Saturday, 30 May 2009

Come on Timmy!

I reckon Timmy Cahill has no chance tonight in the FA Cup Final, and I won't be watching. Well last year I watched Portsmouth that was dire and the year before that I didn't watch, I rarely do.

I grew up watching Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final every year at Hampden Park, it seemed like it at least, so the English Cup Final often passed me by or maybe it was because it almost always a boring end of season snorefest.

In Australia now, I have little interest in watching Chelsea and Everton two of the least un-Barca like teams around, and besides most games in England are pretty predictable when they are between one of the top four and the rest...even if Everton are fifth.

So good luck to Timmy and of course Falkirk in Scotland.

And then it'll be time to get Timmy over to Qatar (again) for the real game next weekend. I'll be up for that one.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Little Men v Big Boys

When Manchester United play my team Celtic we are unable to get the ball.

And when Man Utd play Barcelona they are unable to get the ball.

Now given the difference in budgets between Celtic and Man United this is understandable.

But for United to be outclassed as they were this morning in the biggest game of club football, the European Champions League Final, against Barcelona..well it was embarrasing for any United fan...and aren't there heaps of them!

Here's why Fergie lost.

Well United are a great team and can keep the ball forever against Celtic, Stoke, Middlesboro, Newcastle or even Aston Villa...but they rely heavily on counter-attack football, their individual stars and they have many, against top top sides, and in Ronaldo they have a one man goal machine. And he didn't score.

Barcelona won for the little people. Iniesta, Messi not a giant among them showing the world that anyone, of any size can control a game of football at the highest level.

United met their match, as they did in the Semi last year. At Old Trafford United couldn't get the ball, but Paul Scholes lashed one home. Barca despite dominating never scored. But the difference in class was seen that day.

Why United with Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs, Anderson, Ferdinand, Evra, Tevez, and co can't keep the ball says a lot about Barcelona, their passing and more importantly their movement.

Today Barcelona apart from the first ten minutes completely controlled the game and surely should have won by more, and if Thierry Henry or Iniesta had scored early in the second half the game won have been won.

Of course Aussie fans will be sick to death of hearing from Craig Foster about this co-operative club from Barcelona, but no more sick than the rest of the football community are at hearing how wonderful Man United are when they beat West Brom, Everton, Wigan or the like.

This was a great game. Two teams at the top of their game, United unbeaten in 25 yet at the highest level of the game, yet they were left wilting.

Imagine going to a final and producing like that. Fergie..surely it's your fault. Few Man United fans can accept such a debacle or can they.

Gus Hiddink showed the way to get close to Barca but to their credit United played the United it was Barcelona who set the standard for football.

Let's see how many emails I get from United fans today telling me how wonderful they are...suspect the phone lines will be quiet for awhile.


FFA: Dutch? We meant Catalonia

Big clear out at the FFA as they realised they developed the wrong technical programme...too late I guess.


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Canberra: All codes united.

Great to see a plan for a 26,5000 stadium, a football stadium, one with real atmosphere, close to the pitch, built for the future here in little old Canberra

And isn't it great to see a World Cup bid, unlike the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which will leave a legacy for football.

From the Canberra Times:

The second rectangular stadium would be purpose-built for soccer, rugby league and rugby union.

And the Brumbies and Raiders will benefit...amen to that..and maybe now they'll stop their shenanigans at the political level and join Andrew Fagan(foundation member)Andy Friend (foundation member) and Don Furner in their support for an A-League team.

ACT Goverment have seen the vision the FFA have "completely changed their view" on Canberra crowds after the Socceroos game.

So the vision is there, we just need that tick from the FFA.

And you start to wonder..would the FFA want to upset the Government, a big supporter of the A-League bid, by knocking the Canberra bid out of contention.

Things are started to move.


Newsletter for my local football club.

Got to keep busy somehow so i'm writing my junior clubs' newsletter


Canberra Futsal goes to NSW

Meet Boomerang FC.

And well done Eddie Senatore and Kristian Collins for doing something that no-one else in Canberra football have been able to do.

Futsal teams under new club Boomerang FC from 12 boys and girls to Premiers will play in NSW Premier Futsal league. The implications for Canberra are awesome if you understand the size of the game in Asia and Worldwide, for now read on. But sshh seems it's a secret!! From Peter Funnel

Boomerangs F.S a new initiative in Futsal in the ACT

There is a new Futsal club in the ACT – Boomerangs F.S. The club has been set up by Eddie Senatore and Kristain Collins to address a glaring deficiency in the development of Futsal players in the ACT – the development of players who wish to play Futsal to a higher standard than is on offer in our domestic competition.

The Boomerangs were created to achieve this aim. As they say, everyone wins.

The initiative is fully supported by Capital Football and on one important condition – the Boomerangs must support ACT Futsal.

The solution is devastatingly simple and achievable – the Boomerangs have gained entry to the Football NSW Super League Competition for the 2009/10 season.

We now have terrific pathway for our better and best Futsal players to participate in competitions of a much higher standard than the ACT competition. What a coup!

What a brilliant and elegant solution. It is a solution that takes nothing away from the ACT competition – quiet the opposite. To be eligible to play for the Boomerangs you have to be playing in the ACT competition.

So there we have it. Our better or best Futsal players will continue to play for their ACT teams and be simultaneously developed for higher levels of competition (particularly the Nationals) by direct participation in higher standard of competition through the Boomerangs.

That’s how it should work – in football and futsal! We are leveraging off something that already exists in the game, not creating new structures or tearing our limited playing strength to pieces.

We can all learn a lot from this initiative. It shows us how things might be done in the future in football in the ACT, and most particularly in the “talented” development regime, as we implement a new curriculum from the FFA, which will demand new and innovative thinking for it to be successfully implemented in the ACT.

In times of change and necessity it is encouraging to see Capital Football construct a new way of doing business – enabling the development of Football and Futsal. A good idea can come from anywhere.

As General Patton was said to fond of saying – “If everyone is thinking the same, then no one is thinking”. Correct. Or as my old football coach said too often for confort – “if you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” Correct again!

Good thing Eddie Senatore thinks outside the box, has an eye for a good option and the energy to get things going. Better still that Capital Football grasped the idea and the opportunity.

Empowering other sections of our football and futsal community (with appropriate conditions and controls to Capital Football) to undertake actions on our collective behalf is a smart way to do business in a small community like the ACT.

Capital Football simply can’t do it all itself and will only fall victim to itself if tries to do so. This approach assists Capital Football concentrate on it’s core business and be a leader and lead organisation, rather than a Club.

Did we construct a new “academy”, have another “review”, hamstring it with unnecessary administrative bureaucracy, subject it to selfish personal agendas and mischievous football nonsense - not a bit of it. That’s not to say there may not have been some hard talking and debate – fair enough if it happened.

Importantly, a smart, motivated football / futsal coach got an idea in his head about how he could make our teams more competitive at the Futsal Nationals, after having coached teams that fell to more robust NSW teams.

I am not sure of the Boomerang’s administrative detail, training venues or costs at this stage, but the detail will follow. These are areas where Capital Football can provide professional assistance and I hope they do if it is needed.

We have a robust and increasingly popular Futsal competition in summer across the age groups. Capital Football fields many players of all ages and gender in thanks to the selfless efforts of so many hard working volunteers. This will make them happy.

The Boomerangs will brake new and important ground on behalf of Futsal in the ACT and Capital Football are to be congratulated for the foresight and flexibility. Now to make it work.

The following is the text of an email notice sent out by Capital Football to futsal players / parents:

Dear Player,

Boomerangs F.S. has been admitted to play in the Football NSW Super League Competition for the 2009/10 season. Canberra’s inaugural Futsal club Boomerangs F.S. is calling for expressions of interest from players wishing to participate in Super League competition. This fantastic Boomerangs F.S. initiative will be offered to 10 players for each age category below.

The Age Groups offered for this competition are as follows:
12 Boys 12 Girls (born 1997 or before)
14 Boys 14 Girls (born 1996/95)
16 Boys 16 Girls (born 1994/93)
Youth Men (born 1990/91/92)
Open Men Open Womens (all age)

The Competition will run over 16-17 weeks starting in September and concluding in early February 2010. Players will compete in 14 matches against NSW based clubs, 7 of these will be based at home in Canberra and 7 away matches in Sydney.

Please note this does not replace the local South & North Canberra Futsal, or Capital Football run competitions, players will have to participate locally in Canberra before being considered for a position in a Super League Boomerangs F.S. team.

This is a wonderful opportunity to develop and improve skills in highly competitive matches against seasoned Futsal clubs.

Please respond to this letter by email at the following address Expressions of interests close 12th June 2009.

We sincerely hope you take on this challenge and strongly consider this wonderful opportunity to test yourself against the best Futsal players that NSW has to offer.

Yours sincerely,

Kristian Collins Eddie Senatore


Canberra A-League Bid: Decision imminent

We've waited along time.

Decision is now imminent. More to follow.

Well Western Sydney, the three bids, meet the FFA this week, so given the passion of the FFA for a team from the West you can be assured if ANY model is strong and financial they'll be pushed ahead...and quickly.

The World Cup is the focus for the FFA in June with the launch and video launch and a host of games happening, so the FFA will need to be announcing an A-League team(s) fro 2010 in July or asap after that.

So I'm expecting a leak as early as this weekend, if any bid from West Sydney is real and cashed up it'll be leaked to build further momentum.

And if not, well Canberra is ripe for the 12th spot and of course the FFA need a 12th team.

