Thursday, 30 December 2010

Nearpost Poddie Review of the Year (A-League)

Nearpost Review Part Two 2010 presented by Con Stamocostas and Eamonn Flanagan. Join the pair of likely lads as they talk and spin all things Aussie A-League football in 2010.

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. What more could you wish for from the Australian media?

or play right from your computer....


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Nearpost Poddie Review of the Year

Nearpost Review Part One 2010 presented by Con Stamocostas and Eamonn Flanagan. Join the pair of likely lads as they talk and spin all things Aussie football in 2010.

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. What more could you wish for from the Australian media?

or play right from your computer....


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Holiday Reading from Ben Somerford

Get up to-date with all the Aussies overseas right here with Ben Somerford's review prior to the Asia Cup.


Happy Christmas from the Nearpost

Wishing everyone who views this site a great few days of festivities with those important to you.


And I'd like 20,000 at Brisbane Roar v Gold Coast for Xmas.

And the Nearpost podcast will be reviewing the year on Tuesday's show - the show must go on.

Cheers to all, especially those who have been harshly their eyes....maybe 2011 be gentler for you from the Nearpost Blog.

Happy goals



Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Let's keep the midweek games

Now the A-League Club Owners, and on Branko Culina's case a Manager want to scrap the midweek games.

But the fans don't. The TV viewing figures are comparable to weekend Fox games and indeed the midweek games regularly come in the Fox Sports top viewed shows of the week.

And we the fans, well in my straw poll anyway, we love them.

Football live, midweek, live on your TV.

Sure maybe let's just have one game a week, on Wednesday night - but let's keep them and build it rather than dumping them once more.

Wednesday night footy could grow and grow but of course if we dump it we'll never ever know.

Be brave FFA. Keep the faith.

We already have the ACL on Wednesday's so why not build the tradition?

That's how you make tradition isn't it, not by chucking it away every season when something doesn't quite work.

Even in the tested English market midweek league crowds are generally down on weekend games, so why would we be surprised if our crowds are a bit down. We shouldn't and we shouldn't dump Wednesday night football despite Branko Culina's latest whinge.


Nearpost Poddie awards night.

Nearpost Awards 2010 presented by Lucy Zelic, Paddy Bordier and Eamonn Flanagan as they talk and spin all things Aussie football.

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. What more could you wish for from the Australian media?

Which three defenders are the highest scorers in the League? and the Craig Foster, Ben Buckley and Sepp Blatter awards for 2010 are presented on the show.

or play right from your computer....


Monday, 20 December 2010

Gold Coast true believers- what makes them the people they are?

So 10,000 people turn up to watch the rain fall for 20 odd minutes Gold Coast - 23,000 scammed a free ticket but many were turned off by the rain.

Which makes you wonder what sort of people, football fans, these Gold Coast rain revellers are.

And where are they during the season?

Will they never pay to watch football? Do they not enjoy going to a game? Surely if you make the effort to come when it's chucking it down with rain, surely you'd come once or twice during a season. Surely?

And surely they must have thought the game would have been unplayable if they'd watched any of the previous home games on TV or indeed been to a game in recent weeks.

They did know it was raining right?

Great idea from Clive and wonderful to see a turnout but really will these fans only come when the sun isn't shining or it's free.

We'll come if it's free! Shades of Mike Cockerill begging and imploring Frank Lowy to put his hand in his pocket to save the league.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Archie and Robbie make poetry

A back heel from Robbie Kruse and a finish from Archie Thompson and a smile from this fan.

This same fan still smiling after John Aloisi scored a wonderful winner the night before for Melbourne Heart.

Still smiling because Sydney didn't play.....

but not smiling now because although 10,000 fans turned up, Robina Stadium owners, the Queensland Government I believe, couldn't organise a weed on a beach.


Gold Coast Stadium is a disgrace: Give Clive his dosh back

Not a Rugby League game for months and a pitch full of bare patches, potholes and more...and they want to play football on that and expect people to pay to watch.

Embarrassed? I would be if I was a Queensland Government Stadium owner.

No wonder Clive let us all in for free.

And then it rained and surprise surprise there were pools of water everywhere.

Clive should be re-imbursed.

And just quietly bet it's perfect for NRL season - and they don't even need grass - go figure!


Saturday, 18 December 2010

England oh England

Reminds me of my mate in England around 30 years ago.

Sean Parker . On completing my Business Management degree Sean said, "I was going to go University and do a degree, but my mate /Steve Atkins, Akkers, didn't pick up the form."

Now the same dynamic attitude could keep English football in the "thump long and get it right up at" era.

Unfortunately, the £30 price tag may put a lot of people off buying The Future Game,

You can hear the hordes of Northern tight-arses, "Thirty quid, I ain't buying that - I'd rather me lads thumped it."

And they will!

English football revolution

Anyay here's the latest on the Grassroots "thou is too bloody expensive" Revolution in England.

English football looked to the future at Wembley Stadium last week and, after a year to forget for the national team and FIFA's decision on the 2018 World Cup still hurting, the timing could not have been better.

