Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Does the A-League need money? We're not so sure

Paddy Bordier, Nick Cumpston and Nick Amies follow the billionaire saga filling the back pages, the continued slide of the previously unstoppable Mariners (much to Nick Junior's disgust) and the selection policy of Holger Osieck; is he really helping build a future or de we have another Pim?

or play right from your computer....


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Mighty Rangers in administration

News out of Rangers:

Fan through a coin at Rangers FC game last weekend.

Police didn't know if it was a violent act or if the guy was trying to buy the club!


Celtic fans to send the bucket round for a collection for the Mighty Gers at their next home game - everyone to put 10 pence in!


Friday, 24 February 2012

Pathway for U13 ACT Girls

Girls in the ACT U13 are heading to play in the Australian National Championships in April.

National Coach Tom Sermanni and his Coaching team will be at the Championships to watch the future players and to pick the All-Star team.

These players will be noted and will have the first chance to impress the National Coach.

For ACT players we have a record of getting one player in the All-Star team in the past two years.

ACT U13 players will then be pushing for a place in the ACT Academy of Sport train-on squad and some may even be offered a Scholarship place come December this year - or again in the following year.

Realistically if a girl doesn't make ACTAS she will not go higher in football from Canberra.

So what should an Under 13 girl do this year in terms of her football team.

Most will play with the boys in the Open division. Not a wise choice in my view - but one players and parents seem to think is appropriate.

I'd argue the best way for players to gain access to ACTAS train-on agreement post-U13 National Champs is to have an individual plan.

Train with Capital Football
Play in a team where you dominate for the 16 week season, improve your touch and your confidence over and over.

How many girls will improve their touch playing in boys - 1 or 2 I'd argue. The rest will be shoved down the back or on the wing.

At 13 girls like boys are not complete.

Forget the physical and even the speed for the 16 week of the junior season and concentrate on getting a strong coach, a coach who builds a players confidence and knowledge and most of all technique.

Does anyone advise ACT Rep players what is best for an individual - they do in Swimming Rep teams - or are they just encouraged to do their own thing without any guidance from those that know.

I'm not hearing much from players coming out of Rep squads with anything approaching sane advice.

Players and parents should be informed exactly what the pathway, opportunities are for U13 girls and indeed advised individually on a course of action.

One size does not fit all. But is there a player who needs to work more on speed, aggression and game understanding, than technique.

I wouldn't think so - not if you're aiming for ACTAS>


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Move over Arsenal, Australia's got Gold Coast United

Clive Palmer is leading the way in terms of giving chances to younger players and Holger Osieck looks set to play the good old 8-1-1 against Saudi Arabia. All this and more in this week's edition of the Nearpost podcast, featuring Paddy Bordier, Aaron Walker and Nick Amies.

or play right from your computer....


Skillaroos - not SSG's for all?

If you talk to some in clubland they follow and preach the FFA Small Sided Game mantra.

Nothing else.

Well those of us who work with kids know SSG's work in the working class areas of Brazil, although even I would maintain some of those kids could have technical correction to speedy along their SSG development, but they aren't the complete answer in clubland in Australia.

And the FFA recognise this.

It's interesting to see the FFA has introduced the Skillaroos.

All Skillaroo Coaches have been trained by Coerver Coaching Technical Guru Alfred Galustian.

And now the very best kids get this technical Skillaroo training on top of their Small sided Games.

The game is the teacher, and of course SSG's are way better than what we used to have. But any coach working in clubland with the 7 - 11 year olds will know that SSG's on their own will never correct or show the proper technique for side foot passing with both feet - for example.

And if it does it could take a long long time for the games to get the kid on track.

I know I've seen it and watched it.

Small technical individual correction is required. A kid quickly improves and then can return to play a higher level of SSG.

So any Coach out there who tells me SSGs are the be all and end all simply ain't got it have they.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Former Gunner gives Fozzie some help - but Fox Sports drops that pin:)

Had to laugh on Fox Sports panel last night.

Stuart Houston, former Arsenal defender, is a commentator and discusses all things English football. (Dead boring bit of the show and I normally switch off but last night I stayed for a while.)

So when asked about the merits of Arry I can't write only add up dollars Rednapp for England he basically said Arry was a manager, he can't coach. A wheeler and dealer on the transfer market and you can't buy players for England FC!

He went further and said there was a massive crises in English Coaching - still. Basically the standard of coaching was shocking.

And what did Fox Sports panel do with this gem - straight through to the Keeper. Not a murmour from Harps, Bozza or Mike Cockerill.

I heard the pin, albeit briefly, but it was loud.