And there is the added complication:

The World Cup bid is launched in Canberra, indeed the ACT Government are well ahead in planning for a new stadium and desperately see the value of an A-League team.

Given the FFA now believe we can sustain a team, crowds were a concern they are no longer after the Socceroos game in March, what will they do with Canberra?

Go to 13 teams, leave West Sydney out, leave Canberra out or go to 12 teams and give Canberra the "next" licence.

So imminent, but may not be announced, in my view until July, but we'll know before then.


Nearpost Radio/Podcast

National Show. DownloadGlen Thomson Coach of the Borroloola Cyclones, and Paddy Bordier, Anthony Hatton and myself discuss ACL, Newcastle Jets and can Australia support a Second Division. Quiz, dedications to our Costa Rica listeners and more.


Players FC Boss Anthony Hatton leads the way in junior development in Canberra. His innovative and highly learned approach leaves all local clubs and Academies for dead.

He focuses on the younger end and his model is well worth considering. Peter Funnell and Anthony discuss the club and the requirements of our youngest footballers.


The beautiful game

Companion House
Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma

World Refugee Day
Soccer Tournament

Sport is a great way to build communities and to
celebrate.This event has been organised to celebrate
World Refugee Day, and strengthen the ties between
refugee communities in Australia.
A team from the Sudan and Sierra Leone, Karen and Mon
community will compete in a friendly soccer match.

Companion House
Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma

World Refugee Day
Soccer Tournament

Sport is a great way to build communities and to
celebrate.This event has been organised to celebrate
World Refugee Day, and strengthen the ties between
refugee communities in Australia.
A team from the Sudan and Sierra Leone, Karen and Mon
community will compete in a friendly soccer match.

Sunday 2 1 s t Ju n e 2 0 0 9
Venue: AIS
Outdoor Synthetic Field
Bruce, ACT
(Entry by – Leverrier Crescent)

10.30 – 10:50 am Kids game
10:50 -11.10am Friendly game
11:10 - 11.30am Team warm up
11:35 – 11:40am Fair Play Speech by
Refugee Ambassador, Graceman
11:45am – First Round Kick Off
12: 30pm Half time activities
BBQ and family fun
1:00 pm Second round kick off
2:00 pm Presentation of Trophy
2:15 pm Closing remark by Director
of Companion House


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Nearpost in Costa Rica

Over 2,000 people download the radio show each week. We've had listeners from Germany, Scotland, South Africa and now our Aussie and local friends in Costa Rica say g'day

I'm an Australian currently living in Costa Rica. I wanted to thank you for a great show and keeping me up to date with all football news from Australia and around the world.

It's Tuesday morning here when I listen to you and I along with many friends who are increasing in number, we do so regularly. Now with Costa Ricans Carlos Hernandez and Jose Luis Lopez playing in Australia there's a growing interest (from here) in the A-League. It's great that your program is available on podcast, makes it easier to spread the word.

Keep up the good work,


Full-back scores hat-trick

Canberra United full-back Nicole Sykes scored three on debut for Young Matildas, she wore the number 9 shirt...hey isn't Ashleigh meant to be the striker, Nic!

7-0 the YM's thrashed Finland. Nice one!

Tuesday 26 May 2009

A hat-trick of goals to Angela Fimmano and Nicole Sykes has helped the Westfield Young Matildas to an impressive 7-0 victory over the Finland U-19 Women’s Team in Italy yesterday. The feat was especially memorable for Sykes who was also making her Westfield Young Matildas debut.

After conceding two goals in the opening 10 minutes on Saturday, Finland made a better start to the second of their international friendly matches against the Westfield Young Matildas with some early end-to-end action.

Any hope for a change in fortune for the Finns was quashed in the 12th minute when Linda O’Neill hit a solid shot from 20 metres out which struck the cross-bar and bounced back into play. Nicola Bolger was on hand to capitalise on the rebound and tapped in from close range to open the scoring for the Westfield Young Matildas.

Three minutes later, the misfortune of Finland continued when they conceded a penalty for a hand ball in the box. Angela Fimmano stepped up to the spot and neatly placed her shot inside the left post, just out of reach of the Finnish goalkeeper Ina Suutari who had dived to the correct side.

The Westfield Young Matildas extended their lead in the 21st minute when a free-kick from Ella Mastrantonio on the right found Nicola Sykes on the edge of the 6-yard box. Sykes headed the ball into the top left corner to score her first international goal on debut.

Finland rallied for the remainder of the first half, creating a number of chances, but none that particularly threatened the Westfield Young Matildas goal.

The Westfield Young Matildas survived an early scare shortly after the start of the second half when Linda O’Neill had to clear the ball off her own goal-line following a goal-mouth scramble from a Finland corner.

Nicole Sykes added her second goal of the match in the 50th minute after she received a long ball on the edge of the box from Teigan Allen at the back. Sykes was able to turn and hit a great strike into the top right corner of the goal.

Two minutes later, Sykes completed her hat-trick in similar circumstances when Marianna Tabain played her in with another long ball from the back. Nicole entered the box at speed, and then hit a left footed shot, from an acute angle, which snuck inside the right post and into the goal.

Angela Fimmano scored the Westfield Young Matildas sixth goal close to the hour mark following some good build up play. Marianna Tabain played in Ashleigh Sykes out wide who in turn crossed back to Fimmano in the box. Fimmano then let loose a stinging shot, which was assisted by a slight deflection from a Finnish defender, and found the back of the net.

Fimmano scored her third goal of the game in the 70th minute slotting home from close range after Nicole Sykes set her up with a neat cutback from the by-line.

Finland continued to press forward in the closing stages of the match, but the Westfield Young Matildas defence held firm to keep their goal intact and record a morale boosting 7-0 win at the final whistle.

Westfield Young Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic was full of praise for his young team’s performance.

“It was a very good performance considering 9 of the 11 starters were aged 17 years and under.

“Our play in the attacking third and the quality of our finishing was especially pleasing.

“I’m particularly happy for Nicole Sykes, who scored a hat trick on her debut and has shown rapid improvement this year.

“But once again, still lots of room for improvement if we are to compete against the likes of Germany and the top Asian nations” concluded Stajcic.

The Westfield Young Matildas will now play the German U-19 Women’s team tomorrow (27 May), followed by the Inter Milan Women (30 May) at Varese and then the Thailand U-19 Women’s team (6 June) in Bangkok on their way back to Australia.


Match Details
Westfield Young Matildas 7 (Nicola Bolger 12’, Angela Fimmano 15’/57’/70’, Nicola Sykes 21’/50’/52’)
Finland U-19 Women’s team 0
Gavirate Stadia, Varese, Italy

Westfield Young Matildas line-up: 18.Casey DUMONT (gk), 3.Teigan ALLEN (4.Karina ROWETH 62’), 5.Jessica SEAMAN, 8.Bronwyn STUDMAN, 25.Marianna TABAIN (15.Kyah SIMON 73’), 6.Ella MASTRANTONIO, 7.Angela FIMMANO, 9.Nicole SYKES, 11.Linda O'NEILL, 13.Nicola BOLGER (2.Ashleigh SYKES 46’), 24.Samantha KERR.

Substitutes Not Used: 1.Sian MCLAREN (gk) (c), 12.Alesha CLIFFORD, 14.Courtney BEUTEL, 16.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 22.Teresa POLIAS, 23.Tameka BUTT.

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Finland U-19 Women’s line-up: 12.Ina SUUTARI (gk), 3.Aino LEHTINEN, 5.Tiina VATANEN, 6.Sanna PORALI (c), 8.Marianna TOLVANEN, 10.Lida MUINONEN, 11.Nelli BACK, 15.Lila RÄIHÄLÄ (13.Sanna SAARINEN 71’), 16.Venni LEINONEN, 17.Tina KOHONEN, 18.Dali MELLER (4.Mira LÖNNROT 43’ (2.Charlotte THIBAULT 62’))

Substitutes Not Used: 1.Katja KANKAANPÄÄ (gk), 7.Sofia DEMIRBAS, 9.Sini IHAMÄKI, 14.Jessi HIETANEN,

Yellow Cards: Tiina Vatanen 9’, 8.Marianna Tolvanen 73’, 10.Lida Muinonen

Red Cards: None


FFA: Aussie kids are ours...all ours.

A-League Clubs to strengthen?

The FFA have taken another hold on the future of football by effectively barring players from running overseas below the age of 18, in line with FIFA regulations.

Why this hasn't been in place earlier? Clearly the FFA haven't had the funds to police it. They do now. This from the SMH.

A player under 18 can move abroad only if his parents accompany him to his new club "for reasons not linked to football" - a grey area that can be exploited if a national association is not inclined to investigate too thoroughly before issuing an International Transfer Certificate.

In the past, the FFA might have been accused of being less than vigilant, but not any more.

Players need FFA international clearance, they'll no longer get it unless they can show they are going to live as a family for reasons other than football.

Which means all players will stay in Australia, trials aside, until they are 18 which is great for the promotion of the game to our youth who are still so focused on going overseas they forget that the best pathway in almost all cases is to show you can star in the A-League before you go o/s.

And God help the money-raking playing "Academies," who are desperate to take our 12,13, 14, 15 and 16 year olds overseas..for whose benefit?

To succeed from Australia: Think Bruce Djite, Nathan Burns, James Holland, Ben Kantarvoski, Mark Viduka, Brett Emerton, Nicky Carle, and Jason Culina

For the other way..think Nicky Rizzo, James McMaster, Scott Jamieson, not to mention the hundred players playing in some micky mouse English lower league who you've probably never heard of.


