Sunday, 31 October 2010

World Cup 2022: Could we do it?

The bidders for 2022 will present on December 1.

The full order is; Australia at 14.00 CET, Korea Republic at 15.00, Qatar at 16.00, the USA at 17.00 and Japan at 18.00.

Each presentation will be made at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.

That doesn't seem the hardest fight to win does it. Not the easiest but not that hard.

I wonder if we......


Building Revenues in Canberra Football

Canberra Football has 20,000 registered players and still we lack belief in ourselves.

Canberra Nearpost campaign is up and running:

Every dollar from Football must stay in football.

This should be our underlying question before we make any future decisions, and if the dollar doesn't stay in the game then we need to set ourselves up so it does.

And here's a few ideas free to the Capital Football Board.

If we had a cafe at Hawker, not just some hole in the wall job, but a cafe where people could watch their kids, in warmth, run their internet/emails etc and drink real coffee, football could make some money, every year.

Most Canberra parents want coffee, and are just not happy to sit on a crap bench in a shady stand watching their darlings run around on a very nice pitch - every Tuesday and Thursday.

We then could sell, in time from inside the cafe which is now a shop, football products to guess what, a football market, who visit every week. Man United shirts, boots, Belnorth gear etc. Get it, heard of pester power, heard of common business sense.

Add on, of course, the e-shop on the website (no we still don't have one, and it's 2010 and we have thousands of people who want football gear), where all monies go in the same proportion to the clubs, that each club gets presently from Athletes Foot, Sportsman Warehouse and Rebel Sports; and if those organisations make a profit so must our football community.

Of course these monies must go in some proportion back to the clubs, Canberra United, Club Futsal and a Canberra pathway for boys, whatever form that may take - post 17.

Add in Futsal to the mix, is it possible we could have our own Futsal Centre again recouping much of the money North Canberra Futsal for example give to ACT Netball. Is it almost $100,000 we give to Netball each year?

As Vikings Futsal Australia say, every dollar from the sport must stay in the game. Only then can we grow the sport.

So when you see a member of Capital Football Board ask them what's the plan to grow the revenue and grow the game.

We need a plan - do we have one?


ACT Cricket want a Big Bash franchise - football wants nothing

So if ACT Cricket, the sports peak body in Canberra, can start to strategise to get a National Big Bash Franchise in coming years as they said they were in the weekends paper, why is Capital Football, our Peak Body so incompetent at getting any football for our young boys beyond the borders of our city?

Goulburn and Cooma are NSW Federation Members welcome in our league, it's time we had a plan.

When that World Cup is announced for Australia on Dec 2, if it is, will Canberra be celebrating the start of a strategy for football.

Or will it all just pass us by?

Just six World Cup games or so and nothing strategic for us to build on in the years running up to the Cup? Surely Capital Football has a plan to announce, but I fear we won't.

Tell me I'm wrong!


Canberra already Smelling The Fear?

Canberra ABC Sports journo and friend Tim Gavel has taken the easy option, like many older Aussie sports journos, once more.

Now Tim is not a noted friend of the round ball game and rarely gives any coverage to the game on his one hour Saturday morning ABC Radio show.

So when the phone-in section is devoted to football for the first time this year, or so it seems in living memory, something must be up.

Tim announces that someone somewhere has said "if Australia gets the World Cup football will take over from the other codes as the number one sport."

And of course everyone who listens, the Union and League older fellas, are up in arms and on the blower in an instant.

All good craic of course, but how many times will Australian journos use the punching bag of football to scare the horses.

Were we afraid athletics would take over Australia if we got the 2000 Olympics or god forbid, swimming?

Most football fans follow all codes in Australia and I suspect you'll find many AFL, League and Union fans follow more than one sport; suggesting football would takeover if granted the World Cup in 2022; well it didn't in America and it won't here.

So Tim lift your game. If you want to talk football, how about talking about the A-League, the quality of football, the tactics, the players and what they bring, or Canberra United at length, add in the Socceroos or Matildas. In fact how about occasionally covering the Australian game with the same non-biased affection you have for other codes.

No couldn't do that could we. Scaring the horses is all we'll ever get on football on ABC Radio in Canberra it seems.

Canberra football fans deserve a little more air-time sometimes.

Then again we couldn't be bothered waiting. We just started our own radio shows, Farpost 3-5pm Sunday and Nearpost 6.30-7.30 Tuesday and we even arranged to call our own Canberra United games live because the ABC might have it on TV but they'd never cover local women's football would they!


Gory Glory - 0-5 and that's with God.

Football fans the world over are loyal and petty - forever.

So when this Celtic fan sees the once Gazza/Michael Laudrup workhorse, all bickering all kicking Glasgow Rangers hardman Iain Ferguson now Perth Glory Coach producing teams that play in his style, ie, no ball or grunt - although this Perth team doesn't even have that - a wry smile crosses my face.

But y o y o y o y o did Tony Sage and co, having invested millions, resort to Fergie.

Fergie promises lots of changes, and he has enough players bar a centre back or two to get this team going, a little better at least.

But really what is going on at Perth, from the Coach, a new Coach at that has there been a new idea come through. Bring back Dave Mitchell?

3-0 at home to the Leagues worst team, Sydney FC and another thrashing from the Mariners.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Turner Fete: Football Stall (Canberra) - bring your boots and shinpads

Two v Two winner stays on, keepy uppy challenge winners in all genders and all age groups and shoot the ball through the hole.

Winners galore - take the football challenge. All ages welcome.

What else would you do on a Saturday morning, 10 -2pm tomorrow Condamine St, Turner - go to the mall! Give me a break and say g'day!


Friday night football rocks - again

Tonight the Melbourne Victory take on Adelaide in Melbourne.

Expect an open game from the Victory and the rampaging Adelaide, who haven't beaten Melbourne in 9 games, to rip em apart on the break. Matthew Leckie is back, rejoice!

and tomorrow in Sydney the mighty Sydney FC one win this season take on Fozzies' mate Ange Postecoglou free flowing football team - Brisbane Roar.

Sydney were much improved last week - much improved against the worst home performance from any side for some years - but a loss against Brisbane and their season is gone.

It's that crucial.

and on Saturday take a peek at the game in Port MacQuarie. Jets v Heart. The Jets are doing fantastically well off the field, avoiding any potholes put in their path, but can the do the business on the field.

Gerald Sibon, the magnificent dancing giraffe, is back for the Heart.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Australia: Thank your Coach - Suspense could be worse than Valentines Day

Great initiative from the FFA:

There's a few I'd like to...well shall we say not thank....but great initiative and I'll be waiting by my phone and facebook page all day.

Suspense could be worse than Valentines Day

On Saturday 30th October 2010 Football Federation Australia (FFA) will celebrate the Asian Football Confederation’s “Asian Coaches Day” by encouraging all current and former football players around Australia to get in contact with a current or former coach who has had a positive influence on their football development, whether by phone, text, email, facebook, twitter or in person, to thank them for their support

“Asian Coaches Day” will be observed throughout the region as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) celebrates 2010 as “Asian Coaches Year”.

FFA National Technical Director Han Berger is a firm believer that if Australia wants to be a world power in world football then we will need better coaches to produce better players.

“Sometimes the role that a coach plays in the development of a player goes largely unrecognised. Today we are asking everyone who is involved in football to say a simple thank you to the people who have helped them develop and enjoy their football experience.

“Alongside developing the technical ability of young players, developing the quality of Coaches in Australia is one of the spearheads of the National Football Curriculum.

“We are currently working to improve the technical level of coaches and offering opportunities to those that are interested at coaching at higher levels through our advanced coaching licenses.

“With the implementation of these initiatives, Australia is well placed to be a competitive player on the world stage,” concluded Berger.

There are an estimated 40,000 football coaches around Australia with the vast majority holding a Community or Advanced coaching license

This year alone, FFA has issued 8,443 Community and 198 Advanced Coaching licenses to successful candidates around the country.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Let's all laugh at the Hunter and them Knights.

The Great Hunter Valley with Newcastle at it's hub. Shipping coal to China by the tanker load. Have you seen those monsters all waiting out at sea at night off Nobby's Point, tanker after tanker, it's an awesome sight.

