr, Rebecca Kiting, Ella Mastrantonio, Sian McLaren (gk), Linda O'Neill, Teresa Polias, Karina Roweth, Jessica Seaman, Gema Simon, Kyah Simon, Samantha Spackman, Bronwyn Studman, Ashleigh Sykes, Nicole Sykes, Marianna Tabain, Emily van Egmond, Christine Walters.

Miranda Robinson


Dire time for Aussie clubs

Western Force are losing millions each year, Adelaide look unlikely to get a Basketball team in the new league, Port Adelaide with crowds of 20,000 are in dire financial difficulties.

Add in NSWRU, Adelaide United, and Brisbane Roar...not a great few years ahead for any code.

Interesting all codes are looking to expand, teams, number of games etc etc.

Realistically can Australia support 14 A-League teams, 18 AFL teams, 5 Rugby Union teams and a heap of NRL...not to mention a Basketball league etc etc?

Of course not. The Governing Bodies will have to prop up teams or the clubs are gone. Simple as!

Something has to give...Western Force could be the first to be "moved." Anyone for a spot of Rugger in the new stadium in Melbourne?


A-League Canberran confirmed

Stephen Lustica signed for Gold Coast United first-team this week.

What young Canberran wouldn't want to swap places with Canberra's Andrew Baresic and Lustica as they start their first A-League contracts onlongside Jason Culina and the richest team in the league..supposedly.

And Central Coast Mariners are increasingly likely to bring an A-League game to Canberra...if the price is right I guess.


Canberrans in Anzac Day Tribute

Christophe Bush (ACT/AIS), Stephen Domenici (ACT/AIS), Jason Geria (ACT/AIS), Alexander Meibusch (ACT/AIS), are all in Turkey for the Australia/Turkey inaugural Anzac Day football match. This year it's the Under 17's taking part.

23 April 2009

The Australia U17 men's football team, the Qantas Joeys, are preparing for the inaugural Australia-Turkey Friendly Football matches to coincide with Anzac Day with two of Australia’s brightest young stars are preparing for the biggest games of their careers.

The game, to be played in Canakkale – near Gallipoli – takes on special significance for Australian strikers Kerem Bulut and Ersin Kaya, both of whom are of Turkish descent.

Both sets of parents were born in Turkey, before emigrating to Australia, where Bulut and Kaya were born and learned to play football.

“It’s the biggest game of my career and it’s pretty emotional,’’ said Melbourne-born Mustafa Animi.

“It’s special, playing the country of my background and it’s exciting for me and my family.’’

With the Qantas Joeys games either side of Anzac Day, the players will attend the Lone Pine commemorative service in Gallipoli on Saturday, while Football Federation Australia CEO, Ben Buckley, and most of the team officials will attend the Dawn Service.

Before departing for Europe, the Joeys visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra where they were given further education about the events which led to the landing on Gallipoli in 1915.

Bulut, who is set to play in attack with Kaya, said it helped the team gain a greater appreciation for Anzac Day.

“We learnt more about the history and what went on between both countries and that’s why this game is so sentimental for us,’’ Sydney-born Bulut said.

“With all the events surrounding the match, it’s exciting for us and it should be a good game and hopefully a lot of the Australians who are coming here for Anzac Day can turn up and support us.

“It’s a good hit out for both teams, because they’re still involved in the European qualifiers so they will be taking the game very seriously.’’

Buckley said that the annual event is important in helping build long term relationships with Turkey.

“But it is also important for us as individuals, whether Australian or Turkish."

Qantas Joeys coach, Jan Versleijen, has told the teams they have a responsibility not only to perform well, but to be the face of Australian football.

“They are representing the country so it’s a good experience for them for when they start playing at a higher level.’’

Almost 10,000 Australians are expected to visit Gallipoli this year.

These historic matches are the first of what will be an annual event, which will see friendly football matches played in either Turkey or Australia in alternating years between designated men's and women's national teams. Australia will host the event in 2010.

The dates for this new annual football event were specifically selected to coincide with Anzac Day (25 April) for Australia and National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (23 April) for Turkey.

The annual football event has the strong support of both the Australian and Turkish governments with Australia 's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith and NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, attending one of the matches.


Match Details – Turkey U16 v Qantas Joeys
* Game 1: Friday 24 April 2009
Canakkale Stadium, Canakkale
2.00pm local (9.00pm AEST)

* Game 2: Sunday 26 April 2009
Canakkale Stadium, Canakkale
2.00pm local (9.00pm AEST)

Marc Warren and Brendan Hamill have been withdrawn from the original 25-man squad. The squad comprises:

Christophe Bush (ACT/AIS), Stephen Domenici (ACT/AIS), Jason Geria (ACT/AIS), Alexander Meibusch (ACT/AIS), Mustafa Amini (NSW/AIS), Kerem Bulut (NSW/AIS), Kevin Davison (NSW/AIS), Patrick Dixon (NSW/AIS), Samuel Gallaway (NSW/AIS), Robert Kolak (NSW/AIS), Aaron Lennox (NSW/AIS), Jared Lum (NSW/AIS), John Martinoski (NSW/AIS), Aaron Peterson (NSW/AIS), Daniel Petkovski (NSW/AIS), Nikola Stanojevic (NSW/AIS), Lawrence Thomas (NSW/AIS), Curtis Good (VIC/AIS), Ersin Kaya (VIC/AIS), Damir Lokvancic (VIC/AIS), Eli Babalj (WA/AIS), Scott Mellish (WA/AIS), Trent Sainsbury (WA/AIS)
Bonita Mersiades


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ljubo Milicevic: A star of season 5?

With Melbourne's Kevin Muscat on his last legs, should they have kept Milicevic.

What a player? He's played a couple of A-League games, a couple of Asian Champions League games but I'm desperate to see him sign for the full A-League season

Seeing him controlling the Newcastle back four in recent weeks, playing the ball from the back, surging forward is joyous to watch....and rare in our A-League.

He sets a standard on and off the field it seems. And why he couldn't fit in at Melbourne..well the personality clash was clearly too much.

But if he signs and performs for the Jets this season, with an ageing Melbourne star Kevin Muscat, the Victory will be kicking themselves.

Where you do you get such talent, in Australia, and he's still just 27.

He could be the star of the League next season, even bigger than Jason Culina, certainly more effective than Robbie Fowler.

