Friday, 26 February 2010

Pim? Did you really prepare for Asia?

If Australia don't qualify for the Asia Cup 2011, they need just a point against Indonesia at home on Wednesday in Brisbane, then I'm all for sacking Pim Verbeek, World Cup or no World Cup.

Pim has done a fantastic job so far, in the World Cup. We're going and after 14 games across Asia it may not have been pretty but it wasn't easy either.

But post-South Africa thoughts will turn to the 2011 Asia Cup. And imagine if we're not there. It will be Pim's fault, no if's no buts.

How will our World Cup bid look then? What about our chance to rebuild a team for 2014 World Cup qualification?

And make no mistake, it will be Pim's fault. After all he's the Coach, of not just the World Cup side, but the Asia Cup side.

He picked a dud side in Canberra, dropped about 8 players for the next A-league side in Kuwait, and now seems to have another raw bunch for the game in Indonesia and little prep, criticised the line-up and key players in Jakarta...and yes he picked them. Continuity is crucial in football, so what has Pim been thinking?

And if he doesn't get us to the Asia Cup.

Big FAIL, and it's his planning and preparation that has let us down. And if so he should go, and forego his World Cup party at our future expense.

Why hasn't Pim been working with an A-League group over the last two years, knowing he would need them. Other countries like Japan and co take their football seriously and often have camps without their overseas based players. And we even have a shorter season so much more time than most countries.

What is wrong with Pim when it comes to Asia? No excuses, it's his gig and if he comes out against the players, as he did in Indonesia re: Archie Thompson and Danny Allsopp, the A-League players, it's his fault not theirs. He needed to prepare them and he's had two years to do it.

I hope it's not too late come Wednesday.


Less than 5,000 seats left in Wellington

Maybe one day there could be a North and South Island team. Given the Nix got over 20,000 to Christchurch to a game. Would add some spice to NZ football.

Fromt the Nix:


WELLINGTON Phoenix FC’s elimination semifinal against the Newcastle Jets at Westpac Stadium on Sunday, March 7, is proving the hottest ticket in town, with less than 5000 seats left for the big match.

The 34,500-capacity Westpac Stadium is expected to be sold out and Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata is urging fans to secure their tickets quickly.

“We’re already close to capacity at Westpac Stadium after just five days of ticket sales. The game is certain to be a sell-out and the remaining tickets won’t last long.


Thursday, 25 February 2010

And over in New Zealand...

Where Rugby is the King......

Reports saying that Wellington Phoenix have sold 25,000 tickets for the semi against the Jets which is still some ten days away.

If true, wonder how many fans will come and watch the All Whites take on the Aussies in the last game in Australia before the World Cup. Who knows how many Kiwi's will travel from Sydney, or NZ.

After all without the All Black fans the Bledisloe would rarely sell out in Australia would it?

And Wellington S14 Rugby team pulled in 17,000 for it's first game of the season, the next day the Nix pulled in 24,000 in the same stadium. Yep for football in NZ!

Interesting times to be a sports fan in New that Bin Hammam kick em out of the Dimetriou is talking to Hammam as we!


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Adelaide United: It's Leckie I tell ya!

Matthew Leckie took the A-League by storm, and we wondered if he could go to the next level so soon.

His touch is poor! He's only got strength. He doesn't score. He's not as good as Tommy Oar.

Well last night he showed he will not only be the United weapon of choice particularly in away games with his blistering pace, he'll score and create, throw a step-over and a deft shoulder drop. He's got the lot. And can only get better.

The best young forward we've seen in Australia in a while. Better than Nathan Burns, Bruce Djite and maybe Nikita Rukavystya...maybe.

Should he go to the World Cup? Well a few more performances like this against the Champions of Asia and who would say no.

The Reds are back.

The worst team in Australia so the table shows though the Mariners must be worst even if they gained more points, United showed us more proof that you should never buy your ageing lead striker from England and certainly not from Cheltenham Town. Lloyd Owusu. Did anyone watch him play before he came?

Sergio Van Dijk, the Brisbane Roar star shone tonight for the Reds, showpony Flores rolled a few nice passes that had Fox Sport inarticulate but EXPERT commentator drooling. I like my showponies and for now Flores will do. Adam Griffiths returned late on. Albeit he was horrible both in looks and performance. His performance will improve surely.