After two crushing World Cup defeats in just six months, in Bloemfontein and Zurich, English football needs something positive to focus on and, with the launch of The Future Game - Grassroots, Sir Trevor Brooking and his Football Development team hope they have provided just that.

Over 600 grassroots coaches from across the country gathered at Wembley for the launch of the FA's new blueprint on the future of football coaching and the FA showed they meant business by rolling out the big guns: England managers Fabio Capello, Hope Powell, Stuart Pearce, John Peacock (manager of the winning 2010 European Under 17 Championships) and Sir Trevor himself.

The message from the FA, and that underlined in the three-part technical document - which covers a playing and coaching philosophy, theory advice and over 200-age appropriate coaching drills - is clear: if lasting improvements are to be made to the fortunes of the national side, we have to start developing better players from the age of five upwards and, to do this, the involvement of the grassroots game is crucial.

The World Cup this summer put into sharp focus the technical superiority of countries such as Spain and Holland, who treat the ball like a treasured possession rather than a hot potato. But if English teams - or Welsh, Scottish or Irish for that matter - are to develop a national team that is comfortable on the ball, kids need to be encouraged to keep the ball rather than "get rid" at the first sign of pressure.
Sir Trevor Brooking
To be fair to Sir Trevor, it's a drum he's been banging for some time - when I met him in June 2008 the message was very much the same - so it must be of relief to him to see his philosophy on the game finally manifesting itself in physical form and being rolled out right across the game.

"We're being clear that we need a long term investment in developing better players," Brooking told Club Website.

"That's why The Future Game is so important. Everyone will touch the grassroots at some stage, so we have to be working much closer together, particularly at the five to 16 age group."

Age-appropriate coaching is central to the FA's blueprint and is a method that they hope will produce a generation of players who are happy building from the back and "playing through the thirds".

This was the buzz phrase of the day and is the most succinct way of describing the playing philosophy laid out the first part of the Future Game document.

Whilst the 'English way' of playing has traditionally been associated with pace, power and commitment, Brooking hopes that future generations of England internationals will be more associated with their comfort on the ball than their honest endeavour.

"We believe, longer term, in the international game you're going to have to play through the thirds and have 10 proficient players. We'd like everyone to work towards that, particularly in the grassroots."

A superb demonstration on how to do just that was given by John Peacock, using highlights from his European Champion Under 17 team, so it shows that English people can play football the right way, provided the players have the ability and are coached in the right manner.

The FA want this coaching to start from the very bottom with the thousands of volunteer grassroots coaches in England and they hope the Future Game document can help them achieve that.

But might part time coaches be put off by a coaching manual that is the size of a telephone directory? Brooking hopes that this is not the case.
Sir Trevor Brooking

"The FA often gets battered for being prescriptive, but our document is there for people to come and have a look. You take out bits that you think are really good."

Coaches can choose from over 200 detailed coaching drills - broken down by age-group and each focusing on a particular element of the game, with colour diagrams and easy to follow coaching points - or can read advice on creating the right environment for kids to play or the relationship between winning and development.

The document is certainly an impressive piece of work and, whilst it would be impossible to absorb all of the information in a short space of time, it should prove a fantastic reference for the 600 coaches at Wembley that day, along with anyone else who wishes to purchase one from the FA Learning website.

Unfortunately, the £30 price tag may put a lot of people off buying The Future Game, particularly in the current economic climate. This is a shame, particularly when you consider that half of Mr Capello's annual salary could provide a copy of The Future Game to 100,000 coaches across the country. Unfortunately, the economic climate surrounding the FA is not great either.

But this is no time to be negative. The Future Game is about being positive and moving forward and there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic at Wembley last week.

You don't need to sell coaching manuals to sell a philosophy on the game and it is how this philosophy is bought into that is important. The FA have nailed their developmental colours to the mast and it is now up to rest of the English football family to get behind them.

If the enthusiasm of the 600 coaches at Wembley last week is anything to go by, then the FA may just be onto something. I was particularly pleased to see a lot of young coaches there and to hear them talking - as Djamel Kareche did (see below) - of having to "let the kids learn from their mistakes" and saying that kids' football has "got to be fun."

It is this generation of coaches, and those that follow it, that will determine whether or not Sir Trevor Brooking's vision of football in England comes to fruition.

England may not be hosting the 2018 World Cup but, if Brooking's new English philosophy is bought into from the grassroots up, then English football can look to the future with hope.


Brisbane V Canberra United: Called off - To be played on Tuesday 3pm

Due to wet and dodgy pitch apparently.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Three Clubs to start Canberra revolution.

It takes money to change things in life and in football. Even with 20,000 players in the Canberra region many people feel we haven't quite cracked it, not in terms of Government support, powerful commmunity clubs, or resources.

But we Canberrans are a smart lot. And even if we don't get the $26 million AFL get from the Government we'll be right. Eventually.

Viking Futsal: They control futsal across Australia in many cities and I love their motto.

What is spent in football stays in football.

So with 20,000 people spending on football, on boots, shirts the list goes on. If we could keep the money in football for football, we'd start to improve ourselves.