And then Sir Tinkler saves the town, the football team. And invites, nay pays for Lord Beckham of Beckingham Palace to enter Energy Stadium.

Did the Newcastle name ever travel beyond the Hunter, for sport. Not through the Knights, certainly not through the sporting legend of Andrew Johns.

Who would have heard of the Knights win outside the Hunter or of Johns remarkable skills outside of Northern and Eastern Australia.

But the Knights while owners of the lease to Energy Stadium have stuffed it. The pitched is ruined for football, courtesy of moto-cross being allowed to rip all over the pitch a week or so ago.

So while the Jets will move the games elsewhere, this week to Port Macquarie, thus snookering Tinkler's plans to allow the first 10,000fans in free in Newcastle, it's the Newcastle Knights who have made the city a laughing stock.

Beckham's man, the LA Galaxy Chairman, was in town today to check the facilities.

Pathetic from the Knights, the whole country is laughing at you, and of course the world beyond will be intrigued by our and the Hunter regions planning skills.

A bit of humble pie would be nice right now from the Rugby League club! Professionalism in the Hunter?

Only the AFL could beat this with a World Cup Final lock-out and you wouldn't put it past those eejits either.

Still the game spreads to another town, maybe just maybe the Knights plan has back-fired.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Nearpost poddie: A-League and Costa Rica plus Matildas

David Fuentes Solarno, Peter Funnell and Eamonn Flanagan discuss all things Aussie football.

Costa Rica focus, A-League wrap and we preview all A-League games and issues and all your Matildas news right here. Quiz, dedications and all the news.

How many football poddies only cover Aussie football?
We are clearly Australia's number one football poddie, apart from all the others, We discuss all the news from Australian football.

or play right from your computer....


Nearpost poddie: A-League and Costa Rica plus Matildas

David Fuentes Solarno, Peter Funnell and Eamonn Flanagan discuss all things Aussie football.

Costa Rica focus, A-League wrap and we preview all A-League games and issues and all your Matildas news right here. Quiz, dedications and all the news.

How many football poddies only cover Aussie football?
We are clearly Australia's number one football poddie, apart from all the others, We discuss all the news from Australian football.

or play right from your computer....


Nearpost radio tonight

We're talking A-League, Matildas and all the Aussie overseas news.

Western Sydney, Perth Glory, A-League preview and reviews and more.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Canberra Football: Boys areThe Number One issue.

So Western Sydney are to die on Thursday so we're told. No money. Not when they ditched Canberra for the West and not now.......leaving Canberra football exactly where?

The fair city of Canberra with thousands of players in it's city walls and surrounding lands still has not one State Youth team, not one State Premier League team, not one National Youth team and of course no A-League Youth team. How can we be so inept at providing our boys with a pathway after all these years.

How come the brains of Canberra football can't solve this problem, ever?

Does anybody with the keys to the city walls see the problem? Do they even care?

We have tons and tons of boys heading to High Performance Programs, presumably boys aspiring to the higher level, but no-one in the City able to assist them to get in the shop window.

But we'll take their money on a hope they'll do what exactly, have fun, improve, shine, get a trial, ACT Rep Football, or just be baby sat?

Surely we can do better, and isn't it about time we did?

When the Asia Cup Bid is announced for Australia in January, with six games planned for Canberra - will Capital Football, Canberra Football be able to take advantage?

Did we take advantage of the 2000 Olympics? Will we take advantage if the World Cup Bid is announced?

Or will the other codes merely get an upgraded stadium.

No strategy from the Capital Football Board on getting some real high-level football or is it the best secret in town!

And I'm not talking a couple of Mariners drop-in games.

We bloggers within the City Walls will not rest until the plan is revealed.

We have a W-League team; after being initially excluded we were able to overcome all barriers - all barriers - and thankfully we now have a team. It's great.

Now time to bring the same skills and acumen to our Boys. No if's, no buts. It's time.

Canberra Football: Boys are The Number One issue. Everything else should be put on hold until this pathway is opened. Everything! Is that clear enough?


Perth Glory :That's not football

In the A-League these days we expect teams to play football - even when they lose.

Did you see Perth Glory yesterday?

That's not football and perhaps we shouldn't be surprised as ex-Central Coast Mariners Assistant Coach Iain Ferguson is in charge.

Very odd appointment in view of what Perth have invested into the club this year, very odd appointment given Fergie's coaching record in Australia.

The Fury have improved hugely since he left, same the Mariners but then he's get the gig at Perth.

And they produce that style, that performance. Surprised Robbie Fowler came back this time aren't you?


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Turner Fete: Football Stall - bring your boots and shinpads

Next Saturday at the Turner Fete, 30 October at Condamine St Canberra. 10am - 2pm.

The fete with a football stall.

Bring your kids to the 2 v 2 winner stays on comps, keepy-uppy seperate prize winners in all the girls and boys age groups, and of course the old shoot the ball through the Capital Football hole!

All welcome - bring your boots and shinpads, it's a fete!


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Aussie Media: the big gripe

Richard Hinds has written a fairly innocuous piece on why football hasn't taken over the whole of Australia.

No probs. In fact it's one of the more sensible analysis coming from the scribes who usually berate the game of football or look at it from afar...usually from an AFL Club Headquarters or the like.

He claims it should be an exciting time for Aussie football well Dicky it is. Take Young Socceroos, Matildas, Nathan Tinkler, Adelaide United, Melbourne Derby, the quality of the A-League, the Asian Cup announcement, the World Cup bid...what more do you want?

In Australia we've never had such a combination of promise and enjoyment coming and coming. Did you see how talented our Young Socceroos are - matches the best in any code, but have you written anything about this group - do you even know what it means, this potential?

My gripe is that these articles are always the same:

Written by Sports writers they always take the same veiled, or overt analysis or angle of the game, the crowds, the mention over and over of the great other Aussie games.

But never does Hinds, Masters, Gatt, Bermingham, Kent, Wilson and co and co ever actually write anything about football - analysis of players, clubs, the fans, the football.

But how many more wonderful "analysis" pieces that criticise and criticise the game do we need.'ve done it all before and before. But do you know ANYTHING about the game of football? Ask your kids...they do!


Beautiful football in the A-League

Adelaide United thumped Wellington Phoenix 3-0 but it was the quality of the football the movement off the ball, the deft flicks that had me loving my Friday night football from Hindmarsh.

Wellington Phoenix were good, at times very good and in the first half had the balance of play and better chances.

But this game like the A-League this season just got better and better and the football needed to make a breakthrough was intricate, fast, and even the players were smiling with the joy of their skill and technique

Is there a better team in any code in Australia than Adelaide United at the moment?

Are Collingwood more exciting, St George more interesting the United.

Maybe, maybe not.

And Adelaide United didn't even play Matthew Leckie!

It was a delight to watch and Travis Dodd came on to show the strength of the league leaders and turn the screw and the game.

But United shone all night; if you get a chance to see the A-League leaders, do it. You won't be disappointed, I promise.


Friday, 22 October 2010

Friday night football rocks

I love my Reds at home on a Friday night.

Tonight the weekend starts with Leckie and co back at Hindmarsh taking on the Phoenix. Should be great if you like football, played with pace, skill and great viewing with a great football stadium and crowd to boot.

Brisbane v Melbourne Victory should be a great game both teams coming off wins and the Roar starting to flow..really flow.

And God help Sydney, bottom of the table and up against God himself in Robbie Fowler, thank god Wayne hasn't arrived yet, although knowing Sydney's luck this season Wayne will play!


Wayne says No to Perth!

I don't know if he has or hasn't but it's not going to happen is it.

But talk about a media beat-up Robbie Fowler has sucked in the Aussie media, nice one Robbie - April Fools anyone?


Thursday, 21 October 2010

Three Sydney FC strikers in top scorers list

But unfortunately they all left Sydney at the start of the season.

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 - Leading Goal-Scorers




Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The World saves Australian Football.

Despite the gloom around some A-League clubs and crowds at the start of this season it is, unlike other codes, the International element of the game that will ultimately save Aussie football and the Aussie A-League.

The International nature of the game will allow Aussie football, with some smarts, to rebuild and re-invent itself time and time again. And this week shows more evidence of a boost to the local game at a time when things probably needed a boost in the short and long-term.

