Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Time for Canberra United to divorce Capital Football - Mariners show the way.

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.

We could:

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!

Random ideas?

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.


Ivo said...

Mate I think you need to slow down, how on earth are you going to pay for all these plans? Regarding CU divorcing CF who is going to pay for the running of CU then? Seems like a double up of admin to me really

Eamonn said...

Take your point Ivo but -

are you saying you'd like to see us, Canberra and our young players, in the same place in five years as we are now, with the same opportunities?

Any player/parent joining a club from 4-14 wouldn't be to happy to hear us say we got nuttin for ya after 14 if you don't make ACTAS in boys or girls

Happy to slow down if you think we got it made just now - thing is the only feedback I get people are saying

How come this is all we got in Canberra in 2011?

Kofi Danning played U20 World Cup today - how many more could we have from Canberra - if we had a pathway.

But you happy with what we got!

Chris said...

Eamonn you do realise there are associations in Sydney with the player base of Capital Football?

Why do you continually bang on about the lack of players in national teams? I'm sure if you worked out the percentage of players CF makes up in the total of the country they actually do ok. Not to mention the huge amount of luck required in getting players to that level, you could actually have the most talented player in the world with the best development program but that is no guarantee that they will even make local premier league for a million different reasons.

CU also seems to be very sucessful from the outside looking in, they have made the finals every year (including a grand final), and have the biggest crowds in the league. Why change something that is working?

BUT having said that,why not start your own club and do it yourself if you believe there are gaps in the system? We continaully read your posts about things not being good enough (along with the local blog), why not put your energy into that?

Its very easy to say things aren't working and should be done differently, but its another thing to see the reality as Ivo pointed out.

Eamonn said...

Chris - don't care much about the number of ACT players in national teams - so have never written about it with any real focus. Suggest you re-read my blogs, indeed this post, before you comment.

And agreed CUnited is very successful - but perhaps there will come a time when the brand and football can take the next step.

Football like Maccas runs across the World - and having your premier team running thru the local football body is not really going to get us anywhere long-term. A great start but where next?

Can you name any successful region or club that has such a model.

And I did try and start my own club - or at least a new club - I was involved with the A-League4Canberra bid - it failed. I'm back to blogging.

This blog and the Nearpost local are two different viewpoints on football in Canberra.

You might not agree with much of what myself or Peter F writes but without it there isn't much coverage of football and football ideas in Canberra.

And after all if it's all too much and you feel you know what me or Peter will write - you don't have to read it.

I'm always interested in football ideas - and your thoughts and criticisms.

It's a wee blog - don't take it too seriously - I don't!