The United States of America beat the European Champions Spain 2-0 and then nearly kncked the Brazilians off in the Confederation Cup Final in South Africa.
Okay it's not the World Cup but it must give Australia some hope of achieving something next year.
If the USA can get to the final, beat Spain on the way then surely the Aussies can get out of the group.
And good to see the number one sport in South Africa finally being noticed in Australia.
Yep, it ain't cricket or rugby it's the sport of black South Africa, football. Don't suppose the Aussie media will get this for a while yet.
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
The United States of America beat the European Champions Spain 2-0 and then nearly kncked the Brazilians off in the Confederation Cup Final in South Africa.
Inspiring A-League Coach Gary Van Egmond leaves the Newcastle Jets for the sheltered workshop down in Canberra.
Maybe after three years in Newcastle working with Con everyone should be given such a job!
I'm not happy, not because I don't think teaching our Under 17's aren't important, but because Van Egmond was one of the few coaches in the A-League who could produce great football teams, good young players...and one season they won as well.
And doesn't the A-league need them.
The Jets, Melbourne Victory, Adelaide, Brisbane Roar, even Perth and Sydney have produced good football playing teams over the years, but the loss of one of Australia's youngest and best coaches, and it feels like a loss, will be harshly felt.
Particularly if Con Constantie, the Jets Chairman, takes his ball and goes home which he is threatening to do if he doesn't get some compensation from the FFA.
Will the shambolic Jets where players vent their spleen, the Chairman rants and the fans turn on Con, will they recover from this blow?
Con Constantine clearly has his own chaotic way of running a club; The Jets must be the A-League team who have lost the most Socceroos in history. A tad careless!
Adam and Joel Griffith, Nicky Carle, James Holland, Stuart Musialik, Ned Zelic, Mark Milligan, Jade North the list goes on and on.
And Van Egmond is perhaps the only Coach who could work with Con sucessfully, for even a short-term.
So who next. Branko Culina. John Kosmina, or Graham Arnold. Phil Moss?
It will be someone local in my view, someone desperate for a gig. Culina appears out.
Kossie could last a week or two, surely that would be a clash of the titans. Arnie I imagine will pick his club carefully.
It's important for the Jets club that stability is found but really any Coach walking into that powderkeg could see his reputation destroyed, by the players, the management, in a matter of weeks.
Con may have poured money into the team, and he has, but it seems the money hasn't been spent with any long-term view.
Perhaps another Sydney FC. Spending to win, but no long term legacy and now Sydney and in the future Newcastle will have to revisit their whole club strategy.
Do the Jets even have a strategy?
Newcastle United Jets, a little laughter from the Owner as the kept a blast from the past in the badge of the club. Who is laughing now?
United should be taken out, surely a breach of the Trade Descriptions Aact.
They've earned an A-League title, destroyed the team, had a tilt at Asia, managed to rebuild a team in a couple of weeks in 2009 and now they've lost the man who skilfully did it.
What a waste of four years!
Just in case you thought things might be changing at the FFA yesterday showed we are still very Dutch focused.
Dutchie Van Egmond took a job with the FFA.
Who will the next Aussie Dutchman be to get a job in the FFA, John Van Kossie?
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Friday, 26 June 2009
Football Stars Of Tomorrow launches this Sunday, June 28, at 2pm on Nine
I rate Channel 9 alongside 7 and 10. Crap, just crap. But they are very important to the masses. Hey I'm a TV snob, so what.
So seeing Channel 9 put a program out to the masses about football, junior football, I reckon it's excellent and a sign finally that someone out their in mass-media land on FTA understands the commercial potential of football in Australia.
One step at a time. And what better way to start than with the juniors.
Now many people complain that grassroots football is too expensive. The FFA even say in their talented player document recently released that we have a (moral) responsibility to reduce the costs.
Clearly with targeted sponsorship and the Federations providing outstanding opportunities for sponsors through our participation rates this can be done. It's only a surprise to me that it hasn't been done effectively.
All kids under 12 should play for free.
And wouldn't that improve access for all our children to get involved in sport.
But spare a thought for Goulburn.
They play under the name STFA in Canberra, in a league run by Capital Football. They are charged and pay the going Capital Football rate. No problem.
But because Goulburn is situated in NSW, and Southern Tablelands Football Assoc is part of NSW Football Federation they have to pay a registration fee for each player to NSWFF.
You couldn't make this stuff up.
And because, and only because, they had to pay DOUBLE registration fees they decided they needed to get something out of NSW so entered a team in the NSW Tiger Cup and did quite well.
Personally why we have NSWFF which covers everything across most of NSW and a separate body for Canberra, we are afterall just one town, not much bigger than Wollongong and less than Newcastle is beyond me.
Canberrans' can't play higher than our local league getting knocked back in access to higher football in NSW men's comps time and time again.
FFA want us to develop our talented players...but for what to send TWO to the AIS.
FFA need to provide Canberra with opportunities and sort out the schmozzle at NSWFF. After all there is a talent pool in this region which is being missed.
Do NSWFF really have the best interest of Goulburn or Canberra kids/men wanting to play and improve their skills.
Double registration fees! Pathetic innit.
When Mark Viduka, Jason Culina, Mile Sterjovski, Josip Skoko and many others took Australia to the last World Cup their Croatian heritage did not go unnoticed. Indeed Croatia themselves had three of our boys in their squad.
Many wondered if this was the end of the Aussie Croatian production line.
With Dario Vidosic taking the field in the Green and Gold in Melbourne the other night against Japan, Matthew Spiranovic picked for good things, I also noticed at a lower level Stephen Lustica, Australian Under 18 representative getting a goal for Gold Coast United in their recent win over the North Queensland nofury.
With another Aussie and Canberra Croatian Andrew Baresic also in the side clearly the influence of the Croatian community on our game and hopefully our national team will be around for a long time yet.
Why do our Croatian friends produce more, or seem to, top-class players in Australia than the Serbs, Italians, Greeks or any other immigrant group, including the English.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
FFA: Justify your changes to SSG's to our vast majority, our children.
How do your changes benefit our Aussie kids, apart from the 1% of telented players.
So when I played football, my first real game was when I was ten. Until then I played 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3,v 3 and 8 v 8 whenever we could with whoever we could get.
I was tested against older kids continually.
I played on the street, we lived in a cul-de-sac, and cars got booed if they ever interupted our game. The neignbours would knife our ball if it went on their English rose filled garden!
But this was turned to advantage occasionally when the game was often deliberately ended by the losers kicking it on to old Fran Overs, the knifers, garden.
But it ain't like that anymore. Mum drops the kids at training for an hour on Thursday and then joins them for their game on Saturday morning. For most footballers that is football. Right?
And the way Fozzie and co talk and ooze about Futsal, 5 v 5 and the skill it brings to our players the obvious question is why don't we mirror this up to the age of 10 in the outdoor game.
Would that improve of decrease our skills?
If 5 v 5 is so good for skills indoor why aren't we playing 5 v 5 outdoors to an older age. It ain't going to happen but it seems obvious.
However what ain't so obvious is why the FFA has changed the Small Sided Games for Under 10's from 7 v 7 to 9 v 9.
Now many, of course, are delighted. Why I've no idea because if you want your best for your child then bigger fields and bigger teams doesn't help..we know that or we wouldn't be playing any small sided games.
Aussie kids, 99% do not play much football outside their one hour of coaching and game time. Nor will most of them in my view.
So keeping the smaller side games is better for our childs development. Just go and watch our ten year olds at any club in the country, any grade, and see their skill level. Not so hot is it for either boys or girls.
And most of our kids will never play for Australia never mind a rep side.
So come on FFA justify your change to the kids of Australia.
How will they benefit from your changes? Or do you care about the 99% the so-called community pathway.
Nearpost football hosts Russ and Aaron are convinced the Jets will lose, nay get pumped tonight against the Pohang Denilson led Steelers in the Asian Champions League one-off last 16 game in Korea.
I'm not. I think they can win.
Either way watching Ben Kantarovski, Jason Hoffman, Tarek Elrich, Brodie Mooy, Mark Jesic, Adam D'Apuzzo, Kaz Patafta and Sean Rooney all young Aussies being tested on the continental stage is a joy.
And Gary Van Egmond has them playing football at times as well. Not half bad with young boys on such a big stage.
Why am I convinced the Jets can win? Because any team that can only beat the Mariners 3-2 can't be that good can they!
Could go to penalties, but win or lose watch Kantarovski. Our next Zelic, or Okon. He won't be in Australia for long so make the most of him, and when you see strutting around in the Bundesliga or Serie A you can say you saw him when he played for the Jets.
Go the Jets!
National show: Download
Russ Gibbs, Aaron Walker and Eamonn Flanagan discuss Socceroos, Nicky Carle, Young Matildas and the Jets in Asia. Quiz questions and we dedicate the show to Weetbix. Who else in Australian media is covering the Jets this week. Not many?
Local show: Download
All the local news with Russ Gibbs and Peter Funnell and George Hutiker local football author, manager, teacher, observer discusses the talented pathway for our Aussie children.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
My local club here in Canberra is Majura Football Club. Yes we've changed our name.
and who better to write the newsletter and tell EVERYONE about our name change than me!
