Monday, 23 April 2012

Grand Final - five thoughts

There was a lot to like about Sunday's Grand Final. And here's a few that had me thinking.

1. The number of young Aussies getting football experience in front of over 50,000 fans in a pressure cooker.

For the Roar - Luke Bratton took centre stage no less - Nick Fitzgerald lit up the flank and James Meyer had a run, while the Glory's Josh Risdon was tested all afternoon and Scott Neville came on late. Fantastic experience for all the young guns. Pick of the bunch - tough but maybe Risdon over Bratton/Fitzgerald for me.

2. The number of orange shirts in the 50,000 crowd - something just tells me that the game is not only never going to die it will only get stronger.

Grand Final sell-outs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane show the appeal of the game despite the journos who peddle trash and the difficulties we have in breaking into the mainstream fta.

Of course why some of these fans wouldn't come last Tuesday and watch the Roar in Asia, just five days before their beloved Roar are in the Grand Final - only God knows. That game was even better!

3. Dean Heffernan - how is it professional footballers can be so dumb, make such poor decisions, not once but twice in big games.

The Heff one time excellent Mariners full-back had never reached those giddy heights that took him to Germany - albeit in the Reserves. It was not the Ref, not Berisha that lost the final for Perth. Heff would he have been in the area where the ball landed as Berisha went down - I think so.

Reminded me of Emerton's stupid handball v Croatia - forcing him off and out of the Italian game leaving his wee mate Bresciano to deal with the attacking Italian full back late in the game.

 4. The Glory fans - 2,500 of them. A fantastic effort and added great colour and passion to the occasion. When 2,500 people can make the effort and spend the money to travel five hours in a plane to see a game of football - that is incredible.

 5. The Aussie game itself - fans have taken the lot this year and I guess there's more to come.

But the beauty of the Roar - almost defied by the ugly football of the Glory - not only gives all fans of Australian football hope but really does suggest that we can take our game to a new level.

When Eric Partaluu was replaced by an even younger Aussie in Luke Bratten, centre midfield and the game just kept flowing, possibly lifted a notch it was great for this Aussie fan to see. Our best may keep heading to Europe and Asia but playing in front of 50,000 can't be a bad experience, or even bad for your development.

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