Of course given the recent debates in Australian football at least a little humour or dig could have come from it - but it didn't....but then Robbie works for Fox I guess.



Woden Valley leading the way in girl development?

Football registration days are upon us - and players can't wait for the May 1 start.

When you're a kid do you know how far away that is!

Woden Valley so long the leaders of girls football - where would the two div 1 Under 13 Rep program be without the talent produced by Colin Johnstone and the Woden Valley club over the last two years. Take a moment to see how many girls were from Woden, in the last two Rep teams, and then consider why a group of players were technically gifted ahead of the rest of the city.

It's not just a numbers thing. Someone has to guide, teach and work with the technique.

And this year the Woden Valley girls program has stepped up, well actually jumped up. It's exciting, unless you are Coach of other girls teams across Canberra!

140 girls. I'll repeat that. 140 girls training two nights a week from Feb 1 in Ages 10 - 15. Have you ever heard anything like it?

Not through Capital Football programs or any other club in Canberra ever?

With Colin's guidance in technical and game improvement this pool of players will quickly rise above the girl programs across other Canberra clubs - unless you know different.

Fantastic to see the response of the girls - maybe Capital Football have been handed a gift here, and should sit down with Woden to work and assist this huge group of players - at least watch and learn from club development - nay send some Coaches.

Should this be the Canberra United Development Academy Southside?

This is player development on a massive scale.

I know Woden have been blown away by the response.

At Majura, my club, U13 girls will train twice a week from Feb 22nd, Brindabella have used Coerver programs I'm told and others including Belnorth, Belsouth and Belwest have joined to create a new development program, so there are changes, positive improvements, in girls football in clubland, across Canberra.

As positive in Representative land - not for girls, not yet.

But to hear of 140 girls playing football from Feb 1 under great football leadership as well - very impressive. Let's hope there is some competition to keep them challenged.

I fear not!


Would society benefit without the Evil Twin?

So Rangers are in Administration.

Basically Rangers have over spent through the last however many years - owing so much money they are law breakers!

Does that mean all the Championships over the last 3 or 10 years were won unfairly, nay illegally.

Perhaps they should be stripped of their titles and hand them back to their law abiding and rightful owners.....Celtic.

And the cry is "Rangers out" is not good for Celtic?

Well really, I don't doubt for a minute that the mighty Rangers won't continue in some form.

For me; a society without a focus of bigotry, racism and sectarianism is a better society.

Fined by UEFA for their sectarian chants - they weren't playing Celtic that day either!

Ban on Catholics for so many years - the stain remains.

And listen to the songs of the 50,000 Gers fans - hard to understand where such hatred comes from. Hatred for Ireland, and indeed the Pope. And there are no Catholic lovers on this site! Less still in the Celtic stands if they even realised.

Celtic will survive with or without Rangers - but would society be better off without the evil twin?


Rooney and Hart for Carle and Antonis? Maybe if your name is Fabio...

Capello could be coming to Sydney, the Mighty Mariners will rise again and Director's commentary is to the Nearpost. Or not, listen and find out what we think! Paddy Bordier, Aaron Walker and Nick Amies talk everything Aussie football this Valentine's Day.

or play right from your computer....


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Jim Magilton sees the future - and it ain't the killer B's thank god!

We knew the Melbourne Victory defence, central defence was too slow, too fragile and lacked Muscat.

And in midfield the pairing of Leigh Broxham and Grant Brebner could never control the game in the Asian Champions League games - at times the Victory were embarrassing - and these our Aussie Champions - and this season they've never had the ball, kept the ball or enabled the style boys to get on the ball.

No good for Asia - surely not a pairing worthy of Australian style - and so it proved - Ernie didn't know it, Mem didn't nor Muscat it seems.

Are they gone for good as a pair - they should be.

Thank you Jim!

And in Sydney - everyone talks up Liam Reddy. Finally he's gone too - but how long did it take and the Coach and the Aussie media talked him up for two years too many.

How many goals were Sydney prepared to concede through Reddy's displays? How many points were lost as a direct result of his fumbles?

Seems we football fans often have clearer perspective than so-called wonderful coaches.

Nice one Jim didn't take you long to see the light - and Vitelav you might have taken two years to do it, but it might have saved your season. You never know do you?


Canberra continues to produce quality footballers - Tom Rogic is next.

We're a small city in a region of 700,000 people. Not a professional mens football team worthy of a mention, not now, not in living memory.

And yet we still produce quality - quality footballers and in the case of Joe Simunic, Carl Valeri who are both still playing, star Internationals.

Throw in excellent A-League stalwarts, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Matty Kemp and Brisbane Roars Kofi Danning and we've almost got a half a team.