And with that we build resources, lower fees and start to kick equal to the weight of community.

So in Canberra a number of clubs are starting to develop and will develop their online community e-shop.

Majura FC will have theirs running, full ordering and payment system from the next week or two. (Of course then everyone could pay and register online - Majura got every player registered online last season.)

So what if two clubs joined with Majura to create an e-shop, just two.

And the three clubs with over 5,000 boot buying players combined to share their own supplier, employ their own manager to run, sell and distribute the boots and laid out a template to return money to their clubs, money to the W-League, A-League or whatever the joint proposal was.

And of course if you get 1,000 boot buyers in year 1, and tell them where their money is going and why, why couldn't we get 2,000 the year after and beyond that we could sell balls, shirts, even Man United shirts if they are still popular.

And I've heard people go where they get the best deal. Special deal if you show your football registration?

And how many more clubs in Canberra would join us once it was up and running and a benefit to their members.

And if the clubs got more money back than Sportmans Warehouse or Athletes Foot give us in Sponsorship - then clubs would probably be happy.

I think the e-shop revolution could assist Canberra football.


Half-Time Heroes December

December Half Time Heroes is here.

World Cup fall-out, Mariners at play, Barca v Real, Cartoons, Buckle-Up Ben it's all here.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Nearpost poddie: What do our three leading goalscorers have in common?

Our own Costa Rican David Fuentes Solarno tells us how to pronounce the name of Juan Carlos Solazarno. Paddy Bordier and Eamonn Flanagan talk and spin all things Aussie football.

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. What more could you wish for from the Australian media?

Get the quiz answer early in the pod and listen to the enthusiasm and knowledge of three fans

or play right from your computer....


Monday, 13 December 2010

The Melbourne Cup

Watching yet another entertaining Derby on Friday night I couldn't help wondering that maybe it was time to introduce the Football equivalent of the Bledisloe Cup.

A Cup within a League.

And to the winner of the Melbourne Cup, decided over the three League Derbies, goes the spoils.

Presented at the end of the three game series, it would add fuel to an already passionate affair.

And would determine who were the Kings of Melbourne.

We're looking for meaningful ways to create our own "events" seems to me this would be would have real meaning real quick.

With the scores locked at 1-1 the next game even in Season 1 of Melbourne Derbies becomes The Decider.

All we'd need is a name.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Hey man we have a striker.

Canberra United turned in one of their best performances of the season yesterday as they downed Canberra United reserves, otherwise known as Newcastle Jets, 1-0.

Great to see such loyalty in the women's game with players changing clubs every season in some cases. Talk about fan loyalty! Kara Mowbray, Sasha McDonnell and Thea Slatyer were just three Canberra turned Jets who I used to swear undying loyalty towards. Now the green-eyed monster is at best....confused.

Michelle Heyman proved her worth yet again as she snaffled the only goal. A cool finish to add to her season tally. With 6 goals already she just can't stop scoring, But will she get a Matildas spot? Still the jury is out on that one.

Emily Van Egmond had her best game of the season in a more forward role, maybe this is her best spot. And Caitlin Munoz was outstanding as she played more minutes.

Newcastle huffed and puffed but Canberra were strong all over the park, and produced many flowing passing movements, and good to see Jenny Bisset making her passing mark late in the game. Canberra should have won by more. Type rest of the post here


FFA: A review is not a Wow factor is it?

So we lose the World Cup Bid and the FFA face the press.

Of course there is going to be some questions about the bid. You go through that.
And the focus turned to the A-League...or it should have done.

It didn't did it, not really.

Ben Buckley said we're going to complete the A-League review, and get the Socceroos to 2014 World Cup and engage the community.

What he should have said after the World Cup Bid q/a session is here's my announcement.

1. Ronaldinho (or some big name star) will come and play for Sydney FC for 6 games (as mooted recently) in Xmas period.

2. We've sealed the deal to play England in May 2011 in Australia.

3. All kids who sign-up for football in 2011 will be receiving a ball, a free Socceroos cap or scarf or some other appropriate gizmo.

It's called getting on the front foot, runnning the show, and making sure you have planned financially and sensibly for the moment just in case you don't win the World Cup Bid. Of course his review and other stuff is important.

But what kid is going to talk about "hey mate have you heard they're going to complete the A-League review?"

That's why Ben Buckley should go. No plan, no style, no wow factor for the World Game.


You know it's a Derby when....

A pass is misplaced in the first two minutes, a Melbourne Heart midfielder hits the ball deep behind the Victory back line and Rutger Worm mis-reads it and the ball runs harmlessly into touch.

The fans roar with delight.

Fan culture is alive and well, make that football culture.


Saturday, 11 December 2010

I tend to fail - Me or Ben Buckley

Great so Australia's biggest loser Mr Nearpost who's motto, "I tend to fail," comes through once more.

One time A-League4Canberra Bid Manager Eamonn Flanagan, not to be confused with Bid Leader Ivan Slavich, is stunningly depressed, amused, mental, (you decide) this morning.

In early discussions with Transact CEO Ivan impressed with his, "I tend not to fail," attitude.