FFA: 12th place decision on the way....maybe

Canberra's chances of an A-League side in the immediate future should be decided in the next week or so. Although many suspect we've already been marked.

As many Canberrans have suspected if West Sydney are developed, and the word is they aren't to a level that the FFA would like to see, then they will be in.

But it is not beyond our thinking to realise that a West Sydney bid can get in with far less funds and infrastructure than Canberra.

Anyhoo at least we'll have a decision..fingers crossed.

SMH today

Meanwhile, the chances of a west Sydney team joining the A-League next year will start to become clearer when three rival bids make submissions to the FFA in the next 10 days. Buckley confirmed three west Sydney groups, plus others from Wollongong and Canberra, were due to present their bids, with the FFA board potentially making a decision on the 12th licence when it next meets next month.

"Is this the week which decides everything? I don't think you can say that, but things should become clearer," he said.

"Some bids are more advanced that others, and this week is an opportunity to assess that because we will be having direct discussions. We'd like to be able to present to the board the status of all the bids at the next meeting, but whether the board feels ready to award the licence at that time will depend on the level of detail involved."


Monday, 25 May 2009

Borroloola Cyclones. Nearpost salutes you!

How big is your local population your local club, your local town, your local Football Federation?
How would your local junior club, town or Federation fare if they took on a Nation.

Borroloola Cyclones. Population 600. Yes that's 600 people of which maybe half are under 20 and half of them are boys and girls.

Well the "Nation" of Borroloola took on East Timor, Aceh and Macau recently in the Arafura Games held in Darwin. They lost a number of games but only by 2,3 or 4 which as you know in Junior football never mind junior international football is nothing.

And they beat an NT Representative side!

Think of a village of 600 people near do you think they would fare against East Timor or Aceh?

We hear from Cyclones Coach Glen Thomson, a true legend of Australian football, on the Nearpost on Tuesday, catch the podcast on here on Wednesday.


ACT Primary Schools Cup...don't miss out.

It's back, sponsored and organised by Coerver. Adrian Haynes fmr Primary School teacher has taken up the reigns empty since Chris Conti retired.

But they need more schools! So tell your teacher who may support AFL, Union and League; tell them that their kids want to represent their school in the sport they play

Girls and Boys teams...get onto your teacher today..and if they won't do it for will love you forever.


Dear Sports Coordinator,

COERVER ® Coaching is the World’s Number One Soccer skills teaching method and will be coordinating the upcoming Primary Schools Football (Soccer) COERVER ® CUP. In my previous employment I was a teacher for the past 7 years in the ACT Primary School System prior to taking up my position with COERVER® Coaching as Assistant Manager.

Since Chris Conti retired there has not been a football (soccer) competition run for ACT Primary Schools to participate in. One of my aims this year is to provide an opportunity for schools to participate in a one day carnival with the emphasis being on participation and friendly competition.

Each PSSA zone will have a one day carnival for both boys and girls teams. The carnivals will be run in weeks 8 and 9 of term 2 at a venue in your PSSA zone.

Dates and Venue of Carnivals for each PSSA Zone
All carnivals will run 9am- 3pm

1 Tuggeranong Wanniassa Playing Fields Monday 15TH June
2 Murrumbidgee Calwell Playing Fields Tuesday 16th June
3 Belconnen Kaleen Enclosed Wednesday 17th June
4 Gungahlin Kaleen Enclosed Thursday 18th June
5 Woden/Weston Waramanga Playing Fields Monday 22nd June
6 North Canberra Dickson Playing Fields Tuesday 23rd June
7 South Canberra Mawson Playing Fields Wednesday 24th June

• Schools are invited to nominate one girls and one boys team for the carnival.

• If your school would like you can enter one mixed team of boys and girls which will compete in the boys competition.

• Players may come from years 4, 5 and 6. It is up to individual schools to decide what age group they bring their players from, but primarily the players should be from years 5 and 6.

Please note: Due to field availability and the logistics of running such a carnival, numbers will be strictly limited to 8 boys teams and 8 girls teams per PSSA Zone. The first 8 schools to enter teams will secure a place in the carnival.

• The cost of the carnival will be $8 per player.
• Schools are encouraged to bring up to 16 players per team.
• The rules will be Under 12 competition rules.
• 11 players per team on the field at one time.
• Full field games.
• 25 minute games no half time break, straight change of ends,
• Unlimited interchange to be made when the ball is out on the referee’s discretion.
• Each team will play a minimum of 4 games.

Competition details such as rules, draws, prizes etc will be forwarded to your school in a competition package once your school’s nomination has been received.

Also included in this package will be the permission note that MUST be brought to the carnival on the day of competition. Any child without the permission note on the day of the carnival will not be allowed to play.

A canteen will be available on the day at each carnival. COERVER ® Coaching ACT will work closely with each club who operates the ground of the respective carnival. This will provide an opportunity for schools to form close relationships with the clubs in their area. These are often the clubs that the majority of footballers from your school play with on the weekends.

To secure your schools place in the carnival please return the application form to

Closing date for nominations is Friday June 5th 2009. Please remember only the first 8 schools to nominate can be accepted per carnival. The sooner you get your application the greater chance you have of securing a place for your school.

Any questions can be forwarded to

The PSSA fully endorse COERVER Coaching ACT running these carnivals.

Kind regards,

Adrian Haynes
Assistant Manager
COERVER® Coaching A.C.T


Nomination Form

School Name:
Phone Number:
P.S.S.A Zone:
Contact Teacher:
Email Address:
Please Circle what team/s you are entering: BOYS GIRLS
Maximum of 1 Boys team and 1 Girls team per school

Please return the nomination form to


Coaches inspire on grim day for Canberra sport.

Amidst the gloom a chink of light.

Canberra Football suffered a black day on Friday according to a report below. But as often in these times a real hero steps up. Coaches of two ACT Premier League sides are praised for their leadership.

Report from Peter below.

It was disappointing to see the adverse publicity in the Canberra Times over the first Friday night football match at Deakin, between Woden Valley FC and O’Connor Knights Premier League teams.

I was there and the violent incident that punctuated an interesting game (not a spiteful game), was just sickening. So I guess we should think twice before we say our game doesn’t have behavioural problems, or setting ourselves up to be better than other codes.

Our game, like any other has its fair share of idiots on and off the field, and so it was on Friday night.

I felt sorry for the coaches for both teams, because what happened, in an otherwise desperate and competitive struggle, did not reflect their intentions or abilities. Coaches cannot coach for these contingencies, but they are left with the fallout.

There are always examples of unacceptable behaviour and sometimes violent behaviour by players that sit outside the rules of the game and give you reason to cringe.

Every now and again you get a game that just goes wrong, disrupted by petulant, self serving displays by players (usually and thankfully on most occasions) toward referees which is hard to watch or condone and in equal measure.

Sadly, danger enters the scene on the field (and sometimes from idiot spectators) when as they say, we get the “second man in” – that special brand of a fool and coward for a player, who decides to indulge himself by entering into the fray. The victim is usually “king hit” in some form or another and the risk of very serious injury is ever present.

On the sideline, you get the occasional moron who throws a tanty, making that single mistake of thinking the game on the field is not the main entertainment and that it’s all really about him.

These are the individuals that really kick off bad situations at the game and referee’s can’t do a lot about it. Police can and on Friday night it came close to calling the Police and perhaps someone did.

If they had it was good judgement, although we were lucky that the situation cooled down sufficiently for it not to be necessary – but not by much!

I have watched my club (Woden) play two games in successive weeks in which some of our players crossed the line, giving us all reason for embarrassment and regret. The offences centred around swearing, ungentle manly conduct and poor on field behaviour, not violence. They arose out of games that could not be described in way as “spiteful games”, which is unnerving.

But never ask a player what he did to get sent off – their first response is “I’m f….d if I know”. Yeah sure mate! Denial is big among fools for footballers. Someone one else is always to blame! One thing is also certain – they didn’t think of the club or their team mates or the game when they behaved badly. Just themselves.

Capital Football disciplines them and clubs too often leave the offender without any administrative consequences. Clubs can be very unhappy with a player for his behaviour and wish he were not among them, but do nothing.

Why? Too scared to lose a player? The truth is that these players are not “character” of the game, they are just badly behaved individuals. Who needs them?

These two weeks have illustrated (to me) the frustration respectful and decent players, coaches and supporters can feel, and complications for the future when unpleasantness happens on the field.

Its made all the more difficult when the incidents come out of games that were not inherently nasty games of football and when the blame could not be conveniently shunted onto referees.

Importantly, if you asked those that watched the club play regularly or were at training regularly, they would probably say they were “not surprised” by the unacceptable behaviour” of the offender(s). How often do you hear that when someone has been sent from the field? Makes you think.

Before I go on, I want to make one other point to clubs and Capitol Football about players, particularly in the Premier League. Aside from a couple of cashed up clubs who are able to pay and retain senior players, the age across the PL / PPL /P18’s is very young.

Our club is known as a young club, we operate (like a number of others) on the smell of an oily rag, and filed teams that have average ages this year of 19 / 18 /17 years respectively. That means we have a high proportion of “minors” in our teams. I repeat “minors”.

That brings a lot of issues to the table that must be managed very carefully. On Friday night following the violent on field incident, I looked at our back four and I reckon it included 15, 17 and 18 year old players. None of these lads were involved in the violent incident, but they could easily have been drawn into the mess that threatened to engulf the game.