And he, alone, through his style could bring a whole new dimension, to the Jets and to the league.

A giant of a man, his positional sense is awesome, but it's his ability to play the ball across the park which inspires, and dictates a pattern of play.

The A-League need Ljubo. To stay. To lead.

Fozzie thinks he could play for Australia...well maybe in time, if he remains fit, or gets fit.

He may have lost his ability to play at the International Level but for the A-League he could easily be the player of the year.

If Ljubo stays and remains fit, based on what I've seen he'll be as exciting to watch as Culina, Fowler even Denilson.

More influential than Muscat, Craig Moore, Ned Zelic, Paul Okon or Juninho ever were? Well let's wait and see.

On the field he's pure class and can only get better.

And anyone that can produce on the field and turn a headline off it is exactly what the League needs.

Can't wait to see him take on Muscat. That should pack them in!


2XX Radio Football Host wanted.

Every Tuesday..or every second week...Russ Gibbs and you to cover the Local football scene in it's broadest sense every week...30 minutes from 7pm 2XX. We'll train you..have no fear. Contact or forward to a friend...male or female young or old. Come and have a try.


Futsal Comp in day?

AFC Futsal Champs will be held in Iran this year.

NSW Thunder will represent Australia this year having defeated Canberra in the final.

Given the strength of ACT Futsal it wouldn't be hard to see Canberra in the AFC Final...and this tournament held in Canberra.

With the TV viewing figures for Futsal across Asia this is a tournament that could make money.....quickly.


Nearpost denounces Twitter

Having experimented with Twitting, on behalf of you guys who haven't tried really is to tedious for words.

I've stopped clearly is for Twits.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Podcast: FFA Tech Director Han Berger

Download National Show

Nationally we look at the A-League draw talk Asian Champions League and hear from Lawrie McKinna and Matt Simon ahead of last nights 2-1 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale.

On the local show we hear from FFA Tech Director Han Berger. Download Han Berger interview here.

If you'd like to get involved in presenting the Local Half Hour with Russ Gibbs please contact

It's 30 minutes every radio and don't worry we'll train you.


Ben Buckley: Expansion still Canberra?

"But if you look at the game overall, participation is still growing, hopefully we're going to take that next step and qualify for the World Cup, so there's some real momentum there....

"So we're not worried for the long term. We think the game generally is in good shape.

On expansion, Buckley added: "We're committed to expansion. Our business plan accommodates expansion. We have to make sure we select the right partners, with the right amount of capital....But we're very close to signing an agreement with the consortium in Melbourne, and we've got a number of other proposals for the 12th licence. Nothing at this stage will slow it [expansion] down."

From the SMH today. Clearly if Canberra has sufficient funds they will push their way in.


Monday, 20 April 2009

Twitteroo: Blogging only shorter!

I'm so over blogging. The length of the posts are almost thesis like to my tiny I've joined Twitter...I'm a Twitteroo of course and you can follow me if you wish..whatever that means.

Just thought we should have some Canberra football twit on Twitter.

Anyway Tuesday on the Nearpost:

Burton Albion(indulge me it's my home town and they need one point to make it to the Football League in England for the first time ever.... will they make it?
A-League Draw.
Lozza Mckinna and Matt Simon
and of course Russ Gibbs and Michella Bertrand take you through the whole thing

Russ gives up the run down on the opening day of the Canberra Premier League
And FFA Tech Director Han Berger speaks to us..errr that's an exclusive I suppose but heck we ain't that precious about our interviews!

Type rest of the post here


6 out of 10 is good enough for me

There will be 6 teams in the A-League Finals this season. That's 6 from 10.

Many football fans are already crying in there beer, saying the sixth team should not be able to win, it's unAustralian, unfootball..blah blah blah.

Well check out the AFL and NRL. The eigth team is always dumped early from memory. The reason? If you are eigth you are not so good are you and you are usually beaten in the first round of the finals.

The Premiers get to play in Asia. I like that.

The second Asian Spot, the Champions Spot is fought out among the six, with most games being a straight knock-out. Should make for an exciting finale, big crowds and pure edge of the seat drama. Almost FA Cup in feel for those that pine for such a competition.

And let's face it some teams season could be over after three weeks if we reduce the finals to five or even four teams; and with the vulnerable financial state of many clubs do we really want that.

Even the the fickle Aussie sports fans might not turn up to watch if their team drifts out of contention in September!


Imagine if Canberra were in the A-League Season 5.

If Canberra were in the league we'd have:
Jason Culina, leading Gold Coast United to play at the Canberra Stadium. A Socceroo. Still only 29 would we ever have a fitter, younger, better credentialed Australian playing football in Canberra at his peak?

Robbie Fowler would be in Canberra to play for Townsville. All the Liverpool TV watchers would surely stumble up to Canberra Stadium for that one.

Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC would bring large travelling support, but they'd go home defeated

Nikolai Topor-Stanley would be welcomed back...maybe..with Newcastle.
We'd thrash the Mariners with our brand of football and maybe Kaz Patafta showing the way..wouldn't that be fantastic for our brand, Canberra and Kaz.

Adelaide United Runners-Up in Asia would also be runners-up in Canberra.
And Perth Glory..Denilson or not, Canberra would just be a little easier for Perth to get home from after another away fact compared to playing Wellington..this would be a Perth home game..sort of.

So bring on Season 6 and a sold-out first home game.


Canberra A-League draw.

Below you can read all about the impact of today's Season 5 A-League draw on won't take long...although a few of our Ref's called Ben might disagree.

Draw for the A-League is out today and here's what impact it could have on an initial BIG stretch.

North Queensland play Sydney in their first ever game in August. Did you know you can fly direct to Townsville from Canberra on Virgin these days. All you Liverpool (God) is your chance. On-loan Canberra Kofi Danning may start for Sydney FC and one things for sure Canberra's Kofi is faster than God.

The Mariners have two home games at "venues to be announced." Either ANZ Stadium, Manly or a (very) outside bet...Canberra Stadium.

Former Canberra FC star Andrew Baresic will hope to start for Gold Coast United in their first up game away to Brisbane Roar. Stephen Lustica may well join him.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Matty Kemp, Codey Larkin, Kaz Patafta, Shaun Ontong, will all hope to be playing for their A-League sides in their season openers.

