Thursday, 27 September 2012

A-League not just ADP - we've got young guns as well and here are ten to watch

Focus is on the stars, the big stars in Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey, but for many fans of the A-League seeing the young players develop is equally, if not more, exciting.

We've seen heaps of players leave for better contracts over the years. Tommy Oar, Matthew Leckie, Luke De Vere, Nathan Burns, Mustafa Amini and many many more and who didn't want to watch these guys?

Well the A-League keeps producing them and here they come.....again.  

1. Marcos Rojas - possibly the best thing about the Wellington Phoenix and now he is settled under a coach who understands Youth, Pace, Confidence and Skill. This guy could fly. Don't miss this Melbourne Victory talent. Expect him to be excitement plus this year Excitement Potential 9/10

 2. Terry Antonis - Sydney FC. If Antonis can produce his early season form of last year it won't be Del Piero we'll be salivating over but Antonis. At his best he's fit, fast, mighty skilful and he can run beyond the strikers. If he's settled, not injured, and not disrupted by his U20 Aussie appearances he should have a great year. Excitement potential 9/10

 3. Tom Rogic - The Canberran turned into a Central Coast Mariner. Tom set the A-League on fire last year, and that from a no.10 role. What young player walks into that role and makes a huge impression? Rogic will be faster, fitter and stronger this year. He's sure to take the league by storm before he heads overseas as many predict. Don't miss this guy develop. Excitement potental 9/10

 4. Joel Chianese - he scores goals. After a stunning end of season last year the Sydney FC striker running on to passes from ADP should frighten the whole league. Who wouldn't want a young guy with pace, nous and ability to score in front of ADP? Excitement potential 9/10

 5. Nick Fitzgerald - he's not a name on everyone's list but he has power and strength to frighten any team. A forward with pace and skill should get a few Roar fans out of their seats this year, providing he cracks the team. A big if seemingly. If he does he will excite 8/10

6. Jesse Makarounas - Perth Glory - this guy is young, very young but he should be around for a few years in the A-League. May not get much game time this season but when he does he's sure to interest you. Composed, with an eye for a forward pass and a goal or two, will be interesting to see him progress. Excitement potential 8/10

7. Aziz Behic - Melbourne Heart. Renowned for their youth policy it will be a while before a new crop break through at the Heart. They've nearly all be sold to Korea, EPL, Newcastle Jets or Serbia! Aziz got left behind? But he will continue to excite. A forward turned into an attacking left back and he can attack. Great to watch - he should improve further this year. Excitement potential 8/10

 8. Ben Halloran - expected to get more game time than Fitzgerald and clearly one to excite given his explosive pace. Gold Coast recruit who should flourish in a better team this year. Clive Palmer did something right - he signed a heap of quality youth players and because he spent up in the early seasons all these guys got A-League games last year. Nice one Clive! Excitement potential 8/10

9. Jimmy Jeggo Impressed last season with Melbourne Victory - may take some time to get game time but will be good to see on the field in the final third. Not as eye catching as many of the above but a rising star...possibly. 7/10

10. Heaps more. Well there are a number of others who will excite you, Bernie Ibini-Isi (Mariners) Craig Goodwin, Mitch Cooper, Connor Chapman, Taylor Regan and James Brown - take your pick - at the Jets, Julian Davies at Victory, Evan Kostapoulos and Iain Ramsay at Adelaide United, Luke Bratten at the Roar, and so the list goes on. There'll be others break through many who disappoint but one thing's for sure we'll keep producing exciting young players for the A-League.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Asia Cup in Australia 2015? Is it more important than Brazil World Cup for Socceroos?

Right now everyone wants to qualify for the World  Cup - but really the focus for Australia should be on getting to the final of the Asia Cup in 2015.

The Asia Cup 2015 will be held in Australia just six months after the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

And Australia has a remarkable and rare opportunity to grow the game.  A fantastic international tournament to be held on home soil. And the AFL can't stop it...not in January.

They won't even be able to comment on how it destroys their season, their stadiums or games...did they even know it was coming! Were they asleep at the wheel - but that's for another "lemon" day.

Players from the EPL, Italy, Germany, Holland will grace our shores and will tweak the interest of the local populace. Plus there will be great atmosphere at the games - ex-pats  care about football far more than they do for Georgian Rugby 2003 for example.

And while the focus is to find a team capable of winning a game in the current World Cup qualifiers, how much better would our 2015 team be if they were playing NOW!.

Mark Bresciano - out, Tim Cahill out, Lucas Neill out, Brett Emerton out.

Let's just do it.

Australia needs to be brave - forego 2014, great if we qualify but why not really bite the bullet.

Football needs to grow and develop in Australia - surely just now the 2015 is more important than Brazil. Surely?

No guts no glory - in 2015 - and it starts now doesn't it. Or else we'll all be grumbling that Michael Zullo, or Jason Davidson isn't playing so well at left back or Chris Herd looks confused up against Kagawa in midfield or the Aussie speaking Ki via Brisbane; and why is Luke De Vere unsure of who he is playing alongside.

That Asian Cup team can only be ready if it starts now – but Tommy Oar, Adam Sarota, Ryan McGowan, Luke De Vere, Robbie Kruse, Brendan Hamill, Curtis Good, Matthew Luongo, Nikita Rukavystya, James Holland, James Troisi will only be apart of a quality team if they are in the team now, every game – or a few of them at least.

Leave it until August 2014 and we'd have four games, friendlies at that to build a team to compete against the current Japan and Korea sides which are preparing and playing World Cup qualifiers, they both got to the Olympic Semi-finals as well, right now.

Any chance of us preparing for 2015? Any chance of leaving a successful Aussie football performance legacy from the Asia Cup 2015. How long before we have such a tournament here again?


Farewell Harry Kewell - do you still play football?

Has harry Kewell played his last game of football? 

How long can a 34 yr old forward go without a club? 

Especially given he takes 3 months to get fit?


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The marquee is back!

The arrival of ADP in Australia has kicked the rest of the league into action, with Newcastle Jets landing Emile Heskey and Wanderers set to sign either Michael Ballack of former Japanese international Shinji Ono. Paddy, Aaron and Nick also go over the latest happenings in the Asian Champions League and an interesting decision regarding visa spots in the A-League.

or play right from your computer....


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Introducing the Hyundai Del-Piero A-League!

ADP Fever has truly gripped the nation this week, with the Italian's arrival in the country being met with a throng of cheering supporters. Things are looking up for the A-League elsewhere as the Phoenix bring in a Belgian international and Adelaide look set to rock Hindmarsh in the first leg of the ACL quarter-final. Unfortunately the Socceroos were humbled by lowly Jordan in World Cupqualification, leaving some serious doubts over the squad. Can Holger turn it around? Paddy Bordier, Nick Cumpston and Nick Amies discuss all this and more on the Nearpost!

or play right from your computer....


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Take that Ange! Who's the better city now?

Sydney FC looks set to blow the return of Marcos Flores out of the water with the signature of Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero. Holger Osieck has also selected his new squad for the matches against Lebanon and Jordan, while the Sunshine Coast likes their chances of securing the next A-League licence. Paddy and the Nicks discuss all this and more on this week's edition of the Nearpost.

or play right from your computer....