Followers of this blog will know I've been doing my voluntary bit for my local club and here's our latest newsletter.
Gotta to love the Aussie sports crowds singing in unison "bullshit." When I first heard it I laughed long and loud. It was so uniquely Australian.
And when I write my one-eyed football blog a few mates in time-honoured Aussie way say, "Eamonn, more bullshit," which is fair enough because it is!
But just because something is in the esteemed Sydney Morning Herald doesn't mean it isn't bullshit.
Rugby writer Spiros Zavos wrote this bullshit this morning talking about the British and Irish Lions Rugby team
On Saturday there were 20,000 of them, resplendent in red, the best supporters in world sport, packed into the ABSA Stadium in Durban to watch the absorbing first Test of the series against the Springboks.
Best supporters in World Sport. Fattest, oldest, richest and whitest, maybe, but best. Because you are rich enough to fly to South Africa and travel around for weeks this makes you the best does it?
You're dreaming Spiros and obviously desperate to talk up your code after the Wallabies dragged 20,000 to watch them on the weekend.
So who is the best fans in World Sport?
Well Celtic took 80,000 fans to Seville, no arrests and a heap of fun. Spiros how about that effort?
Many European football sides do travel in huge numbers and don't fight.
The Irish national team supporters have a great reputation as well. From the last World Cup the Argentineans, Croatians and many others travelled and partied in huge numbers.
I'm sure you have your own favourite...and I bet they aren't the British and Irish Lions Rugby team!
Monday, 22 June 2009
Nationally we discuss Socceroos, Young Matildas, The Jets in Asia, Nicky Carle should we play him? You can stream the show live on www.2xxfm.org or catch the poddie hear on Wednesday.
And locally all the news and Peter Funnell inteviews local author, teacher, playwright and junior football observer/thinker George Huitker
Cricket, Socceroos, Wallabies and Kangaroos all vie for the title of Australia's number one national sports team.
The AFL team lacks a real international edge so fair to discount methinks.
For years many Wallabies fans tried to put the Union side up there, but with an Aussie Union World Cup a distant memory, and only 20,000 watching the Wallabies play in Melbourne on the weekend, the Union side has clearly slipped down the rank if indeed it was ever really above the Socceroos.
Only our lack of games perhaps reducing the Socceroos popularity.
Union doesn't have a national league, therefore limited coverage for kids. And former FFA Press Officers who were also Wallabies Press Officers said if you judge the popularity of a side by the media scrum, the Socceroos beat the Wallabies by some margin everytime.
The Kangaroos rarely fill a stadium, never mind rate a mention in Melbourne or other parts of the country and this is unlikely to change.
So that leaves the Socceroos and the cricket team.
The cricket team will get a huge boost from the Ashes tour, but aside from that the game has limited appeal across the World, and in terms of World Cup's, desperate qualification routes, the games lack an intensity...unless you love five days of inaction....and they say football is to slow!
Indeed the changing formats of cricket whilst set to strengthen Aussie clubs may hinder the national team as we have a Test, One-Day and Twenty Twenty team. Who plays for which team and when?
Long-term 20/20 may win out but it may also die much like the One Day series in years to come. Will cricket fans really take to the shorter form at a national level?
Which makes the Socceroos the number one code on a par with cricket.
The fickle nature of the Aussie sports fan will quickly turn against the cricket or football teams should they not succeed. And with more teams playing football it will always be hard to "succeed" in terms of winning trophies.
A tad easier to win The Ashes than the World Cup.
There maybe some debate about the number one national team status but when it comes to the football codes the Socceroos win the tag by in increasing margin.
Freee-To-Air TV anyone?
Loose lips sink ships? Luke would have been good in the war! Because he's not saying if he won a contract with Melbourne Victory after competing in the reality TV product placement show.
This year it's dire. More products than footballers I reckon but it's probably an age thing.
Luke Pilkington on his Fox 8 Football Superstar experience.
Playing at that level is amazing, it's so fast and so technical, the intensity just lifts, Ernie is a great coach and I've learned a lot from him, so it was an amazing experience.
No surprise that a Canberra footballer makes it through to the final three, but did he win?
Check out Merryn Sherwood's Canberra Times story below...and no it doesn't tell you if he wins.
Surely Luke would be pushing for a Canberra Youth team if not an A-League contract if we had a team, him and a heap of others.
Star back from 'reality' to phone and friends
By Merryn Sherwood
It's not often Capital Football men's premier league players are asked for autographs after games, but Luke Pilkington hasn't had an average two months.
After trying out for a reality TV series and making the final 15 competing for an A-League contract with Melbourne Victory, Pilkington has spent the past five weeks in the Football Superstar house.
He has had hardly any contact with the outside world, no mobile phone, no internet and cameras following the him around most of the day, while playing and training under pressure to determine which player has the talent to make it in an elite football environment.
The TV series still has four weeks to run on Foxtel, so Pilkington isn't allowed to divulge where he finished up.
But given the praise handed to him by Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick so far on the FOX8 program and the fact he only returned to Canberra last week it's safe to say he has made the final three. It could mean his stay in Canberra is very short; if he did win, he will be back in Melbourne soon.
But making the final, out of hundreds of aspiring soccer players around the country is an impressive feat.
It's also meant if people in Canberra didn't know Pilkington from the local ACT premier league, the ACT representative teams and his short stint with the Central Coast Mariners during their pre-season here last year, they do now.
Yesterday he was a bit overwhelmed to find a group of kids approaching him after his game for ANU, all exclaiming they had seen him on TV.
But the 18-year-old was mainly just enjoying being back. While it turned out to be a mud bath at ANU North and Pilkington's ANU team lost 2-0 to O'Connor, he still had a huge smile on his face.
''It's good to be back, just to see mates and being playing alongside all the boys again, you have more freedom and a phone, so it's good,'' he said.
''I was in there for about five weeks, it was just frustrating because you couldn't get out; there was no outside world.''
Despite that Pilkington said the experience had overall been a positive one in terms of furthering his soccer career.
As well as stints with the Mariners last year, Pilkington has also trialled with A-League newcomers Gold Coast this year but wasn't offered a contract with either.
But in the football superstar house, he's gained a more intensive apprenticeship.
''Playing at that level is amazing, it's so fast and so technical, the intensity just lifts,'' he said. ''Ernie is a great coach and I've learned a lot from him, so it was an amazing experience.'' Football Superstar is on FOX8 every Wednesday at 7.30pm.
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The FFA Technical Report, on the FFA website this week, it's a great start, but it's already taking us backwards..for the most important people...our children...particularly the 99% who will never play for Australia.
In Canberra we've been playing small-sided games for a number of years. In particular Under 10's play 7 v 7. Works well, really well. And in a few years you can see improved players moving into Under 11's with a heap more skill across the board than previous generations.
But the FFA are going to change this age group BACK to 9 v 9. They are joking.
And there is only one reason and one reason only why they could be doing it. They are clearly focussed on the elite, the top-end of our players...ie the one per cent.
Most of our players...maybe 97% of boys and girls are technically challenged and need the games, the very small sided games the FFA argued for, to be maintained.
Few if any boys teams, and I would maintain no current girls team in Australia will benefit from this change.
Well I've watched 9 v 9 last year, and 7 v 7 this year with Under 10's. The technical ability of our players will clearly improve if we continue in the smaller games.
If, and it's big if, if all players are playing from the age of 6 or 7 and doing the so-called 3 sessions per week PLUS a game when they are 8 or 9 then clearly they may be able to move to 9 v 9.
But no-one in Canberra, or I suspect Australia is doing this. And I'd dare to suggest no club will do this in coming years. Certainly not in numbers across a club, a city or region to enable the players to step-up to 9 v 9.
Aussie kids, the huge majority need skill improvement, they need small sided games maintained as long as possible.
Can anyone tell me how any child in Australia will benefit from switching to 9 v 9 games. Will any player become technically better?
So why are we doing it.
For the small elite pool of players that we need to tear each others guts out so they can trample over each other to get into the all new Aussie boys and girls under 13 side. A requirement of joining with Asia.
Clearly to play well at the 13 age group the FFA need players playing in bigger side games as early as possible so position and tactical awareness can begin to be entrenched.
But clearly the majority of our players will be dis-advantaged by this change.
Love to hear the logic for the change, and love to hear it while you're walking around my local club, some 1200 players, and look at the quality, some stars, some athletes, some beginners, and some challenged by that whole kicking thing.
Will they benefit from the change?
SBS Phil Micallef ran an interview with Daily Telegraph "newspaper" journo Phil Rothfield..one of the journo's keen to run strangely anti-football and anti-Socceroo stories in recent days.
Here's part of the interview, and the power of football advertisers as the Telegraph loses $60,000 in one day!
The Sydney Morning Herald throws a lot of space at rugby union because they get a lot of money from rugby advertising, we give rugby league plenty of space because we get a lot of money from rugby league advertising. If we get the same level of support during the World Cup we'll do the same with soccer
PM:But you cannot deny that the perception exists that News Ltd is anti-football. You guys have an image problem.
"We probably do have a problem with our image among soccer fans. But how can we not highlight the unattractive brand of football the Socceroos are playing, for example."
So can we expect a decent coverage of the World Cup next year?
