Wednesday, 30 March 2011

FFA: AFC supports Canberra bid!

Australia ranked bottom in the categories of “Organisation”, “Governance/Soundness”, “Number Of Clubs In Top Division” and “Duration Of Entire Season”.

Well the lack of governance and soundness surrounding the 11th and 12th A-League licence process, add in the 9 and 10th spots too means the AFC had an easy decision to make.

FFA has got the grassroots, the A-League licence bid processes wrong wrong wrong, and nowhere more so than in Canberra, Townsville, Wollongong, Gold Coast, Western Sydney and Tasmania.

Worse they have had no plans for these regions, none at all. And this after how many years.

They talk grassroots - but the easiest way to connect is to put your big Bid Licence processes into the spotlight and make them fair and open.

FFA did neither and lost a lot of grassroots supporters along the way - not least the 2,0000 paid up foundation members in Canberra.

And what other business would want to lose a supporter base overnight.

Ben Buckley, Frank Lowy, John O'Sullivan - you stuffed football in the community big time. And the AFC agree!


Beau Busch outsmarts FFA

The Busch Hack
Check the link. Building from the ground up

In his recent blog on 442, Beau Busch gets it.

You don't start with an A-League team and waste how much money, from individuals and communities, as countless A-League franchises have done.

You support all regions to have a Youth team. All regions. A professional best practice youth team and from there you pick your next fully fledged franchise.

With 8 or 10 teams in the league, the FFA could actually look at who is progressing the football and business side of the operation before throwing them into the lions den or should that be bankruptcy court.

If Beau has worked it out in between defending crosses and making tackles how the hell has the "superior" game leaders at the FFA, and each individual owner has seen our money, their money and many clubs being "saved" from extinction after just six seasons.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Nearpost Poddie: A-League, AFC Report and Gold Coast model.

Paddy Bordier, Lucy Zelic and Eamonn Flanagan talk Aussie Football

We've got all the news, and 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?

Quiz: How many times has Australia played Germany, what were the results and who scored?

or play right from your computer....


Another notch for football - in NSW election

Looks like John Barilaro will get over the line in NSW Monaro seat after Saturdays election.

John of course, is a big football man. Having until recently been President of Monaro Panthers.

Gradually more and friends of football moving into powerful positions - in business, in Government.

And don't forget Andrew Leigh in Canberra - his kids are all over football. Federal Member and very active in his junior club Kids Soccer, PlayersFC.


Majura on Facebook - join and assist the social football experiment

in clubland we're investigating how our football club, football family can communicate better, and move our club forward.

No easy task - 1200 players, 3,000 parents and many other helpers.

Will it work?

Here's the latest - be sure and join and support grassroots football in Australia.
We aim to link all our web stories, tweets (including result) right thru to the Facebook site automatically.

Next stage? To find out what our members would like to see changed and improved - then see if we can do some or any of those things!


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Saturday night results - only in Australia

Listening to ABC radio end of game call of the Brumbies (Rugger) on Saturday night and had to laugh at my mate Tim Gavels results section.

It went something like this ( I don't recall the exact scores or teams):

Just recapping,
In Super 15 Brumbies 22 Waratahs 29
In League, West 30 Raiders 16
In NSW State Election Liberals 66 Labor 16
and in AFL Hawthorn 85 and Adelaide 102

Was it intentional I don't know, but only in Australia I guess. It was the flow and the order that entertained me!

Nice one Tim


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Gold Coast model is the A-League4Canberra model

Finally an A-League club with a bit of sense - and it's the Gold Coast making it - albeit coming from been knocked on the head, or more like in the bank account.

Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer, Australia's fifth richest man, doesn't like losing money or indeed being in a basket case of a business - which the A-League is. No ifs no buts.

And he's heard the other less wealthy owners wondering how much longer they can support the current financial basket case - how much more can you lose FFA?

So he's come up with a cunning plan.