But the Red were exciting. Travis Dodd looked like he likes to play football again, in Asia, after having a season off. Yes I know he played but he didn't did he? Scott Jamieson has the bite back and even Lucas Pantelis looked a winner.

Strange thing football. Confidence is important and Sergio Van Dijk seems to have changed United overnight. Didn't he play well. And a great win, great game and great start for the Reds.

Anyone who's played at any level knows what it gives you to have a forward line, a chance of a goal. Adelaide at last have a forward line again.

Leckie for South Africa. Why not!

Bunyudkor Adelaide final...anyone?


We pay for....Ross Aloisi

Yep, Fox viewers are paying Ross Aloisi for his commentary and analysis.
Which goes to show that useless midfield cloggers are no better, or even less informed than the average fan. Average fans I might point out aren't allowed anywhere near a microphone.

Analysis from Ross:

Ross on the ball: Leckie has too improve his close control at this level.

Of course the guy runs 80 metres within one minute of this statement against the ACL Champions Pohang Steelers, chucks a step over and beats one, two, three maybe four players...oh and he scores.

Ross two: After 60 minutes he's my man of the match speaking of Flores.

How many games has Ross watched. Players can change games in the last 30 mins and become...yes you guessed it the "man of the match."

Ross three: Pohang are not in the game.

A great chance emerges within 30 seconds of Ross's analysis. As Pohang poor forward, press hard the longer the game goes on and generally take the game to Adelaide. Nice one Ross.

Ross four: Carl Veart is the one of the most intelligent people I know...well in football intelligence.

Ross five: That's not a booking!

Come on Fox, it was the Asian Champions League winners and we get a Dudley!


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Nearpost Poddie: Nix and Roos, ACL and more.

Wellington Phoenix, Asian Champions League, Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Socceroos, Matildas, Futsalroo, Adelaide United.

When did we last play the EN Zed, where, and who scored. Answer in the pod.



It's the best night.....since the last one:)

Do yourself a favour.

Listen to Piney and his mate from NZ calling the penalties in the weekend game.


or listen here

We're gonna do em like a dinner tonight on the Nearpost but gawd bless em and all those Nix fans. Fan passion and Adrian Caceres, wasn't expecting to be taking this penalty and his wike is expecting's gold I tell ya pure gold.

On Perth's Norm Sekolovski, "Come on Norm do us a favour here in Wellington....over the top will do me, oh yes, oh yes yes yes, it wasn't a bad penalty, a great penalty." Reddy saved it.

"Piney I got to lie down you talk us through it."

"Who's next Piney. It's eleven coming up. No eleven's not playing so that wouldn't have been handy!"

But there is oh so much more as we come close to the final penalties.


Friday, 19 February 2010

Half-Time read ever!

Has heaps of coverage of our World Cup opponents, Santa Cilaro and more football writers than SBS, Fox or 442 could dream of.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Why the Gold Coast will win the A-League!

While all the focus is on the big city clubs, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory the winner I believe is likely to come from the club with the smallest crowds in the league, Gold Coast United.

Now it's easy to predict the winners when it's a two horse race but I thought Roar fans would love to see someone die on their sword right here, right now.

I know, I know the Gold Coast have been doing it tough lately, losing at home, losing away, they even lost in the tribunal, Steve Pantelidis 5 (weeks) Kevin Muscat 2 (weeks) but the stars are aligning for one of the A-League's new teams to win the Championship in their first season, as Miron Bleiberg bragged early doors.

Here's why the Gold Coast will win.

They have the easiest game bar none against a much jaded and Michael Bridges/Fabio Vignaroli less Newcastle Jets. Gold Coast will win right?

A great start to finals football and a much needed confidence boosting win.

Okay we agree on that.

Meanwhile over in the windy Oceania football capital of the World Wellington who rarely lose at home will be roared home by the ever growing local football community as Perth go tamely out. Eugene Dadi to score anyone?

Still think I make sense, or course you do.

So it comes down to the Gold Coast at home to Wellington. Now I know Wellington won last time with a dubious penalty but lightning or dodgy refs can't strike twice not even in the A-League...or on second thoughts...they probably will.

But Jason Culina, Joel Porter Charlie Miller and Shane Smeltz will win. None of them are injured, at least not yet. And Wellington don't really travel well do they?
Gold Coast are at home and will be up for it.

And so Gold Coast lie in wait or at least head to Melbourne.

Why Melbourne?