"Our coverage will be bigger and better than last time. Obviously the space we will throw at it will be determined by advertising support. Nobody supported the A-League when it started as we did. We had an eight-page liftout and had the full backing of the FFA.
The Sydney Morning Herald throws a lot of space at rugby union because they get a lot of money from rugby advertising, we give rugby league plenty of space because we get a lot of money from rugby league advertising. If we get the same level of support during the World Cup we'll do the same with soccer.
It's a magnificent event, probably equal to the Olympic Games. We'll do special editions and our website updating stories 24/7.''
And great to see in an industry that clearly prints in sport, exactly what he advertisers demand....The Telegraph lost $60,000 when Tim Cahill's sponsor Sanitarium refused to place a full page ad with the Sydney rag...instead opting for the SMH.
Fromt the Australian:
Sanitarium ran a series of full-page advertisements in the major metropolitan papers around Australia featuring Cahill with the slogan across the bottom "Course he had his Weet-Bix". The advertisements ran in News Limited papers in Melbourne and Queensland but not in NSW where the business went to Fairfax.
Football and the power of the stars is clearly starting to make waves. Let's play them at their own stupid game. Can't be that hard with all our mainstream sponsors these days.
As for Tim Cahill. Well me feels he's likely to come a cropper of his own making in the coming years. He's not the most articulate, he's not the World's greatest player and may well trip up on his own race for notoriety. Look after yourself Tim, they're out to get you....and I reckon they will.
Time to have a chat with Harry Kewell, or Mark Viduka. They seem to avoid the camera and the trips that come with it.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
World Cup fever grabs another Aussie Sports Journalist.
Stathi Paxinos, chief rugby league correspondent, The Age, wrote this...ha ha he really did
There are valid reasons for withdrawing Harry Kewell from Australia's game against Japan tonight at the MCG. But one that cannot be justified is the one that Verbeek has actually come out with - that Harry needed a rest after playing in two games in the past month.and then he said..
Anyone who seriously believes that should take a moment to watch what some of the top National Rugby League stars put themselves through at this time of the year.
While not wishing to join Stathi's attack on another code, Stathi if you are going to talk about football get it right.
Does Stathi know that Harry plays for Galatasary in Turkey when he isn't resting with the Socceroos? Does Stathi know anything about Harry's age, injuries, career or what is ahead of him in South Africa.
It would be like the Kangaroos taking on the 20 or so teams who are better than them, but of course that ain't possible is it!
Melbourne has a Rugby League writer that caused me a chuckle, and a Chief one at that. And guess what the "Chief" is writing about football! Twaddle.
Stathi can join Sydney's Daily Twaddle mob and Rebecca Wilson and a host of others who feel the only thing they can write about football is negative twaddle.
Aussie media continue to attack the Socceroos, football, and anyone and anything they can get their hands on. Give it a break.
One million people play the game but still they attack. No brains, no wonder newspapers ain't making money these days.
But one thing for sure there is more to come.
Bring the clowns on!
FFA have said they will be back..but when?
Before the World Cup? I doubt it.
Indonesia (h) Asian Cup
Oman (h) Asian Cup
Holland (h) expected in October.
Blockbuster in Melbourne for Socceroos send-off.
Away games v Ireland (Aug) Kuwait, Oman.
And probably three other games before the World Cup, so maybe one more at home.
Townsville are itching for an Asian Cup game, Gold Coast may get one, so Canberra may have to wait until 2011. Unless we pay enough of course.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
I loved Pim singing the national anthem on Fox Sports tonight and I've loved the openness of the guy throughout the campaign.
Pim's got us to the World Cup through Asia. He's planned it right and got the maximum out of our players. Brilliant.
It's great to have a leader of the national team who you can admire, and for me, you might not always agree with his tactics, but he's got a certain dignity, a certain sincerity and he takes no crap from the immature Aussie sports media.
Go get em Pim.
Australia beat Japan 2-1 with Tim Cahill scoring two scruffy goals for a come from behind win.
Once again, despite playing ugly, Aussie spirit and the game goes for 90 minutes.
Lots of concerns, but we know we aren't the best looking team in the World. But we beat Japan and I for one loved it.
Although Japan are hardly World beaters. Worrying for them they weren't good enough to finish us off....will they ever be?
And having listened to Aussie media pundits talking up the J-League and Japanese games in the last couple of year...nice to see our Socceroos aren't no A-League squad.
Nicky Carle played and the nation relaxed. Out of position, but really Nicky has a lot to do to get on that plane, that said there were few in an attacking sense that caused much threat...but we won!
Nicky, Vinny Grella and Jason Culina all struggled to control and pass the ball and the Aussies produced a lack-lustre performance. And there was little pace outwide to threaten the Japanese.
Josh Kennedy on the field meant the ball was going to be pumped forward all night, and his inability to hold the ball hindered the team.
New boy Rhys Williams did well enough and at just 20 can only improve.
Shane Stefanutto offers little compared to Scott Chipperfield and even David Carney but an ageing Chippers may give Stefanutto a chance.
Jade North had a good game but he still seems off the pace to me. What has happened to our Jade. He seems to be lacking in real confidence and I'd love to see an Indigenous player on the plane.
So we learned the spirit is deep, Tim Cahill is not great to watch, except when he gets near the goal when he becomes an International Superstar. Thank God for Timmy.
Good job done, but we've a year to go, and we'll clearly need our stars and a large improvement from the second string.
Fox Sports Simon Hill: "It could be Kaisalautern," as Timmy Cahill bundled home a second against Japan again.
Classic line, great call, although it didn't feel much like Kaisalautern with the style of football.
And the fans:
Nippon always in our shadow. Gotta love the humour, love the rivaly, great banner.
Although where were all those Melbourne Victory fans....the crowd were so quiet...I thought the Victory fans would have stirred the party.
Even The Australian are talking us up: Didn't know they even covered football.
There are six bids on the FFA table at the moment and Buckley admitted they all "still have a bit of work to do". At the National Press Club on Monday he rated Canberra's proposal as "very impressive". Canberra, western Sydney, South Coast and Tasmania are in the running for the 14th spot.
"We awarded the 11th licence to a second Melbourne team last Friday. They put together a very impressive bid proposal. They will start 2010-2011 season," Buckley said. "We intend awarding a 12th licence and we have a number of genuine bids under consideration.
"One is from Canberra. We met (bid leader) Ivan Slavich recently and they have a very impressive bid and have great government support."
442 magazine have 70,000 readers per month. They reckon if each of those readers get 15 Aussies to sign-up at the above address to show support for the World Cup bid then we'll have a million fans.
So come on, every reader of this blog, get your 15 friends, family and colleagues to sign-up.
Dare to dream: If Australia gets the World Cup, announced in Dec 2010, what would you feel like, and how would the next ten years in Australia be for you, in football terms.
England or Australia? Who do you want to win the World Cup bid.
Now most of the Aussie media is focusing on a lack of Harry but real fans of the game knows tonight, and every game from here to South Africa, is crucial for ANY Aussie who gets to play for the National team.
Every game, every minute on the park is crucial for Stefan Stefanutto, Rhys Williams, Jade North, Scott McDonald and Nicky Carle to name a few.
A good performance against Japan will help their, and maybe our cause.
But the Aussie media want to focus on Harry and co not being there.
Interestingly Wallabies Captain, yes the Captain, is "rested" for Saturdays game against Italy in Melbourne, along with four other players....no problem or no news scandal with that one apparently.
So the FFA need to get a better yarn out about how crucial these games, and particularly tonights game, is to the Aussie players.
What Aussie player wouldn't give everything to be on that plane to South Africa...this should be the focus of tonights game; and another chance to build players beyond the Kewell's so when Harry doesn't play the football public are happy to see the best Aussie players in the land from a pool of 22.
Because whichever way you look at it, whoever plays, those who take the field are in the best 22 footballers in the land.
Any of the one million people who play the game in Australia would like to play in that team....well I would....Harry or no Harry.
Australia to win, and show those media fans of the J-League who exactly is the best in Asia.
We talk Aussie football like few other shows in the country.
World Cup Bid, Young Matildas, Socceroos, Quiz, Dedications and more.
National Show Download
Locally we talk Canberra United Coach, local scores Steve Forshaw gives us the lowdown on the Belco Canberra FC game and all of the local news with Russ Gibbs.
Local Football Download
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Astrojax asked me for the real NPC lunch..so here it is.
I enjoyed a wonderful steak, with my friends from Capital Football at the National Press Club today. Frank Lowy, Sir Frank to you, and FFA CEO Ben Buckley were entertaining us...and they did.
I moved seamlessly across to Canberra A-League bid leader Ivan Slavich, asking him quickly and quietly how the bid meeting this morn had gone with the FFA. He's close I reckon, very close..particularly as we listened to Ben replying to ABC Tim Gavel's question.
Hmmn my table murmured....or was that appreciation of the wine!
I mingled briefly coz it's always brief innit when they find out who I am, with Front Page Canberra Times journo Merryn Sherwood and spied FFA Media boss Bonita Mersiades..from a distance..I'm still smarting from my non-invitation to the World Cup bid launch.
SBS Phil McCallef has put on some more weight since I last saw him in Bangkok two years ago; so thought about the steak a bit more as I wolfed it.