Get rid of all the highly paid stars....Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Shane Smeltz and the like......

and then use the Youth team (mainly locals) plus a few seniors and keep your costs low.

And maybe start to get closer to a very small loss making model - giving youth a go - who will exceed eventually and possibly earn the club a transfer fee - and build up local pride local interest.

Now hands up all those smart football and businessmen who thought the previous models at The Jets, Adelaide, Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory, Sydney FC, Wellington Phoenix, NZ Knights, North Queensland Fury, Brisbane Roar and Gold Coast was the way to go.

And Canberra could have this model - youth team focused building crowds, building funds - in fact under this model we could have been in the league years ago.

Back to the future!


Friday, 25 March 2011

October - March: FFA can play their A-League seasons in Canberra

In Canberra the football season goes for 16 weeks - we try desperately to get a ground for extra training, or a match outside of this precious 16 weeks but the ACT SportsGround Office will quickly tell you you are out of order.

We even try and book the ground as a cricket ground - and then say we were so bored we started playing football.

Whatever it takes!

After the hallowed 16 weeks season, (ACT Government would rather have empty fields allocated to other sports than allow football to use some a little more) everyone is told it's the cricket, softball or some other season.

So we mostly head off to Futsal - of course playing cricket as told and other "summer sports."

So the FFA desperate to cut losses will cut the current A-League season from August start to maybe October. Perfect, for Canberra. But a disaster for every young footballer.

What a disaster.

A seven months off-season might be okay for local sports like AFL and Rugby League whose players or fans couldn't take much more anyway - but for footballers, paricularly young ones, acquiring the skills to get and stay at the top - you just gotta keep playing.

Five month season is only good enough for Canberra - not for Australia, and not for our young professionals.

Maybe FFA can play their whole season in Canberra - ACT Goverment, Sports and Grounds would understand.

Time to fly the field Mustafa Amini and every other young player under 23 - sad times for player development, and just when the tsunami of young players had come in.


FFA Media Release: Restructure is news? Help!

Talking about the changes in the FFA structure - in particular the appointment of "one of us" Kyle Patterson to the Media Communicaton role to assist in the connect with the fabled grassroots, SBS's Les Murray says:

It is clear then that FFA has begun hearing the voices of discontent and is finally embarking on a quest to make use, as it should, of the vast assets football’s traditional markets, clubs and fans possess.

These assets include a genuine love for football, passion and respect for the game, and a cultural yen for bringing up children as footballers.

This is football’s immense and actual grassroots. Connecting with it has always made eminent sense. Ignoring it was always loony and made for very bad business.

How this reconnection will be executed is not spelt out in the FFA statement. Neither will many be impressed by the detail in a ‘restructure’ that leaves the major areas of strategic responsibility in the same old hands.

But if the intent is there, it’s a start.

Ah the old soccer brigade. Are they really that big - did they turn up at old soccer in massive numbers - didn't it die, the old league? (I used to have a stand to myself under old soccer.)

And of course the grassroots - the burgeoning grassroots. You have to wonder if some of the people in media and ffa la la land actually ever talk to the grassroots - whoever they are.

And I don't mean the people gushing over Wayne Rooney or the Barcelona style of play - how about the 250,000 who are taking their kids from soccer to dance and then on to Maccas on a Saturday morning. Grassroots they maybe - connecting to the A-League in your city....not this week?

The sleeping giant has potential - but try turning your local chippy into the McDonalds conglomerate and maybe you'll get the size of the challenge.

AFL, League, control the sporting dollars and minds, the advertising, the media coverage and much much more. Football does well to get as much noise as it can.

The re-structure this week was caused because the FFA lost millions of dollars this year. The AFL are spending a cool $200 million on a couple of teams in coming seasons.

What we have we hold, without some serious revenue increases we need some real smarts to take us forward, to connect with our grassroots and even old soccer whoever they are.

FFA has taken us forward under John O'Neill but either he could see the writing on the wall and jumped ship or Ben Buckley isn't and never was up to the job.