1. Newcastle Jets v LA Galaxy Beckham and Donovan. Wow! In Newcastle.

2. Young Socceroos - That front six. Wow, wow, wow.

3. Adelaide United expected to get a new owner this week. (Could this mean West Sydney comes in?) Wow!

4. And the Asia Cup 2015 will be played in Australia. Wow!

5. Clive Palmer, Nathan Tinkler, Tony Sage. Rich men in Mining want football to connect their business to Asia and elsewhere. And it seems it does.

There's probably more....but too much is just well.....too much

And God help us if we win the World Cup Bid, my confidence is starting to grow.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Nearpost Poddie: Young Socceroos

Aaron Walker and Eamonn Flanagan discuss all things Aussie football.

Young Socceroos, A-League wrap and preview and all your Matildas news right here. Quiz, dedications and all the news.

How many football poddies only cover Aussie football?
We are clearly Australia's number one football poddie, apart from all the others, We discuss all the news from Australian football.

or play right from your computer....


Let's all laugh at the Asian Football President

Mr Bin Hamman you should resign as Head of the AFC.

What a joke. Read how fair and open the Head of the AFC is!

Responding to a question posed by INSIDER at the Leaders in Football conference in London about what would motivate his decision for 2018 – the best interests of football, the AFC or his home nation – Bin Hammam said that his primary concern when voting for a European candidate was giving Qatar the best chance of winning the right to host the 2022 finals.

“I will naturally be looking to the interests of Qatar because Qatar is bidding,” he said.

“This must not be surprising to anybody. We, the four [Ex-co] members in the AFC have said that we’d like to see 2022 in Asia and we have actually been very frank in our opinion.

“Naturally I believe that all those people who have got a bid, they will prepare to see that the World Cup in their own countries. I will decide first what is best [for Qatar].”

However, there is no suggestion that Bin Hammam is under investigation or that he has encouraged vote-trading.

No he should be under investigation for being an idiot though!


Capital City to embarrass FFA 12th licence

Australia are sure to win the rights to host the Asia Cup in 2015, we're the only bidders. Although with the FFA we could still lose that!

And it will be a great tournament, one Australia could win.

But what plonker planning this bid has chosen to sink 6 or more games of this tournament into Canberra. More evidence of a lack of football growth strategy from the FFA.

The eight (8) Stadiums proposed in the Bid Book include Suncorp Stadium, Skilled Park, ANZ Stadium, Sydney Football Stadium, Parramatta Stadium, Canberra Stadium, Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park

If you want to grow football, and the FFA clearly doesn't in the Canberra region, wouldn't you take these games to Townsville, or the Gold Coast where A-League teams can perhaps benefit from this tournament.

What benefit will Canberra football get from this?

The bid to bring Asia's premier football competition, the AFC Asian Cup 2015™, to Australia continues with the host of the tournament set to be announced on 6 January 2011 by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The decision will be made at a special AFC Executive Committee meeting, following the AFC Congress to be held in Doha, Qatar next year.

Australia is the sole bidder for the AFC Asian Cup 2015™ and is required to adhere to the formal bidding process as designed by AFC.

As part of the bidding process, Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman Frank Lowy and CEO Ben Buckley handed over Australia's bid book to AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam on 29 July 2010 at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur. Australia's bid book contained 350 pages of information about how Asia's largest sporting event would be conducted in Australia.

FFA will deliver a Final Presentation and respond to subsequent questions from the AFC Executive Committee on 6 January 2011. The AFC Executive Committee will then deliberate and announce the host of AFC Asian Cup 2015™.

"Australia has a good track record of hosting successful major events and we believe the AFC Asian Cup 2015™ held in Australia would be beneficial to Australia and the entire Asian region," said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

"Australia is a sports loving nation and without doubt this tournament would be welcomed by all Australians. Further to that more than 27% of Australia's overseas-born population is from Asia and 24% of Australia's longstanding migrants, who arrived before 2002, are Asian-born," he said.

Australia's bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2015™ has the full support of the Federal Government as well as the support of the governments of Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.



* Australia joined the AFC in 2006, having previously represented Oceania.
* Some 655 million viewers tuned in to the 2007 AFC Asian Cup (held in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia) with 748 million viewing the 2004 edition (held in China)
* There was a 434 per cent growth in broadcast coverage hours between 2004 (902 hours) and 2007 (3916 hours)
* Domestically, 2.5 million viewers tuned into Fox Sports over the 160 hours of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 telecast
* The Australia v Japan quarter-final broke Pay Television records with an average audience of 419,000 throughout the match
* FFA has undertaken extensive government liaison coordinated through the Football World Cup Bid Government Taskforce (established for both the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ and AFC Asian Cup 2015™ Bids)
* 32 matches (24 group stage / 8 knockout) will be played across four (4) States and Territories (QLD, NSW, VIC, ACT) during the 23 day long tournament, currently scheduled for January 2015
* A number of ancillary events will also be conducted in Australia including the Preliminary Draw, Final Draw, Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Team Workshops
* The eight (8) Stadiums proposed in the Bid Book include Suncorp Stadium, Skilled Park, ANZ Stadium, Sydney Football Stadium, Parramatta Stadium, Canberra Stadium, Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park
* AFC requires a minimum of four (4) and a maximum of five (5) Stadiums and in conjunction with FFA will undertake a Stadium selection process following the announcement of the Host Country.


Monday, 18 October 2010

A lot to like in Asia

The Young Socceroos went down to a goalkeeping blunder in the final minutes of their Asian Cup Final last night.

Mark Birighetti dropped a simple cross and Korea DPR prodded home to win the final 3-2.

But there was an awful lot to like about this young Australian side.

Tommy Oar showed some real class, and excitement with his dribbling and crossing creating two goals for Kerum Bulut himself turning in a wonderful centre-forward display.

Fox commentator Mark Bosnich thinks Bulut has a big big future. We'll see.

Matthew Leckie impressed again. What a forward line.

In the midfield Ben Kantarovski showed real promise controlling large parts of the game. What's not to like about this guy.

Alongside Ben, Mustafa Amini and Terry Antonis two guys young enough to play next time, are special talents.

So why did we lose?

Well a few missed chances at crucial times, and some calamity defending albeit on a dodgy bumpy pitch didn't help.

No-one says playing in North Korea is better than training in Europe but it clearly must be given this result.

For me, I was excited by the Aussie attacking talent in the front six. How special it's hard to say but really this could be the start of something big.

Antonis and Armini given their ages and performances are perhaps the most exciting talents to emerge.


Friday, 15 October 2010

Australia U20 Asian Cup Final on Fox

Gotta love Fox Sports and the Asian timezone.

Looks like Fox are going to show Young Socceroos v North Korea in the Asian Cup Under 20 Final this weekend and it's live.

Check elsewhere for details but it's Sunday night Prime Viewing.

Have a nice weekend!


Junior Football content is awesome

Here's a plug for me mate Peter Funnell and Nearpost Local blogspot.

It is a Canberra blog but also much much more. Peter provides a wealth of information from a variety of sources on coaching in the junior game.

As the man himself would say, "this is terrific stuff."

If you are the sort of person who loves reading about how to coach and work with the hundreds of thousands of kids who "just play," then is a must. Peter;s done the research has articles from far and just need to sit back and read, and sometimes listen when the poddies on!



Mike Cockerill: Now it's time for Aussies first

Mike Cockerill and I often disagree it seems. More me with him than him with me, although Mike does know who I am!

Mike has wrote a piece today criticising the FFA's plans to chop imported players from 4+1 (1 is an Asian import) to 3+1.

Mike often jumps up and down to support/demand our local players in the National team, and local coaches/mates to take the National job, but for once he's gone un-Australian!

Mike says it's not the time to cut imports, given the value of our dollar, and indeed the strength of the overseas players clubs attract these days.

I'd argue it's exactly the time.

Our Young Socceroos are on the march and we want every single one of them playing in the A-League asap as often as possible.

They just qualified for the Asian Cup Final overnight and this squad represent our future big time.

So less imports, we're only talking one, takes pressure off the A-League clubs financially and of course gives more possibilities that the Young lads will play more often.

FFA Technical Director Han Berger wants it, and I want it.