Back to Bonita, she's fierce you know, would eat you alive and me and probably will if she ever gets to read this, and she'll know you are reading this as well, she's that good, but she's doing a dandy job even if I'm not allowed in.
Maybe that's a good thing.
Anyway, I noted she was taking all the questions down to Frank and Ben, and I'm sure ABC's Tim Gavel's was noted, (very good question Tim) as was John Taylor's from the Daily Telegraph....not having a good week that mob.
Notice the Telly didn't sent their headkickers this time:) Where's Phil Rothnickers when you want him
I was going to ask a question, try and throw my voice, pretend I was from the Western Sydney bid but had some steak left so got into it..as you do (you can take the boy out of Burton on Trent, but y'know the rest free food etc)...and Western Sydney might be not quite so strong...just quietly said someone...or was that the wine.
Then some FFA big wigs spoke to Heather Reid from Capital Football and I got my handshook by mistake.
A very even biggerwig from the FFA who's name I can't mention ran away, instantly, when I was introduced as a "blog writer." Sort of funny seeing the 5 meter dash record in a crowded lunch room.
How would they have reacted if they said I was a retired teacher looking for a quid, any quid!
Sports Minister Kate Ellis came in, everybody looked, I mean everybody coz I was watching em, and then Andrew Barr came in, not so many looked.
Frank was awesome, Ben was smooth and I thought his tan is quite nice for one so office bound. And I ain't gay I'm just from Canberra...that sort of guy. I notice stuff like that.
I pinched myself that I was listening to one of Australia's finest businessman, nay World Businessmen leading the game, football, here in Australia, and he was right here in Canberra talking about Australia, football, business, World Cup.
Loving it Frank. Not a step back.
And a good think that man Slavich got this Canberra A-League bid going coz this city would look a tad stupid this week wouldn't it? Y'know we've got the Brumbies so we'd love the World Cup...err right.
And I love what Frank is doing for the game, his vision for the country.
And then Frank spoke of the 32 training centres we would need for 32 teams across all our regions and what a legacy that would be. That struck home.
And when he added John O'Neill had been the first to congratulate him after we qualified for the World Cup I thought that's how it should be Union and Football, Wallabies and Socceroos together.
So that was, my lunch at the Press Club..oh and Canberra Stadium officials met with the FFA prior to the lunch and word is...
Socceroos in Canberra....word is they'll be back..so get used to it!
Great to hear that the first person to ring Frank Lowy to congratulate him on Socceroos qualifying for the 2010 World Cup was fmr football boss and head of Australian Rugby Union...John O'Neill. We need more of this.
And even Andrew Dimitriou, (see quote below) AFL Supremo has come out and has said AFL supports the Aussie World Cup bid. Of course most AFL fans do, but sometime Andrew has said some pretty strange things in regard to football.
I'd love to see the Wallabies and Socceroos working more closely together as our true International codes and would love to see some huge AFL games in and around the World Cup to give our International friends a taste of the unique Aussie game.
Football is never going to lose out on this, but we have a lot to gain, and quick, if we can assist the other codes with their growth.
Rugby League..well not sure we have much to offer them, or they us...but we'll see.
AFL supports soccer World Cup bid
June 15, 2009 - 2:24PM .
The AFL has thrown its support behind Australia's bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 soccer World Cup despite the potential clash between the rival codes.
Soccer's biggest party coming to Australia would present its challenges for the AFL in terms of the use of stadia during winter, competing for fans, and vying for the next generation of footballers and followers.
But a spokesman for AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the league was right behind Australia's bid.
"We're very supportive of it," he said.
And then there was one...from Western Sydney.
ABC Sport Tim Gavel asked Ben Buckley if Canberra was a realistic chance for the A-League's 12th spot at the National Press Club today.
FFA CEO Ben Buckley said, "We gave Melbourne (Heart) the 11th licence on Friday (last week) and the 12th spot is between Western Sydney and Canberra and we expect to make an annoncement soon.
"Canberra is one of the best bids we've seen to date," and Ben noted bid leader Ivan Slavich was in attendance, and Andrew Barr also present, who's ACT Government had given good support to the bid.
The usual response but the rumour mill suggested that two Western Sydney bids have disappeared...just like that!
Had the priviledge of hearing Sir Frank..well he's Sir Frank in my book...speak at the National Press Club...and his full speech is below.
Safe to say the guy is an inspiration with a can-do attitude.
FIFA: To go for growth? Then Asia not Europe the European market is the answer...India, China, Indonesia etc etc the world's population and emerging markets are Asia...therefore Australia need to win the Asian nominee then convince FIFA to go for growth.
Sounds like a plan...here's Sir Frank's speech, it's a long one so get a cuppa and be inspired.
Address by Mr Frank Lowy AC
Chairman, Football Federation of Australia
National Press Club, Canberra
15 June 2009
Ken Randall, President of the National Press Club,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for the invitation to address you today.
I’ve never faced the nation’s media en masse like this before, and I must say that contrary to your reputation, you all look friendly enough!
First - it’s really been a big week for football.
I’m ecstatic that the Socceroos qualified for the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa, just the second time we’ve qualified since 1974.
The last time we qualified in 2005 we did it by the skin of our teeth – in a penalty shoot-out in the last game of the last qualifying round. In fact, we were the last team in the world to qualify.
Now, with one game to go against Japan this week, we are on top of our group, winning five games and drawing two; scoring 10 goals with seven clean sheets – that’s seven games with no goals against.
That says a lot about how far we’ve come. The Socceroos and coach Pim Verbeek deserve enormous recognition for that.
Yesterday we officially launched Australia’s bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.
We have embarked on a Herculean task.
Victory would fulfil our wildest dreams.
But even the worst outcome – failing to win either – unthinkable though it is, would still leave a legacy that makes embarking on this journey worthwhile: certainly for the game of football in Australia, but also for the wider community.
So we enter the battle confidently, and we enter it to win; but we enter it mindful that we will need to wrest every vote from very powerful, well qualified nations whose ambition to host the World Cup is every bit as fierce as ours.
Let me answer the naysayers upfront and get that out of the way.
There are some who say we are small fry in world football; that Australia is too far away; that the 2018 World Cup must return to Europe after South Africa next year and Brazil in 2014.
There are some who say that the tremendous resources and energy required to mount the campaign is a distraction from more urgent tasks at home. That we should focus instead on developing the grassroots, and nurturing the new national A-League competition and so on.
These are all valid points, and believe me we have weighed them carefully. And I have an answer to each of them.
But the short answer to all the questions about why we should be bidding for the World Cup now is the same answer I gave a few years ago to the naysayers who said football was destined to remain the laughing stock of Australian sport.
When I was asked to become Chairman of FFA in 2003 my approach was simple.
Football is the world game.
It is actively followed by 5 billion people on every continent.
FIFA has more member countries than the United Nations. FIFA has 208 and the UN has 192.
Football has more grassroots support in Australia than any other sporting code.
Quite simply, it was time for football in Australia to lift up its head and start thinking and behaving as though it was part of the world game.
Boldness was called for.
Not arrogance, because arrogance in sport, as in most walks of life, is ultimately self-defeating.
But football needed to be bold, to demonstrate a bit of flair and optimism and belief in itself.
There were certainly good reasons why Australian football had languished for so long, but there was no good reason why it should languish forever.
So this was the philosophy I have tried to bring to the revival of football in Australia generally.
And you have seen the results. The ethnic rivalries have gone. Families now make up the majority of spectators. Sponsorship is strong. Football is now respected as one of Australia’s mainstream sporting codes. And the Socceroos are, again, among the 32 nations of the World to participate in the FIFA World Cup.
The philosophy that underpinned the revival of football at a local level is the same that motivates our World Cup bid.
Being timid in world football gets you nowhere, and taking the easy option of standing on the sidelines while the rest of the world goes for the big prizes, is never going to be an option.
In any case, standing on the sidelines is not in my DNA.
For those not familiar with the World Cup process, let me outline the challenge ahead.
The FIFA World Cup consists of two parts:
The qualification phase involving all member nations – which Australia will finish this Wednesday with a match against Japan in Melbourne; and,
The finals involving 32 teams after the qualification phase is complete – this event is the FIFA World Cup.
The decision on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be made in December 2010.
This is the first time that a decision for two World Cups will be made at the same time.
We have already been working on this for the last 12 months and we have another 18 months to continue to inform, impress, influence and inspire the 24 men of the FIFA Executive Committee who make the decision.
To win it, we require 13 votes.
Our competitors are all worthy in different ways; and all, except perhaps two, can mount a reasonable case.
They are: England; Spain & Portugal; Belgium & Netherlands; Russia; Qatar; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Mexico and the United States. (By the way, Japan & Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup).
The first question we have to answer for FIFA is: “Why Asia?”
For a start, since the World Cup began 80 years ago, the Asia Football Confederation, has hosted the World Cup just once before, in 2002. The Oceania Football Confederation has never hosted it.
In fact, Australia is the only continent not to have hosted it.
But there is a much bigger point to be made.
The weight of the world is with Asia.
Asia’s political power is rising tremendously. Global institutions like the UN, the IMF and others are grappling with how to deal with this fact of life.