Flanagan left the many meetings informing others of his own well-worn motto "I tend to fail." This was worrying him as he took on a football bid in a post-Cosmos city.

Admittedly in the competitive world of 2010 in any business that is not good self-talk. Psychiatrist anyone?

Anyway the motto prevailed.

With FFA pulling out of Western Sydney overnight, Flanagan who managed a Canberra Bid, a fiercely community supported bid it must be said, was dismayed, amused, bewildered, baffled by the FFA strategy to keep Canberra in the bid mix for a couple of years, give them a Socceroos game to test their crowd, (20,000 v Kuwait just quietly) but Ben kept them hanging on and on, all this time while Western Sydney had not a cent - and then after many volunteers had spent hours collecting names and signatures, 15,000 all requested by the FFA - and then after Ben Buckley announcing at the Canberra Bid Meeting it was the "best bid they'd ever seen," with over 2,000 Foundation Members at $200 and cashed up to $5 million at various times (could we have got more money in the last two year?) Buckley says no not Canberra get out - the 12th spot is for Western Sydney.

Well the penniless Western Sydney got the nod way back then, then they got delayed until 2011 - now the still penniless Western Sydney are out.

So Flanagan's motto is now handed over to Ben Buckley.

Ben "I tend to fail," Buckley.

Flanagan's new motto is: "I tend to predict correctly."

Ben Buckley to leave within the Year - on a nice payout thanks to Frank stuffing up his contract renewal offer.

Good luck Ben and thanks for a wonderful due process. FIFA beckons for Ben?


Friday, 10 December 2010

PNG love their football

Hekari United, PNG.

No,not a Rugby League team.

The Aussie media would tell you that PNG love nothing but Rugby League. Well they might love Rugby League but it's Elsewhere, veteran Melbourne Victory defender Kevin Muscat was effectively given a "slap on the wrist" at a disciplinary hearing for his part in a post-match incident following the game against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park last week. Muscat was found guilty and handed a suspended $1500 fine and given a reprimand, making him eligible to play in the derby against Heart on Saturday.their football club side that is competing across the World in the World Club Championship in Abu Dhabi at the moment.


Friday night football fest

Adelaide United at home on Friday night. Sit back and enjoy what should be an awesomnal game.

Yes that's a new word. Me and the big man. Bill Shakespeare, both writers both creating the new words.

And the Derby, Heart v Victory. Belter on Saturday for sure. Can't wait.


Even the FFA scared of Muscat

Kevin Muscat delierately strikes an official from an opposing team in the stomach and gets a "slap on the wrist."

Fantastic role-modeling by Super Kev, Super FFA. So you can strike one and just get a wee monetary fine.

I say: Six weeks minimum.

What do you get in the local league for striking someone. This guy is a former Socceroo Captain, voice of the A-League oh and has a Derby coming up!

Melbourne Victory defender Kevin Muscat was effectively given a "slap on the wrist" at a disciplinary hearing for his part in a post-match incident following the game against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park last week.

Muscat was found guilty and handed a suspended $1500 fine and given a reprimand, making him eligible to play in the derby against Heart on Saturday.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Football Twitteroo

Follow the football chatter of those who know. Twitteroos and Twitteroo wannabees.


How much does an Aussie sport earn

Check out the recent report on Aussie Sports Stars Wages

• Full-time players in Rugby League, outside the first tier roster of 25, receive incomes less than the Australian adult minimum wage; and

• Netballers, who are employed on a seven month contract, have minimum payments less than the adult minimum wage, as do most swimmers and, indeed, many women athletes in a number of sports.

Which goes to suggest that the FFA set the bar too high in terms of costs to start an A-League side.

Where will we turn when Lowy, Sage, Tinkler and Palmer move on?


Fox Sport FC saves the A-League - but were the FFA watching.

A wide ranging discussion on the state of the game, mainly the A-League, was entertaining if depressing viewing last night on PAY TV.

Although given FFA's lack of vision, planning and direction Ben Buckley may well have been scribbling notes prior to FFA's Thursday Board meeting.

While Andy Harper, Bozza, Simon Hill, Mark Rudan and Mike Cockerill all flew through the issues - and there were many - the problem is we are still no clearer about our future.

Why is it the FFA didn't have a plan B - the so-called A-League review all completed and ready to go on Tuesday - after the Bid.

Why didn't FFA have Western Sydney, the Fury etc locked in or out, by now.

Mike Cockerill raised one stunningly naive solution.

Frank Lowy should put his hand in his pocket to fund the League, Fund the Fury and Fund Western Sydney.

There has been plenty of money spent, already. Too much I'd argue, with salaries clearly depleting owner resources.

More of the same from Frank. That is not a sustainable business model Mike, so forget that tosh.

However agreed with Mike when he said we started the league early, with mid-week games, and Ben said that was our line in the sand, but we're changing again.

Reminds Mike of the NSL. Absolutely.

How many more changes to the preferred model do we need? How many can we take?

Probably lots, but proactive or under Ben do we always have to be reactive?


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Nearpost Poddie: Paddy wants Ben to stay!