It's time, there are still many poor imports around, one less at each club won't hurt will it?

And of course it's the young pool of Aussies and returning Aussies that has finally set the league on fire.

Think The Fury, The Roar, The Mariners, Adelaide, Victory and even the Heart, but never think Sydney - most of their Young Guns are playing for other clubs.

Still our younger players are better prepared in greater numbers than when the league started - they need game time and it's now!


FFA: Aussie dollar in decline?

Now the Matildas head off to the Peace Cup in Korea, their first tournament since winning the Asia Cup and yet they are only taking 19 players for a three game tournament.

With the Socceroos playing just one game in the recent international break, even the All Whites played two, and recent Socceroos squads sitting on 19 as well the strong Aussie dollar is clearly not evident at FFA Headquarters.

Oh but that's right they spend all their money on the A-League!

Second Aussie Assistant Roo Coach - Is Robbie Hooker. Is our Robbie being asked to double up as the Matildas Assistant - we'll find out this week for sure.

And rumours the Aussie Young Socceroos Coach Jan Versleijen is possibly fleeing the coup come December - even prior to the World Cup in Columbia next year.

Something wrong in Paradise?


A-League : Games to watch

The obvious game to watch is the "Big Blue,2 between Sydney and Melbourne this weekend.

There is a lot hanging on this one for both sides; and God help the loser even at this stage of the season.

Can't see Sydney's defence holding out anyone but they should!

For me Gold Coast United v Adelaide, the Reds have no Leckie or Flores so this could be their time to lose. Pity the game can't get a crowd, 20,000 for this game in that stadium would make for a better nights entertainment - dream on hey!

But why not take a peek at Brisbane Roar - at home. They are a high energy team playing an attacking brand under Mr Postecoglou. If they can find goals and they are starting to, 6 in 2, they could yet threaten Adelaide.


Dad stuggles to find answers?

Breakfast at the Flanagans.

Check footy scores on the internet, roll out SMH read the football then relax.

Some need coffee others football.

Although after reading Mike Cockerill I often need something stronger but we won't go there.

11 year old girl reads article on Matildas.

Through the midst of the bedragled uncombed morning hair, tired from a week of school the child asks:

Dad, why do Men's Coaches get sacked all the time but Tom Sermanni is still the Coach of the Matildas?

Which reminded me of a previous question.

Having watched the A-League and Socceroos (she was 6 when at "that game ")she eagerly awaited the TV debut of the W-League.

After a couple of minutes she asked:

Dad why is there no-one at the game when the men get thousands of people?

Good questions, but why does she always ask Dad!


Thursday, 14 October 2010

FFA Cup: Not yet surely?

Just don't think we need it, not yet.

It could connect us to the grassroots clubs, but haven't much confidence the FFA would get it right.

Would the winners get a place in Asia? Otherwise what is the point.

Let's get the league sorted, crowds growing before we put hard earned dollars from a reducing revenue stream into another "we can't afford the flights can you pay FFA," national competition.

FFA couldnt or wouldn't support a Central Coast W-League team; where is the money suddenly to support an FFA Cup.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Nearpsost Quiz: Three A-League players with most shots?


Name the three A-League players with the most shots this season. And click below for the answer.

1. Carlos Hernandez, M.Victoy 41 shots...most into row z!
2. Paul Ifill, Well Phoenix 26
3. Thomas Broich, Brisbane Roar 23


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Nearpost Poddie: Socceroos who rate!

Name the top three A-League players with the most shots, not goals mind you, in the A-League this year.

Paddy Bordier, Eamonn Flanagan and Aaron Walker talk us through the best in Aussie football. What a fantastic podcast.

Well done those Young Socceroos, who should go and who should stay from the Green and Gold, is Robbie Fowler coming back, is Robbie Hooker a cheap FFA option, are the FFA ready to bail out the West and Derby day in Melbourne how good was that?

How many football poddies only cover Aussie football?
We Australia's number one football team discuss all the news from Australian football. 30 minutes of news views opinions and more. Quiz, dedications and more.

or play right from your computer....


Nearpost enters New Dawn tonight

Aussies beat Paraguay, best Melbourne Derby ever, and Young Socceroos march onto World Cup and Asia Cup Semi Final.

We don't write for the Australian - we're positive about the Aussie game - always.

Harry gives it to you know who again, Holger is our hero, and SBS will show the World Cup Bid announcement. We got it all.

It's all going off in Aussie football and Nearpost radio and poddie will be unstoppable tonight - Think Leckie think Nearpost

6.30pm Tuesday aest - streamed on


Australia 4 UAE just 2 aet

The Qantas Young Socceroos have qualified for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup after defeating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4-2 in a thrilling quarter final at the AFC U-19 Championship tonight in Zibo, China.

Zibo, China

Monday 11 October 2010

The Qantas Young Socceroos have qualified for the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup after defeating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4-2 in a thrilling quarter final at the AFC U-19 Championship tonight in Zibo, China.

Kerem Bulut opened the scoring for the Qantas Socceroos, following a Marc Warren corner, in the 6th minute of the match before Ahmed Khalil equalised for the UAE from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute.

Mustafa Amini gave the Qantas Young Socceroos the lead again three minutes into the second half with a fantastic right footed-volley from the edge of the box that dipped in just under the crossbar. But Ahmed Khalil again equalised for the UAE with six minutes to go in regulation time to force the match into extra time.

Two minutes into the first period of extra time Mathew Leckie put the Qantas Young Socceroos ahead for the third time with a tap in at the far post from a Matthew Fletcher cross.

Fletcher then sealed the result twelve minutes later when he side-footed in a volley from close range after finding himself unmarked in the six yard box on the end of a cross from Tommy Oar on the left.

The Qantas Young Socceroos defended their two goal lead during the second period of extra time controlling possession and slowing down the play as both teams began to feel the effects of fatigue.

The UAE had a faint glimmer of hope late in the game after Dylan McGowan was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 115th minute after committing a foul on the edge of his own box. But from the resulting free kick, Qantas Young Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti made an important save to his near post.

After the match Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen was ecstatic with his team’s hard earned win and the achievement of their goal of making the semi finals of the tournament.

“It was a tremendous performance by all the players this evening.

“Every time the UAE challenged us we were able to then step up to the challenge.

“It was definitely a hard fought win and the players should be very satisfied by the result tonight as well as qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia next July.

“Yes, we achieved our goal of qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but we are not satisfied. We play Saudi Arabia in the semi finals on Thursday and want to win this game to progress to the final on Sunday.

“We will be missing Mathew Leckie, Dylan McGowan and Ben Kantarovski due to suspensions for Thursday's match, but this will give other players an opportunity and again allow us to see what depth this squad has to offer.

“For the moment the players should be very proud of their performance as we look forward to the semi finals,” concluded Versleijen

In the other quarter finals the Korea Republic came back from two goals down to run out 3-2 victors over Japan, DPR Korea defeated China PR 2-0 and Saudi Arabia accounted for Uzbekistan 2-1.

The Qantas Young Socceroos will now meet Saudi Arabia and DPR Korea will face the Korea Republic in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship which will be held on Thursday 14 October, with the Final to be played on Sunday 17 October.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 will be played from the 29 July – 20 August.


Match Details

Qantas Young Socceroos 4 (Kerem Bulut 6’, Mustafa Amini 48’, Mathew Leckie 92’, Matthew Fletcher 104’)

United Arab Emirates 2 (Ahmed Khalil 23’(pen), 84’)

Linzi Stadium, Linzi, China PR

Referee: Abdul Malik Bin Abdul Bashir (SINGAPORE)

Assistant Referees: Goh Gek Pheng Jeffrey (SINGAPORE) & Han Wei (CHINA P.R.)

Fourth Official: Tan Hai (CHINA P.R.)

Crowd: 9,000

Qantas Young Socceroos line-up: Mark Birighitti (gk), Dylan McGowan, Sam Gallagher, Ben Kantarovski (c), Rhyan Grant, Kerem Bulut (Matthew Fletcher 62’), Tom Oar, Mathew Leckie (Kofi Danning 118’), Mustafa Amini (Dimitrios Petratos 95’), Nikola Stanojevic, Marc Warren.