The wealth of Asia continues to grow. It is where the customers are – for goods and services; and for football.
In fact, the biggest television audience for the World Cup, by far, lies in Asia, not Europe or America.
And in 2014 Asia will reach a historic tipping point.
According to IATA, from that date there will be more people flying in Asia than in Europe or America.
And Europe was conquered long ago.
Another World Cup in Europe would undoubtedly be successful.
It would draw crowds and it would be professionally run.
But it is a mature market – it is already overflowing with the highest quality football on a weekly basis.
There are the premier leagues of each nation; the UEFA Champions League; the Europa Cup; and more.
The World Cup in Europe is like putting a cherry on top of a gigantic chocolate cake.
And the United States, even under the rosiest scenarios, will remain problematic for football given the unique characteristics of that market and the entrenched competition from other sports.
So in making a decision for 2018 and 2022 FIFA has an historic opportunity to “go for growth” and turbo charge the process already underway in Asia.
And if FIFA agrees with this logic, the next question is “Why Australia?”
I don’t want to spend too much time today preaching to the converted. I trust you all agree Australia would make a splendid World Cup host.
But let me briefly make the case for Australia, above and beyond the powerful case I’ve just made for Asia:
We are a safe pair of hands. We do these big events very well, and the world knows it. The description of the Sydney Olympics as “the best games ever” still resonates not because it was great rhetoric, but because it was true.
The organisation, logistics, the feeling and spirit of Sydney 2000 remains the high water mark for international sporting events.
The world still fondly remembers the 40,000 volunteers who helped make the Games such a success. That spirit would be on display again, not just in Sydney, but right across Australia.
Not even our fiercest competitors doubt our capacity to deliver a thoroughly professional, well-organised World Cup.
We have unstinting support from all levels of government to mount a genuine national bid. This is a critically important factor for FIFA who understand that while the football organisation itself, the FFA, runs the bid, the venture can only succeed with total support from government.
From the outset the Prime Minister has provided unequivocal support, and his personal involvement, including a direct appeal to delegates at last year’s FIFA Congress in Sydney, has made a huge impact. That support was echoed at our official launch of the bid yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull. And all State Governments through the COAG process have committed themselves to the national effort.
We can deliver the infrastructure. FIFA has stringent technical requirements which must be met. For the 2018 and 2022 bids, we have been advised that we must have:
A minimum of 12 stadia, at least two of which must hold 80,000 fans
10 stadia which must hold a minimum of 45,000 fans
Training facilities for 32 teams; and,
Five-star accommodation for a minimum of four teams, the FIFA organisation and match officials in every host city.
While the existing stadia we have, especially the two big ones in the MCG in Melbourne and ANZ Stadium in Sydney, are world-class it is clear that a significant investment in new and existing stadia will be needed to meet the FIFA requirements.
FFA has done the homework to identify these opportunities and there are a number of options under consideration ranging from
reconfiguration of existing stadia through to new purpose-built stadia which can be adapted for ongoing use after the World Cup.
Our timeline for submitting the bid is May 2010 and our decisions on host cities and host stadia needs to be finalised by the end of this year.
So there is obviously much to be done between now and then to co-ordinate this major investment in critical infrastructure, and we are in deep discussion with Federal and State Governments.
But remember, for the purpose of the bid there need only be a commitment for the investment. The actual investment would of course only proceed if we were to win the right to host one of the two World Cups on offer.
Weather, distance and time zones. The Australian climate delivers perfect football weather in June and July. In many northern hemisphere World Cups the temperatures have been stifling, making life difficult on pitch for the players and off pitch for the spectators.
Too much is made of our so-called geographic isolation and time zone differences.
Firstly, we think the 1 billion viewers in China, and the billions in India, Japan, Korea, and South East Asia, will appreciate being close to our time zone.
Secondly, with careful attention to match scheduling, both in timing and location around Australia, we are confident we can still accommodate the European audience for all key matches.
Goodwill and interest in Australia. I don’t want to overstate this point because every nation will claim for itself some special status one way or the other. But I genuinely believe it is a strong point in our favour.
Australia has generated enormous goodwill in world football over the past few years, especially during the last World Cup in Germany. The Socceroos excited everyone. At every match, if you were a neutral supporter invariably you ended up cheering on the Socceroos. We played a fresh, exciting brand of football which was hard but fair, and we shook up some of the best teams in the world. And the Aussie fans in Germany were great ambassadors - their enthusiasm and friendliness was applauded by football officials, and the general public.
And it’s worth noting that in terms of ticket sales to the 2006 World Cup, Australians ranked 5th in the world – a remarkable fact given our relatively small population.
I’m sure you all recall how we lost in the dying seconds to Italy, who went on to win the World Cup. I must tell you I was distraught for days
afterwards. But once I got over the loss I could take some comfort from the fact that we had announced ourselves on the world stage, and that we could leverage that performance at home and abroad.
The memory might have faded a little for some of you. But our journey to the 2006 World Cup ignited an interest in football that took Australia by storm. Our penalty goal shootout against Uruguay in 2005, and then the excitement of Germany, generated scenes here at home that went around the world, and it has become part of Australian sporting folklore.
I do believe that goodwill towards Australia exists, and that people from around the world have a genuine interest in Australia and in visiting here.
Respect for our achievements
It is not a coincidence that senior Members of the FFA have been recognised by FIFA and the AFC, and are now serving on key Committees of regional and World football. We have the first Australian to ever become a Member – even a Vice President – of the Asian Football Confederation’s Executive Committee, and I was appointed a member on the FIFA World Cup Committee.
These points are the essence of our appeal to the FIFA Executive Committee and each one is backed up by a lot more detail than I can share with you today.
There is also a raft of benefits that will flow to Australia if we are successful, and which help justify the large investment we are asking of the nation.
Those who don’t follow football sometimes fail to comprehend the sheer scale of the World Cup.
It totally dwarfs all other major sporting events and even out-rivals the Olympics.
We commissioned Price WaterhouseCoopers to undertake an economic impact analysis of hosting the World Cup and the Confederations Cup which is a smaller tournament played in the preceding year to the World Cup itself.
A joint PWC/Monash University study estimated the impact as a $5.3 billion increase in GDP and a cumulative employment effect of 74,000 jobs.
It delivers 12 times the GDP impact of the Formula One and Australian Tennis Open combined.
It delivers 15 times the employment impact of those two events.
The flow-on tourism potential is obvious, not just to our cities, but to regions that otherwise wouldn’t get this sort of intense international exposure.
I don’t think I need to spend too much time on what hosting the World Cup would do for the game in Australia – it would be like injecting high octane fuel into game development here.
Generations of new talent would be inspired by the event and it would provide a platform for growth for decades to come.
What I would like to talk about briefly now is what it would do for Australia beyond the economic impact and the legacy of new and much needed infrastructure.
What it would do for Australia in the world, but especially in Asia.
I spoke about Asia earlier – it is where our future lies, economically and in football.
This is why I worked so hard to move Australia from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.
Being in the AFC gives us more games, against better teams, bigger audiences and of course, more revenue.
It involves not just the Socceroos, but A-League clubs, and over time our entire football community will develop links in one way or another with Asia.
And the benefits flow both ways.
Asia did not invite us in because they had 45 members and thought they’d like 46.
Far from it.
We are there because we can add value to Asia. Our teams can help raise the standard.
Australia has highly developed facilities and training programs that can be shared with developing football countries in the region.
But beyond all that, what excites me most about Australian football is what it can do for the country as a whole.
It is the same thing that motivated me to establish the Lowy Institute for International Policy, which I am pleased to say, is making a serious contribution to the discussion about Australia’s place in the world.
I have worked hard over the past six years to reconnect us with the world football community – from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, through to people trying to build a pitch in the Solomon Islands, and everyone in between.
If all this activity has told me anything, it is that football works at all levels, it speaks to all peoples.
It opens doors and builds friendships like nothing else.
It can do this better than business; better than governments; better than any individual could ever hope to do.
But when it all comes together – football, business, government – it’s a very powerful force.
And that force can be put to work for Australia’s interests in all sorts of ways.
I can assure you that this fact is not lost on our Prime Minister
So ladies and gentlemen, we are playing for big stakes in bidding for a World Cup.
But it is not a reckless gamble.
Any investment during the campaign for the bid is relatively modest.
The big investments need only flow once we are assured of hosting one of the World Cups.
The prize is too big not to go for it. And we have a better than even chance.
All of us at the FFA will devote ourselves fully to the task.
I have the personal commitment of our political leaders.
We have the goodwill and support of other sporting codes around the country.
And we will now embark on a mission to enlist all Australians in what we hope will be an exciting and ultimately successful campaign to bring the greatest show on earth to Australia.
It's Monday so I'm off to the National Press Club for lunch.
Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley will be entertaining me with their chat. Love to hear football talk in the Capital.
And this time I get in....coz I paid!
Sunday, 14 June 2009
And my local club leads the way...wel what did you expect?
Here's the site: World Cup Australia site. http://www.australia2018-2022.com.au/
And my local club, Majura Junior Football club played a big part. Well everyone always finds an angle don't they.