Steven Lustica is on the rise - a four year deal in Hadjuk Split's centre midfield - how good is that for a guy who couldn't get 90 minutes or a new contract with the Gold Coast.

And now we have Tom Rogic.

When did Canberra last produce an attacking midfielder of real excitement, real promise? Kaz Patafta? But his star waned. Before then - who knows.

A long long way to go for Tom - but there are guys running around professional football all over the World, who have never and will never produced two pieces of football like Rogic did on Friday in Victory land - one a goal, the other an almost.

We love the biff down here in Canberra - League, Union and now AFL - and yet somehow we keep produce these real football gems.

If we had a Professional Mens team - could we double our output of the type of quality we have listed above.

Of course we could.

Anyone got a plan?


Monday, 6 February 2012

Mr Nice Guy: Why is Sydney's defence so poor this year?

There was a time under the soon to be booted nicest man in football when Sydney won 1-0 - boring but they won.

Then in season 2, they lost 1-0. More boring and more frustrating.

Now in Season 3 they lose, by 3, 4 or 5 and that's at home.

Mr Lavicka might be nice - but he's a pretty ordinary coach.

Sydney dumped him - and on Sydney the Jets showed why they have made the right decision.

He's a defensive expert coach - or so we're told - and yet look at his recruits and results in the defence this year.

Michael Beauchamp - poor recruit
Scott Jamieson - poor recruit
Liam Reddy - shocking recruit
Shannon Cole - intermittent performances.
Jamie Coyne - average
Pascal Bosschart - average

Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton, Matt Jurman, Iain Ramsay (full back) Nikolai Topor-Stanley are just some who jumped ship - not all under Vitaslav's leadership but you have to wonder what is going on.

Most of the attacking players who have left scored against Sydney on the weekend!

If Gary Van Egmond can inspire his team to such performances how come Mr Nice Guy has not given Sydney fans one inspiring home performance in three years.

And I don't count finals football all late comebacks - they just get too much practice at late comebacks - one is bound to come off!

Only one Czech Coach of any note in Australia - and she's in Canberra.


Meet the Billionaires throught football....Aussie football of course

The Indonesian based Bakrie group have taken ownership, 100%, of Brisbane Roar.

With Clive Palmer, Tony Sage, Nathan Tinkler and all the Billionaires in and around Sydney FC ownership it can't be too hard for the hard-nosed progressive Aussie businessmen to see how they might get an opportunity to meet and greet and get introduced to some very rich men.

That's a lot of wealth in A-League dressing rooms, grounds right now etc so this should be another stepping stone to enhancing and growing the code and with renewed focus from the FFA we should see the game further progress.

I love the FFA online registration system - 100% of football registrations across Australia in the FFA database eventually, all coaches registered under the new FFA scheme.

You'd have to think slowly but surely we can leverage more dollars into the game as we get more of our "grassroots community" hooked in. And that can only be good for the whole growth of the game.

The football is good right now, even Wellington - but we need further increase in crowds and sponsorship - but you wouldn't think you'd have too many problems selling corporate packages these days would you!

And if we could just get Sydney to put two or three seasons of decent football together we might have further media coverage. After all Sydney loves a winner.

Interesting to see what happens with the Roar in coming years.


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Where now for Cricketer Ellyse Perry?

Can you still really play two sports at the elite level in Australia?

Ellyse Perry thinks so and with great support from Matildas Coach Tom Sermanni over the years she has done so.

But her recent decision to play cricket for Australia and miss the semi and final of the W-League season left me wondering where now for Ellyse?

She's worked hard to perform at the elite level in both sports - making World Cup Squads in both.

But anyone who watched her over the last few years in the W-League would have seen a player who made a huge impact in her first W-League season, a Matilda in waiting it seemed. But despite continuing to perform admirably she has never really achieved that next level.

Ellyse, in my view, should have been a guaranteed starter in every game in the last World Cup - that she wasn't in part was due to her continuing participation in two elite sports.

She simply didn't progress quickly enough, check some of her United team mates progression and Ellyse is no longer the standout she was - ironically at the last World Cup she lost her spot to a 16 year old in Caitlin Ford.

Now the rumours are she walked away from United, or some say she was booted out and who knows where the truth lies - but you have to wonder if you can't play a semi or final for your team then who will recruit you under such conditions next W-League season?

Maybe one of the lesser teams would be happy - but a title chasing team, I wonder?

Similarly if she'd played football and missed the cricket internationals how would cricket view that.