Because Melbourne will lose to Sydney again in the preliminary final. Without Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse, add on trips to China and back Carlos Hernandez off on international duty with Costa Rica, and there is no way Melbourne can beat Sydney FC over two legs.

Just too many games for the exciting Melbourne team; exciting when they have the full complement of attacking players. This time they don't.

(Wonder what Ernie Merrick thinks now about selling his forward line in November!)

So Gold Coast to silence Melbourne at the Dome; possibly their only true test of their finals campaign.

And so to the final. Sydney FC v Gold Coast.

Gold Coast beat Sydney quite comfortably recently, albeit by just one goal, and with the attacking show ponies the Gold Coast have who would bet against them in front of a packed crowd in Sydney? Not me? Not you?

Against a Sydney team not renowned for their attacking flair, Sydney now lack Steve Corica their most creative player.

So Gold Coast surf to a deserve title! Or is it a case of last A-League attacker standing takes the trophy.

Disagree? How could you!


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Capital Football CEO interviewed on local Nearpost

Peter Funnell has the latest on Canberra Football...all local football and local podcast will now be on Peter's blog.


Sydney FC stick it to Rebecca Wilson

Nearpost takes a huge delight in seeing one of the decreasing band of anti-football Australia sports journo being given a bit of her own.

Rebecca Wilson renowned for joining Peter FitzSimons, Patrick Smith, AFL Chief Andrew Dimitriou, John Bermingham, Paul Kent and too many others to mention for trashing Australian football or soccer as they like to say.

Well Edwin Lugt CEO Sydney FC made her look like the true professional she aspires to be.

Basically it went roughly like this:

Rebecca: Disappointing crowds for the A-League.
Edwin: Hello Rebecca I remember your article after Adelaide played in the Champions League Final...

At this point my shoulder chip bounced....hmmmn this "German" Aussie Sports Administrator knew exactly who she was and what she wrote even before, if my memory serves me right, he was in the country. I'm interested.

Edwin then fired a question:
Do you know how A-League crowds rank across the football leagues of the World?

Rebecca: Stumbled something like...."They are not as big as the English Premier League!"

Here was one of the small member of the anti-football brigade but apparently a PAID journalist for News Ltd getting her correct.

I was rolling.

So the A-League, salary cap $2.5mill, five years in the making, doesn't get as many people to games to a country where football is the national sport, has been for 100 years, has money to burn and about ten papers producing ten pages of football "news" every day. Nice one Rebecca.

For the record Australia is 17th for football crowds across the World. Pretty impressive after five years in my view...not Rebeccca.

And guess what Rebecca, we're behind Germany as well!
I can't do it justice, watch it here.

On behalf of the football community I'm sure we all salute Edwin Lugt. Professional, intelligent and driving one into the pathetic journo anti-football club.

We may not be the biggest code, who cares, but anyone who tries to keep us down, as Wilson and co do...deserve to be challenged.

Nice one Edwin, nice one son, nice one Edwin lets have another one.....who's next?

And Rebecca we know you'll use you media access to get back at Edwin or the game because that's the sort of "professional" journo you are....we're watching!


Ross Aloisi: Was that a good tackle?

Ross Aloisi promotes a "good" foul. You know when the opposing team are running free, you basically trip the guy, or "hack the bastard", and stop the play enabling your team to get behind the ball.

Terry McFlynn did this on the weekend in the Sydney Melbourne Premiership decider and caused serious injury to Robbie Kruse.

Now I suppose Ross would call that a great foul.

Robbie was in the clear, for the neutrals in the crowd and those watching at home here was a chance in a tight game for one of the A-Leagues more skilful players to run at the opposition.

McFlynn is quoted in today's SMH as saying, "I tried to stop the play."

The divers, the simulators, the stagers. Everyone is outraged by these players, rightly so.

But this football fan is sick to death of the "cheats" who stop the games, entertainers in EVERY match.

How to solve the problem?

If you send off McFlynn or any player who breaks the play up in that type of style, how long before those fouls would be eliminated? Instantly is my guess.

If Leigh Broxham had pulled John Aloisi back, as dear old Ross would say he should have, that game and this season would have missed the goal of the game, maybe the talking point of the year.

Would Robbie Kruse have created a chance and turned the game with his break, a la Aloisi....we'll never know.

The A-League crys out for more skill. Many players have it, but how many times are they stopped from being allow to show it.

