It could happen.
Take Canberra United women's team - and divorce it from Capital Football - and now would be a great time.
Capital Football do what they are best at - grassroots and local competitions.
The Canberra United professional set-up would gain further expertise and focus in their elite area and Canberra United would expand to run and promote the elite game in town.
The game is more connected across Canberra now than ever. Canberra United has built a sizeable presence in the community and need to be looking to take further steps.
The Mariners as a men's franchise are - so why not our W-League franchise or do men have to run everything in football, at the elite level?
Are Capital Football best placed to grow Canberra United, the brand, with their resources, talents and focus?
I think their spread of mission is too wide too big to really take Canberra United to the next step without taking further funds from the grassroots, who currently fund United, thru Cap Football.
If Canberra United became it's own organisation we could further grow our elite brand and create better more increased pathways - a massive area of current Canberra football weakness.
1. Set the Canberra United Academy up a la the Mariners for Girls and Boys.
2. Then fund a Youth boys team and we're on our way.
3. Fund the " Canberra United" Boomerangs as part of the mix.
4. Capital Football Board to add in their own ideas here.
We'd need a five year plan - a staged development. Of course an A-League team to boot - but can you really see us having an A-League team within 5 years?
No, but in Canberra United and the Boomerangs we have two brands - combine to one - and a TV presence already in United. Also a small, but not insignificant fanbase, one I believe could be tripled over the three years with a targeted focus from a Canberra United franchise.
ie This franchise would not be run out of Capital Football, albeit a franchise that has been run fantastically to date considering it's only one part of Cap Football staff duties over the year. Surely the best W-League franchise going around.
So if we are not to get an A-League team in the next 5 years and we're not, then we need to see the game at the elite level further advanced than the continued hotch-potch of growth - is there any - that we have now at the elite level.
Also; building on what we have makes sense so we can provide investors and/or supporters and the FFA a real sense of what we would have to offer once an A-League place is up for grabs.
We've got $340,000 in the A-League4Canberra account - time to ask the members to use it effectively - once and only once we have a real plan. And I mean a real plan - a football, business plan.
Add in a bloody hard-sell for the Canberra Pollies to MATCH the Raiders/Brumbies ANNUAL $800,000 for high-level football - based on participation and future proofing Canberra and we're on our way. Only politics and planning could stop us - surely.
Or ask for a dollar for dollar commitment - if they won't come to the party!
(Let's face it, the ACT Government would have spent this and more supporting elite A-League football over the last and coming years if we'd have got a team in the A-League - so why not give this money to elite football and let the game for once build from a base rather than have a team plonked in. The ACT Government may actually get some real value for their sporting dollar for once!)
Then we could see:
1. Canberra United take on Asian Club sides
2. A Youth team for boys. Boys play in the A-League youth set-up to showcase our players and coaches.
3. A Youth team for girls. And the girls to play top Sydney club sides as they prepare for their Canberra United chance.
Imagine the focus of our U12-U16 players in Div 1 across town!
4. Of course a Mariners style Academy set-up that immediately means something for eveyone involved with a real focus. No need for Capital Football eventually, and no need for ACTAS - but an assist in funding would help to get us moving - ACTAS would save some costs.
5. Futsal - Boomerangs to host Australia's first Asian Champions Invitation tournament - televised into the top six Asian Futsal nations. Maybe ACTAS could fund a Futsal component - you could even play it at the end of the Nationals each day!
6. Place your own idea here!
Something to sit down and talk about and build on?
Alternatively tell me there is a better plan - more focused, more developed, one that gets us further forward, guaranteed in the next five years and I'll shut up.
And if there isn't one - then that tells you the state of football in this region in 2011.
I've been around Canberra football for 20 years and I've heard nothing as co-ordinated from any group.
If elite football means:
Bring an A-League game to Canberra as a one-off
Bring 3 Asian Cup 2015 games to Canberra as a three-off.
A re-birth of the Futsal slab by the lake for a Kate Carnell international,
Frankly I'd rather see the game continue to grow, sustainably, for Canberrans and our many players with a little Canberra intelligence, branding and pride built in.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
It could happen.