Other than that..A-League football doesn't really impact on us at all unless we have our own team.


A-League: 51 more games this season!

An early start, (Aug 6th) and much later finish (March 20). Which extends the season by about 6 or 7 weeks.

We're getting closer to a real football season. 27 games plus A World Cup's only going to get better and better for Aussie football fans.

New teams, new players, more games. A-League takes another step forward.

The 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season will kick-off earlier than ever before to accommodate the increased number of games arising from the two new teams in the competition, Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury.

Releasing the draw in Sydney today, Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley, said that there would be 51 more games in the regular season in 2009/10 compared with the previous four seasons of the Hyundai A-League.

"There will be 10 teams this season playing 6 more rounds of football and resulting in 51 more games than previous seasons played in 13 cities.

"This draw is good news for players, fans, clubs and the media," Buckley said.

"We have two new teams, 135 games and a total of 12,150 minutes of game time in the regular season alone."

The Finals Series will involve a Top 6, with more chances for the two teams who finish in the Top 2, and with seven matches in total.

"The 2009-10 season will start slightly earlier than previously (on 6 August) to allow for the additional rounds but this was the preferred solution of FFA and the Hyundai A-League clubs."

Buckley also explained the issues that bear on the construction of the Hyundai A-League draw.

"We have a number of unique international factors which have to be taken into account which are placeholders for the draw."

These include:

§ FIFA match dates involving the Qantas Socceroos
§ Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualifying fixtures for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup
§ AFC Champions League fixtures involving Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets, and
§ potential participation of either Central Coast or Newcastle in the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup (emulating Adelaide United's achievement from 2008).

Buckley said that there were other issues to factor into the draw, such as:

§ Club and fan preference
§ player and match official welfare
§ other major events including other sporting codes fixtures
§ venue availability, and
§ broadcaster preferences.

"We also want to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy games in peak times such as public holidays and over the festive season."

FFA has continued with a Saturday evening Grand Final (on 20 March 2010), which was introduced this year.

The first round of the Hyundai A-League 2009-10 season will kick off on Thursday 6 August featuring champions Melbourne Victory against AFC Champions League participants, Central Coast Mariners.

The round continues on Friday 7 August when Adelaide United host Perth Glory, while Saturday 8 August sees the beginning of what Buckley described as a "beautiful rivalry" between Brisbane-based Roar and Gold Coast United, as well as North Queensland Fury and Sydney FC. The first round concludes with Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix on Sunday 9 August.


A-League Matures? Pre-Season comp dumped

Time for FFA to bring two overseas clubs to play a pre-season tournament?

Pre-Season competition is dumped, but what will fill it? And why the late notice from the FFA?

Is it merely, as I suspect, a cost-reduction exercise for the clubs as an extended season awaits or do we have a real plan?

A showcase four team pre-season competition would be nice. Two A-League and two foreign clubs....and maybe inclusion of some State Premier League teams in regional four team competitions.

I can't say the Pre-Season competition did anything for me. And with only eight teams playing a Pre-Season competition against each other, hardly exciting five years on...was it?

Still with ten teams now in the league perhaps there are better ways and certainly that is what the clubs are demanding. There own schedules or maybe there own budget control.

Of course taking the games to the regional areas was a highlight....although Canberra didn't get a game last year. We got a Pre-Season, Pre-Season Cup game.... even less meaningful.

So with Asian tours for Townsville, Gold Coast, Perth and co and Wolves, Celtic, Fulham, Sunderland all touted as possible friendlies for Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney that still leaves a lot of pre-season games to be arranged..and that's assuming the above come off.

And as for Wellington who will they play? A couple of local Kiwi sides. No preparation is it?

I'm glad the Pre-Season Competition is gone...but how will the clubs at the end of the planet get sufficient quality friendlies.

I suspect there will be a mixture of Asian tours, less European visits than talked about so far, and a large number of inter-league games probably taken to regional centres but with even less at stake than less time.

Don't expect the crowds to rise for the pre-season games from here on in, unless overseas clubs visit, but maybe that doesn't matter.

So why not invite a couple of guest local clubs to play in a tournament.

Melbourne, Adelaide United could join to play South Melbourne or Adelaide City.

Sydney and Central Coast could take on Manly United or Belconnen United.

I'm sure the FFA have a plan...let's hear it..hopefully today, when the draw is out.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

FFA Tech Director Han Berger on Nearpost Radio on Tuesday.

Had a chat with FFA Tech Director Han Berger, the man with the plan to take the game forward over the next four years in Australia.

He has the ear of Pim, or Tim Verbeek as he's known on Channel 9, and picked the Under 13 boys team this week at the National Championships.

He has opinions on elite football, junior football and everything you'd hope for from a Technical Director.

Like all the Dutch guys I've met so far who are employed by the FFA they, if I can lump them all together, are intelligent, open, warm and savvy. Perfect for an Australian audience I reckon.

Most it seems are desperate to hear how his plan will improve our national teams.
Me? I'd also like to see what the plan does to entrench the game for all the rest of us...the kids who just want to play....they deserve some focus as well from our National Body.

Anyway we'll run the interview in the local part of the show..from 7pm which streamed from 2xx website or podcast will be available here on Wednesday.


Capital Football Academy: Value for Money?

Questions raised after National Championships by one onlooker.

The National Under 13 Boys competition finished yesterday. Girls and Boys results below. Also below is a post from one "Anonymous" poster.

I have no view on the Capital Football Academy of any real expertise or depth so I won't comment.

But the person who wrote this clearly does and the questions raised are in my view not unreasonable, indeed should be discussed and answered after every National Champs or end of season review.

I'm sure they are.

Anyway thought it was worth posting in full in it's own blog so read below.

Cap Football Tech Director Ian Shaw will be on the Nearpost Radio in a couple of weeks so we'll go through some of these thoughts with him. And indeed if you have any others please email or post to the blog.

From Mr Anonymous:

The Natonal U13 Boys competition is over and there was a lot of terrific talent on display among the teams and a lot of first rate football games.

Sadly, the ACT team were an example of neither of these.

It must have been a hard week for these young ACT players. The best that can be said is that they were playing the same at the end as they were at the start. Someone is bound to say something empty headed like "its character building" or " they'll be better players for it". Not likely, and lets hope they have good seasons with their clubs.