Send the cheats off, change the law if neccessary.

As luck has it, McFlynn will play on Thursday, Robbie Kruse is out. Who would you rather watch?


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Podcast talks finals fever

Mitch Langerak doesn't listen to the Nearpost...or else he'd have got their first on the weekend.

John Aloisi, The Cove, Steve O'Connor, Sydney FC Melbourne Heart, Westpac, Tommy Oar, Lucy Zelic, Con Stamocostas, Gold Coast United, Wellington Phoenix, Terry McFlynn, Graham Arnold and Terry's all here.




A-League Speciality: From Harry Kewell to left back!

Must admit we've had a heap of the "next Harry Kewells," and Tommy Oar is the latest...or is he?

With Scott Chipperfield, David Carney, Michael Zullo and Troy Hearfield already following that fine Australian tradition of converting our not quite next Harry Kewell's into left or right backs how long will the next Harry, Tommy Oar, go before he takes the same path.

Unfortunately Michael Zullo is not a full back and never will be it seems. He's not Harry either. Troy Hearfield....maybe a full back of some sunstance in years to come. A winger he is not!

And I had to laugh when I saw Jason Hoffman playing in a suspiciously looking full back role for the Jets the other night.

Tommy Oar won the Young Player of the Year award but for me Matthew Leckie was about ten metres ahead of him in every sprint. And Leckie scores and creates, so how come Tommy won?

Ange has turned Zullo into what? How long will Tommy Oar be replaced by the next young Harry. Or is Tommy Oar the real deal.

Good luck to Tommy but I'm going to say he's not Harry. Not now and probably never.
And while we're at it Taj Minniecon is looking like he could do a job at full back.

We keep producing exciting debutant wingers, and it's great, but equally interesting is the speed at which they are disgarded for the "next Harry." Football is a ruthless business.

Still no sign of the next Harry Kewell, or come to think of it Mark Viduka either!


Monday, 15 February 2010

Did you hear the A-League sing?

Over 25,000 turned up to watch Sydney FC take on Melbourne Victory and again the A-League roared to its finale, well one of it’s finale’s!

Fan passion poured down from the stands. Who said Australian sporting crowds don’t sing?

The Cove and their Melbourne counterparts were fantastic. Even the stands were rocking as the normally more sedate spectators got dragged into the whole occasion.

This was Australian sporting passion to match the best in the World.

Colour and passion in abundance; and Melbourne fans cheered until the end despite the fact a defeat seemed inevitable almost the moment Nicky Ward missed an easy chance in the first minute.

And for this football fan Sydney FC’s win was crucial. For all the blue noses, for the FFA and I’d argue for every football fan in the country, yes even those travelling supporters from Melbourne; although they may not know it yet!

Every league across the World is dominated by teams from its biggest cities.

Think Glasgow, London, Manchester, Buenos Aires, and Madrid.

In Australia, particularly in Australia with our crowded sports market, for our league to grow, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth need to succeed, and often. Only Melbourne have obliged to date.

On Sunday Sydney won.

On Monday The Sydney Morning Herald Sport’s section could have lead with the Waratahs opening Super 14 win over their rivals from Queensland, or a huge splash on the Black v White Rugby League match, or even the Australian cricket teams convincing destruction of the West Indies.

It chose football, a picture of John Aloisi and the words “Ticket to Asia.”

If the North Queensland Fury or Central Coast Mariners had won would the countries major market given it such a prime spot?

Of course not.

And now Sydney will head to Asia.

And this St Kilda fan couldn’t help noticing the scenes when the Sainters finished their regular season compared to the SFS on Sunday. Our AFL/NRL Minor Premiers get a couple of chances to get to the Grand Final. In the A-League Sydney FC got that and the additional possibly bigger prize of Asian football. Sunday's game felt much more exciting, more important than our rival codes last game of their regular seasons.

The Sydney Melbourne rivalry continues to build.

Positively, mostly, although the edge is already there. I guess you have to live in Glasgow, Sydney, Melbourne, Liverpool or Manchester to really understand this tension.

I don’t, particularly not when it threatens to boil over, although with European style policing there was little prospect of that at the SFS yesterday I was pleased to see.

When Melbourne Heart and Sydney Rovers enter the league there will be more clashes, big city clashes and increased derbies. Yesterday gave us a taste of what is to come as the A-League builds.