The victim, an O’Connor Knights player didn’t look too old to me as he walked holding his head where he had been kicked. The two offenders were from my club.

But I get ahead of myself. This is what I observed when following my Premier League club in the last two weeks.

The first incident was a premier league game (PPL) which saw the teams unable to assert the ascendancy and both playing pretty ordinary football. Coaches on both sides were not happy. Players were getting frustrated with themselves, not their opponents, but there was developing pressure.

It was a game played without a hint of nastiness. Into this picture came a quixotic ref who decided to police players with their shirts not tucked into their shorts. He pursued it like a man on a mission. A spectator wondered if this was an instruction from the referee’s hierarchy, but most thought not.

One of our players displayed his immaturity when for the second time he was told to tuck his jersey into his shorts. He made a juvenile unsporting gesture to another player and got a yellow card – well deserved.

He was now firmly in the ref’s sights and for good reason and that came as no surprise to his club coaches, staff and some other players. There was only one way this was going to go. He’s not big enough or strong enough to pull the skin off a rice custard, and I suppose we should thankful for that, but he has a sharp tongue, matched only by episodes of arrogance and ignorance. He holds his place because he is genuinely talented, people talk of his “potential”, but he is a bit of a serial pest and “potential” is seldom realised!

In times gone by they would have simple said “he’s a bloody young goose”. But of course that’s not PC these days is it?

So their we have it – game conditions favourable, frustration levels going up, a picky ref and a young goose! What a brew.

You guessed it, his jersey came out again and the ref chipped him. Instead of just putting his jersey back in like the other players from both teams, he decided to ask why and debate the issue, a hissy-fit followed and a second yellow card and leave the field.

More petulant behaviour and an embarrassed and angry coaching staff and other players by the manner of his departure. Our team was down a goal and as often happens, when the player left they lifted, even played some good football and got an equaliser.

The offending player is now out for a few weeks. Is that the end of it? Some would no. They would say that he should be stood down from the club for the rest of the season, because who needs this rubbish and there are plenty of other young players who play by all the rules, even when they don’t think it is exactly fair or reasonable.

But like most community based clubs, I guess they will feel that the bad behaviour was resolved by Capital Football. In truth, nothing is likely to have been resolved because you wont convince this young fellow that he was in the wrong – its all someone else’s fault.

The second incident is just as frustrating but far more dangerous and violent.

I watched the first premier league game on Friday night. Again, it was not a spiteful game, not at all. The team I watch was down two goals by half time, following a previous round flogging by CFC (biggest in anyone’s recent memory).

They were not playing good football. The second half started to look better for my team, then it happened.

Two opposing players contested the ball and jostled each other. They reached that point where it was move on with the game or escalate the confrontation. Smart players walk away.

This didn’t happen and jostling became punches thrown and wrestling on the ground. I though our player was the one more responsible, but who really knows looking at it from the fence.

Importantly, they both had moved quickly from probable warning, to yellow card to send off in quick time, though mercifully, neither seemed to have hurt the other. Lots of huff and puff.

In to this stupidity came the “Second man” (from the club I watch) and things went through the roof. For reasons best known to himself and nothing to do with football, he kicked the opposition player in the head while he was wrestling on the ground.

Unbelievable! This triggered a melee on the field, though in fairness most players were keen to stop things. On the sideline, the coaching staff , club personnel, other club players and spectators were outraged by this dangerous and violent behaviour.

People went on to the field that had no business being there, but by sheer good luck it did not translate into a full scale brawl. It takes more time to tell of it than it did when it happened. But make no mistake, this was a dangerous situation.

Among my clubs supporters, we were all aghast and embarrassed, after it was clear that no serious damage had been done to the young opposition player. Our coach was horrified by what one of his players had done and was doing all he could to ensure the players, particularly our young players, did not get into a very bad situation.

He was successful in doing so. He was Capitol Football’s Coach of the Year last season and for good reason – he is a thoroughly decent man. He was visibly shaken by what had happened and took it personally.

The opposition coach was inspirational among his club; he demanded and got reason from his players and most of his officials and spectators. He took decisive action to contain his hotheads and that made a big difference in a bad situation that could easily have got right out of control – on and off the field. This was real leadership in action.


Capital Football: A Football Club?

I received a post from Peter today,posted in full below. He raises some questions about Capital Football's role as a Football Club. They should be seen, in my view, as a point of discussion rather than a criticism of Capital Football or it's Board.

I have no opinion on the matter, but I'm more than happy for others to raise points on my blog.

Delivering consistent and quality organisational leadership is implicit in Berger’s grand design for football development. And let’s just remember, talented players come from community football first not second, they just don’t arrive.

The gifted are remarkably few in number, no matter how desirous are some parents for their child’s success. First develop community football and the younger the better and open to all without financial impediment.

Capital Football is the lead organisation for Football in the ACT. Self evident fact you say? Hmmmm! Well yes it is, for good and bad. We need Capital Football to be at the top of its game all the time – it’s game, not club business! Presently there is reason to think they have got the balance wrong.

As I watched the Capital Football Academy teams and the ACTAS team (yes I know they are different???) playing in the Premier League, the never ending commentary by parents over the usefulness of the current Academy system, only one thought occurred - Why would Capital Football want to be a football club?

Behaving like a football club is not Capital Football’s “core business”.

Does the Board comprehend the difference, because if they did, why would they choose to allowing their organisation (of limited resources and expert personnel) to direct its energies into aspects of football that our clubs are already doing well and it must be said, without too much assistance from Capital Football.

Does the Board lobby for football, pursue the dollars from sponsors for advancement of the game in the ACT, assist community based clubs find ways to underwrite their costs from the conduct of club football, does it have members among them with football specific knowledge (any kind of football!) and experience at club and player levels to inform its decision making?

Is the resident and capable expertise within Capital Football staff able to influence the Board by reason of good technical and organisational football argument? And so on.

The point is this – Capital Football needs to manage the game for the future, not play the next game on the park in Canberra. They need to contemplate two levels down, but they need to operate and think at least one level up.

Worse still, if Capital Football does get into the “game” at club level, they must of absolute necessity, set the example. This is where they fall down.

As I looked across the Kambah fields for the third time this season when Premier League games (trials and competition) were in progress, I listened to the chorus of complaints from spectators and players over the miserable standard of the ground at Kambah.

They were right to complain, the field is a cabbage patch! A bloody disgrace for premier league! There is a change shed, some distance from the field and but no facilities were provided (benches) for the subs / coaches on the side of the field. The field was very poorly marked, as poor as I have seen any this season in any grade I have attended – the side lines were as good as invisible to players and spectators alike


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Young Matildas thrash Finland

Canberran Bronwyn Studman played the full ninety with the United Sykes twins on the bench.

And of course followers of the W-League will recognise most if not all of these players...and we couldn't say that before could we?

The Westfield Young Matildas have kicked off their European Tour with an emphatic 4-1 victory over the Finland U-19 Women’s Team in Varese, Italy, yesterday.

In hot conditions, the Westfield Young Matildas got off to the ideal start in the 4th minute when captain Tameka Butt played in Marianna Tabain on the left. Tabain, then beat her defender down the flank and shot from a wide position which saw the ball sail to the far post and into the goal to open the scoring.

Tameka Butt doubled her team’s lead in the 7th minute with a long range shot which found the top left corner of the goal.

The Westfield Young Matildas continued to create chances throughout the first half, but the Finnish goalkeeper, Katja Kankaanpää, was up to the challenge and made a number of crucial saves to deny the Australians.

The second half saw the Westfield Young Matildas continue to apply the pressure to Finland and came close to extending their lead even further in the 49th minute when Elise Kellond Knight hit a low ball into the box from a short corner but unfortunately was just out of reach of her attacking support runners.

Westfield Young Matildas goalkeeper, Sian McLaren, made her first real save of the match just before the hour mark, easily covering a Finnish header from close range following a free kick wide on the right.

Jessica Seaman scored the Westfield Young Matildas third goal in the 78th minute after being played in at the edge of the box by Karina Roweth. Seaman took the ball into the penalty area at speed and then buried a solid shot to the keepers right.

Finland pegged a goal back immediately after the restart when Lila Räihälä hit a shot from distance catching the Australian defence out of position.

Substitute Nicola Bolger completed the scoring for the Westfield Young Matildas in the 80th minute after receiving a pass from Samantha Kerr. Bolger then made a weaving run into the box and placed her shot neatly past the Finnish goalkeeper.

In the closing minutes of the match, Seaman, Teresa Polias and Bolger all had opportunities, but their attempts narrowly missed the target, and the score line remained 4-1 in favour of the Australians at the final whistle.

After the match, Westfield Young Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic was pleased with his team’s first match of the tour.

“We played pretty well considering the long travel a few days ago and the hot conditions in the middle of the day.

“Some of the younger players on debut did very well, in particular Teigan Allen and Courtney Beutel.

“It's a good start but we still have areas to work on and improve as the tour progresses,” concluded Stajcic.
The Westfield Young Matildas will face Finland again on Monday 25 May, and will then play the German U-19 team (27 May), Inter Milan Women (30 May) at Varese and the Thailand U-19 (6 June) on the way back to Australia.