Capitol football must as a matter of urgency, must review the Capitol football Academy structure and in particular, the U11 / 12 and 13 Boys age groups. What they are doing isn't working and if they do the same for next nationals as they have for this one, we may anticipated the same outcome. In which case, don't bother to send your chidlren to the U11, 12 13 age groups, and certainly not for the outrageous fees they charge.

Has it ever occurred to those that run Capitol Football that the price they put upon attendance at the academy is descriminatory? Because it is.

Any review of this nationals performance must look closely at the conduct of the U11 / 12 squads, because the U13's for next season are likely to come from this group if nothing else changes at the Academy.

Capitol Football should speak to as many parents as possible from these ages groups to establish their feelings on the quality and usefulness of the programs to date. A very hard headed and independent technical review should be done of the programs being conducted with these young players, and importantly, examine whether the coaching staff up to the task and in sufficient numbers to do anything that approximates "development", as opposed to endless "games" with precious little feedback. If results speak for anything, there is regrettably. every reason to think they are not.

The much used and often abused word "curriculum" springs to mind. More observed by the ommission than the observance one suspects.

The coaching staff of the U11 to the U13 players own this result far more than the players.

It all leads to one big question - what sort of "academy" should we have for U11 - 13 players?

The U13 boys are clearly not to an acceptable standard and that was there for everyone to see from around the nation. It says more of Capitol Football and their Academy system than it does about a group of young boys, who must have started as proud as punch to be an ACT representative player.

Capitol football owns this outcome. Lets see if they are up to fixing it.

The ACT U13 boys last game was against Tasmania, a team who till today's game had faired no better the the ACT. I had not seen Tasmania play this Nationals, but those I knew that had, remarked that they were not a bad team.

I attended the ACT's last game in the hope that they would find there way to victory. To that point they had not been much of a team to watch.

Before kickoff parents told me that the ACT coach had been given a suspension of one match for abusing a referree's assistant. New coach at the controls. Not a good start. A number of players in the team looked like they were playing in different positions, which was curious adjustment. But the "new" coach may have had new ideas or perhaps the collective brains trust at Capitol Football had simply run out of ideas? Talk about your chickens coming home to roost! Who really knows, but it seemed to this observer that giving the lads a few new variables in the last game was either inspired or a desperate gamble.How many times do we see this in football. It so often fails and all that some care to talk of is the rare game when it worked. As they say "hope is not a method'! Nor was it today.

As I watched I found it hard to believe Tasmania hadn't won more games. This game went the way of the rest of them for the ACT - they lost and never really liked they were a threat. That left Tasmania second last and ACT dead last.

Conclusion: Tasmania was the entry level to this competition and the ACT fell well short.

It's no good blaming the young players. That's not say that the players should be excused poor football - but they are young and prone to error. That's what is important about the quality of their preparation.

Captiol Football and their academy carries the weight on this one. They failed to identify and prepare the players for a very competitive environment and as a consequence, the players were not "developed" as Capitol Football said they would be.

It will be interesting to hear Capitol Football's analysis and explanation for this unsatisfactory performance, and how they intend to ensure they have a more competitive squad in future nationals.

Perhaps Capitol Football could refund the parents in the U11/ 12 and 13 squads the fees they have paid. Job not done!

Under 13 Boys
Western Australia 5 (B. Hombert 1’, P. Mckee 26’, 39’, D. De Silva 32’, G. Crawley 42’) Tasmania 0, Queensland 2 (M. Willet 8’, R. Dalton 9’) Northern NSW 0, New South Wales 2 (B. Appiah 3’, G. Camera 7’) Victoria 0, South Australia 3 (B. Warland 13’, 24’, D. Smith 30’) ACT 0

Boys 13 P Pts
New South Wales* 7 21
Victoria 7 16
Queensland 7 13
South Australia 7 13
Western Australia 7 10
Northern NSW 7 6
ACT 7 1
Tasmania 7 1

*New South Wales win Boys 13 National Junior title

Under 14 Girls
Queensland 3 (I. Wyman 10’, S. Boller 12’, S. Maguire 21’) Western Australia 1 (K. Stanbridge 46’), South Australia 0 Victoria 0, Northern NSW 1 (A. Jones 24’) ACT 0, New South Wales - Bye
New South Wales*651080816
Northern NSW6420102814
South Australia621339-67
Western Australia6015111-101

*New South Wales win Girls 14 National Junior title


Friday, 17 April 2009

Ronaldo: What a moment

What a goal from Ronaldo.

What made him do it? What made him think he could beat the keeper from that distance with such power and accuracy? One of the greatest indivdual sporting moments in any sport I reckon.

Audacious, and one of the greatest goals ever scored.

32 meters and bang. Straight as an arrow!

Which got me thinking when was the last time any A-League player scored from such a distance, or even had an accurate shot from such a distance.

With Danny Tiatto, Carlos Hernandez, Mile Jedinak, running round in recent years you'd have thought we'd have seen some long range efforts. Some long-range goals.

A-League could do with a few belters! Maybe Jason Culina will provide.

A-League Season Draw out on Monday.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Local Football Radio Show Host wanted!

Nearpost Radio are looking for local football hosts to join with Russ Gibbs to cover all things local football from 7-7-30pm Every Tuesday.

Currently the local half hour is podcast and streamed as well as live to air.

If you have enthusiasm and passion for Canberra Football at any level and would like to learn more about Radio..we'll train you and get you on air.



Canberra Football Forum

Canberra Football Forum..whatever a next an A-League team?

Good luck to whoever started's about time!


Podcast: Nicola Williams

This week we talk Asian Champions League hear from Lawrie McKinna,national and from around the 27, 50 minute mark we have local news and an extended interview with Australia's foremost female football coach, FFA Scholarship holder, High School Football Teacher and W-League Coach Nicola Williams...and she's only 26!


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Is this your dream job?

Imagine teaching football all week. Not a bad job if you are a teacher!
Imagine Coaching a National League side, throw in an FFA Scholarship which includes an annual trip overseas to find a mentor, National Under 14 Selector, and Assistant to the first Australian Under 14 team heading to Vietnam in June.

This is the life of Perth Glory W-League Coach Nicola Williams and she's just 26. is where Nicola teaches; and check out Lynwood high School in West Australia. Itis one of five high schools in the West with a football program.

If you get into the football program you get to do 5 hours football a week in school time. That's more than Canberra's weekly Academy training school time!