Lucy Zelic, Paddy Bordier, and Aaron Walker talk and spin all things Aussie football.

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. What more could you wish for from the Australian media?

or play right from your computer....


FFA - so here's Plan B, Who's excited?

It's all happening.

Post World Cup defeat - the plan announced by the FFA is:

Extend Ben Buckley's contract.
Reduce the A-League season
Reduce it seems the number of teams in the A-League.
Start the season later.

So no Plan B, nothing exciting but clearly a reduced season a later start (crowds haven't changed from early season to mid-season despite end of other codes season.) is not good news for football and footballers in Australia.

How will our players develop if the season is less than 30 games. Pathetic.

And still no vision, no plan.

Oh a review of the A-League!

Sadly all of the above has the smell of ........Ben Buckley's leadership.


FFA Press Conference at 3pm today.

If ever there is a time for a positive announcement for football it would be now, today.

Certainly under John O'Neill this would have been the case.

A reclaiming, restating of ground while admittedly having to put the Bid behind them.

Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley are to front the Press. For what?
For Buckley to resign? His contract ends on Dec 31st. To go over the Bid, big news that?

Or to lift the torch high with a vision, an announcement to keep the game moving forward.

Of course any organisation worth their salt would have planned for life after winning the World Cup hosting rights and one without.

Have we planned for life without?

Guess we're about to find out.


Canberra United: Back on track?

Canberra United thumped lowly Adelaide United 4-0 on the weekend, no surprise there, but maybe Coach Ray Junna has found a solution to the teams surprisingly low-key performances this season.

Under Coach Robbie Hooker and last season under Junna United performed well. Reaching the final four each time, playing some entertaining football in both seasons, while missing it seemed just a ruthless finisher to go one step forward.

This year United has signed last years top scorer in the league, Michelle Heymann, Matildas stars Caitlin Munoz and Sally Shipard returned and the best of the rest were one year older and wiser.

It could only get better, or so we thought.

It hasn't not yet. Or is that just me. We've not lost, thumped two poor teams and drew with Brisbane, never a mean feat.

Emily Van Egmond was pushed further forward at the top of a midfield diamond it seemed to me, and with touch players Grace Gill and Kahlia Hogg in the starting line-up there could be hope for improved football performances as the season goes on.

Better results? I'd rather more football, more entertainment - but that's just me!

But is there enough time for a new pattern? The season is so short.

Adelaide were brushed aside, due in part to their woeful defensive opening rather than any great United skill. That said United punished them quickly and ended the scoring after 23 minutes or so.

I'd predicted 6-0 and rain before the first goal went in. I got the rain right at least.

From the 23rd minute until the match was abandoned due to rain early in the second half United surprisingly failed to dominate Adelaide a team lower in the table, playing away from home, and already 4-0 down, and not a Matilda in their line-up.

I was puzzled.

Adelaide had chances, too many, to score.

Canberra won. Delighted I was. Injuries may have forced the team change in formation. But with a heavy pitch and interrupted game it's hard to know yet if United have an attacking potency, and shape, to take on the best.

Three road trips will test them.

For me we're a long way off last seasons best. The two new defenders are yet to settle into a sweet passing distribution game; hence the ball from the back is often sent long and then lost.

But Emily Van Egmond pushed forward could be our wild card. Strong, fast and a shot to die for - when released from her midfield responsibilities she may yet turn into a powerful asset for the team.

Captain Brush and co have high expectations on them after their first two seasons, if not in results, certainly in attacking football.

In truth only the performance against Melbourne Victory left me completely surprised, and last weeks early attacking display against Adelaide may set the tone for the rest of the season.

Next up it's the Jets - away. Having recently dumped Sydney FC, Canberra will need to be at their best.


FIFA World Cup to die in 2022?

Many football fans already see the EPL and European Champions League as the providers of the best football and footballers.

With players flogged thru many many games, few perform to their best level come World Cup time. Think Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney to name a few.

The World Cup - is it losing it's appeal?

With more domestic football, more tired players, a load of over-valued and over-played and meaningless international football friendlies, come 2022 the FIFA World Cup may well be on it's way out.

This weeks decision may be the beginning of the end of the World Cup as we know it.


FIFA: A reflection of our world?

208 countries make up FIFA.

So how come only 24 FIFA members get to vote? Democracy at work under Blatter!

Only 24 get to vote for the biggest Sporting contest, or 22 if Mohammed Bin Hammam has anything to do with it, not to mention the financial benefits that come to that country in terms of business contracts. How come the rest of FIFA don't get to vote.

And the sad thing to me is not that Australia didn't get the decision, but it's more that the World decides one of it's biggest decisions in such a manner.

Collusion, bribery, lock-outs etc etc what a world we have created.

The only way you can win a decision of this magnitude is to bribe, collude, and scheme your way to the top.

In 2010 this leaves a huge stale taste across the World.

And this could be the beginning of the end of FIFA.

2022 will stain the sporting world for a long long time. So it should.

Blatter will long be remembered for taking FIFA down an immoral path. And god help us if Mohammed Bin Hamman takes over in time.