When the best news FFA deliver is a media release announcing restructures you know we're in the proverbial!


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Coerver Coaching ACT Newsletter - and the story is......Me!

And now I'm getting some work.

After eleven years of illness, six years of enforced the Age of 48 I'm back.

Back in the paid workforce. Tossed out at 43, so what to do?

2,200 blogs later, podcasts, national community radio show, website design, majura newsletter (4,000 views per edition, 10,000 page views just quietly), A-League4Canberra Bid Manager, (not leader.) It's part-time, work from home, fits in with health - and guess what it's football employment.

For those that have followed this blog - thanks for all your support along the way.


Nearpost Poddie: Glory talk, A-League, Overseasroos and more

Paddy Bordier, Lucy Zelic and Nick Cumpston talk finals football.

We've got all the news, and 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?

Quiz: How many German Coaches has the Socceroos had?

or play right from your computer....


USA 3 Australia 1

News just in from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

And the reason for this result:

Americans were more technical - Coach Landon Donovan said, "we've been doing small sided games to death - not the mickey mouse version you have in the Land Down Under.

In 2011 we had:

Great (for the US) to see us using very small SSG for the different ages. Guess you Aussies couldn't come at it - not properly.

3v3 U8

6v6 U10

9v9 U12

11v11 U14

You guys, used the Dutch model, with an Aussie twang and it was half-baked.

Nice try...see you at the next World Cup.....maybe!


Football: Is not a team sport.

Coach of the 7-10 age group? - pass it, don't dribble - you hear it all the time. We're a great team, we've only lost 2 games.

Well Amen to the USA. Here's the go. It's all about the skill, the individual even up to 10.

USA: Player Development says:

CONSIDER THIS: At the younger ages (6 to about 10), soccer is not a team sport.

On the contrary, it is a time for children to develop their individual relationship with the ball. The fact that younger children are placed into team environments is not their fault.

Do not demand that the more confident players share the ball. Encourage them to be creative and go to goal. Do the same with the rest of your players.

Work to bring all your players up to that level of confidence
and comfort with the ball.
Coaches should avoid the impulse to “coach” their players from “play to play” in order to help them win the match.

Coaches should not be telling their young players to “pass rather than dribble,” to “hold their positions” or to “never” do something (like
pass or dribble in front of the goal).


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Junior Development: I'm having a Berger of a day.

FFA Dutch revolution continues to get watered down - by the Dutch - or so it seems.

Rob Baan and now Han Berger introduced the plan for Australian kids to learn to play football in greater numbers, with a ball at their feet.

But slowly but surely we're moving back to the future.

U12s are playing for points across Australia. Awesome move Han!

U11s have already moved to 11-a-side. Have you seen the size of the pitches? Have you seen the size of the kids. Yes the other 50,000 not the 15 in the NSW or Victorian squads at 11! Awesome for development Han!

And now the U13 National Competition, down for April, has removed the Technical Points from the "competition." So we'll have a real competition. League tables and points to die for but nothing to focus on the Technical side of the game.

This competition should be about educating the nutters, the parents, on the sideline as much as the Coach and Federations. Missed opportunity?

I'm having a Berger of a day, how about you Han!


Any city should be able to have a football team in Australia. So why can't Tassie, Wollongong and Canberra?

Simple game football - everyone says so - so why can't any city in Australia have a professional football team?

The FFA set the bar high at $6 million per year including an increasing Salary Cap component every year when the A-League started. Indeed $8 million per year seems to be nearer the mark six seasons on.

And what do we have to show for Tony Sage, Clive Palmer and Con Constantine and others millions upon millions of dollars thrown at the game. Not to mention the millions of your money the FFA have raised from our kids and chucked at various clubs, the Fury included.

I'd argue there is nothing, no legacy, no connection with the fabled grassroots, no long-term stability and yet we've poured millions into the A-League.