Time for Canberra to match or improve on the West? I'm sure we can. We just need a Public School with vision and energy.

Now anyone know a teacher in a High School with a passion for kids, education and football.


Cor..Apples and Football unite...

Proud to be an Apple eater.

Batlow Apples have joined with FFA (see below) to promote'Live Active! Live Healthy! Live Socceroos!'

This is the first time the Batlow group has joined with a Sports Code in Australia.

Clearly football can take a message across the whole nation unlike League, or Union or even AFL. Besides those codes hardly fit in with the healthy lifestyle do the body tends to end up a tad bashed and broken after only 21 games per year....and try playing those games for life.

Off to get my Batlow Apple right now!

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced details of a new partnership with the Australian Produce Group (APG) which will see the two organisations work together to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to all Australians.

The first activity under this partnership is a promotion with Batlow Apples.

From today until early June over 500 independent grocers across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT will run a football specific promotion encouraging children, families and football fans to increase their intake of apples.

Entitled 'Live Active! Live Healthy! Live Socceroos!', the program will also provide nutritional advice and football coaching tips via

"This is the first time we have worked alongside a sporting code to promote the benefits of eating apples," said Sharnah Coulthart, Marketing Consultant to Batlow Apples.

"We deliberately chose football to be the first sport we worked with due to its wide appeal, particularly amongst children, and the high level of participation across Australia," she added.

Batlow Apples is also offering apple eaters the opportunity to meet a Qantas Socceroo, attend a training session and win a $250 Rebel Sport voucher. To enter the competition, participants need to purchase five Batlow apples and send in the five apple stickers along with a proof of purchase. There are also 60 consolation prizes of Socceroos merchandise to be won.

FFA CEO, Ben Buckley, said this is the first of many initiatives that FFA will work on to encourage players of all ages to complement their football with healthy eating.

"We all have a responsibility to help encourage all Australians, but especially children, to be more active and to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

"We hope that by the Qantas Socceroos supporting this activity, we can help encourage children and families to healthy eating."

Further information is available at


Nearpost Radio tonight

Nationally from 6.30 we'll discuss the issues of the week...the Mariners thumping, ACL hear from Lawrie McKinna, National Junior Championships, and have a heap of news views etc.

Locally from 7pm we'll talk to Nicola Williams, Australian Under 14 Asst Coach, and the only female coach in the W-League with Perth Glory.

We're streamed on or podcast here tomorrow. In Canberra on 98.3FM.


Monday, 13 April 2009

Aussie football: It's too expensive

FFA Technical Director Han Berger talking at the National Junior Championships in Canberra yesterday said there is a chapter in the National Curriculum (coming soon) about the financial barrier for football.

Football became the World's game because it's so easily accessible for everyone, rich or poor, everyone can play. So if there is a financial barrier, which I think there is in Australia, we have to do something about it and make football accessibly for everyone

Amen Brother!


Canberran to Coach Australia.

Former Tuggeranong boy Ante Juric will Coach the Australian inaugural Under 13 side. Ante was sitting alongside FFA Technical Director Han Berger at the trials in Canberra today.

Interviews with both will be aired on the Nearpost Radio in coming weeks.

This week we will have FFA and Perth Glory Coach Nicola Williams in the studio, one of the few professional female football coaches in Australia, maybe the only one.


Sunday, 12 April 2009

Canberra boy sees United's next rising star.

One of Canberra's Australian Under 18's Stephen Lustica, 17, went to Old Trafford last week for the first time. Stephen was there to watch his second Premier League game. His first was the previous day...West Ham v Sunderland.

The Old Trafford game, 75,000 plus saw Man United v Aston Villa. 3-2 to United with 17 year old Federico Macheda scoring that wonder goal which may yet seal the title.

Wonder what the young Canberra lad thought as he watched a rising star making his way?

Stephen is expected to sign for Gold Coast FC first team this season and will have his own opportunities...starting in Bird's Nest in China in June. Nice start!


Heading to England for a trial? Good luck.

There seem to be an increasing number of stories of young Aussie kids been "tapped on the shoulder" and then asked to pay to go and trial in England. The boys/families thinking they maybe onto something good...well let's put it in perspective.

10,000 boys trial in the UK every year for positions in the EPL, Championship, Div 1 and Div 2.....getting a trial is not hard.

Of these 3% are signed up.

Of these only 3% ever get more than 3 years pay from football.

So before you pay someone to get you a trial consider this.
Did Viduka, Kewell or Emerton have to pay for a trial in England/Europe?

And also what is in it for the guy "recommending you?"


Americans see the sense of the Round Ball.

We've all seen and still see the innane, fearful and just plain ignorant attempts at Australia's finest sports journalists to mock or run down the game of football.

Why? Well you have to ask Peter FitzSimon, Roy Masters, Andrew Stevenson, Rebecca Wilson, Mike Sheehan and all the others why they have done it over the years. Seems football, although incredibly popular at all levels in Australia has become popular inspite of any mainstream support.

No mean achievement.

And America has had a similar fear.

The latest article is written here, but unlike most Aussie articles it actually has the ability to see the benefits of the game to our children.
And of course as football becomes increasingly mainstream in Australia it is the junior base that gives the game it's increasing advantage.

Not to mention the increasing number of younger media who are able to enjoy and write positively about more than one code.

Soccer is a self-inflicted wound. Americans have nobody to blame but themselves. Conservative suburban families, the backbone of America, have turned to soccer in droves. Baseball is too intimidating, football too brutal, and basketball takes too much time to develop the required skills.

American parents in the past several decades are overworked and exhausted, but their children are overweight and neglected. Soccer is the perfect antidote to television and video games. It forces kids to run and run, and everyone can play their role, no matter how minor or irrelevant to the game. Soccer and television are the peanut butter and jelly of parenting.

And what America does....Australia follows! Rejoice.


Canberra ready but West Sydney wanted?

A-League4Canberra has investors, sponsors, a great ground, training facilities, foundation members 1700, 13,000 grassroots signatures but the FFA are pushing hard to get West Sydney.

Stories continue to be in my view "made up" around the West Sydney bid as the FFA and others attempt to stoke the fires. Little substance around any of the stories.

Fair enough. A Fox Tv deal with a second Melbourne and Sydney team makes sense to me. But if Canberra's bid is "the best ever seen," can we have 13 teams?

