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.


Anonymous said...

You have to hand it to Aloisi. He may not score as often as he should but they are pretty memorable when he does. Possibly the scorer of two of the most valuable (in $$ terms) goals in Australian football history.

Vaclav said...

Hi, nice blog, if you are interested in link exchange, please email me atů

Zaana said...

ha ha..yaay! imagine all 25,000 of them going out to the Cabbie-oke cabs and singing! lol.. I won't know who to vote for..or rather who would win the Nokia E71.. :P