Canberra should be able to have a team. So should Wollongong and Tasmania.

But not under the current model. The Fury and Gold Coast have proved that.

In Canberra, if the ACT Government put in one million, TV deal gives us another million, FFA handouts maybe 500,000, ticket sales, sponsorship and other merchandise, and investors, may mean Canberra could sit reasonably comfortably in the early years on a budget of around $4.5 to $5 million.

Of course if the TV deal comes in higher at $3 million per club per year as hoped then things would change again.

So if the Salary Cap was lowered for regional clubs, and Canberra marketed itself as a team of the future, signing the best youth, playing the best youth with a view to building a "selling" club a la, Valencia (think Villa in Spain) Everton(think Rooney in UK) and various German, Dutch or Croatian clubs under the top level, top leagues, a football club could evolve.

How long would it be before a Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo, Mustafa Amini, Nathan Burns, Brucve Djite, James Holland, Adam Sarota, Mitch Langerak, Matthew Leckie or a Luke Devere were putting money into Canberra coffers?

Canberra could be that second tier club, initially, similar to the Raiders in League or Brumbies in Rugby (teams unlikely to win but still get to play).

15 home games a season is too much - initially - for Canberra fans to fill a stadium, so joining with Wollongong (4 games) Tasmania (4 games) and Canberra 7 (games) makes the whole deal more financially manageable - each area providing more funds for the coffers.

Each area allowing the FFA to get on the front foot with football fans in the regions, business in three regions and governments across the cities.

This grows the game in three areas - in time - each area could aspire to it's own A-League team when the game grows.And let's face it the FFA treatment of non-A-League aligned areas has been pathetic - at best!

Creative solutions?

FFA need to review their one size fits all salary cap policy.

Manchester United tend to have more funds than West Brom and yet they can both play professional football in the same league. West Brom even drew with Arsenal on the weekend.

So why couldn't Melbourne Victory or Sydney have more funds than Canberra - doesn't mean Canberra and other regions could win - and more importantly be an active part of the game in Australia.

FFA: How are you going to assist the game? The broader game?

At the moment your professional club base is reducing - fast.

Its your responsibility to provide the match. We'll provide the fuel. But you need to change your modus operandi for the future, the future of football, if you actually want the game to grow.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Perth need another review and fast!

Really, imagine spending a heap of money on a football club - and like Con Constantine - you have nothing to show after a few years.

This could be Perth Glory owner Tony Sage; he's done his dosh a few times over, think Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns and co ; then next season think Robbie Fowler; and THEN we have the Review.

Fergie is still in the job - is he up to it? Style of play, age of recruit????

Now we have Shane Smeltz, Dean Heffernan, Travis Dodd Danny Vukovic heading west. And no spring chickens their, not the first two anyway.

Where will be the legacy for Perth?


Fozzie in Football Capital - still no team!

Harmony Circle with kids Forrest primary school in Canberra. ... on Twitpic

Craig Foster in town to promote Harmony Day. Great work Fozz. Be noice to see you coming back to watch an A-League team from the Capital one day.....the dream lives on!

But do the FFA care or no how to spruik a region, build it, nurture it and support those that have/are pushing the code and the bid in the Capital.

We think not!


Friday, 18 March 2011

FFA build a champion side?

Ange Postecoglou signed a new three year deal with Brisbane Roar today and FFA CEO Ben Buckley is delighted.

Sir Ben said:

“Earlier this week I said we would make it a priority to clear up the uncertainty around the coaching position at the Roar and I am pleased that we have been able to achieve that.

“I would like to congratulate Ange on his new deal and thank him for his professional conduct during negotiations.”


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Nearpost poddie: Grand Final review - the Socceroos and Ernie is gawn

Eamonn Flanagan, Peter Funnell and Nick Cumpston talk finals football.

We've got all the news, and 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?

Quiz: How many A-League finals has Norwich played in....and won?

or play right from your computer....