FFA stoking the fires

FOOTBALL Federation Australia boss Ben Buckley confirmed to Parrot that, as suggested in this paper last week, the backers of South Coast FC's A-League bid are considering extending their reach to Sydney. "There has been some discussion with the Wollongong group that they might look to expand their territory to include the western part of Sydney," Buckley said. "Wollongong has talked to us about having a western Sydney identity as well." WIN Stadium remains a headache but here's the tricky bit for South Coast - FFA won't split a team between two regions. "They need to be based in western Sydney or Wollongong, not have a halfway house," Buckley said. "If they were to be in western Sydney and have a relationship with Wollongong, that might work."


Saturday, 11 April 2009

Australian Under 13 team...Aren't we getting serious?

Aussie Under 13 boys and 14 girls teams will be selected from this weeks State trials in Canberra starting Sunday.....oh and btw the fields chosen for our nation's best should suit the least talented!

Fixtures and squads below....

As part of our new place in Asia apparently we need a young girls and boys team. We're getting serious now aren't we!

What age should one start preparing to win a spot in the National Under 13 team?

And as the teams head to Malaysia and Vietnam to represent Australia in June is it really important to be on that team for your development? Really? I think not!

10 April 2009

The next generation of Qantas Socceroos and Westfield Matildas will be on show in Canberra from this weekend at the inaugural Football Federation Australia (FFA) National Junior Championships for Under 13 Boys and Under 14 Girls.

241 representative players from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia will have their first taste of national competition at the O’Connor Football Fields.

This new competition has been specifically developed to select national teams at the Under 13 Boys and Under 14 girls age groups for the first time. Both teams will compete at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Festival of Football tournaments which will be held from 24 May to 6 June 2009 in Sabah, Malaysia for the Under 13 Boys and 24 June to 1 July in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the Under 14 Girls.

FFA CEO Ben Buckley acknowledged the important role that such events play in the FFA talent identification program .

“While the championships are not the only means of being spotted as a player with potential, this tournament is as important component of our talent identification for young talented players and will be the basis from which we will select national teams for the first time in these two age groups.

“As a member of the Asian Football Confederation, we have more opportunities than ever to participate in high quality opposition that benefits the entire football family in Australia.

“High quality opposition helps us to improve our own standards, quality of play, coaching and facilities; and as the quality of the national teams improves, the impact will be felt down the line to the grassroots players which gives us better standards of competition as a well as a larger pool of potential players for the National Youth League, the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and the national teams,” concluded Buckley.

To coincide with this tournament, FFA today also announced that former Qantas Socceroo Ante Juric has been appointed the Head Coach of the Qantas Australian Under 13 Boys National Football Team and Westfield W-League Coach of the Year, Jeff Hopkins, appointed the Head coach of the Westfield Australian Under 14 Girls National Football Team, with Perth Glory W-League & FFA Scholarship coach Nicola Williams as his assistant coach. In addition, recently retired Westfield Matilda Joey Peters will also work with the Australian Under Under 14 Girls National Team as well as participate in Women’s Football Coaching Course during the festival.

Juric, Hopkins, Williams, along with Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni and FFA Technical Director, Han Berger, will select the respective national teams at the completion of the tournament.


2009 FFA National Junior Championships

Boys Under 13 and Girls Under 14

12-18 April, 2009

O’Connor Fields, Canberra - ACT

2009 FFA National Junior Championships - Boys Under 13 - Official Draw

Day One – Sunday 12th April 2009

Northern NSW

New South Wales

South Australia

Western Australia
Australian Capital Territory

Day Two – Monday 13th April 2009

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales

Northern NSW
Western Australia

South Australia


Day Three – Tuesday 14th April 2009


Australian Capital Territory
Northern NSW

Western Australia
New South Wales

South Australia

Day Four – Wednesday 15th April 2009

South Australia
New South Wales

Australian Capital Territory

Northern NSW

Western Australia

Day Five – Thursday 16th April 2009

Australian Capital Territory

Northern NSW
South Australia

Western Australia

New South Wales

Day Six – Friday 17th April 2009


New South Wales
Northern NSW

Australian Capital Territory

Western Australia
South Australia

Day Seven – Saturday 18th April 2009


Northern NSW
Western Australia

South Australia

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales

2009 FFA National Junior Championships - Boys Under 13 – Squad Lists

Australian Capital Territory: 1.Nicolas Everett, 2.Antonio Barbaro, 3.William Boag-Taylor, 4.Robert Dojcinovski, 5.Michael Fowler, 6.Alex Gelonesi, 7.David Jenkins, 8.Nicholas Matkovic, 9.Alex Moscaritillo, 10.Andrew Nguyen, 11.Jak Olim, 12.Alex Popovich, 13.Nikolas Popovich, 14.Alex Tilley, 15.Jordan Tskenis, 16.Marin Ugrinic

Coach - Anthony Radford

Northern NSW: 1.Jake Fairhall, 2.Ryan Bailey, 3.Willis Nadfalusi, 4.Ben Butler, 5.Daniel Andrews, 6.Benjamin Hay, 7.Jayden Walker, 8.Andrew Pawiak, 9.Stefan Barrie, 10.Darcy Owens, 11.Reece Papas, 12.Liam Parker, 13.Mitchell Neskovski, 14.Kalen Petrie, 15.Zachary Sneddon, 16.Sam Kerry

Coach - Brett Cowburn

New South Wales: 1.Dylan Vandenberg, 2.Sipan Berti, 3.Bright Appiah, 4.Jordan Nadalin, 5.Kevin Ly, 6.Giuseppe Camera, 7.Richard Blanco, 8.Taron Pelligra, 9.James Baldachino, 10.Mitchell Walker, 11.Adrian Lara, 12.Jake Adelson, 13.Vincent Giannini, 14.Noah Chianese, 15.Brandon Lundy, 16.Blake Tuxford

Coach - Tim Wilson

Queensland: 1.Jordan Thurtell, 2.Reece Dalton, 3.Hayden Dow, 4.Jack Gleadhill, 5.Logan Grillo, 6.Mitchell Hore, 7.Ryan Lee, 8.Aiden Naughton, 9.Conor O’Neill, 10.Stephen O’Neill, 11.Morgan Saunders, 12.Samuel Sibatuara, 13.Fraser Stevens, 14.Tyler Wagstaffe, 15.Mark Willett, 16.Michael Haydock