Irene Mantinaos gave an address at the launch. And she had less than 24 hours notice. Great job Irene
And in the TV Ad note Fmr Majura player Ben Watson..he's the boy that kicks the ball on to the PM's desk. You can see Ben in the Kanga Cup representing Majura Under 12's.
Here's the who's who of speakers:
Harry Williams (1974 FIFA World Cup Socceroo)
* Jared Lum (Australian U-17 football team, Qantas Joeys, and Australian Institute of Sport)
* Lucas Neill (Qantas Socceroos captain)
* Mark Schwarzer (Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper)
* Irene Mantinaos ('soccer mum' and football fan)
* Malcolm Turnbull MP (Leader of the Opposition)
* Frank Lowy AC (Chairman of FFA)
* Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Neither code could sell-out Canberra Stadium for their respective international clashes in the Capital, although I'm giving the Socceroos a slight victory in the crowd analysis stakes.
22,000 for the Wallabies is a very healthy crowd, but with over ten years of professional rugby in Canberra, almost 10,000 Brumbies season ticket holders, a network of email addresses, and regular home S14 crowds of 13,000- 22,000, plus they were playing against a Six nations side in Italy, add in the Giteau and Canberra based stars element..a sell-out would have be expected.
Indeed what would it take to get a sell-out?
However the Socceroos, with not a Canberran in sight, a team spruiked with A-League players few in Canberra had heard of, playing against Kuwait ranked who knows where on the FIFA list, and little recent history of professional football in Canberra and no professional network to garner the season ticket holders etc....pulled in over 20,000.
Seems to me, importantly, both crowds are healthy for future International games in the Capital.
And if the full strength Socceroos ever came to town one would think the Socceroos would sell-out given the recent crowd.
A good result for both codes, but while neither administration would be discouraged the FFA are probably more encouraged of the two, as the game and opportunity continues to grow.
FFA will launch our World Cup bid in Canberra today. You can see all the action on Fox and SBS live from 3pm
A great occasion no doubt, with the PM, star players and a staged launch. (Watch out for a Majura parent giving the "ethnic" speech well that's how it was described to me!)
Me? My application was rejected by the FFA.
2,000 downloads a week
A National Community Radio show that goes live across the country and is picked up at other times by at least 10 further stations.
And a blog to boot.
And I'm Canberra based.
"Only paid media Eamonn," said the FFA spokesman. "There's no room for you."
With invitations been given out and refused as late as last night, clearly there is plenty of room at the Inn....for some!
How many Community media would come or be in Canberra for this event? Zilch I suspect..and little old me got refused.
Must have upset the sensitive souls at the FFA, or maybe the pasting they are getting from the Telegraph is much more worthwhile.
Never mind I'll watch it on the telly.
Patronisingly the FFA added, "don't worry there will be plenty of media stuff given out so you can talk about it."
Friday, 12 June 2009
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Jess Fink would die for him, many fans want him, so Nearpost Radio have answered the call and will have a non-stop Nicky half hour.
Coming live from the Studios of 2XX Tuesday 23 June, Nicky will be discussed to death.
Why should Nicky be in the team...or why not?
Is it true that was the fastest has ever run last night
Is his sun tan from a sun bed or standing still to catch some rays in the Palace midfield
Can a Championship player lead Australia to the promised land
Does Pim hate Nicky
Does Nicky need more than 10 minutes
Why should Nicky be in the team
Nicky or Brett...do we have to choose.
Will Nicky watch if he's not picked.
Does Arnie stand up for Nicky
Does Harry want Nicky
Would Nicky help Macca score
Has Nicky lost weight
Is Nicky better than Ronaldo
What are the TAB odds on Nicky making the squad
Will Fozzie ask Guardiolo to take Nicky
Did Nicky go to Barcelona when he was 3
Is Nicky our Glen Hoddle or worse Matt Le Tissier
Would Nicky play for England if he was English
Are Crystal Palace better than Barca..when Nicky plays
Can Nicky get the rebona right...now
Does Nicky like flying
And did Nicky create the second goal last night.
39,540 rocked up to celebrate Australia's qualification to the World Cup on the coldest Sydney night of the year.
Sydney's biggest winter sports crowd of the year once again turned out for football.
Wallabies drew 39,600 to their Baa Baa's clash even with SBW spruiking the interest, and of course this included the bigger playing squads.
Even the Waratahs failed to smash the 35,000 mark this season with just 33,000 watching their glamour clash against the Crusaders.
Rugby League's Centenary Test pulled in around 33,000 and wasn't that pumped.
And the AFL has seen Sydney Swans attract just 32,000 fans to their biggest game so far this year against West Coast.
And no NRL club side has come near the Socceroos mark nor will it in the normal season unless the moon and that cow does it's thing...even then I doubt they'd get 40,000
But of course the Sydney Telegraph and other media can spin it anyway you want..and so can I.
South African World Cup..got a ring to it...hasn't it.
Well they beat Andorra 6-0, are top of the group by ten points and you can expect every Englishman to talk it up from here on it.
England 2010: No chance...although Mr Capello has this Irishman a tad concerned.
Still Wayne Rooney ain't Zidane, Messi or Kaka is he..and he's the best they've got.
Glorious failure, we woz robbed will be the go..always is. At ease Australia.
Just quietly: Emile Heskey played the other night.......Irishman goes off to work smiling.
What are News Limited afraid of? Some very strange articles are appearing out of that newspaper regarding football.
They, clearly, are deliberately running the game down, using non-football language and generally abusing anything non-Australia.
Pim is un-Australian, the Bahrainians players names are mocked...what is going on..and why?
Yesterday we had an article criticising the crowd predicted for last nights game despite it being bigger than League Centenary Test, Union Baa Baas game and all AFL games played in Sydney this year.
And today we have an article basically taking the mick out of the Socceroos, Bahrain and the game of football. Nick Wilkshire might be a writer but his language suggests he hates the game and knows little about it. And of course lets all laugh at the names of the Bahrainians, shades of the Footy Shows Nick!
Nick eloquent and on top of the language of his subject says:
Learn to love these Aussies the hard way, by going some 53 minutes without a point being scored at ANZ Stadium last night.
And, sure, it's painful. Because drawing nudes is intriguing . . . drawing soccer matches is not.
But what about the joy when Australia finally goaled - twice?
Apparently his namesake Luke Wilkshire missed a penalty...he meant a free-kick. And you're a Sports Editor Nick..ha ha pure gold mate.
And then we've got Phil Rothfield telling us how Pim is holding the game back. Phil clearly doesn't understand the game, International football or indeed the depth of the Australian squad...or lack of. How many players play Champions League football?
Poor old Phil says
this man (Pim) is destroying soccer’s one golden opportunity to challenge rugby league and AFL.
Just quietly Phil you are probably more likely to do that than Pim or anyone involved in the game. You and your paper's continued attacks on the game. News Limited must be terrified of the games potential.
The achievements should be acknowledged for what they are. We're going to the World Cup and we have a chance to improve along the way.
But why don't one of Australia's biggest selling papers support the game, in anyway?
What other Aussie sport has to take this sort of journalistic rubbish from Sydney's major paper. One wonders why?
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Socceroos win 2-0 with a comfortable victory over the ninety minutes.
David Carney scored, and the old faithful Mile Sterjovski popped one in.
We have maybe 50 plus players fighting to get on that plane, over the next twelve months, and Australian players will be doing their utmost to get in the 23.
A chance of a lifetime.
Should be great for our players improvement and every game, every player must now grab his chance.
Another tedious first half performance but Bahrain made it tough with every player back behind the ball, and with seven changes in the Aussie side what can you expect?
Mile Jedinak continues to underperform at this level and has a bit to do if not to get on the plane but to get a game at the World Cup.
Clearly Carl Valeri, Vinny Grella and Jason Culina are way ahead for centre midfield. Jedinak's distribution again lets him and the team down and contributed to a poor first half for the men in green and gold.
Clearly the Central Coast Mariners is no different to playing in Turkey.
Mark Milligan is back and will add pressure for a defensive place. David Carney's athleticism ensures he'll be there and he did well tonight creating one and scoring the other, and Brett Holman showed enough to suggest they'll be in final 23.
Nicky Carle got ten minutes but who knows what he can do. Scott McDonald continues to disappoint me in an Aussie shirt although he had perhaps his best game tonight.
We're struggling in a creative sense and with goals at a premium we need McDonald under any system to score goals.
And Brett Emerton, Scott Chipperfield, Tim Cahill, Vinny Grella, Marco Bresciano, Carl Valeri, Craig Moore, Josh Kennedy and maybe a certain Mark Viduka are still ahead of what we saw tonight.
Next up Japan at the G and isnt that a great test for the team. Awesome.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that twenty eight Socceroos will be presented with ‘caps’ prior to the Australia v Bahrain FIFA 2010 World Cup qualification match at Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The caps are awarded to every player who has played an 'A' international for Australia.
Danny Moulis, Tony Henderson, Gary Byrne, George Kulcsar and Ante Juric will be honoured tonight. Career details below.
113. Kevin O'Neill
Socceroo statistics: 12 Caps (plus 39 appearances in non–A internationals) 1949–1959
Senior career: Cessnock (NNSW), Kurri Kurri (NNSW), West Wallsend (NNSW), Lake Macquarie (NNSW), Prague (NSW)
Newcastle-based defender who captained Australia in the 1959 series against Hearts. A very long playing career included tours with the national side in 1950 (southern Africa) and 1958 (New Zealand).