Monday, 14 March 2011

50,000, 2-0 with 4 to go - did you miss the best Aussie comeback ever!

Arguably one of the best finishes to a major sporting event in Australia ever.

But did you see it?

The game was pure gold, football played on the deck, with skill and precision. Young Aussies all over the field, two Aussie Coaches and 50,000 in the stand.

Tactically the Mariners had the edge; well at least they maintained shape for so long and took their chances once young Aussie paceman Bernie Ibini- Isei came on. Didn't he make a difference.

But the roar aren't unbeaten for 27 games for nothing - they don't stop. And you always thought if they could get one back early enough, given they had 95% of the play or so it seemed - they could get another.

Heartbreak and bedlam all rounfd the place.

How could the Mariners win the penalty shoot-out, Matt Ryan, 18, had just conceded two goals in four minutes in front of 50,000. He was gone. He didn't save a penalty.

Michael Theoklitos was pumping and that was before the penalties. Confidence oozing.

The crowd was amazing, the football delightful, the drama unparallelled, and Brenton Speed the icing on the cake.

Aussie football on fire. We want more, we'll get more.


Brenton Speed shines.

Fox Sports News crossed to Brenton Speed at around 8.05 in the middle of the presentations.

Brenton gave the viewers a real treat.

His articulation, enthusiasm, intelligence, timing and delivery were one of the best summing up of an Australian sporting event I've ever heard.

Simply magnificent.


Roar more like Barcelona or Iran?

Magnificent Mariners - now three Grand final losses - but this one will really hurt.

Why didn't they mark from the corner in the last minute?

and for Graham Arnold is this worse than Iran.

2-0 simply the most dangerous lead in football - bar 3-0 if you're from AC Milan.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Grand Final to sell out - 46,000 tickets sold

Now if we could just find an owner for Brisbane - any ideas?

But will be great to see a packed house once again for another A-League Grand Final.

The local game packs em in.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Patrick Bordier recommends two football websites.

The Football Sack

Parking the Bus


Nearpost Podcast distraught over Fury demise

The Nearpost Podcast is distraught. So angry that it spat itself into a Fury and refused to record last night.

Despite our best urgings of support, no amount of well-wishers, money or promises could get the thing to record.

Like the Fury we'll be back next week....for the good of the game in the region.....or will we?


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ernie Merrick: Is Asia one step too far?

He's assembled arguably his best and largest squad for a tilt at the Asian Champions League but Ernie's tactical limitations appear, once more, to produce a team and performance way below the sum of it's parts.

And let's face it Gamba Osaka having not played a meaningful game this season and can hardly be at full tilt.

5-1 the result - but it was 3-0 after 9 minutes.

How can this happen to a professional team packed with experience campaigners, players fit from a short season with many of whom who have only had to endure half a season like Archie, Allsopp, Muscat, Kemp.

Michael Petkovic has saved nothing all season. Big big mistake signing this fella Ernie, but it's Ernie's lack of tactical nous to close games downs, play on the break.

Think Adelaide under Aurelio Vidmar - think defence and Travis Dodd, Bruce Djite and co on the break.

Melbourne Victory easily have the pace to match on the break, but their defensive set-up is a shambles.

In Asia it's always been the same.

Ernie Merrick, is Asia one step too far?


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Nearpost poddie: Fury, Finals and Football

Eamonn Flanagan, Paddy Bordier and Nick Cumpston talk finals football.

Nearpost talks on the Fury dumping

We've got all the news, and 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....


The Fury have gone: Ben Buckley wastes $9 million.

So the North Queensland Fury have been booted from the league. No surprise there and no surprise they didn't have the funds to meet the FFA's rising costs of running a licence.

1. Why the hell did the FFA let North Queensland in based on a population base of just 170,000 people in Townsville. (Canberra region is 700,000 and they wouldn't come near us.)

2. And did the FFA do their due diligence on a Fury business model; if so why did the Fury have to be financially restructured in season 1 only to fold in season 2.