Match Details
Westfield Young Matildas 4 (Marianna Tabain 4’, Tameka Butt 7’, Jessica Seaman 78’, Nicola Bolger 80’)
Finland U-19 Women’s team 1 (Lila Räihälä 78’)
Gavirate Stadia, Varese, Italy

Westfield Young Matildas line-up: 1.Sian MCLAREN (gk), 3.Teigan ALLEN, 4.Karina ROWETH, 8.Bronwyn STUDMAN, 12.Alesha CLIFFORD, 14.Courtney BEUTEL (5.Jessica SEAMAN 66’), 15.Kyah SIMON (13.Nicola BOLGER 60’), 16.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 22.Teresa POLIAS, 23.Tameka BUTT (c), 25.Marianna TABAIN (24.Samantha KERR 72’).

Substitutes Not Used: 2.Ashleigh SYKES, 6.Ella MASTRANTONIO, 7.Angela FIMMANO, 9.Nicole SYKES, 11.Linda O'NEILL, 18.Casey DUMONT (gk),

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Finland U-19 Women’s line-up: 1.Katja KANKAANPÄÄ (gk) (c), 4.Mira LÖNNROT (2.Charlotte THIBAULT 58’), 5.Tiina VATANEN, 6.Sanna PORALI, 8.Marianna TOLVANEN, 10.Lida MUINONEN (16.Venni LEINONEN 70’), 11.Nelli BACK (13.Sanna SAARINEN 82’), 14.Jessi HIETANEN (9.Sini IHAMÄKI 46’), 15.Lila RÄIHÄLÄ, 17.Tina KOHONEN, 18.Dali MELLER (3.Aino LEHTINEN 34’),

Substitutes Not Used:, 12.Ina SUUTARI (gk), 7.Sofia DEMIRBAS

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Westfield Young Matildas
European Tour
23 May – 6 June 2009
Match schedule - International Friendlies

Monday 25 May 2009
Westfield Young Matildas v Finland U-19
Varese, Italy
kick-off 1pm local time (9pm AEST)

Wednesday 27 May 2009
Westfield Young Matildas v Germany U-19
Varese, Italy
kick-off 3pm local time (11pm AEST)

Saturday 30 May 2009
Westfield Young Matildas v Inter Milan Women
Varese, Italy
kick-off 4pm local time (12am AEST)
Saturday 6 June 2009
Westfield Young Matildas v Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
kick-off 11am local time (2pm AEST)

Westfield Young Matildas Squad
European Tour
23 May – 6 June 2009


Saturday, 23 May 2009

Who said this?

And for an extra 50 points where did the person say it. Answer below.

“We’re seeing a real difference in the girls game. We’re starting to see the influence Futsal (Indoor Football) is having on our young players, and we’re also noticing an improvement in the athletic ability of the players we are getting.”

Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni at the recent Under 14 Girls National Championship held in Canberra


Get stuffed NSW Football Federation

FFA are drawing up plans for a Second Division. Read the SMH article below.

The move into Asia means if we want more teams in the Asian Champions League we need a second division.

So an A-League team for Canberra AND a second division team, maybe Belconnen United or Canberra Vikings, or Canberra FC, although ground, shirt and dressing room issues remain there in the eyes of the FFA and their brand.

And NSW Premier League we won't need you and you can wallow with your own State League...and of course your teams will have to come to Canberra to play in the Second Division.....ha ha!

And no we ain't having a Second Division team INSTEAD of an A-League team. Only a fool would agree to that. It's as well as!

"OLD soccer" may finally be embraced by "new football" after Football Federation Australia this week set up a task force to investigate the viability of establishing a national second-tier competition within two years.

In a move which will thrill state league clubs around the country - many of them survivors from the old NSL- the governing body is ready to engage second-tier football for the first time since the A-League was established in 2005. A national second division, and the less likely possibility of promotion and relegation, are among the key issues to be discussed.

Former FFA chief executive John O'Neill famously coined the catchphrase "old soccer versus new football" when describing the future direction of the game - a description which caused huge resentment in the game's ethnic heartlands.

But since Ben Buckley replaced O'Neill in late 2006, the FFA has gradually worked at repairing those broken relationships, and this week's move to re-engage the various state leagues represents a huge, symbolic, breakthrough.

An eight-man task force - including state federation and state league representatives as well as the new head of the A-League, Archie Fraser - has been established to investigate second-tier football, and where it can fit into the development pathway. Despite being marginalised, state league clubs have continued to develop talent for the A-League, although the transfer cap of just $3,000 has been one of many sources of discontent.

Key issues to be investigated by the task force include:

* The viability of an interstate competition (national second division)

* The relationship between the state leagues and the A-League (promotion and relegation)

* The relevance of the state leagues to the player development pathway and the various state institutes and the AIS

* The future timing of state league seasons, in particular the effects of switching to summer

* Introducing a licensing system for state league clubs

* Transfer and loan regulations between state league clubs and the A-League clubs.

A key motivation behind the FFA's renewed interest in the future of second-tier football is the desire to gain more berths in the Asian Champions League. Currently, Australia has just two ACL spots per season, but the FFA hopes to earn extra places when the entry requirements are reviewed in 2012. Two of the requirements the FFA has failed to meet in the past are the existence of a national Cup competition, and a second-tier league with a system of promotion/relegation.

While the latter seems unlikely for the foreseeable future - even if a national second division is established - an FFA Cup has already been approved in principle by the FFA, which is now trying to sell the competition to sponsors and broadcasters.


Canberran to represent Australia

Gold Coast United player Stephen Lustica will join the Australian Under 18 side and play in the Internationally renowned Hong Kong Seven's tournament in the coming days.

Celtic, Aston Villa are a host of top European sides bring their younger boys, Rangers bring their past legends...(are there any)...who no doubt can still play.

And note: Kofi Danning get full games for the Aussie Under 20 side in Europe. Will he be back?

Maybe he'll stay until after the Under 20 World Cup later in the year...if he makes the side...he's young one!

And Kofi has been given the number 11 shirt by Sydney FC. Will he be in the starting line-up?


Friday, 22 May 2009

Sponsorship creep?

From today's SMH:

Sponsorship consultant William Bourke of Sponsorship HQ predicted the sport (Rugby League) would face difficulties in keeping existing sponsors and attracting new ones.

"There are so many options out there for sponsors," Bourke said. "I think soccer and the AFL will be the primary beneficiaries, mainly because they are national sports that don't attract that level of controversy. Saying that, no sport is perfect, and sponsors don't expect them to be but this could be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

The grassroot market, the Socceroos, the women's game, the growing national A-League are all providing sponsors increasing opportunities.

The FFA, under fmr AFL and Nike Marketing Manager Ben Buckley,has lifted the sponsorship levels to historic amounts already.

And let's face it cultural change in Rugby League is NEVER going to it?

So while not wishing League to suffer, although their off field antics are to me so abhorrent I'd rather not see that code in the limelight for a long time. Does it really bring any pride or benefits to Australia?

For me the rise in people of influence recognising the oppotunities within football for new sponsors..that's a great thing....and thankyou Rugby League!

Off to All Bar Carney (Canberra joke) for a coffee just now...


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Young Aussies shine across Asia

Watching Ben Kantarovski last night was awesome as the young Jets player strode across Asia.

I could see the Green and Gold shirt on this young man for years to come. Another gem I'm sure.

But I also noted the impact of Jason Hoffman, Brodie Mooy, Adam D'Appuzzo, and in recent games Sean Rooney and Marko Jesic. All young Australians starting to make their way in the game. Isn't it great?

All have made an impact in different ways across Asia at such a young age.

And did you see that move...under defensive pressure down the left the Jets turned back towards goal, kept the ball and swept it via the keeper across to the right, moved it towards the middle back out to the right and sent Jason Hoffman into the box. A pass across to the unmarked Brodie Mooy was muffed as Hoffman hit wide, but what a piece of play.

Would have been the best A-League team goal ever...or gone close.

But don't expect the Australian media to pick up on the achievement of these young men just yet, not when their is a Rugby League hero or AFL star to discuss.

In Canberra the sports news this morning didn't even give the result.

Some are quick, too quick, to criticise our fledgling league but Newcastle Jets have sent a message to all the knockers, and perhaps more pertinently to their mates from Gosford.

How is it a team with so many young Aussies can do so well in Asia? And don't they look technical and tactical to boot.

It's great to see another, our second Aussie team, coached by an Aussie, in the latter stages of the ACL.

Newcastle Jets, Adelaide Unted and at times Sydney FC have produced wonderful performances in clearly those inside and outside the game who knock the Aussie style have no they?


No rest for Jets!

Let's hear it for the A-League. The A-Leagues worst club in Season 4, the Newcastle Jets, has made it into the last 16 of the Asian Champions League with a strong display of tactical and technical football

And they've been playing some great football in Asia. Why?

Because in Korea last night they didn't have to play on an Aussie cow Rugby League ground, and as a result they played, once again some wonderful football

And having started their current season in August 2008 they are now destined to play the next round in late June with just five weeks before the next season starts!

Now that's a football schedule that other codes would struggle with, and so may the Jets come October/November time, particularly if they get past Pohang in the next round. A round which is one-off game, and the Jets are away?

How does that compute?


Monday, 18 May 2009

Canberra ahead in A-League fight?


With Wollongong and Western Sydney A-League bids struggling with stadiums and finance, is Canberra now in top spot to become the competition's newest team? The ace in harsh economic times is the ACT government's proposed $2.5 million investment that would make Canberra truly the "people's team".

Matthew Hall after weeks of plugging the Western Sydney bid has finally realised what we have all known for months. We're in the lead at the home straight, but it's up to the FFA now.


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Canberrans to Amsterdam...and the World

Kofi Danning, and Sam Munro are off to Europe with the Under 20 Australian side.