136. Keith Learmonth
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap (plus 6 appearances / 2 goals in non–A internationals) 1955–1959
Senior career: 1951-1961 Corrimal (NSW)
One of New South Wales' most prominent strikers of the 1950s, where his many goals assisted Corrimal to several state league titles. He was on the fringes of national team selection for the 1956 Olympic Games.
186. Alan Marnoch
Socceroo statistics: 14 Caps 1967–1969
Senior career: 1965–1975 Hakoah (NSW)
Defender who was a major force behind Hakoah's five state league premiership titles won between 1968 and 1974. He was part of Australia's gruelling so-near-but-so-far 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign.
214. Jack Reilly
Socceroo statistics: 15 Caps (plus 20 appearances / 2 goals in non–A internationals) 1970–1977
Senior career: 1963–1967 Hibernian (Scotland), 1968 Washington Whips (USA), 1970 Brunswick (Vic), 1971 St George (NSW), 1972–1974 Hakoah (Vic), 1976 Heidelberg (Vic), 1977–1979 South Melbourne (Australia), 1979–1980 Brunswick (Vic), 1981 Heidelberg (Australia)
Became Australia's number one goalkeeper during an extensive world tour just after arriving in the country in 1970. Australia's 1974 World Cup goalkeeper, highlighted by keeping Chile scoreless in the final game.
218. Colin Curran
Socceroo statistics: 22 Caps, 1 goal (plus 13 appearances / 1 goal in non–A internationals) 1970–1979
Senior career: 1964–1970, 1972, 1976 Adamstown Rosebud (NNSW), 1965–1966 Manchester United (England), 1971 Marconi (NSW), 1973–1975, 1977 Western Suburbs (NSW/Australia), 1978–1982 Newcastle KB United (Australia)
One of Newcastle's finest ever, the staunch defender was an integral part of Australia's 1974 World Cup campaign, playing in all three matches, despite battling with ongoing injuries.
245. Gary Byrne
Socceroo statistics: 36 Caps, 1 goal (plus 22 appearances in non–A internationals) 1975–1983
Senior career: 1971–1981 Marconi (NSW/Australia), 1973 Sutherland (NSW), 1982–1983 Canberra City (Australia), 1984–1986 Blacktown City (Australia/NSW)
A significant member of Australia's 1978 and 1982 World Cup campaigns and a vital part of Marconi's successful early NSL years, where he won a national championship medal in 1979.
249. Jim Tansey
Socceroo honours: 20 Caps (plus 23 appearances in non–A internationals) 1975–1981
Senior career: 1974–1976 Slavia (Vic), 1977–1983 Heidelberg (Australia), 1984 Footscray (Australia), 1985–1986 Croydon
Resolute defender, who arrived in Australia aged 21 to carve out a successful playing career for club and country. Victorian player of the year in 1976, just before the onset of the national league.
255. Kevin Mullen
Socceroo statistics: 3 Caps (plus 5 appearances / 2 goals in non–A internationals) 1976–1980
Senior career: 1968–1983 Hakoah/Sydney City (NSW/Australia)
Sydney-born defender with one of Australia's all-time most successful domestic league careers, having been part of five pre-NSL state league premierships and four NSL Championships.
276. Gary Meier
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap 1978
Senior career: 1973–1993 Pan-Hellenic/Sydney Olympic (NSW/Australia)
Legendary goalkeeper who played out a remarkably long first-class playing career at Sydney Olympic. He made his one and only Socceroo appearance as a substitute against Greece.
278. Tony Henderson
Socceroo statistics: 27 Caps, 2 goals (plus 23 appearances in non–A internationals) 1979–1984
Senior career: 1970–1971 Blackpool (England), 1971–1974 Rotherham (England), 1975–1976 Durban (South Africa), 1977–1978 Canberra City (Australia), 1979–1988 Marconi (Australia), 1989 Blacktown City (Australia)
One of Australia's most decorated players of the 1980s, with a half-century of Socceroo appearances - including a captain's role - and the honour of captaining Marconi to an unforgettable NSL championship in 1988.
280. Steve O'Connor
Socceroo statistics: 15 Caps (plus 27 appearances in non–A internationals) 1979–1985
Senior career: 1970–1986 Hakoah/Sydney City (NSW/Australia), 1987–1988 St George (Australia), 1989 APIA Leichhardt (Australia)
Fearsome defender whose prowess at the back led Sydney City to four national league Championships in the league's first six years. He has since become prominent in the coaching department.
285. Tommy Cumming
Socceroo statistics: 4 Caps, 1 goal (plus 8 appearances in non–A internationals) 1979–1980
Senior career: 1976–1977 Sunshine City (Vic), 1978–1985 Melbourne Croatia (Vic/Australia), 1985–1987 Green Gully (Australia/Vic)
Attack-minded player who moved down under from Scotland aged 19. Promoted to the Australian national team directly from the state league, where he had taken out the Victorian player of the year award in 1978.
297. Danny Moulis
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap, 1 goal (plus 3 appearances in non–A internationals) 1980
Senior career: 1977–1980 Canberra City (Australia), 1981–1982 Sydney Olympic (Australia)
Australian schoolboy and under-20 team representative, who was also part of a young Australian senior side at the 1980 Oceania Cup. His career was tragically cut short in 1982 with a crippling knee injury.
316. Brett Woods
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap (plus 1 appearance in a non–A international) 1981
Senior career: 1979–1980 Auburn (NSW), 1981 Sydney City (NSW), 1982–1985 Sydney Croatia (NSW/Australia), 1986 Uruguayan (NSW)
Sydney-born defender aged just 18 in his first Socceroo appearance, against Indonesia in Jakarta. He assisted Sydney Croatia to two state league grand final victories just before the club entered the NSL in 1984.
319. David Ratcliffe
Socceroo statistics: 21 Caps, 1 goal (plus 28 appearances in non–A internationals) 1982–1986
Senior career: 1974–1978 Bradford City (England), 1978–1981 Brisbane City (Australia), 1982–1986, 1989 St George (Australia), 1987 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 1988–1991 Wollongong Wolves (Australia)
England-born defender who barely missed a Socceroo match throughout a very busy era for the national team. His leadership traits inspired lesser-fashionable NSL sides St George and Wollongong to success.
Socceroo statistics: 3 Caps (plus 3 appearances in non-A intenationals) 1979–1983
Senior career: 1975–1977 Lake Macquarie (NNSW), 1978–1980 Newcastle KB United (Australia), 1981–1982 Wollongong Wolves (Australia),1983–1984 APIA Leichhardt (Australia), 1985–1986 Marconi (Australia), 1987–1988 APIA Leichhardt (Australia), 1989 Heidelberg (Australia)
372. Milan Ivanovic
Socceroo statistics: 59 Caps (plus 12 appearances / 4 goals in non–A internationals) 1991–1998
Senior career: 1982–1985 OFK Belgrade (Yugoslavia), 1985–1986, 1988–1989 Red Star Belgrade (Yugoslavia), 1986–1988 Radnicki Nis (Yugoslavia), 1989–2000 Adelaide City (Australia)
Regarded by many as the finest import to come to Australia in the past thirty years. He was crowned the national league's player of the year in 1991, a very rare honour for a defensive player.
380. Andrew Marth
Socceroo statistics: 16 Caps, 1 goal (plus 5 appearances in non–A internationals) 1991–2000
Senior career: 1986–1989 Sunshine (Australia), 1989–1998 Melbourne Croatia/Knights (Australia), 1998–2000 Carlton (Australia), 2001–2004 Melbourne Knights (Australia), 2005–2006 Green Gully (Vic)
Steadfast defender or midfielder who was captain at Melbourne Knights throughout its glory years of the 1990s, which included two NSL Championship (1995 and 1996) and four Premiership titles.
384. Darren Stewart
Socceroo statistics: 3 Caps (plus 1 appearance in non–A internationals) 1992
Senior career: 1985 Newcastle Rosebud (Australia), 1986–1992 APIA Leichhardt (Australia), 1992–1996 Newcastle Breakers (Australia), 1994–1998 Johor (Malaysia), 1999–2002 Balestier Central (Singapore)
Another fine Newcastle product, who took part in Australia's 1992 President's Cup campaign. He spent several years in South East Asia, including a captain's stint at Johor in Malaysia.
385. Mike Grbevski
Socceroo statistics: 3 Caps (plus 1 appearance in a non–A international) 1992
Senior career: 1986 Rockdale (NSW), 1987–1989 St George (Australia), 1989–1992 Sydney Croatia (Australia), 1992–1993 Adelaide City (Australia), 1993–1994 Wollongong Wolves (Australia), 1996–1997 St George (NSW).
Solid defender who rose from the St George youth team to the seniors in 1987. Three of his four international matches were played in the 1992 Presidents Cup in Indonesia.