Substitutes Not Used: Brendan Hamill, Jason Davidson, Eli Babalj, Terry Antonis, Dan Bowles, Ryan Edwards, Steven Lustica, Matthew Acton (gk), Alex Pearson (gk).

Yellow Cards: Mathew Leckie 10’, Ben Kantarovski 40’, Dylan McGowan 51’/115’

Red Cards: Dylan McGowan 115’

Qantas Young Socceroos Squad


Australia has done it.

If 150 medals in the Commonwealth Games isn't enough try this.

The Australian under 20s have won through to the Semi Final of the Asia Cup and as a result qualified for the World Cup in Columbia next year.

So now those clowns who thought Matthew Leckie or Tommy Oar should have played in that game against Paraguay on the weekend, put your red noses on.

This was tight, very tight, 4-2 after extra time against the UAE.

Would have been great for Aussie development if Leckie and Oar had played against Paraguay and we'd narrowly lost to the UAE wouldn't it.

This team is very exciting with so many potential FORWARDS who could develop. And the next generation of A-League players are here. And forwards to boot!

Matthew Leckie, Tommy Oar, Mustafa Armini, Matthew Flectcher, Kofi Danning etc etc.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Australia: Never forget Pim Verbeek

Okay okay we beat Paraguay and we attacked like crazy with players coming from left and right, aerial dominance was superb and we could have a hatful of headers from Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill and Josh Kennedy. Or so the Aussie media seemed to portray.

But we know Mile Jedinak was crap in that crucial position, (is his touch good enough for the Asian Cup South Korean battle) and Paraguay came to play a friendly and get some photos and maybe not let Australia win, but it wasn't the World Cup was it.

Over-joyed at all the A-League players, all the forwards on the field and no more Pim Verbeek. Yes everyone is happy...for now!

We even threw on the non-scoring Scott McDonald, and at one point I thought I heard Jesse Fink calling for Nicky Carle, or maybe I got confused with Mike Cockerill (please send no emails I'm just a wanker Mike) calling for the Two B's, Alex Brosque....actually that's just one B isn't it!

Anyway THANK GOD For Pim Verbeek.

He got us to the World Cup for the third time
He got us to the Asian Cup - just when he remembered we had to qualify.
He taught Arnie something - look at the Central Coast Mariners now.

I remember watching Australia thrash Qatar and Uzbekistan and others at home with yes two forwards, Kennedy and Cahill leading the way. We must have attacked to get 4 goals right?

I remember sitting up at 2am watching Pim's side never losing an away game in Asia World Cup Qualifiers - bar one flukey lob against Iraq - I don't like losing internationals and yer man Marco Bresciano popped up in the 92nd in Bahrain, but we were still not happy.

He had one really bad game, against Germany, just one.
Just quietly Germany scored 4 against England, Argentina to name a couple!

Oh okay the debacle against Kuwait in Canberra was another but if we'd won we'd have all been satisfied.

I remember watching Brett Emerton and Harry Cahill unleashed in Doha, Scott Chipperfields winner away in Tashkent, and victories over Japan, and others.

He "found" Carl Valeri, Brett Holman, Dario Vidosic, Rhys Williams and ahem Mile Jedinak and maybe Tommy Oar.

He also sent out teams to produce two fine attacking performances in South Africa and got 4 points. But of course Aussie fans now expect so much more.

I just wanted to say there were some good things about Pim before the history books are taken over by the Aussie media and continue to slag the guy off - but what do they know about football?

Nicky Carle for the World Cup squad anyone anyone?


Fozzie 3 Mike and Robbie 0..and that's just half-time!

Robbie Slater said on Fox Sports last night prior to the Socceroos game that he "hated that column."

Did he mean the particular piece on Harry Kewell - he wrote in the Telly some weeks ago - or does he mean he actually hates writing the weekly piece which seems to be giving him some grief.

I'm happy to ghost it Robbie - could be awesome.

Anyway Craig Foster has said what we all think, at least all who agree with me!

Attacks on Harry Kewell have moved beyond the bounds of acceptable and objective critique.

That the attacks on Harry Kewell, and although Fozzie doesn't name them, most of us would imagine he means Robbie and SMH's Mike Cockerill whose "pieces" over the last few months have been personal in nature and show little understanding of the life the guy has lead, nor the standing Harry has in the football community.

No we are not mugs, we do not think Harry is god, merely the guy has had a wonderful career played in two World Cups, and Asian Cup and many many more Socceroo games along the way - despite what some seem to suggest.

Mike C has continued to attack Kewell this year and while many of us think it Fozzie has come out and said it in his Sunday article.

Simply had to be said.

Raise the bar boys!


A-League prominent in Socceroos squad - again and again

Is it just me or are most of the Australian Football Media a bit short up top.

So Holger, our Holger, picks six A-League players and suddenly the Aussie Coach is embracing the A-League and therefore the A-League is great blah blah blah.

But Michael Beauchamp, Jon Mckain, David Carney, Mile Jedinak, Tommy Oar, Dario Vidosic and of course last night, Jade North, Jason Culina, Matt McKay have all graced the A-League over the years. Some just have left to sit on a German or Blackpool bench.

But wait Jon Mckain plays a couple of games in Saudia Arabia, after leaving the Wellington Phoenix, and he's now an overseas player and of course David Carney hasn't played a game since he left Sydney FC but he's an overseas player. How are they not part of the A-League success story?

I the point they are trying to make but just because you go overseas doesn't somehow reduce the value of the A-League, after all Matthew Leckie, Ben Kantarovski, Brendan Hamill, and a heap of other future Socceroos are doing their stuff in the A-League right now - and are they only good when they sit on a bench in Europe and play for Australia?

I don't think so. Aussie media could do their bit to promote the A-League -rather than whingeing that home-based players must be picked over the same players who have since left who the media also wanted in the team; but now they want new A-League players.

Confused? Seems the media is!


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Can a charter fail? Canberra Boys part of FFA Charter?

No Canberra boy can play beyond the Under 15 National Championships at a decent level, once they leave ACTAS or fail to get into the AIS.

Sure training twice a week with the elite clubs in Canberra Premier League is an achievement for many but it's no real aim for anyone of our 20,000 players in the Capital region who want to aim higher post 16 is it?

So the FFA's charter with member federations came out yesterday....nice one.

And it clearly states who has the responsibility for providing pathways for our juniors to the elite level.

So given the FFA have blocked all moves by Canberra to have an A-League and Youth team, we have no teams in the NSW Premier League or Youth Leagues anymore because one of the FFA's member Federations NSW won't allow it - what is going to be done.

I await developments with baited breath. From the Charter

FFA has responsibility for the strategic direction, policy and governance of the playing, development and promotion of football in Australia.

Each Member Federation has responsibility within its region for the:
conduct, development, strategic direction and promotion of football; and
implementation of FFA strategies, policies, programs and regulations for the playing, development and promotion of football in Australia.

FFA and the Member Federations are committed to working together to develop and promote football within Australia and in each Member Federation’s region by:
building participation and sustained involvement in football at all ages and playing levels;
developing the skill levels of all players that participate in football;
providing development pathways and opportunities for talented and elite players and teams;
providing development pathways for Refs and Coaches
providing strategic leadership to support facility development and utilisation strategies;
increasing the community interest in football both as a participant activity and a mass sporting entertainment; and
implementing national programs to ensure the experience and opportunities for participants are the same regardless of location.


Tyranny of Distance overcome in A-League.

My earlier post talked of my Glasgow Derby memories.

Last nights Melbourne Derby had some similar traits but also introduced us to something un-Australian. The Away fan in your stadium in big big numbers.

Two opposing baying sets of fans, and colours, tackles and bookings bigger than your normal game. A little more player venom verballed at the other team, send-offs, basic errors exposed (Derbies always seem to produce those moments)

Heroes and losers and of course in Melbourne a flare or two!

But the moment that sums up a Derby, to me, is always this.

That exact moment when a goal is scored and fans are left in ecstasy or fear. The moment the conceding fans realise their team has conceded and the roar from the one end of the stadium sits directly opposed to the silent wave down the other end.

Fans in delirium versus fans standing, silent.

Just for a moment.

Last night we had three moments, they are magical for any fan involved, any fan at the game.

And of course Aussies finally got to experience an away support cheering and yahooing in great numbers for a normal season game.