Coach - Pat Hedges

South Australia: 1.Sam McKechnie-Merrick, 2.Dylan Centrone, 3.Thomas Dama, 4.Jerome Dunphy, 5.Sam Georgiadis, 6.Declan Hamilton, 7.Thomas Hector, 8.Zac Hristodoupoulos, 9.Marc Marino, 10.Christos Poundenis, 11.Shahwali Rezaee, 12.Chris Skull, 13.Dylan Smith, 14.Ante Markulic, 15.Ben Warland, 16.Harrison Stoneham

Coach - Rod Del Nido

Tasmania: 1.Nicholas Becker, 2.Joshua Garland, 3.Alessandro Bellini, 4.Paul Stevens, 5.Tyler Wooldridge, 6.Samuel Ross, 7.Bradley Martin, 8.Nicholas Morton, 9.Joshua Williamson, 10.Jesse Curran, 11.Samuel Orchard, 12.Connor Parke, 13.Digby Ayton, 14.Hayden Jackson, 15.Conor Brownless, 16.Karl Otte

Coach - Mike Denton

Victoria: 1.Nabi Tuna, 2.Jordan Brown, 3.Jarrah Clear, 4.Keiran Dover, 5.Ajdin Hrustic, 6.Anthony Laus, 7.John Maclean, 8.Dimitar Mitkov, 9.Milos Ridesic, 10.Lewis Smirlis, 11.Simon Soumelidis, 12.Harris Stamboulidis, 13.Adem Turcan, 14.James Vafiadis, 15.Ardian Vuniqi, 16.Luke Gallo

Coach - Michael Pichner

Western Australia: 1.Pasquale Gioffre, 2.Leo Athanasiou, 3.Tom Beadling, 4.Gareth Crawley, 5.Daniel De Silva, 6.Anton De Francesch, 7.Harrison Hawkins, 8.Ben Hombert, 9.Jack Iredale, 10.Ben Johns, 11.Billy Jones, 12.Pearse Mckee, 13.Matthew Ntoumenopoulos, 14.Rocco Pizatta, 15.Dejan Spasevski, 16.Daniel Passarelli

Coach - Warren Grieve

2009 FFA National Junior Championships - Girls Under 14 - Official Draw

Day One – Sunday 12th April 2009

New South Wales

Northern NSW

Australian Capital Territory
Western Australia

South Australia

Day Two – Monday 13th April 2009

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales

South Australia
Western Australia

Northern NSW


Day Three – Tuesday 14th April 2009

Northern NSW
South Australia

Western Australia
New South Wales


Australian Capital Territory

Day Four – Wednesday 15th April 2009

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales
South Australia

Northern NSW

Day Five – Thursday 16th April 2009

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales
Northern NSW

South Australia

Western Australia

Day Six – Friday 17th April 2009

New South Wales

South Australia
Australian Capital Territory

Northern NSW
Western Australia


Day Seven – Saturday 18th April 2009

Western Australia

South Australia

Australian Capital Territory
Northern NSW

New South Wales

2009 FFA National Junior Championships - Girls Under 14 - Squad Lists

Australian Capital Territory: 1.Teah Fogarty, 2.Hayley Armstrong, 3.Chloe Gash, 4.Rebecca Collins, 5.Kadee Hollis, 6.Bronte Carlin, 7.Lauren Keir, 8.Monica Cerro, 9.Meg McLaughlin, 10.Amy McLachlan, 11.Gabriella Ciardullo, 12.Stephanie Coates, 13.Carly Nelson, 14.Natalie De Marco, 15.Nia Southwell, 16.Faina Bariesheff

Coach - Erin Frewin

Northern NSW: 1.Sophie Thompson, 2.Emmalee Harris, 3.Jordan Evans, 4.Taylah Smith, 5.Nadja Squires, 6.Claire Cummings, 7.Mikaela Howell, 8.Grace MacIntyre, 9.Madeline Smith, 10.Adianna Jones, 11.Annie Senkalski, 12.Kiera Plumbe, 13.Izzy Cootes, 14.Olivia Price, 15.Iesha Veness, 16.Emma Hayes
Coach - David Smith

New South Wales: 1.Georgia Rowntree, 2.Alisha Bass, 3.Madison Burgin, 4.Melissa Caceres, 5.Annika Clayton, 6.Yvonne Illioglou, 7.Alanna Kennedy, 8.Christina Palumbo, 9.Kristi Pavlicevic, 10.Elizabeth Ralston, 11.Natalie Tobin, 12.Natasha Sterjovski, 13.Jessica Dominello, 14.Lucy Metcalfe, 15.Kristina Janeska, 16.Sharamin Khamis

Coach: Nadine Shiels

Queensland: 1.Eliza Campbell, 2.Riannon Bettini, 3.Sophie Boller, 4.Marnie Boraso, 5.Lauren Brown, 6.Sarah Byers, 7.Stephanie Harrison, 8.Sophie Maguire, 9.Amy Morland, 10.Bronte Rose, 11.Sofie Spelta, 12.Jamie Stanton, 13.Alicia Van Laarhoven, 14.Harriet Withers, 15.Isabella Wyman, 16.Chantelle Ryder

Coach: Keren Thomas

South Australia: 1.Natasha Shelton, 2.Tori Battersby, 3.Ellie Bills, 4.Charlotte Dawe, 5.Kiara Fragomeli, 6.Monique Iannella, 7.Tahlia McGrath, 8.Zoe Michael, 9.Zoe Sgargetta, 10.Katherine-Anne Sortini, 11.Ashleigh Spear, 12.Monique Varricchio, 13.Mariah Vladimirov, 14.Jessica Waterhouse, 15.Madeline Cool, 16.Sophie Kitt, 17.Jesse Williams

Coach: Jonathan Ruse

Victoria:1.Megan Thompson, 2.Alexandra Natoli, 3.Zoe Courtney, 4.Elise Manassa, 5.Alyssa Sproule-Carroll-Tyler, 6.Carla Versace, 7.Allison Clarke, 8.Kate Fotopoulos, 9.Kariah White, 10.Julia Sardo, 11.Ebru Hasan, 12.Claudia Dimasi, 13.Claudia Fruscalzo, 14.Helina Vunderl-Messis, 15.Greta Low, 16.Madeline Hince

Coach - Andrew De Petro

Western Australia: 1.Evie Gooch, 2.Emily Burton, 3.Zoe Covell, 4.Hope Compton, 5.Korien Stanbridge, 6.Beth Wimbush, 7.Sarah Carroll, 8.Amy Smedling, 9.Giorgia Alford, 10.Thia Eastman, 11.Monique Saunders, 12.Caitlin Doeglas, 13.Alexandra Lovelock, 14.Emily Henderson, 15.Toni Walden, 16.Lauren Blackledge

Coach - Ann Gourley


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Easter is a great time to bonk......