Games every week in the two major cities in the country. More noise, and more stories.

The A-League despite its crowd figures (still a healthy 10,000 average) and financial issues continues to build. It may take another five years, even ten, to get the Sydney derbies and Melbourne derbies rivalling yesterday’s passion and tension on a regular basis, but on yesterday’s showing football in Australia continues to be on the rise.

With more games to come next season the A-League continues to grow, and dare I say excite. 25,000 at the SFS on Sunday on the wettest weekend for years made a noisy statement.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

35,000 but It's still quiet innit!

FourFourTwo are predicting 35,000 for the Premiership decider between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory..or later in the same article maybe 20-22,000.

And we've had some great crowds across the A-League in recent years and surely anyone who's ever followed football would be interested in this game...if they knew it existed.

And that's the point.

Football is still struggling to sell itself through the media, to it's supporter base and beyond.

With a large Melbourne support expected and plenty of passion on and off the field it really promises to be a great game, a great occasion for the big game football fan.

That's why I'm on the bandwagon and making my first game of the season......unless you count those games in if?

And with half the Melbourne defence out I'm expecting goals, goals and more goals, from both teams.

3-2 to Sydney.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Marquee's are dead, long live Nicky.

Melbourne Heart want a marquee and are toying with Mark Viduka, more like he is toying with them.

The Duke would lift the profile of the Heart immediately, thereby fulfilling one of the criteria of a Marquee. Could Viduka really regain fitness, last beyond a few games, or even perform adequately in any game? I doubt it.

We thought the same about Robbie Fowler and he passed, just, I guess. But will he bring in further crowds and interest next year, probably not.

Dwight Yorke, Archie Thompson and to a lesser extent Jason Culina have been marquees that worked. No-one else has?

Paul Ifill possibly, not Mile Sterjovski, Paul Agostino, Juninho, or John Aloisi, Joel Griffiths, not even Craig Moore.

So it's with interest, great interest we hear Nicky Carle is being chased by Sydney to be their marquee.

He's still young, has flair to burn and he'll be great, again, for the A-League. He fits the bill for a marquee, and he's Australian!

But few other marquees are risk averse. Most are too old, yes even Fowler, most strikers have lost their pace, see Yorke although he was a rare striker who could be equally effective in a new midfield role, but he was also young, so young he went back to play in the EPL!

Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill may be two genuine Aussie marquees, we don't have many, but if and when they come is a long way off. Like Ryan Giggs and Alessandro Del Piero most top players are good enough to play at the top...until they retire.

Defenders in my view should never be marquees. Most clubs can't afford them and shouldn't bother with them.

So what makes a marquee:
Skill and buckets of it.
Significant pace.
Media savvy.
Must be under 32 years of age.
Never a defender or defensive midfielder.
Even the non-football fan must be aware of who they are...before they come.

Which is a better or meaningful use of funds than the current system employed by clubs.


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Nearpost talks Melbourne Sydney

Arnies coming, Lozza's moving, Half-Time Heroes Con Stamocostas talks Sydney FC v Melbourne. Paddy Bordier and Lucy Zelic analyse the Mrdja transfer and Terry Henry gets his Kiwi dedication.

Download National Show


Capital Football Board +Technical Football Experts???

Peter Funnell poses some interesting questions on tonights Nearpost Local Podcast.

Download local show

Tonight Peter speaks to two of the new PL Club presidents – Cooma Tigers and Goulburn Strikers. We will catch up with Monaro Panthers next week. We have a very interesting interview with an experienced and established Premier League Coach – the Head Coach of Belconnen United, Scott Conlon.

A thinking person’s football coach. He has some important points to make on Capital Football intentions to continue with playing squads in Junior Football, together with ACTAS’s decision to enter the PPL – again???

Have you read the notice on the CF website concerning the HPP schedules and in particular, the proposed playing squads from the HPP for U13, U14 and possibly U15 Boys. What’s the story? There are more moves on this than a bag of snakes.

For more on this and the HPP ongoing assessment read on......

Peter Funnell writes:

The new clubs have been very busy and are brimming with confidence. Not sure yet how Monaro Panthers are going but it is worrying to see they are still looking for coaches for the PL18 and PL16 teams. There is a lot of movement across the established clubs – real and imaginary between the clubs with the arrival of these new teams in the PL.