401. John Markovski
Socceroo statistics: 18 Caps, 1 goal (plus 2 appearances in non–A internationals) 1990–1998
Senior career: 1986–1988 Sunshine (Australia), 1989, 1992–1993 Preston (Australia), 1989–1990, 1995–1997 Melbourne Knights (Australia), 1990–1992 Marconi (Australia), 1993–1995 Morwell Falcons (Australia), 1997–1998, 1999–2000 Carlton (Australia), 1998–1999 Perth Glory (Australia), 2001–2002 Football Kingz (Australia)
Stylish striker whose remarkable NSL career included 372 appearances, 110 goals and a championship medal in 1996. Played - and scored twice - at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.
416. George Kulcsar
Socceroo statistics: 3 Caps 1996–1997
Senior career: 1986 Canberra City (Australia), 1987 St George (Australia), 1988–1990 Canberra Deakin (NSW), 1991–1997 Royal Antwerp (Belgium), 1997–1998 Bradford City (England), 1997–2001 Queens Park Rangers (England), 2001 Home United (Singapore)
Australian Institute of Sport graduate and national Under-20 representative who was part of the first wave of Australians to make their names in Europe. Known as a strong ball-winning midfielder.
417. Walter Ardone
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap 1996
Senior career: 1991 Malacca (Malaysia), 1992–1993 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 1993–1994 Parramatta Eagles (Australia), 1994–1995 Heidelberg (Australia), 1995–1998 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 1998–1999 Sydney United (Australia), 1999–2001 Parramatta Power (Australia), 2002 Geylang United (Singapore).
Cultured midfielder, born in Argentina, who came through the Sydney Olympic junior ranks. His one and only Socceroo appearance was a tough one, travelling to Antofagasta to take on the Chilean national side.
426. Luke Casserly
Socceroo statistics: 8 Caps 1997–2001
Senior career: 1991–1998 Marconi (Australia), 1998–2000 Northern Spirit (Australia), 2000–2002 Solna (Sweden), 2002–2007 Marconi (Australia/NSW)
A distinguished NSL career of almost 200 games included seven finals series appearances. He played in every minute of every match of Australia's 1996 Olympic Games campaign.
437. Brad Maloney
Socceroo statistics: 6 Caps, 2 goals (plus 3 appearances in non–A internationals) 1992–2000
Senior career: 1990–1991 APIA Leichhardt (Australia), 1991–1993 Newcastle Breakers (Australia), 1993–1995 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 1995–2000 Marconi(Australia), 2000–2002 Perth Glory (Australia), 2002–2003 Parramatta Power (Australia), 2003–2006 Marconi (Australia/NSW)
Australian Institute of Sport graduate whose highlight-filled career included appearances at the 1992 Olympic Games and 1999 NSL Player of the Year.
471. Ante Juric
Socceroo statistics: 4 Caps, 1 goal 2002
Senior career: 1991–1993 Canberra Deakin (NSW), 1993–1994 Melbourne Knights (Australia), 1994–1995 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 1995–1996 Benfica Castelo Branco (Portugal), 1996–1997 Canberra Cosmos (Australia), 1997–2004 Sydney Olympic (Australia), 2001 Molde (Norway), 2003 Johor (Malaysia), 2004–2007 Sydney United (NSW)
Canberra born and bred player who made a name for himself in Australia's impressive World Youth Cup campaign in 1993. He is now one of the country's most astute up-and-coming coaches.
496. Travis Dodd
Socceroo statistics: 2 Caps, 1 goal 2006
Senior career: 1996–1999 Adelaide City (Australia), 1999–2000 Newcastle Breakers (Australia), 2000–2003 Newcastle United (Australia), 2003–2004 Parramatta Power (Australia), 2004 Johor (Malaysia), 2004–2005 Panionios (Greece), 2005– Adelaide United (Australia)
Adelaide United's captain throughout its phenomenal Asian Champions League and World Club Cup campaigns in 2008. A fast-running midfielder, he scored in his debut Socceroo match.
497. Michael Valkanis
Socceroo statistics: 1 Cap 2006
Senior career: 1992–1996 South Melbourne (Australia), 1996–1999 Iraklis (Greece), 1999–2001 Larissa (Greece), 2001–2002 Agios Nikolaos (Greece), 2002–2003 Adelaide City (Australia), 2003–2009 Adelaide United (Australia)
Melbourne-born defender awarded with his Socceroo debut at age 31 after a stunning inaugural Hyundai A-League season with Adelaide
Socceroos have qualified for the third time at the biggest tournment in World sport and the Daily Telegraph's Ben English is criticising the attendance at tonights game.
Now that is a bigger crowd than the League Centenary test, promoted just a tad, bigger than the Wallabies v Baa Baa's, promoted widely with SBW and co, and bigger than the AFL v Ireland, but the guy wants to have a go.
50,000 re: Bahrain is a great crowd for any sport, but for a football code still on the rise it's even better.
If the FTA channels covered Aussie football with any sort of fairness to reflect the interest of the game, or the Telegraph gave the sport more than half a page a day....then the game would probably be packed tonight.
When will the media give the sport more airspace? And when is the tipping point, or is the country's sports media just to locked in to other codes.
Either way Ben will have his pathetic paper full of pull-outs come World Cup won't he.
For me Australia playing game after game across Asia, qualifying for World Cups...we've only just begun...but Ben you'd know that being a Sports Editor wouldn't you!
AFL, Rugby Union and the relatively poor Rugby League stars can only dream of the sort of reward footballers get for playing their game.
Harry Kewell, Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer, can expect up to $2 million in sponsorships prior to the World Cup, according to the World Game website today.
And any A-League player or young players making the squad can expect to earn at least $233,000 each for making the last 16 of the World Cup.
Football International Agent Bernie Mandic said.
“The highest-profile Socceroos would be on a salary of $5m to $10m."
Hard for any other code to come anywhere near it, isn't it? Few players in other codes would even match Sydney FC's John Aloisi who is reported to be on $1.2 million, or $500,000 a goal.
And the FFA expect to get $8 million from qualification alone. Thank God this money is not going to old Soccer Australia.
Let's hope this journey entices a few more super Aussie athletes to stay with football. Of course they also need to be skilled with the feet which excludes many of our top players in other codes anyway.
40,000 people are expected to show there support for the triumphant Socceroos.
What does this say?
Bahrain can't pull much of a crowd, and the Socceroos should be playing the lower tier nations at smaller 50,000 capacity stadiums until the game grows futher in Australia.
England, Germany and some other countries would pull in more than 40,000 having qualified but the game is slightly bigger in those countries.
Still, 40,000 against any team is still huge for the Socceroos. There was time not so long ago where the average crowd was around 15,000, today we hover around the 50,000 mark.
FFA need to heed the message. China, Japan, Uruguay, Holland and the like will all pull in big crowds, betweeen 50,000 and 90,000, the others like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the so-called lesser football nations will be somewhere less than 50,000 and time to book stadiums accordingly.
Interestingly Canberra can pull in 20,000 v Kuwait with an A-League side, and yet Sydney can only pull in 40,000!
Nationally Russ, Paddy and two of the Socceroos biggest fans, Jezza Butler and Matt MacDonald talk Qatar, Bahrain and what it means to qualify again. And Jezza already has three tickets for all the Aussie games.
And apologies to Young Matildas fans, CD didn't work so we'll play that interview with Alen Stajic next week.
And locally, Russ, Peter Funnell and Jezza give all the news scores and our quest to find who has scored the most goals in Junior Football in Canberra...at any grade.
We're six games in local football...anyone got more than 15 goals?
Locallly Jez Butller and Matt MacDonald discuss all things local football with Peter Funnll and Russ Gibbs.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Calm down, it's not for the A-League announcement but Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley will be here on the weekend, even overnighting in the finest city to want an A-League team.
The official launch of the Australian bid for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup will take place at Parliament House on Sunday and the very next day Sir Frank and Australian sports finest CEO Ben Buckley will be at the National Press Club to talk about the bid, the World Cup bid. Live on ABC 1pm Monday.
I'll be at the Press Club to hear the top men in Australian sport talking about the future of football in Australia.....
and just quietly Mr Lowy if you'd like to have a chat on Sunday night about the Canberra A-League bid you can pop round for a nice cuppa, I've got 1750 foundation members keen to meet you and we'll see if we can persuade you to put us in the A-League and quick....
If you take out marquee Robbie Fowler and Jason Culina from North Queensland and Gold Coast United..the quality of the players being signed by the Gold Coast, compared to Townsville one can only assume that either Gold Coast have found away to smash the salary cap...or North Queensland can't afford to spend anywhere near the Cap.
Ryan Griffiths signed for Gold Coast this week, adding to an impressive list of Shane Smeltz, Jess Van Stratton (bolter for the World Cup?) Adam Griffth, Joel Porter, Tahj Minniecon, Michael Thwaite all who would presumably costalot for various reasons.
Whereas the Fury has who of the above calibre?
I'd argue only Robbie Middleby would collect a decent wage, possibly Ufuk Talay although I suspect both are being overpaid to attract them North.
The rest? Well not too many salary cap concerns, but perhaps more worryingly is the level of finance the Fury has and the likelyhood of many thrashings as they finish a dismal last.
Still time, but either the Fury has no money, or players aren't going north for some reason. I think it's the first. Both squads listed below.
Jess Vanstrattan Defenders
Bas Van den Brink
Robson Alves da Silva
Jefferson de Souza Pinto
Milson Ferreira Dos Santos