No I haven't gone mad..research shows if you want your kid to succeed at football in Australia or indeed any other sport this weekend could be the one.

The next and newest Australian National teams are about to be picked. Australia Under 13 girls and Under 14 for boys! With the girls heading to Vietnam and the boys to Malaysia in the coming months, both historic sides will be picked from the week long tournaments which take place in Canberra this weekend.......

But what has this got to do with bonking?

Scholars of the game, who have studied national teams across the globe of ALL ages, found that most players were born in the first half of the year.

In Australia's case all players play in age ranges that start at the beginning of any given calender year.

For example take my daughter. She's ten.

In her class, year 5 at school, she goes quite well and today was her Cross-Country Carnival.

It's a small group say 25 girls but twenty of her class mates were born in 1998 so she doesn't run against them. Some of them are eight months older than her. So given she's only been running for about 5 years, eight months is a lot of extra development in terms of lung, and muscle capacity.

But my daughter is born in January 1999. Thank the Lord and no it wasn't planned! So she gets to run with the five or so kids who were born in 1999 from her class and another 20 or so from the younger class. School Class years start April/May in Australia, but sport rep teams run from Jan/Dec.

So when compared to a kid who is born in November 1999 she has 11 months..or nearly a full year of additional development. In a physical sense this is huge....genetics aside.

So come to football.

A player born in January has a much better chance of getting into a Rep side than a player born in December.

It's simple isn't it.

Two players of similar ability. The one who is older will have more time to develop therefore is more likely to get chosen in the Grade A Club side and likewise the Youngest Representative sides.

So what you might say.

But as we all know these kids benefit from the best coaches at Club and State Level. You'd expect their skills and physique to improve at a faster rate than the younger kids who missed out....and when the next selection camp comes the following year given they've had an extra years quality training...they'll probably get picked again..and again.

At any age, 11, 14, 17 or 20 a player born in January will have almost a full years further development in terms of physique, motor skills and practice therefore it is no surprise to see the national rep sides of ALL countries full of players born in the first six months of any year.

So if your kid is born from August-December forget your Aussie sport and make sure they study at school or failing that try for another kid...this weekend.

For the record my daughter won her race today!

And of course there are always exceptions...just not as many as you might think.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

McKinna: We thought we could match them at football?

Lawrie said this after the game last night on Fox!

Even I wouldn't have thought that and I'm no coach.....would you?


McKinna learns nothing from Vidmar and Verbeek!

Mariners only conceded 5 at could have been more!

Haven't seen many teams as outclassed as the Central Coast Mariners for many years. Haven't seen a home coach get it so wrong either.

And can the Central Coast Mariners hierarchy or fans except that?

Celtic, my team, have had many pastings at the hands of Barcelona and Man United in recent years but funnily enough we rarely badly as this. Gordon Strachan knows the limitations of his budget when up against Ronaldo or Ronaldinho and co and changes tactics from the usual onslaught of teams at Parkhead in the Scottish League.

McKinna clearly doesn't.

Did he really think his team are a better ball playing side than Melbourne Victory, Sydney or Adelaide who all worked very hard to get close to Japanese sides in recent years?

The Mariners have always been the worst football team in the A-League. Producing a brand of football which has Matt Simon, Dylan MaCallister and Nik Mrdja as their potent weapons... passable for the A-League maybe, but never going to cut it against better football sides and in Kawasaki they met one....although in truth the Mariners played right into their hands.

Kawasaki attacked with four at times. And they were the away side! And of course once they realised how limited the Mariners were tactically and technically it was party time.

Coach Lawrie McKinna had to chase the game once they'd conceded but really the game was lost in the planning...not tonight but over the past years!

Where is a Travis Dodd, a Steve Corica or Archie Thompson, at the other end Kevin Muscat, Ange Costanzo and Mark Milligan all added quality and techinique to previous Australian Asia representatives.

With a Salary Cap in operation you should be able to recruit a couple of ball players at least.

Adelaide United a more ball playing Aussie side did well last year but they only ever played one striker. Frustrating to watch but to great effect. Australia in Asia the same! Maybe McKinna hadn't watched the games.

The Mariners have no Diego, Cassio or Dodd in midfield to create something, anything against Asian opposition, and it showed. Shane Huke, John Hutchison, Adrian Caceres and Matt Osman don't offer much creativity or real threat do they?

But still the Mariners went with two forwards against a quality Japanese side and this exposed Mariners defence/midfield immediately.

The Jets worked a better plan the night before albeit against a strangely naive Japanese side. But even with their ravaged season, Ljubo Milicevic, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ben Kantarovski, Tarek Elrich Sasho Petrovski and Adam Griffith give much more ball retention possibilities and a chance to play a different game. And they did both with and without the ball.

Maybe Con Constantine is not so daft after all.

Lawrie McKinna has it all wrong. The type of players he has recruited means he has little choice in how he plays. Although with five in midfield he would have had a better plan than the limited 442. And there is really no excuse for such a defensively inept display.

Have the players been coached at all? What has Alex Tobin been doing?

McKinna should have gone with one upfront, learnt from Aurelio Vidmar and Pim Verbeek. Even at home with better technical players these sides only played one at home.

McKinna tried to take a Japanese side on. With what?

No wing option, no ball retaining quality and no forward with any real creativity. How did he think he was going to succeed?

Robbie Slater said this was a wonderful performance from Kawasaki but really are they that good?

I'm not so sure.

The Mariners were an embarassment to Australia and I've seen Coaches resign, never mind sacked for less.

Maybe after five years of blood and guts football at the Mariners it's time to aspire to something better on the Central Coast.

With this style of play there is no real future for the Mariners or Lawrie there?