While all the celebrations were happening in Canberra last week it was sad to see Ellyse Perry unable to be part due to her amazing talents. She'd contributed much over the last few seasons - when she'd played!

I feel she is going to have to make a choice between the two sports - I could be wrong - and one senses with the Matildas lack of football in coming months the choice is made for her.

It's cricket!


Canberra United: Why we were the best!

Les Murray on SBS's website wrote an article about the W-League coming of age this year - presumably because he watched the Grand Final and enjoyed it. Apparently the league is full of players with great technical skills this year!

Rubbish Les - not much has changed. The point being the standard from the top few teams has always been pretty high and remains so. So thanks Les but no thanks!

Canberra United won the league this year and deservedly so. Unbeaten throughout the season new Coach Jitka Klimkova gets a well-deserved wrap.

United have been strong in every A-League season, due in the main to CEO Heather Reid's passion for the club and desire to go beyond the other clubs, particularly regional clubs, in terms of salary payments and innovations.

It is noted that Canberra is the only team without an A-League side sapping all the funds and maybe that is to our advantage. Certainly hasn't harmed our crowds.

Robbie Hooker (now Socceroos Assistant Coach) Ray Junna (AIS Coach) lead the team in the first three years. And now Jitka; who's training schedule and attacking philosophy puts her Czech mate at Sydney FC to shame.

Ashleigh and Nicole Sykes, Ellie Brush, Lydia Williams, Sally Shipard, Caitlin Munoz, Grace Gill and Jenny Bisset were some who have played under all of these coaches and it seems developed and improved. Who wouldn't have improved?

Interestingly all Coaches played all of the above players in the same position for each of their terms in charge. Only Jitka had the luxury of pushing Caitlin Munoz into midfield due to the new attacking signings this season.

So, Jitka inherited an increasingly mature group of players already fiercely competitive and players who have learnt under quality coaches.

In Jitka they had another quality coach.

Add in Michelle Heyman, goalscoring freak, signed since the Mariners went defunct a couple of years ago, and US import Taryn Hemmings, one of the signings of the season, and the team was always going to be hard to beat.

In my view Brisbane and Sydney were not so hot this season. Lacking a little in cohesion; in Sydney's case despite an attacking squad, and in Brisbane the forward firepower was not the Roar of old.

Sarah Walsh and Heather Garriock - key Sydney players in the past are no longer at their peak.

Remove injured Lauren Colthorpe and Elise Kellond Knight from the Roar and again a team is lesser.

United deserved to win. As exciting an attacking line-up as you could ever hope for.

When Caitlin Munoz or Jenny Bisset had the ball at their feet you could almost hear the drools as they looked up.

In front was the pacy and skilful Ashleigh Sykes, goal scoring machine Michelle Heyman, Queensland young flyer the quickly improving Hayley Razo, add in the late addition of Emma Kete and of course the supremely talented, highly skilful and pacy American Taryn Hemmings and which defence was ever going to stop them?


This truly was a great Canberra United side - a side it should be said that had developed under Robbie Hooker and Ray Junna. Jitka to her credit took the team to another level.

And a note on United keeper Lydia Williams - prone to the occasional gaff in previous years she secured the Matildas spot over the last 12 months - and has turned in a fantastic season between the sticks. Early days but if she remains in this sort of form - and again she continues to improve - Lydia must be in the top three keepers in the World.

A more confident, athletic keeper I've yet to see in the W-League.

Controlled, attacking, fast football that was United under Jitka, our Czech Coach. Viteslav eat your heart out. Les you need to watch more W-League.


Sydney FC: That was nice...but bloody boring!

Viteslea Lavicka is leaving!

Well is he leaving or was he dumped? Guess it doesn't matter.

Has a manager in Australia, in Sydney, ever been given such an easy ride.

The media in Australia all write and tweet about the guy being a lovely bloke but what about his coaching, how will he remembered?

Like Pierre Littbarski he won a Championship - unlike Littbarski's one year era I can't say Vitaslav had an attacking bone in his body. Terry McFlynn v Dwight Yorke. Who would you prefer to pull the strings in midfield?

The year Sydney won the title, albeit on penalties, his defence was the key. The next year he lost half his defence including his goalkeeper and since then they've been pretty poor at best, rubbish at worst.

As an attacking team they produced little of interest in the three years...some good signs this year....but then their defence/keeper has thrown away easy points.

But the reality is Mr Nice Guy was given three years, three years and he still has a shadow of an attacking team.

For Sydney FC it's been a disaster. Poor crowds, woeful football.

Don't believe me? Do you turn on Fox just dying to watch Sydney FC?

As your answer is no - I must be right.

Glad to see the nice guy gets to go home.