Notice a heap of overseas joining them including maybe the pick of the bunch? Peter CVETANOVSKI (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany),

And will Kofi be back? You can be sure with games against Celtic, Ajax, PSV, Valencia and co it won't be just the Aussie Coaches having a look will it. Let's hope a few of the A-League boys return for a while at least.

Australian-based players selected by Head Coach, Jan Versleijen, for an 18 man Qantas Young Socceroos squad for a European training camp has departed Australia this afternoon as part of their preparation for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in Egypt in September/October.

The touring squad is comprised of 14 players from Hyundai A-League and National Youth League teams and four players from overseas clubs.

The players travelled with newly appointed Assistant Coach and former Qantas Socceroo, Ante Milicic, and former Hyundai A-League player and former Wellington Phoenix assistant coach, Wayne O’Sullivan, who has been appointed as video analyst for the team.

The Qantas Young Socceroos will participate in two tournaments in the Netherlands and also play friendly matches against De Graafschap and the Egyptian U-20 national team. The two tournaments involve modified matches, played with 20 minute halves, with teams playing two or three games a day.

Versleijen has also invited Aaron Mooy (Bolton Wanderers, England), Mitchell Nicholson (Dorchester Town, England), Brent McGrath (Brondy, Denmark), Rocco Visconte (Hearts FC, Scotland), Dylan McGowan (Hearts FC, Scotland), Christos Tamaros (Apollon Kalamarias, Greece) and Robert Stambolziev (Bristol City, England)to train with the squad with a view towards possible future selection in the playing squad.

“We have chosen this European tour due to the fact that we have European Opposition (Czech Republic) at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt," said Versleijen.

"Later in the year we will head to South America for another training camp to test ourselves against opposition similar to the playing styles of Brazil and Costa Rica whom we also meet at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“An important reason for this tour is for the players to get international experience against different teams and to strengthen our playing style, but I will also use the opportunity to see some new faces from overseas clubs and assess if they can add something to the squad,” said Versleijen.

“The benefit of playing in these two tournaments is that the players will have many games in a short period of time against a variety of opposition," concluded Versleijen.

In July, The Qantas Young Socceroos are scheduled to embark on a South American tour to Venezuela as they continue their preparations for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have been drawn in Group E for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009, alongside Brazil, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic. The FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 which will be played from 24 September to 16 October.

The Qantas Young Socceroos qualified for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup by progressing to the semi-final stage at the AFC U-19 Championships in Saudi Arabia last year.

Qantas Young Socceroos Squad List
Mark BIRIGHITTI (Adelaide United), Oliver BOZANIC (Reading FC, England), Luke BRATTAN (Brisbane Roar), Isaka CERNAK (Brisbane Roar), Peter CVETANOVSKI (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), Kofi DANNING (Sydney FC), Luke DE VERE (Brisbane Roar), Nathan ELASI (Melbourne Victory), Rhyan GRANT (Sydney FC), James HOLLAND (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Matthew JURMAN (Sydney FC), Ryan McGOWAN (Hearts FC, Scotland), Tahj MINNIECON (Gold Coast United) Daniel MULLEN (Adelaide United), Sam MUNRO (Sydney FC), Mitch NICHOLLS (Brisbane Roar), Thomas OAR (Brisbane Roar), Andrew REDMAYNE (Central Coast Mariners)

Match Schedule
DateMatch TypeFixtureVenueKick-Off (CEST)Kick-Off (AEST)
19 May 2009FriendlyQantas Young Socceroos v De Graafschap Terborg1:00pm9:00pm
22 May 2009TTValencia CF v Qantas Young Socceroos Terborg2:10pm10:10pm
TTQantas Young Socceroos v FeyenoordTerborg7:10pm3:10am
23 May 2009TTQantas Young Socceroos v Atletico MineiroTerborg11:40am7:40pm
TTDe Graafschap v Qantas Young SocceroosTerborg3:00pm11:00pm
24 May 2009TTTerborg Touwernooi Finals Series Terborg
26 May 2009FriendlyQantas Young Socceroos v Egypt U-20 Terborg11:00am7:00pm
30 May 2009ICGTQantas Young Socceroos v PSV EindhovenUitgeest12:00pm8:00pm
ICGTQantas Young Socceroos v Ajax AmsterdamUitgeest1:40pm9:40pm
ICGTCeltic v Qantas Young SocceroosUitgeest3:30pm11:30pm
1 June 2009ICGTQantas Young Socceroos v FC UitgeestUitgeest10:00am6:00pm
ICGTQantas Young Socceroos v VitesseUitgeest11:35am7:35pm
ICGTSemi Finals and FinalsUitgeest2:00pm10:00pm


Up there Cazaly! The new Viduka?

Great story on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald re:the development of football in the Indigenous Communities of the Northern Territory.

With Borrolloola, 1000km from Darwin, the boys are already competing Internationally in the Arafura games this week, against East Timor, Macau and Aceh.

Can't do that in AFL can you!

And we'll catch up with Coach Glen Thompson on Nearpost Radio in the next week or so.

And the Indgienous Football Festival kicks off this week across 6 or more venues across the country.

If football can produce two Mark Viduka's and two Harry Kewell's in the next ten years...and with increased numbers and profile that should be possible..and maybe just one outstanding Indigenous talent our National team may improve further.

Given the profile of our game 15 years ago when Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell were coming through..compared to our profile now...we just need one or two elite athletes who have tended to go to AFL, or even Cricket, to stay in the game.

Shouldn't be too hard should it?


Thursday, 14 May 2009

What Han Berger told me

FFA Tech Director Han Berger had a chat with me last night about the new technical development plan put out or about to be by the FFA.

First thing that struck me is that elite sports for kids is so serious these days, and I guess Aussie football juniors are about to get a rude awakening! Maybe it's already happening in other.......

codes though I expect football's standard will be higher and harder because our benchmarks are international.

Han Berger was interesting; this was his fifth talk across the State Feds. He mentioned the research, some of which was shonky in my view..but basically we've copied the Dutch model. And we probably best fit this model given their and our characteristics, football playing population we ain't Brazil or Japanese in population or characteristics...poverty or work ethic.

He "revealed" the two pathways..Community and Talented and the amount of training required and type of training required for 8-19 year olds in the talented pathways.

I would estimate that there isn't one player in Canberra, in any club or academy, who currently meets the time requirements set out in the new plan, at any age group

Han focused, totally, on the Talented Pathway as I guess is his job, although I couldn't help feel that the Community pathway is actually the pathway that 97% of Aussie footballers will come under.

He discussed the 1-4-3-3 system and explained clearly, in my view, why it is the best for it's very flexible and you can change it into what ever you like....players are very adaptable coming from this system.

All info will be available via the web community drills (1500) to everyone; and talented drills etc...will be only available to those who hold the appropriate coaching exclusive club who no doubt will be paying for their badges if not web access.

Han was blissfully unaware of the Canberra situation. ie we can train these players as he wishes but if we don't get our two players into the AIS at 16, the rest are doomed to the football community pathways in the local league.

A lack of an A-League team( yet) a Youth team(yet) and a lack of a state league team; Football Fed NSW won't let any team from Canberra play or win the title (again )in NSW Prem League so the FFA are missing out on developing our 25,000 players from the broader region.

Guess that's a local issue but if you want all the coaches present (there was a strong turnout) to develop technically gifted players why would or should they if we can only get two into the AIS...and the rest just stop!

We'll be running our wee 8 year olds; well the talented ones around to guided curriculum anyday's all good stuff in my view if you want to produce the best.

It's way to obsessive for me...give me a ball, a kid and let's have a game and heaps of skills and fun.

And I guess by 2015 when it should be totally rolled out...most/all of our kids from both the community and talented pathways will have skills to play the game for ability to control a ball and take it in their stride...not many Aussies, although it is increasing, can say that yet can any age.

The paper documentation will be out to all in two weeks for now the rollout continues at Fed level.

Han discussed the changes to SSG's,but as only Canberra and NT are doing them in full, the changes won't impact on anyone!

Basically Under 11 and 12's will play full field. Yuk!

Having played full field as a 12 year old in UK one hundred years was not a lot of fun...... and we won every game. Not sure Aussies are ready for this talent wise, maybe the elite will be in time.

Interesting: Canberra will start with the 9-12 years in Oct-March sessions, (off season) as we aim to improve our skills to the level required by the new models and quick.

I think the new game has passed me by:) Oh well back to my nutmegs and I'll leave the talented pathways to those who know!

And I feel for Capital Football because this another onerous burden on a fairly stretched organisation in my view. That said try rolling it out in Queensland with the same number of Tech Directors:)


Melbourne Victory: Thai delight

Thailand midfielder Surat Sukha is set to become the first Thai to play in the Australian league.

Great news for the A-League and a fantastic initiative by Melbourne. Let's Surat brings a little bit of Thai football skill to our league and has a great season.

And for my AFL friends when did a Melbourne AFL Club ever recruit an Asian player!

A-League side Melbourne Victory have sent a letter of confirmation to his club Chonburi FC saying that they will sign Surat, Chonburi manager Annop Singtothong said yesterday.

Surat is scheduled to sign a two-year contract in Australia on July 1 subject to a medical. The A-League season starts in August.

Surat will receive 2.2 million baht in the first year and 2.5 million baht in the second year plus other incentives.

Chonburi, who have sold Brazilian Ney Fabiano to Melbourne Victory, will get 1.5 million baht for Surat's transfer fee.