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Sing it loud: “One World, one game, one bid, one vote..let’s all play some fudball.”

With thanks to SBS!


Why Qatar will win 2022 World Cup

They already have a team bought in from Uruguay, Brazil and elsewhere.

Watch the providers of World Peace form a team to dream for.

Money can buy a World Cup in a desert, I'm pretty sure building a team of World Superstars is next.

Let's dump the Global Greenhouse Polluters out in the first round; even if they have the next Messi and Ronaldo in their team.

Actually that is an ugly thought isn't it.

Are these Qatari's really going to watch their team, built from locals go out in the first round in 2022?


Aussie Football: we're alive

12,000 in Melbourne, 14,000 in Christchurch.

Football lives!


Referee stuff-ups continue.

First we had the entertaining sight, for the neutral, of Michael Theoklitos running and grabbing the ball from outside his area - then proceeded to set up a match winning punt.

That was prior to the Kevin Muscat assault on the Brisbane official - six weeks please.

And secondly we have Peter Green in NZ sending off Travis Dodd for nothing.

Both games were fantastic spectacles, both had wonderful passages of play, both Refs dramatically changed the result with shockingly inadequate performances.


Why Asia scares Australian fans

Have you seen Sydney FC recently?

Well the clowns pretending to be a sophisticated, move evolved football club down south are no better are they?

Australia's two most successful A-League sides domestically at least, will head into the prestigious Asian Champions League - a competition boosted by a Qatari side next year, leave it alone - heading for a disastrous campaign.

Melbourne Victory despite an enthralling comeback and second half display against Brisbane on Friday still look like they have learnt nothing from Asian football forays.

The former Champions who have played fast, ferocious football lead by Fred, Archie Thompson and Carlos Hernandez at various times are still relying on the quick transition, especially now Archie is back.

And it never works in Asia - as the Victory are always chasing the ball.

And as the Roar showed in the first half, a side that can control the ball - most ACL teams can, can easily walk their way past a ragged and ageing Melbourne.

Victory in Asia - no hope based on the current playing style.

And Sydney? They have no chance in any competition.

Who ever thought getting rid of your five best players and replacing them with five, not one of whom is equal to, never mind better than any of those that left, and thought the team could perform as Champions - "We want a Premier team in Australia's Premier City," doesn't seem like it to me.

The ACL in 2011 could be very embarrassing for Australian sides based on current team formations, coaching strategies and ball holding/fitness ability of the two sides who have qualified.

Think ball retention, player mobility, think Brisbane Roar.
Think Asia, tactical nous, cat and mouse, great defence, pace to break with, think Adelaide under Aurelio Vidmar.

Think Asia think successful tactical game - you never think Ernie Merrick do you?


Qatar - what next? Winter Olympics

Suppose Qatar, the saviours of the Third World, bringers of Peace to the Middle East, liberators of World drunkenness, will stop at nothing now.

Apparently they are hot favourites for:

The Commonwealth Games (I know they ain't in it) all EPL games to be played in Qatar from 2022, World Cup moved to January, AFL final moved to Qatar, State of Origin and Bledisloe Cup will be played between Qatar and Queensland, Qatar and New Zealand. Olympic games, yes all of them, only to be followed by the:

Qatari Winter Olympics.

"We can make snow, we'll transport it all to the Snowy Mountains or England and dump it there right after the games," said head of World Peace Mohammed Bin Greedy.

"All events will be held in blazing heat - but conditions will be normal for contestants," he smiled.


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Canberra MLA speaks on Football, AFL

All followers of Canberra Football should check out the little interaction, indeed why not add to it on Facebook.

I raised a couple of issues re-funding for football.

Now why can't we have some of what the AFL boys are getting?

Planning, strategy etc etc. We just haven't done it right yet, not the A-League bid, not Capital Football, and not our football club community.


Football the winner as wankers surface.

What a fantastic game of football at AAMI Stadium last night. Brisbane Roar 2-0 up soon to be pulled back to 2-2 only for Robbie Kruse to sneak a winner. Or so we thought.

Then Michael Theoklitos grabs the ball outside his area in the last minute - or less - and the Roar go down and score with everyone from Melbourne in disarray.

Kevin Muscat lashed out and hit a Roar Official - nine weeks anyone - although in Melbourne, in AFL you get knighted for such behaviour. Muscat should walk.

The surface helps football - and most of the best games in the A-League have been played at AAMI Stadium.

Last night was no different. Great football from two great Aussie attacking football sides.

And of course while this game took some of the World Cup pain away, it showed we have an awful lot to like about football in Australia.

Even if we are still surrounded by wankers.

And they are out and about this weekend.

Wanker no 1.

Alan Kohler, ABC, and Eureka Business Report wrote this:


"Australia Loses World Cup Bid to Qatar" blared the headlines yesterday. Actually that's not quite accurate. Australia lost to everybody; we came last. Or rather, we were the first to be eliminated, with one vote in the first round. Oh the humiliation, the burning shame of it. All of the frantic sucking up to FIFA by Frank Lowy, Mark Arbib, and the rest, all the money that was spent, the cartoon kangaroo with Julia Gillard, the arguments with the AFL over stadium usage – all came to nought.