Melbourne Heart won 2-1 last night, Gerald Sibon, Josip Skoko and John Aloisi clearly having saved their legs against the Roar the other week had energy to burn!

As for Melbourne Victory, is Ricardinho a flop! Seems to be and they need Archie Thompson back quick. Never mind Sydney Melbourne Victory are starting to waiver as well.

The night belonged to Heart and football fans across the country. It was wonderful viewing.

Western Sydney anyone?


Friday, 8 October 2010

Derby Day: Memory Lane

I'm a Celtic fan from wayback, so when the A-League throws up it's first real Derby tonight between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart I've been having flashbacks to "my Derby," Celtic v Rangers.

And funny how littleof my flashbacks are about the football!

Born in England just 300 miles from my local team, Glasgow Celtic, I attended many many Old Firm Derby's.

The Old Firm game is known for, well, it's fan hatred. It always seemed funny to me that depending on which house you were born in you hated the Pope, the Queen, England or Ireland, Paul Gascoigne or Paulo De Canio, Green white and gold or Red White and Blue, oh and of course the Celtic then Rangers star Mo Johnston.

United at last both sets of fans hated Mo-Jo just never at the same time!

So here's the top few memories as you wait for the Derby tonight. And go Melbourne.

1. Taking my girlfriend on to the terraces of Celtic Park with 92,000 in attendance, it was terraces in those days, and leaving the ground after the game the amount of moisture on the concrete was amazing. The smell of urine unbearable.

"Eamonn why don't the blokes go to the toilet at half-time instead!"

2. Rangers fans invade the pitch as Celtic leading 2-0 give away a penalty. Rangers fans head back onto the terraces, it takes some time, and the penalty is taken and missed. The fans pour back on.

3. Having seen Celtic defeated 3-2 at Hampden Park in the Scottish League Cup Final I dash with my younger brother and friend to the nearby train station. Delighted to make the train as we head back to England, laughing at our fleet of foot, we sit in our empty carriage dressed in our Celtic regalia.

The heart stops when we pull up at the next station, the other side of Hampden, and the platform has about 5,000 Rangers fans ready to board. That was not a pleasant journey. Thank God Rangers won that day!

4. Up high in the stands in Hampden at yet another Celtic Rangers Cup Final, this time we won, Celtic fans pour onto the pitch to celebrate their victory. Unfortunately some twat had left the Rangers gates and pitch access opened so they poured on as well.

The ensuing battle was kinda interesting from my vantage. The two goalmouths became first aid posts for the wounded, Police on horses drove at the two sets of fans, goals posts were turned into weapons and I only left when the Stand I was sitting in was set on fire!

As I looked back Scotlands Premier Sporting venue had been turned into a tip, Bricks, wooden posts, bodies were just strewn across its entirety.

5. Streaming away from Celtic Park fans had their seperate routes, Celtic fans down one long street to the City, Rangers down the other.

But of course in any City fans had to criss-cross.

Walking in the midst of thousands of Celtic fans singing, we'd won, I watched as a Rangers young man attempted to cross the road. Booted and pelted, he stumbled only to be kicked again and again. He eventually crossed the street, seemingly no harm done!

Couldn't happen in Melbourne could it?


Thursday, 7 October 2010

U17 Aussies Representation: Does it guarantee success?

While the current Young Socceroos (Under 20) are taking on the best in Asia, some of them are already making waves in the A-League and elsewhere.

But does success in junior football, international junior football guarantee success.

Here's the most successful Aussie male team ever. Our Under 17s reached a World Cup Final in New Zealand in 1999 and only lost to Brazil on penalties.

See who made it, and who didn't!

Interesting Brazilians Leonardo, Adriano,and USA's Landon Donovan also starred in the tournament.

KEDWELL-VAN STRATTEN Jess Goalkeeper Northern Spirit (Australia)
MILOSEVIC Matthew Goalkeeper SASI (Australia) 177cm 66kg
BYRNES Mark 17 Defender Parramatta Power (Australia)
CANSDELL-SHERRIFF Shane 16 Defender Leeds United (UK) 180cm 72kg
FYFE Iain 17 Defender SASI (Australia) 184cm 69kg
GOULDING Aaron 17 Defender SASI (Australia) 178cm 72kg
LOCKHART Shane 17 Defender NSWIS (Australia) 175cm 70kg
MADASCHI Adrian 17 Defender Atalanta Bergamo (Italy) 188cm 83kg
DOUMANIS Anthony Midfielder NSWIS (Australia) 164cm 58kg
GROVES Bradley 17 Midfielder Leeds United (UK) 176cm 71kg
JOHNSON James 17 Midfielder QAS (Australia) 167cm 67kg
NORTH Jade 17 Midfielder AIS/Brisbane Strikers 179cm 69kg
PANTELIS Lucas 17 1Midfielder AIS (Australia) 169cm 61kg
SRHOJ Wayne 17 Midfielder AIS/Brisbane Strikers 180cm 74kg
BRAIN Louis 17 Striker Adelaide Force (Australia) 165cm 65kg
DI IORIO Joseph 17 Striker Werder Bremen (Germany) 172cm 59kg
KENNEDY Joshua 17 Striker AIS/Carlton (Australia) 191cm 83kg
MacALLISTER Dylan Striker Sydney Olympic (Australia) 188cm 83kg


Melbourne Heart: Number One Plonker?

And Heart chief executive Scott Munn said the huge demand for the game - the first genuine derby in the new competition's six-season history - should send a clear message to Football Federation Australia that the season should start in October, two months later than it does.

''I don't think we need to play 30 weeks.''

Well if that's what people in football think then we are stuffed.

How much would this Sporting Administrator propose our Professional Footballers play for.....25 weeks?

And where would our professional players go...immediately.

It would really be a case of watching, never mind playing European football would be better than playing in the A-League.

Scott, you've got 30,000 coming through your gate tomorrow giving you an average 12,000 approx crowds with the rest of the season to come.

The challenge is not to move the start of the season the challenge is to lift the crowds in the early part of the season.

Not up to it? Move on...mate!


David Williams in Half-Time Heroes

The latest issue of HTH is out. Football writers and cartoonists from across Australia to take a look at Aussie and World football.

Great interview with rising star Indigenous Australian David Williams.

October Issue of Half Time Heroes. 2010/10/05/time-heroes- october-2010/

Hello football fans and welcome to the
October Issue of Half Time Heroes. 2010/10/05/time-heroes- october-2010/

We haven’t missd a month just adjusting our calander.

It’s been all doom and gloom with talk about the A-League with everyone with a paid opinion writing obituaries. But here at Half Time Heroes we celebrate football and ignore the white elephant in the room and in the stadiums. Sure we take it seriously as well but we like to have fun and take the piss as well.

This month’s highlights on Half Time Heroes:
An Interview with North Queensland Fury and Socceroo attacker David Williams. Thanks to Dave for giving us his time.

The Adventures of the Big D and Buckle Up Ben Continue.... HTH’s satirical look at the administration of football as we go behind the scenes ot two of Australia’s best mates thanks to Chippy Brady our secret ranter who goes off his nut again.
We welcome Micheal Turner to the HTH family as he reviews Australia’s 2022 World Cup Bid. It’s in the bag right?
Check out our A League picture specials couresty of Goal!Weekly photographers.

Mike Salter discusses the European Filter with Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite as subjects. Andrew Donald talks dirty and Nat Adamopoulos gives us History 101 with Adelaide City.

This month at HTH we also go cosmopolitan for all you Euro- football lovers/snobs/connesairs. We start our brand new Serie A section with Julian De Martinis and we also bring you Ze Bundesliga with Mark Hex. and don’t forget the La Liga with Kieran Pender.

You like US Soccer? Learn more about the MLS and team USA with Forest Brazil. HTH sent our EPL writer Ben Halls to the US. He is an Englishman in New York checking out Soccer with some Yanks.

Gary Al-Smith gives us an update on African World Cup Heroes Ghana. Wayne Snowden HTH resident cartoonist takes aim at the Football Federation Australia and the Australian football Media. Check his cartoons on Cover page, page 15 and double page 20.


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A-League match sold-out!

Looks like the first Melbourne Derby is officially a sell-out.