"I am very happy that I will be the first Thai player to play in Australia's top football league," Surat said. "I hope this will be the first step for other Thai players to follow."

Chonburi coach Kiatisak Senamuang said he was glad for Surat and believes he is good enough for the A-League.

"I hope this will open the door for other Thai players," Kiatisak said. "We will certainly miss his services but we have other players to replace him."


433 to replace 442?

Will Australia's Number One Football magazine change it's name to reflect the new FFA model..433?


Han Berger talks to Canberra Coaches

Two streams: Talented and Community; but who are the FFA talking to in Canberra?

I went along to the FFA Tech Director Han Berger's introduction to the National Curriculum.

There are two streams; the Community stream and Talented Development stream.

One for the community players which I reckon judging by the standards laid out in the curriculum for training etc from age 8-19 covers almost 98% of Canberra male players are community...or micky mouse!

Certainly the FFA are not interested in these players juding by last nights elite driven talk. Fair enough. It's about improving the top-end.

Belconnen United, Canberra are all community players, no matter what you are paid,..right down to your local under 8 players.

Apart from possibly ANU First Grade, Capital Football 12-15 Academies, and ACTAS, no other player would even come close, and even some of the above may not meet the time requirements specified under the talented player development stream.

But as we only get two/four players every two years into the AIS..and of these only 1 or 2 make it to the professional ranks we really shouldn't be too concerned about putting too much effort into changing practices and developing talented players....for what!

Because after years of slaving away if you miss out on AIS scholarship in the new talented stream (which involves many hours of dedication) can go and play at your local community club, Belconnen, Olympic or whoever. And then you quickly fall behind, way behind the standard required for talented development set by the FFA.

Nice one FFA. Looks fine, sure there are points many will disagree with, but really the guys at the top need to understand the market they are talking to.

In Canberra we don't have a NSW State League team, an A-League team or A-League Youth why would we bother putting so much effort into producing TWO professional boys every two years.

FFA: We can help you...but you have to help us. We need a State League a 17 year old boy who misses out on the AIS can train and play at a higher level and maybe when he's 18, 19 or 20 he can pick up an A-League Youth or First team contract.

Of course an A-League team would be even better.

NSW won't let us in. FFA should force their hand for the good of the game...otherwise is it really worth putting so much energy and emphasis on the talented pathway programme for just one professional player per year from Canberra?

For me..the Community stream is just fine...I'm happy to be involved improving kids experience and capaibilities....and at the end of the day most of us who play or have played are just playing for a bit of fun aren't we.


Football Superstar: Come on Luke.

Fox Sports Football Superstar starts soon. Reality TV at its best! And good luck to ANU's Luke Pilkington in his quest to win a Melbourne Victory A-League one year contract.


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Primary School Football Carnivals

Coerver Coaching are organising seven Primary School Zone Carnivals in term 2, 2009.

A lot of children get to play other sports for their school, but not football. The rebirth of Primary School football, thanks to Coerver, will allow many players to represent their school in the sport they play most.

Nice one Coerver.


Nearpost Podcast: Tom Sermanni, Ian Shaw were guests on the show

Download National Show

National Show:
We dedicate the show to one of our overseas listeners...
Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni expresses his thoughts on the type of female football he now sees at the Under 14 National Championships and Why the Ashleigh and Nicola Sykes should be allowed to play in the boys Under 18 league in Western Districts League. We discuss all the Newcastle Jets news and more.

Local Show download

Ian Shaw Capital Football Tech Director talks football.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Canberran watches Newcastle revival?

Former Futsalroo, Head of Coerver Coaching Australia and Canberra Jason Lancsar returned my call last night from the train from London to Newcastle!

"I'm with
Alf (Galustian, Head of Coerver International) we're heading to Newcastle to do some work with them," said Jason.

"You'd better hurry coz they are woeful and could get relegated tonight." says me the Geordie baiter.

It worked Jason's pre-match drills clearly having more impact than one could imagine.

Alan Shearer's men won 3-1 with an ageing Mark Viduka and Boro Aussie Brad Jones on the pitch.

Boro are Canberra bound apparently, nice prize for relegation.

As for Jason he's back to Canberra in a few days and then off to Mumbai, India to launch Coerver over there.

Can you imagine the skills and the market for football in that country.

Not a bad gig Jason!


Sunday, 10 May 2009

Cap Football Tech Director on Radio this week

Capital Football Technical Director Ian Shaw will be our guest on the Nearpost on Tuesday. Any questions you'd like put to Ian post here.


FFA: Now aware of the Canberra market?

With Middlesboro expected and the Central Coast being pushed/assisted by the FFA to play two A-League games here clearly Ivan Slavich and the bid team have opened the eyes of the FFA to the potential market for football here in Canberra.

The prize is clearly's just a matter of when..and money I guess.

20,000 people at the Socceroos game clearly proved what is possible.


Club Newsletter.

I've taken on my local junior club's newsletter where my daughter plays.

Happy for any comments, positive, negative or thoughts on how a club newsletter club be improved, what would you like to see at your club etc..


EPL side to play in Canberra?

EPL side Middlesboro are expected to play in Canberra in a pre-season game. They'll take on Sydney FC in Sydney and Australian Under 20's at Canberra Stadium in July, a team likely to include Kofi Danning, Sam Munro..well squad will be announced this week see details below.

And they would have played a Canberra team...but we don't have one yet!

Another busy month in Aussie what's on below.

Sunday 10 May
* Qantas Australian Under 13 Boys Selection Camp - AIS, Canberra

Monday 11 May
* Westfield Australian U14 Girls Training Camp – Squad Announced

Tuesday 12 May
* ARAFURA Games. Australian Paralympic games 7-a-side Team v England, Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin (Kick-off 6.30pm local, 7.00pm AEST)
* Pre-Season Friendly. Melbourne Victory v Victoria (Open Men's Team) Olympic Park, Melbourne (Kick-off 7.30pm AEST)
* Pre-Season Friendly. Central Coast Mariners v Spirit FC, Christie Park, Macquarie Park (Kick-off 7.30pm AEST)

Wednesday 13 May
* Qantas Young Socceroos – European Tour - Squad Announced (TBC)
* ARAFURA Games. Australian Paralympic games 7-a-side Team v Korea Republic, Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin(Kick-off 6.30pm local, 7.00pm AEST)
* Pre-Season Friendly. Sydney FC v Macarthur Rams Lynwood Park, St Helens Park (Kick-Off 7.30pm AEST)

Thursday 14 May
* One Year to Go! - one year until FFA must submit the formal and detailed documentation in support of Australia's bid to host the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup
* ARAFURA Games. Australian Paralympic games 7-a-side Team v Japan, Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin (Kick-off 6.30pm local, 7.00pm AEST)
* Westfield Young Matildas Training Camp Squad Announcement
* Indigenous Football Festival Training Day, Ron Harborne Oval - Boundary Street, Moree (4.30-6.30pm)

Friday 15 May
* Westfield Young Matildas Training Camp - AIS, Canberra
* Nominations close for Australian Football Awards - Team Awards, 5.00pm AEST

Saturday 16 May
* Qantas Young Socceroos Depart for European Tour – Sydney Airport
* Westfield Young Matildas Training Camp - AIS, Canberra
* ARAFURA Games. Semi-Finals, Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin


* by 2 June, Qantas Socceroos meet in Dubai
* 5 June, Qantas Socceroos depart Dubai for Doha; official pre-match media conference; official team familiarisation session
* 6 June, 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Qatar v Australia, Al-Sadd Club, Doha, 7.00pm local, 2.00am AEST
* 8 June, media conference, Qantas Hangar, Kingsford Smith (Sydney) International Airport
* 9 June, pre-match media conference, Stadium Australia, 12 noon AEST
* 9 June, team familiarisation session, Stadium Australia, 5.00pm AEST
* 10 June, 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Australia v Bahrain, Sydney, 8.00pm AEST
* 11 June, Australian Football Awards (incorporating PFA Awards and FMA Award), Hilton Hotel, Sydney, 7.00pm for 8.00pm AEST
* 14 June, an extra special event, Canberra (afternoon)
* 15 June, FFA Chairman and CEO at the National Press Club, Canberra (luncheon)
* 16 June, pre-match media conference, MCG, 12 noon AEST
* 16 June, team familiarisation session, MCG, 5.00pm AEST
* 17 June, 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Australia v Japan, Melbourne, 8.20pm AEST
* 18 June, media and public event, Federation Square, Melbourne, 1.00pm AEST (TBC)


Thursday, 7 May 2009

Canberra: An entrepreneurs dream?

Imagine if you were a Company and you had this many people from one city who used your product every week guaranteed:

30,000 people made up of:
12,000 aged 3-18 primary users
5,000 aged 19-90 primary users
13,000 18-90 secondary users..over 50% female.)

Imagine you could guarantee that these customers would stay with you for 20 years.

What entrepreneur wouldn't give for such a client base, such strength.

Harold Mitchell will tell you that the greatest influencers of discretionary spending in our society are children and mothers (women)

What would Brumbies/Rugby Union and Canberra Raiders/Rugby League do with this client base? I shudder to think.

From the rumours I've heard...(could be wrong)Capital Football has recently been offered the opportunity to build a Futsal Stadium in Canberra. The Government has offered to fund 50% of the building. Capital Football has knocked it back...maybe they have other plans, maybe they don't want to take a risk, maybe it's sound practice.

The Football Community would own it.

Imagine if we paid all our Futsal Stadium revenues to football...and not to the Netball, ACT Government or the Tennis Centre etc.