It's easy for us AFL fans to sneer at the soccer carry-on, but it's apparently quite a popular game for some reason. Lots of people like to go and let off flares and punch each other, but more importantly a lot of people around the world like to watch it on TV. As a result, the World Cup has become a big broadcasting event like the Olympics, attracting large dollops of cash from advertisers. At a time when television is under threat from pay TV and the internet, live events – like MasterChef – have become its lifeblood.

So the hosting of the events has itself become a sport. Training, preparation, money … then the big race, and … "WE WIN! Hooray!" Or in our case the devastation of loss, lying on the track weeping and gasping for breath, followed, of course, by: "WE WUZ ROBBED". Or rather, "We was lied to". Or perhaps: "We paid off the wrong corrupt official". Maybe it was like the movie Pulp Fiction, in which Bruce Willis takes the money for throwing the fight and then wins, before later killing the bad guys.

Qatar is a nation of 1.7 million people on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf. Basically it's Perth, if you include Bunbury and Margaret River, except it's stinking hot, an absolute monarchy and rich beyond the dreams of avarice because of the accident of sitting on top of a lot of oil and gas, a legacy of the desert around there having been a jungle long ago.

And so the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa as-Thani, and his wife, were able to promise to spend $US50 billion on new airconditioned stadiums (it's 46 degrees) in which to play soccer in 2022, which would then be dismantled and shipped off to Third World countries, presumably complete with the massive airconditioners. In other words the 2022 World Cup will be played in porta-stadiums. It was a masterstroke. Why didn't we think of that? Permanent footy fields like the MCG are totally yesterday. Knock 'em up and then whack 'em on the back of a truck so they can sit empty somewhere else. Frank, you're an idiot. Sell Westfield.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Where the Bid went wrong...and what we learned.

Next time we bid as Fozzie says we must learn from our loss.

Bid as a city, not a country.

Cooper Pedy (shades of Qatar, or Wollongong. No football, no sport, shades of well yes, Qatar.

We clearly this time went too big, too wide with that whole continent thing.

Instead of the tourist video let's get the whole Sydney Gay Pride event happening on screen, and forget Elle, get Pauline.

Imagine Pauline at the Presentation - talking to the FIFA Executives.

And get the Gold Coast team in full flow, to give some real fan culture and experience.

Ben Buckles leads this A-League, now he leads our bid, Ben can lead FIFA 2030 World Cup. What a selling point. Bringing the revenue home for FIFA.

Unique present to the World.

Our motto: More games, less crowds.

And why promote the World Cup we never do that with the A-League. That's another special little Aussie secret.

Wait there's more.

We've got a million kids but we don't know who they are.

And unlike Qatar we won't build stadiums and give them to well third world countries, we'll build them and give them to AFL.

Oh and the World Cup is about football - Demetriou told us it was about Collingwood and that's why we had to have them in the presentation. Didn't work this time, next time we'll put The Swans, the Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney Giants in as well.

In fact come to think of it our problem was we ran the bid, and let the AFL interfere a bit.

We should have given AFL the whole Bid to run. We'd have probably won the thing!


FFA: Now let's focus on the game!

We lost the bid. Time to move on and despite your energies been depleted Ben Buckley and co, it's time to sell the A-League, with new energy, passion and skill.

The A-League, the grassroots all need focus, urgent focus.

The game didn't die, if anything it will rebuild, albeit from a stronger base than we've ever had in the past.

Many of us have been dismayed by the FFA leadership in the last two years, yes interestingly about the time we started heading into World Cup Bid mode.

So the boys at the top might be tired and disappointed but with the support for football in this country spread across the whole country there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Time to put all the energies into strengthening the A-League and the grassroots facilities/clubs.


Fozzie reflects and speaks for many in Australia

Having heard the details and vision of the Qatar bid; peace in the Middle East, Stadiums to be rebuilt and moved to developing countries etc etc, Australian presentation now looks, as Fozzie says, less than visionary, targeted, professional and football focused.

And with the Stadium deals in place for the AFL and Rugby League had we won perhaps, perhaps the loss is no bad thing - long term.

Fozzie gives a great perspective on the loss. See shootout.


World moves on: Victory v Brisbane up next

Disappointed? Of course. But losing to Qatar makes FIFA seem more corrupt than even I thought they were.

No doubt there will be big repercussions for Australian football, it's leadership and growth. Time will tell how the FFA respond.


Melbourne Victory perhaps the best team to challenge the flying Brisbane Roar should keep the masses happy.

Still would have been a bit better if we'd have got the bloody FIFA Cup!


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Come on Australia - big game tonight

If I wake up tomorrow and we've won - I'll smile all day, in fact I'll smile until the end of the year - non-stop.

Qatar - there is just no way they can have a World Cup - no no no!

They don't deserve it, they're about money and nothing else, it's not good for the game, the human race, nothing.

FIFA don't even consider Mr Bin Hamman and his bid - the World will not be impressed with such a choice, no matter how much money they have.