3. The Fury cost us, the football community, $9 million Big Ben Buckley dollars according to the FFA. So who puts up a business franchise model that is so well funded, so well-resourced it will only need $9 million of the FFA's money to keep it going, and then be dumped. In just two years. FFA are a basket case.

Chief Commercial Operations Manager at the time of entry was John O'Sullivan - he did Canberra no favours - and it seemed the FFA's commercial sense is shot to pieces. O'Sullivan is gone? Was he responsible? Is it Buckley?

Why is it impossible for a town in Australia to run a football team?

Maybe the FFA has the cost structure all wrong. Particularly for regional teams.

And now another region much like Canberra and possibly the Gold Coast could be alienated from the professional game for a long time.

We've lost two W-League teams, two A-League teams (remember NZ Knights) and never found a Western Sydney bid despite the skulduggery from the FFA Bidding process.

Does Ben Buckley really deserve another shot at the A-League?

His report card is looking bleak.

Not only has the A-League been in free-fall he's actually alienated a fair share of the future football community - and that's a crime. It takes a special talent to do that after 2006 and two World Cups.

Guess North Queensland Football died today.

That's not acceptable in the modern era is it?


SBS promotes Harmony Day: Football at your Primary School

In 2011, broadcaster SBS is supporting the initiative by encouraging primary school students to take part in The Harmony Game, a five-a-side football game to be played on Harmony Day.

“I fully support SBS’s new campaign and encourage all schools across Australia to participate in Harmony Day through ‘Harmony Game’ football matches,” Senator Lundy said.

More information on The Harmony Game is available at

Seems Cory Bernardi and co gave this one a miss!

For more on the game between the Pollies and the Professionals read on.... Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Senator Kate Lundy pulled on her football boots today to promote Harmony Day in the Harmony Game – Pollies v Professionals.

Senator Lundy led a bipartisan team of football-playing politicians including federal ministers Stephen Conroy and Brendan O’Connor, as well as Alan Griffin, Bert van Manen and Senator Steve Fielding.

SBS presenter and former Socceroo Craig Foster led the Professionals, with team members including former Socceroos Kimon Taliadoris, Zjelko Kalac and David Zdrilic and SBS football personalities Les Murray and David Basheer.

Local Canberra players also participated in today’s game at Canberra’s Parliament House soccer ground, including Canberra United goalkeeper Jocelyn Mara, Canberra United and Matildas players Sally Shipard, and Caitlin Munoz.

“Football brings Australians from all walks of life together to share in a common passion,” Senator Lundy said. “Today’s match was all about celebrating Australia’s cultural diversity and highlighting the meaning of Harmony Day, by taking part in a game that brings people together every day.”

The Pollies team matched it with the Professionals for much of the game, with some aggressive and determined play. A second-half downpour threatened to spoil proceedings, but the teams played on, with the stars showing their skill in the end: the Professionals winning the match 7-6.

Harmony Day is celebrated on March 21 every year to celebrate the cohesive and inclusive nature of the Australian community and promote a culturally diverse society.

In 2011, broadcaster SBS is supporting the initiative by encouraging primary school students to take part in The Harmony Game, a five-a-side football game to be played on Harmony Day.

“I fully support SBS’s new campaign and encourage all schools across Australia to participate in Harmony Day through ‘Harmony Game’ football matches,” Senator Lundy said.

More information on The Harmony Game is available at

Team Lists


Kate Lundy, Stephen Conroy, Alan Griffin, Steve Fielding, Graham Perrett, Geoff Lyons, Bert van Manen, Mark Dreyfus, Michael McCormack, Dan Tehan, Richard Colbeck


Craig Foster, Les Murray, David Basheer, Ned Zelic, David Reis, Peita-Claire Fothergill, Caitlin Munoz, Jocelyn Mara, Sally Shippard, David Zdrilic, Zelco Kalac, Kimon Talliadoris,