Wow, we could take the profits on the food, take the profits on the shop that could be put in place.

We could run the National Championships, the School Championships..for football, for our kids, our clients.

Futsal 24/7

Imagine if the Futsal Stadium had space for 4 outdoor fields. Imagine if we had the space to build in the future, accommodation, offices, further shops...etc

Imagine if we caught all the water of the roof and well..forget your astroturf couldn't you.

Imagine if we had a plan to pour revenues back into local clubs, any profits either reducing registration fees or improving the resources provided to the clubs.

Imagine if this organisation offered the clubs the opportunity to buy every ball through them. Imagine if they could make $10 a ball from the distributor. (And they can...I've asked the supplier)

Imagine if all the clubs in Canberra bought their 10,000 balls per year from this central body, and they got MORE money back then they get now from their suppliers.

Imagine if we offered the same service to Southern New South Wales.

Imagine if after the ball success this business arm of the local organisation started selling, socks, shirts, shorts and EVERY FOOTBALL BOOT in Canberra.

Imagine if this organisation employed a Commercial Manager on $30,000 a year....and said in year 1 whatever sponsorships you get....providing the total is more than what we get now you can keep 50%. Did you think they'd work hard...or not?

When we will have the vision to garner the business resources of the football community, to grab our share of the community pie.

Will we always have to wait for handouts from the ACT Goverment?

We should match every $ the Goverment gives us and then some. We should have a plan to make money, to build stadiums, grounds, shops with a business model that enables us to make money, and improve the football facilities for our children and their children.

With our client base, it's long-term profile, how can we fail?

If you think we can't make money you simply employ someone who can show you how to do it.

What is the value of the spend of football in this community?

Registrations, Boots, Gear, Balls, food, you name it we buy would be over $30 million.

Now if we get an A-League team, a commercial body, will be doing everything in it's power to grab ALL of this money and share it between the A-League Club and our junior players/clubs.

Can't be too hard can it?

Oh and I mean the A-League business model will want ALL of it. And why not, because no-one else wants it.


Rooney blasts home.

On a night when the football fans were salivating at the thoughts of a Ronaldo/Rooney v Messi show down in the Champions League Final it was our own Rooney who excited me.

Chelsea gone, boring as they are, always have been in my view, is great news for football fans, the self-appointed elites at SBS, and followers of things other than the all dominating EPL.

But it was the other Rooney who took my eye. Sean Rooney the former Sydney Youth goalscoring hero hit the big time last night in Newcastle.

A wonderful strikers goal in the 94th minute gave Newcastle Jets a crucial home win.

And isn't it great to see another Aussie young player, a striker making his way. A goal in the Asian Champions League, in a crucial game, that's what true strikers can do.

Have we found another gem?


SBS: So United are boring?

Watching the self-appointed football elite on SBS define Barcelona as the only exciting team in the World is pathetic.

Now I hate Man United..coz they are rich and buy the best..and my brothers support them and well that's enough..but even I can see the beauty of Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez and co as they excite across Europe with their brand of football.

Fozzie and Sir Les...Barcelona..we love em, but most of us can recognise that Ronaldo is on a par with the boy Messi if not better at the moment.

Barcelona the best in the world..maybe but you're drivel is almost making me wish United win just so I don't have to stomach your football snobbery...on second thoughts I could take my brothers phone call.

Come on Barca!


ACT side dump NSW Super League out of cup.

Well the team is Goulburn Strikers but they play in ACT land. And the lads from Goulburn stuck one up the NSW Super League and NSW Football in general. Great work to Carlo Alliffi and the boys.

No wonder NSW won't let any ACT teams into their tournaments....and wait till I see that Han Berger bloke next week.

If he wants us to develop he better provide the ACT Pathways in his wonderful new plan or he can nick off back to Sydney, NSW or flaming Holland for all I care.

Strikers knock out Rams

Goulburn Strikers ............ 5 (1)
Macarthur Rams .............. 4 (1) below.

Strikers knock out Rams

Goulburn Strikers ............ 5 (1)
Macarthur Rams .............. 4 (1)

Thursday, 7th May 2009

The STFA Goulburn Strikers were back in Sydney last night to play in the second round of the Tiger Turf Cup. This time around their opponents were NSW Super League giants, Macarthur Rams.
As Goulburn does not possess a suitable venue for night games the Strikers had to relinquish the opportunity to play in Goulburn and travelled to the home of the Macarthur Rams, Lynwood Park.

Against all odds and in front of a healthy crowd the Strikers defeated the Rams with a superlative performance knocking the highly fancied opponents out of the prestigious tournament to proceed to the next round.
The match started with the Strikers showing some initial anxiety but soon settled into their usual playing pattern, to create the first goal opportunity of the match on the 7th minute. Brody Willis executed a free kick delivering a great ball across the penalty box, however Pat Ryan missed the all-important tap in by a whisker.
That was the first warning sign for the home team that the Goulburn boys meant business, and only three minutes later the Strikers hit the lead. Daniel Aliffi stole the ball from a defender and unleashed from an acute angle a powerful shot that left no chance to the bewildered Macarthur goalkeeper.
The Rams reaction did not have the desired effect for the home team as the Strikers were now playing with confidence, continuously pressuring the opposition, giving nothing away. The match developed into a mighty contest in the midfield where Andrew Aliffi, Nicky Rogers and Benny Hartin were contesting every ball. As a result the first half did not produce any clear-cut chances to either team.
The second half started the same way as the first had gone. The Rams franticly searching for an equaliser while the Strikers were being threatening in counter attack.
Ten minutes in Macarthur found space in the Goulburn box and some desperate defending by goalkeeper Jesse Bunt could not prevent the home team from levelling the score.
The goal galvanised the Rams but the Strikers defence held firm. Edan Wheeldon, David Albrighton and Bradley Roberts erected a wall in front of goalkeeper Bunt who in turn was displaying extraordinary form.
Halfway through the second half the Rams managed to get through but poor finishing prevented the home side from taking the lead.
Meanwhile the Strikers had been consistently threatening at the other end with Pat Ryan and Robert Dorsett working tirelessly on the flanks to supply Aliffi and Willis who were being a real menace.
In the final minutes the Strikers had the opportunity to win the game when Aliffi once again won the ball off a defender and crossed it for the oncoming Willis.
The speedy Goulburn forward hit the ball well and the Rams goalkeeper had to produce a sensational save to keep his team in the match.
With the score locked at one all at full time the match progressed into extra time.
The Strikers now were up against it, as they could not compete with the fitness level of a professional outfit such as the Rams.
Nevertheless the Goulburn boys dug dip and incredibly managed to counter everything the opposition threw at them. The Strikers approach was nothing short of heroic, and although their tired legs were being afflicted by cramps they kept on going through the pain barrier.
Everything seemed lost when in the second period of extra time a Macarthur forward found himself in a good position to strike the ball in an empty goal but under pressure he missed the target.
The close call revamped the Strikers’ efforts. The STFA boys attacked the Rams’ goal as if there was no tomorrow forcing the home side into some desperate defending. The effort nearly paid off when Aliffi put Willis through, one on one with the keeper. Willis’ chip seemed destined to find the back of the net but another incredible save by the Rams keeper sent the two teams into a penalty shoot-out.

The Rams started with a miss while Dorset finished with authority to put the Strikers back in the lead.

Rogers, Willis and Aliffi did not fail to convert their attempts but when the Rams missed penalty #5 the Strikers and their fans exploded into celebration.
This was an incredibly valiant achievement by a team from Goulburn assembling only local players, defeating a professional club capable of attracting some of the best players around the State as well as overseas.


Indigenous Top End Footballers to play in International Tournament

So the Northern Territory is all AFL in the Indigenous Communities...well it might be but they never get to play Internationally do they.

And there is one community in the whole of the NT where football, not AFL, dominates and this week they are playing in an international Tournament.

The boys from Borroloola will be Australia's Indigenous representatives in the International Arafua Games taking on teams from the Northern Territory, East Timor, Indonesia and Macau.

The small community is over 600 km from Darwin, but they are becoming recognised across Australia for their football passion and prowess.

Glenn Thompson, Coach of Borroloola, has worked hard to develop the boys and girls of this small community 600km's from Darwin. And one of their players has already trialled with an A-League Youth side.

Borroloola is the only Indigenous community in the Northern Territory where you see football goals, rather than the more favoured AFL, when entering the area.

You can check out the draw.


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Beijing Olympics: An Aussie football success.

Arnie speaks the truth

"I take all the responsibility," concluded Arnold of the Beijing Olympics. "I was the coach. I'll tell you honestly, and people might not believe it, but we got the maximum out of that playing group.

Speaking in FourFourTwo Graham Arnold discusses the Beijing Olympics and the disastrous Asian Cup campaign 2007....although compared to Pim Verbeeks 2009 Asian Cup campaign Arnie's looking like a wizard.

Everyone knows Arnie only got the Socceroos job because he was on a three year contract and the FFA had no money after the World Cup.

That said his team in Beijing upset many. Although the performances were good on the whole.

I know I know we all wanted to turn the telly off...but they were good given the team we put out.

Yes Arnie has to live and die by his selections, and leaving Bruce Djite out still confuses me.

The Olympics disappointed many.

Not me.

Look at what Trent McClenahen, Ruben Zadkovich, Archie Thompson, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Neil Kilkenny and co have achieved since the Olympics...look at where the whole squad are now..compared to say Argentina....

And yes Arnie is right we massively over-achieved at the Beijing Olympics.