The Bid presentation was fine don't believe the Aussie snobs!

A lot of Aussie media snobs have been cringeing at the World Cup Bid presentation.

The same media who love Rugby League talk, AFL cliches etc etc, but seem to think Australia without it's natural wonders and diversity has something else to sell.

They should leave our shores a little more and talk to people who want to come to this place.

What inspires others to come to Australia?

All the things on the Bid presentation I guess.

We didn't need Elle, she was poor but other than that it was a presentation, could have been better, could have been worse.

Of course most watched the six minute video presentation - maybe they need to have seen the whole 30 minutes - maybe they should have been following the Bid for two years and more before they make their comments. Many don't really get what could be coming.

Either way can't imagine the Presentation makes any difference.


Have Qatar nicked our two favourite Aussie journos?

Fox Sports Simon Hill and SMH Mike Cockerill haven't called a game, filed a story from anywhere for days.

Are they working for the FFA?

Have Qatar nicked them as well?

Just odd that these two should take holidays this week, of all weeks!


Canberra - are we ready?

If Australia wins the World Cup bid I wonder if the Canberra football community, Capital Football lead this, are ready to take advantage.

Sure we'll see statements from Capital Football about how the World Cup will be great, (even I could write that) but will there be a press release to show how it will benefit our community, in terms of facilities for football, community football, attracting business to football.

Is their a vision, work being done to plan for a positive result tomorrow. And of course if we win will we see the landscape in Canberra change over the 11 year lead-in. And how does our Peak Body see this happening.

How will they take advantage of it? I fear they won't.

If we win we are handed a gift. But one which only Canberra Football given our past could fail to take advantage of.

Canberra will get a superb new football stadium if we win the bid - which will be great for League and Rugby as it stands at present.

But still no football team in the nation's capital - not even a threat.

Australia are the only bidder for the Asian Cup in 2015, we're guaranteed to get six games in Canberra irrespective of the World Cup Bid.

I hear nothing to suggest this city has a plan to take advantage of such a football event - other than promote six football games, see them come see them go, much like the Sydney Olympics.

AFL grabbed $30 million from the ACT government recently. The richest sport gained the richest funds. How does that work?

Seems to me given the lack of foresight and lobbying power of the biggest community in Canberra, lead by Capital Football - the only winners from a World Cup Bid in Canberra will be -

The Brumbies and Raiders!

Canberra United, A-League Youth team and A-League team (in the future) could all benefit from Capital Football lobbying.

Why settle for grants for grounds, our community deserves that anyway as does the AFL and Cricket grassroots communities.

But why can't we access some additional dollars for our showpiece/professional teams just like the other codes seem to get so easily?


Good luck Australia - we dare not lose?

Can't believe we are going to win the 2022 World Cup, but you always hope don't you.

Should we win?

Hold on to your hats. Watch the corporate dollars rushing to get a piece of the pie. Watch the reaction from across the country, the other sporting codes, the anti-football lobby etc etc. Could be fun!

Should we lose?

Watch the reaction from across the country, the other sporting codes, the anti-football lobby etc etc. Could be fun...for them as the knife is stuck in - with a smile.

It will be time to rebuild the A-League with some real serious focus. But also expect some fall-out.

Ben Buckley to go?

Bonita Mersiades the former Press Officer to tell her story?

Frank Lowy to take a break?

Who knows what the fallout will be, but it certainly will expose the game, financially at least.

I wonder how much the FFA are depending on winning the bid to hold the A-League, the W-League and many other parts of the game together.

We dare not lose!

But either way:

Football goes on, The A-League - barely based on last nights record lows - the Asia Cup will come and we'll host it in 2015.


Sydney young bloods!

Sydney won, just. If Paul Ifill had finished his chance, and he should have done, just before Mark Bridge scored his first goal of the season Sydney would never have won.

"Are Sydney back on track," asked Mark Rudan Fox Sports

"We'll see," said Sydney striker Bridge.

No-one is fooled.

But interestingly Terry Antonis made the second goal. Another young, very young Aussie.

And if Sydney had kept Iain Ramsay, and a few others who knows Sydney might have had some pace and flair in the final third all season.

Stephan Kellar wasn't missed, Hayden Foxe had a strong game with the younger faster Seb Ryall alongside. Maybe Sydney have a pairing at last. And they only conceded one.

Nicky Carle, Bruno Cazarine are still to return which will strengthem the squad options.

Byun should be ditched leaving Scott Jamieson at left-back and Brendan Gan, Rhyan Grant, Terry Antonis among others to provide some pace in the midfield - at least for part of a game - Sydney badly need pace and movement in the front six. Slow to pass the ball, slow movement from the players.

Is it a team lacking confidence, or just a team incapable.

Lavicka sets the tone. It wasn't fast last year, or exciting. This year its worse.

But a few good results have now been achieved. If Sydney are to have any momentum this season, now is the time.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Does AFL know any FIFA Execs?

Idle thoughts:

Just wondering if MR AFL Andrew Demetriou has spent any of his AFL millions on bribes to the FIFA Executive........check his passport in the last two years anyone?