Should be a cracker with the stadium atmosphere making it a passionate affair.

Pity all Australian football fans won't get to see this event on TV, just the Fox diehards....another missed opportunity I guess.

But first sold-out A-League game of the season, and this is a Melbourne Heart home game, so no matter who fills the stadium the crowd averages for the Heart this season are about to go from around 7,000 per game to about 12,000 I guess!


Canberra Boys Football needs direction...desperately.

Former ANU Head Coach and former Capital Football Technical Director John Mitchell has called for new direction and leadership for the Canberra A-League Bid.

Speaking on the Nearpost Local show last night John who has recently seen Luke Pilkington and Tom Rogic move to a higher level of football as a direct result of his training/playing programs at ANUFC is clearly dissatisfied with the lack of leadership and direction for boys/mens football from both Capital Football and Canberra A-League Bid team.

Rather than looking for an A-League team dropped in at the top end, John calls for a grassroots built movement which builds strong foundations, such a movement would build a Youth team that provides a number of players over five years so that in five years Canberra has many many 20 year olds who are ready to play professional football.

Such a model could build a huge network of supporters of local football before an A-League team set foot on the park. Now that's a novel idea!

Clearly the model would need to build a financial resource base to support the Youth team but also to support a future A-League team.

The A-League Bid currently has over 1-2,000 Foundation Members at $200 each, no mean feat - but John asks for a meeting to be called with those members to set a new direction.

And let's face it the $340,000 sitting in a Trust account is never going to be used on a Canberra A-League team before 2012 when it's due to be returned. Why not use that money for the future A-League plan.

Who has the vision for developing football in Canberra, for our thousands of junior boys?

Clearly Capital Football Board has no desire or seemingly capacity to develop the elite level boys football or assist those willing to do so. If they do I'd love to hear where they are hiding the plan.

And our cashed up clubs are so very painfully misguided.

Belconnen United, Canberra FC simply pour money into their ACT Premier League players - what a total waste of money; to win what an ACT League title - Why do these clubs do this? Can anyone please explain.

They'd be better off putting every dollar into an A-League Youth team or even an NSW Youth League team, or into their junior bases to develop players and make football free to play. Building a real football community base.

A much better use of funds and would gain instant respect across the community.

Forget paying any Senior Players - money wasted, but everyone interested in football development knows that, and it makes no business sense - have you seen the gate takings!

What is there for the post 16 boys age group in Canberra at the elite level that has been bedded down and sustained?

How many more boys can we plug into HPP programs listening to enthusiastic parents and boys hoping this could be the start of something, something big.

When really if you aren't one of maybe two boys that get to the AIS each year from the ACTAS program then you're gone aren't 15!

Ask around the football community and the message is loud and clear. Our women are sorted, elite pathways for boys is non-existent post 16!

John's right what other community settles for third best. Why should football?

And the Canberra A-League Bid has stalled. As you'd expect when the FFA has been so pathetic in their leadership re;expansion.

But John says it's time for a rethink. He's right.

Having worked closely with Ivan Slavich on the bid I can attest to the energy and drive Ivan put into the bid, and if the FFA had chosen the best bid Ivan would now be leading a team in the A-League. It was not a fair fight.

But being a victim is not a healthy state. So now is the time to take a new look at our direction. Let's re-invigorate our pathways and opportunities of getting an A-League team, but in a way that suits Canberra, ensures we have a sustainable team forever.

Or else we could just sit back and wait - for what?

It's clearly time to look not to expansion of the wobbling A-League and hope we get in, it's time to bring in new ideas, and strategically start again. Time to make our bid much much stronger and more viable.

This time we have more time, more time to get it stronger, more improved.

We need to come back bigger and stronger, and this can only happen if we take a longer term view of our opportunities.

Football will never go away in this city, we don't need an A-League team tomorrow, particularly one that may be under-resourced and fail, we need one that comes from groundswell support.

John Mitchell is right:

Is there anyone in Canberra who has the capacity to move football for our boys forward, anyone?


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Nearpost Podcast: How good is Aussie footy?

Paddy Bordier, Eamonn Flanagan and Lucy Zelic talk us through the best in Aussie football. What a fantastic podcast.

Are we seeing more Aussie Number 10's than ever before, 75% of all games decided i the last minute, Ray Gatt disected, Jesse Fink out thought, and all the Socceroos news, opinions and views.

Can Mark Bridge save Sydney FC, are the Mariners reborn under Arnie, has Mitch Nichols grown up.

How many football poddies only cover Aussie football?
We Australia's number one football team discuss all the news from Australian football. 30 minutes of news views opinions and more. Quiz, dedications and more.

or play right from your computer....


Nearpost talks Aussie Football tonight 6.30pm

Get the best in Aussie football streamed on or 98.3fm if you are in Canberra - how lucky are you.

All the Aussie football news from the weekend, Socceroos, W-League gossip, Young Socceroos, and of course we talk Ray Gatt, Clive Palmer, Julia Gillard and Sepp Blatter.

Quiz, dedications and predictions of the Melbourne Derby and Australia Paraquay game - Paddy Bordier, Lucy Zelic and Eamonn Flanagan help you make up your mind on all things football.


Monday, 4 October 2010

Sydney FC: Best bottom team in the World?

Sydney FC lost again to Adelaide United.

This time it was 2-1 and the winning goal came from, wouldn't you know it, former Sydney FC Youth Captain Iain the very last minute.

For the record that's three games decided with goals in the last minute this weekend! It doesn't get much more exciting than that in any league, in any sport- unless you're from the Harbour City.

But Sydney continue to improve and despite the Fox Sports inexperienced commentator Michael Zappone claiming time and time again that Sydney's season was on the line, it wasn't and isn't.

Someone should tell Zappa that you only have to make the top six and anyone can win from there. In fact if Sydney make it and they can based on the form of their last three games, well arguably they'd go into it an improved side with much more confidence, and that's all they are really missing.

Mark Bridge still miss fires, and maybe Nicky Carle, remember him, can unleah the Sydney forwards and who knows that second goal in any game could be all they need.

They've had keepers save with their faces, shots hit the posts, bizarre own goals in the last three home games, nine points would not have been unworthy given their performances, but they got just two.

Sydney FC have to be the best bottom placed team in the World, making the A-League one of the leagues worth watching, not just the top games, but all games.

Sydney fans need to hold their breadth as do their owners. Sydney FC may not be champions this year, but if they can get a couple of wins, and they can, come finals time not too many teams will want to play them.

Having said that next up it's Melbourne away, followed by Perth.

Just quietly, what did Liam Reddy save today?


Great Aussie footy week ahead.

Melbourne Heart host Melbourne Victory in the first A-League Derby on Friday, and while it's not Celtic v Rangers, at least let's hope it's not off the field, it should be a belter on it.

Big crowd at that stadium and the tackles should fly....sorry to the Purist!

and then the very next day, Saturday in Sydney, we get to see Australia take on Paraguay, new Coach, a few new players and we're into generational change, just a few games out from the Asian Cup.

With the Young Socceroos in the Asian Cup this week, World Cup Qualification on the line in China, it's going to be quite a week for football.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Does you football/soccer club need an e-newsletter?

Ever wanted some real football content in your clubs newsletter?

Have you got hundreds of junior players at your club and yet you never hear or see any of their success stories in your club newsletter?

Is your club still spending thousands of dollars per season on printed newsletters?

Does your club even have time for a newsletter?

Do you know how proud a parent or player feels when they see the players name, and efforts in print? Ever wanted to tell the club about the upcoming tournaments, Committee vacancies, latest match reports, or wish your young people would write their own football stories?

How does your voluntary Senior or Junior Club communicate with its members? Getting people to help out is an ongoing challenge for Australia's biggest junior sport; getting someone to write a newsletter can be one job too many. I can help.

Here's my junior football e-newsletter. My club, Majura FC get it for free, of course, I'm a volunteer. It's delivered in e-format and pdf and it's stored online, forever. And we track our 4,000 visitors and 10,000 page views per newsletter. Great feedback for sponsors.

We even edit our players words so they get to write if they wish, about football, their sport.

Read more and contact me

Most clubs are voluntary run and do a great job getting teams on the park but who has time to promote the club or the very people who play the game, our children?