One thing comes through, these new clubs have all been long in the planning and for the most part, that seems to have served them well in this early and difficult period of pre-season start up preparation. They will contest the Fed Cup, so we’ll have a chance to take a close look.

Have you read the notice on the CF website concerning the HPP schedules and in particular, the proposed playing squads from the HPP for U13, U14 and possibly U15 Boys. What’s the story? There are more moves on this than a bag of snakes.

There is no place for harvesting the better players at age , keeping them as a playing squad and then playing them against the clubs they come from. This seriously diminishes the worth of club football and is of dubious technical or developmental virtue, particularly when accompanied, as it is, with the desire to push the players forward against players of older age and greater physicality.

It’s a hangover from the defunct Academy system. It is not necessary to run playing squads from the HPP. These boys need to be back with their clubs, enriching the club environment and being developed in a community environment – not one of elitism.

Clubs have so much to offer, they are the bedrock of our football community. Continuing the practice of playing squads does not work in the best interests of football at any level. It only works for mendacious parents who care to live vicariously through their children. And that has no place in junior football.

The argument that the players will not be developed at clubs because they will not have good coaching. Too some extent that is true, but much is being done to improve this situation and clubs have a role to play – a role they will accept more slowly if we continue to display a lack of trust by removing the better players. And who says the Capital Football HPP has the best coaches anyway.

They are in the main the best that could be obtained from those generous enough to volunteer. We need to get our feet back on the ground and firmly placed in community football in order to see the way ahead. These flights of fancy into the imaginary world of elite football serve no useful purpose.

Importantly for us all, this was not the solution first proposed by the CEO and Tech Director of CF when the HPP program was first revealed. They had it right and their plan reflected best practice in football development - good technical and developmental reasons. They had consulted with and had the FFA Technical Director’s approval. So why has it emerged again? We are left to conclude that a number of the CF Board take a different view of things. Who are they? We should ask them to account for their views. What is their reasoning and shouldn’t they be focussed on governance and not football technical operational matters.

That’s what we pay the football professional staff to do. What special football insight and expertise do these Board members have that their staff do not? It would be good for us all to know. This needs to come out into the light of day and not remain behind the closed doors of the Board room. What’s the secret?

The requirement to prepare for NYC is no argument. The boys get developed in the HPP, play for their club in season, go to genuinely “open trials” (refer to the Football West interview for how this is done and ask yourself – is that what we are doing ? Hmmm!), select the playing squad, organise fixtures, play in the NYC.

Surround these players in a high quality technical development program. Its about “develop” not “win”. Job done. If we do what we have always done we will get what we have always got – which is no way to go forward – not in the context of the FFA’s new national curriculum. We need to get closer to “develop” rather than “win” in junior football in the ACT. The Capital Football Board should be setting the example, instead, on this issue, they are lead in the saddlebags.

This is community football and this community is the largest sports participation group in the ACT. We are in a World Cup year and our participation rates are about to get another large bump.

Same for ACTAS. Capital Football has managed to really anger the PL clubs on this subject. Where was the consultation? And why are they entertaining this stupid notion of an U15 Boys Playing squad just so that ACTAS can warehouse those players they do not intend to play in their playing squad each week of competition? Just madness.

Why are ACTAS competing in the PPL again – it doesn’t work. The level of resistance is too high for 15/ 16 year olds, which can only compromise development. The PL18 level seems about right. And why oh why should clubs be saddled with a mid week game (every few weeks) for the convenience of ACTAS? Why aren’t the ACTAS players back at Club for the normal football season? Because they need to play in the NTC challenge? They could do that, be developed each week at ACTAS and play in clubs during the season – they intend to play in our competition anyway.

What’s wrong with just being a good player at your age? It takes time and effort to get to be good at anything in life. Football is no different. Yet we push our young players as hard as we can, thinking that playing against harder, bigger, older, faster players somehow brings out the best and matures them as players so much earlier, than if they had played in their age with the same amount of quality training.

This is very simplistic and almost always produces sub optimal results. Fun goes out the window and with that goes the player. Who’s needs are being served here I wonder? It seems to me that it is not just parents that live vicariously through our junior and youth players!

Next week we will speak to CF CEO Heather Reid and catch up on the major issues going forward for football in the ACT Region – and there are plenty of them when you run a large organisation like Capital Football.

Peter Funnell


Tuesday: Advantage Melbourne

News just in says:

Blockbuster will be at SFS

The highly anticipated Hyundai A-League blockbuster between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory will be played at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday 14 February (5pm kick-off).

Sydney FC has been working closely with the Sydney Football Stadium and Football Federation Australia (FFA) and all parties are satisfied the pitch will be to the standard required to host the Hyundai A-League match.

Given Melbourne are used to playing on a Dome surface often wrecked by Concerts and AFL surely the ascendency is with the Victory.

More seriously, Melbourne will be tested without Archie and Kevin Muscat, but in Marvin Angulo, Carlos Hernandez, and Robbie Kruse they are perhaps the more inventive upfront.

Sydney don't have that many goals in them, but the much criticised forward line of John Aloisi and Alex Brosque need to perform and convert.

Sydney's defence is it's highlight we're told, but angled balls re: Taj Minniecon for the Gold Coast winner, Matt Thompson for the Jobe Wheelhouse strike, and McGarry's miss on the weekend show a defence who although having played together most of the season can easily give up very soft chances, particularly if you have someone who can thread a pass. Melbourne have that.

Nik Mrdja is not Archie Thompson but I'd give Melbourne the nod in attack.

However Matt Kemp and Muscat are gone, which means the Victory defence will be sorely exposed, or could be if Karol Kisel and Steve Corica can release Alex Brosque.

I still hate Terry McFlynn turning in from the left and neither Sydney full back has shown real quality in attack all season.

That said if Evan Berger replaces Kemp, The Cove fans should expect to field his crosses all afternoon! Similarly the boy Broxham is hardly the world's best provider if he starts at right back.

It will be tight, or should be, but I'm predicting a goalfest. 3-2 to Sydney.

But it's still Tuesday so I reserve the right to change my mind!


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Australian Football on the line....

Sydney take on Melbourne next Sunday at the SFS and the prize is the Premiership and a guaranteed place in Asia.

Don't miss this one, it will be huge.

If you like football, like a prize at the end of the day, love your atmosphere, players giving it all..with a little major rivalry thrown in..this is it.

Gold Coast blew it, so Sydney or Melbourne will take out the Premiership and therefore the winners get a home final and place in the lucrative Asian Champions League 2011.

Who could want for more!

Nearpost will be at the game! Awesome.


Thursday, 4 February 2010

Adventures of Buckle-Up Ben

Just when you thought it was safe to say SOCCER, the sport's number one administrator is out there.

I'm working on an ebook and just practising with the formats, text and content. Having fun! How's your day.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Fox Football viewing figures drop

Watching North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets last night a strange thing happened.
After about 15 minutes I turned the TV off!


I couldn't take Ross Aloisi's painfully poor articulation anymore. It disrupted the game, it hurt that bad!


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Nearpost podcast..a-league finals talk.

Is Matthew Leckie a World Cup bolter, can the Phoenix stop the Gold Coast, Is Kevin Mucast the dirtiest player in the A-League, should Arnie Coach in the A-League and all the news you'd ever wish to hear...and who will win the Premiership?



Nearpost local podcast is here!

Locally Peter Funnell looks at the NTC Challenge,

NTC Challenge, Player Transfers and more from Sports Psychologist Paul Penna.

In this program we cover the NTC Challenge. It was a sensational tournament, directed at the nation’s best 15 / 16 year boys and don’t we have some good players! SASI won everything except the goalkeeper award and were a wonderfully prepared team from the first whistle to the last.

Football West continued to demonstrate just how good they are all the way through from their Football HPP through to their NTC. ACTAS did very well on the scoreboard (wins, draws) but fell short on the award of technical bonus points, denying them outright Challenge winner. Why did we play 17year olds in this challenge?

You have probably heard coaches comment that a player has “a good engine”. Well, for “engine” read “the human body’s’ energy systems”. The Australian Sports Commission tells us what this means for us in football. Then we move to a very hot issue in football from club all the way to A League and the FFA.

It’s the compensation and payments made to community based clubs by A League clubs when they recruit a player and then sell the player to an overseas club for lots and lots of money. I can think of several players from the ACT who might be in this mix. No surprise to learn its community football that might be at risk of being the loser.

Then it’s on to Paul Penna for the second part of his interview, in which he covers player and parent attitudes, motivation and behaviour. You can’t go past his common sense advice. How much it from professionals like Penna do our HPP participants get as part of their player development?