Does your newsletter ever contain any football content for the kids or coaches?
How do your parents and players new to the game learn about the game at your local club?

Is your current newsletter attractive to sponsors?

The Nearpost Blog is run by me, Eamonn Flanagan. Professional Author, Football Radio/Podcast Host on the Australian Community Radio Network, Football Club e-newsletter editor and former Teacher. Why not let me produce your club newsletter in a style/budget that suits you and your club.

Why not give your club the best football content in Australia.
Why not market your club to your players.
Why not reduce your printing costs and store all newsletters on line using e-technology, forever.
Why not track how many people are reading your newsletters making your newsletter more attractive to your sponsors.

The Nearpost can provide the latest football quiz content, with Socceroos, Matildas, A-League, W-League and Overseas content, the latest FFA updates, your Associations news and/or your junior player profiles. We can also advise on content and the best way to contact your parent/players.

Do you have a former Australian, A-League, W-League or National Championships representative from your club? Would you like your club to have that history stored online as an inspiration for our next generation?

Like to have your star former junior player tracked down with an interview, written or recorded, always live on your website? The Nearpost can do it. to listen to our latest star podcasts of Australian Young Socceroo Sydney FC's Kofi Danning and Canberra United's Kahlia Hogg.

How it works:
I liaise with a designated member of your club and we work within your budget and set out the plan for the edition for the season.

I'll work with the club to produce a professional template for your first and every newsletter edition thereafter. It will include your club colours, motto, and crest if desired.

We'll discuss the price, delivery date and the content you wish for your first newsletter.

All local content including news, sponsor details, player profiles, photographs will be provided by you. (eg. I provide guidelines/proforma profiles for players to fill in.) I'll also provide the latest FFA Coaching content, Socceroos, Matildas, A-League and W-League (focus on your local teams/players)Football Quiz, and your Association dates for player trials and competitions.

Each e-newsletter will be delivered online (or in pdf format) and can be stored on your website in graphic format; and distributed through your parents and player emails.

No more printing or distribution costs to your club.....ever!

So feel free to contact me. and lets talk football.

You decide how much you want to spend.
You decide how many e-newsletter you'd like per year.
You decide the content you wish to provide, and any you wish to use from my listed options.


Saturday, 2 October 2010

Canberra dudded by the FFA again?

Chips anyone?

Last season Central Coast Mariners brought their pedestrian A-League team down to Canberra for two home games; against Perth Glory and bottom placed Adelaide United.

With the FFA dudding Canberra's A-League bid just days before the games, (great marketing from the FFA) fans were furious with the games although over 5,000 still attended the games - what many A-League clubs wouldn't give for that crowd now - and it will be interesting to see what crowd the Mariners get when they play their next "home" game in Sydney at the SFS.

But would they bring games back to Canberra this year?

No! So once again the "football experiment" ends before it began.

Hopeless on many counts.

But now the Mariners have a football team worthy of the name we'd actually like to see them in Canberra;

and come to think of it Perth with Robbie Fowler and co, and Adelaide with boy wonder Matthew Leckie and Marcos Flores - yes we'll take these games this time and we'd probably pull in 10,000 this time - or more than the usual Mariners home gate!

But no this city has been dudded again, the FFA once again fluffed their lines.

Where is the plan to build professional football in the Canberra region - you'd have to wonder wouldn't you.


Bedlam at Gosford

What a game!

The Mariners are reborn.

They keep the ball, have more skilful players in their front six than ever before and if there strikers could hit the target or even score they'd be in with a shout of the title surely.

As it is they got three last night, and with Oliver Bozanic, Michael McGlinchy and Paddy Perez in the midfield how can you not want to watch this Graham Arnold lead team.

Josh Rose adds attacking menace down the left and Rostyn Griffiths is keeping John Hutchison out of the team. Interesting days.

And the ball was whizzed around the midfield with such pace and verve that a neutral could only Sydney FC were watching.

Yet despite this complete outplaying of the Fury, it was the Fury who fluked a lead with a deflected shot.

And David Williams isn't he maturing.

No longer flung out on the wing a la Tahj Minniecon for the Gold Coast, Williams has been moved inside and this guy can only get better and better. Pace and skill. Has he got the eye to be a number 10, an Aussie modern number 10?

Keep an eye on him and his Fury mates, Chris Payne continues to impress, Jack Hingert, Isaka Cernak as well. Despite being down to ten men at 2-2 it took all of Matt Ryans keeper skills to keep the Mariners in the game. Truly bizarre.

But a great game, with so many players trying to attack and win the game.

And then McGlinchy produced a piece of late late magic as he waltzed past the tiring substitute Chris Payne and put in the perfect cross. 3-2 to the Mariners.

Then the fans ran on to the pitch and wasn't that a great sight in Australian football; as mid-season the Gosford pitch is due to be dug up again.


Bruce Djite is back

Once labelled the "New Viduka" Bruce Djite produced a Viduka style bit of magic for his second goal of the night in Gold Coast's 3-1 win over a hard working Wellington Phoenix who can just not win in Australia.

A quick flick was all it took to stun Andrew Durrante and Danny Vukovic and Djite's team were back in the lead

And the Gold Coast with Djite already starting to work his way to the top of the scoring charts are looking as though they are in with a shake for the title.

Early days but is a case of Shane who for the Gold Coast?

And just maybe Djite will give the team more off the ball than Smeltz did and after last nights couple of goals, that's three in two games now, his confidence and sharpness can only improve.

Welcome back Bruce.


Friday, 1 October 2010

Nearpost replies to Ray Gatt

Sometimes it's nice to disagree - especially when you are right!

From the article on

Ray – you have the forum through your paper and the right to talk aboout what you wish.

Your views on the NSL and Youth development mentioned above show what many of us see when we read you and a number of other football journos. A (my view) perceived lack of awareness of broader debates that are possible. It seems many football writers have their views, strong views and are unable to present a range of analysis when they are clearly possible.

And because there is only usually one or maybe two football writers at any print media in Austalia, it’s a limited view we get over and over depending on the journo.

For example:

The A-League is in general far superior to the NSL. That’s the view of everyone I talk to. But no surprise that some of the old football writers and commentators have “rose-coloured glasses.” Of course some teams were great in the past but they were generally up against some pretty shoddy, pretty poorly prepared opposition.

Bottom placed Sydney FC are still performing way better than over half or more NSL teams in any given year. They have a shape, they keep the ball as much as they can and aim to work openings; and generally are hard to beat – and they’re bottom.

NSL teams outside the top two or three in each season were pretty limited from what I saw. But I’m in Canberra so maybe I wish I could have rose-coloured glasses occasionally. Although we did pump Branko Culina’s Sydney United 8-1 once but I digress.

The worst A-League games are far faster than the lower NSL games, technique varies but clearly it’s easier to use technique in a slow game. Shades of John Markovski anyone. Great player wouldn’t get a look in today unless he lifted his fitness.

As Ray says its a debate no-one can win; but thought I’d put through what many think who I talk to:)

As for Youth development Ray and Fussball are both right! We had our golden era with the sons of our immigrant fathers giving us the Viduka, Grellas, Zelic and co in droves. But the latest Young Socceroos look to have a forward line. And it might be this generation that shows the developmetn of the game.

The last years of the NSL saw a decline in the level of our development and of course the immigrant supply dried up to some extent, and now this Young Socceroos are perhaps the standard we should expect from now on.

Therefore I’d conclude the A-League, Youth League and FFA has got us back on track and perhaps prepared us for a level of football where we no longer rely on the passion of immigrant fathers encouraging their talented sons to play football.

Finally, our Aussie print media is less than impressive when it comes to covering football. Limited, tedious match reports cover most of the writing, much the same for TV commentary it has to be said. One writer covering football in most newspapers and markets probably gives us less diversity than other countries and limits the talent pool and the creativity of existing or new writers.

And despite their best intentions their bias and slants (see Ray’s views above) continually come through in their writing.

Has the online media assisted? Yes but not from the traditional print turned web writers.

An increasing numbers of bloggers on commercial and non-commercial sites mean we have more coverage than ever before and we no longer have to rely on the very limited coverage for Aussie football in the Australian (apologies Ray) or the SMH. Thank god for that.