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Friday, 30 November 2007

Jetless v Roarless...but Joel won it 90+2!!

Queensland Roar Nil Newcastle Jets One

There was no Roar in the Jets and no Jet in Robbie Kruse or the Roar tonight.

Simon Lynch missed a penalty. No surprise there, not when you saw how he stepped up to it. A bag of nerves!



And with Michael Zullo out..for six weeks, watch the bore Roar slip down the table.

Super Mario was off at half-time. Tactical of course. The Jets like to motor, to cover the ground and Mario, sadly, can't fit in, despite his nice touches and first time balls.

The Roar struggled because Zullo was out. And Robbie Kruse may as well have been. Though in truth the Roar forgot to use their most potent attacking weapon.

And so the game huffed and puffed and went nowhere.

The Jets defended in numbers, all night, and played as though they were too scared to win the game or more importantly to lose it.

Danny Tiatto played well. Tarek Elrich was quiet. The Roar had most of the play but they couldn't make any inroads.

Marcinho threatened much as he's done all season. But no-one but no-one could break through the very fit Newcastle back eight!

The Jets don't really attack in numbers and with Mark Bridge out they lack forward movement, link play, and options.

We needed entertaining.

Bring on Steve Laybutt, we cried. But he was suspended! Send Adam Griffith off. The ref should have. A storm came over Canberra and I lost the pictures for ten minutes. I missed nothing. In the second half I prayed for another storm.

It was all petering out amicably.

Ben Griffin and Noel Spencer came on. Well that was when hope was finally crushed.
Denni, Jardel and even Reinaldo had gone off.

And then Tarek Elrich got a cross in and Joel Griffith soared and powered a wonderful wonderful header past Liam Reddy.

And I went to bed happy!

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18,000 in Wellington to watch football

A record crowd for domestic football in New Zealand. 18,000 turned out to see the Phoenix lose 2-1 to Adelaide.

Paul Agostino scored, Daniel equalised from the spot and then with Adelaide reduced to ten men and the huge and passionate crowd roaring the Nix home, the goal had to come.

Felipe did at last six step overs in one attack. Great great stuff. Eventually it was crossed in and Vaughan Coveny somehow missed a header from six yards.

The goal had to come. And it did for Adelaide.

Beautiful Burns, Nathan Burns did what he does best. Particularly when New Zealand teams don't defend!

Burns holds the ball, drifts into space and plays a ball to the flicking feet of Paul Agostino who had spotted the run of Lucas Pantelis who squeezed the ball home.

Great goal.

But how much space can ten men give eleven? Burns unmarked, Pantelis not tracked when it was ten up against eleven.

Now everyone tells us how good the Coach Ricky Herbert is but last minute points dropped to The Mariners, Sydney and now Adelaide all at home suggest something else.

All due to poor play, poor defence, or poor coaching?

But let's celebrate the New Zealand crowd.The Wellington Phoenix fans were absolutely superb. Heaps of them. Singing, cheering showing they clearly understand the game.

Great for the Phoenix, great for the A-League and great for the future of football in our region.

Well done to the Phoenix, now for the points!

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Radio Sound Volunteer required.

The first half of the Nearpost radio show will go across the Australian Community Radio Network come January 2nd. (Up to 350 stations could take the show I'm told.)

We would welcome a Sound Technician to control the radio production side of things.

Would be great for someone wanting to get fantastic experience, or someone who just loves football. 2XX will train you, and you can start ASAP.

Please pass it on to any Canberran who you think might be interested. Better still get involved yourself! Email me at: flanagan.eamonnATgmail.com

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A-League big round this weekend!

Will it be a record crowd bringing Wellington home, can The Roar make it nine unbeaten games in a row, will Victory lose at Perth, and can the Mariners do what Beckham couldn't?

Predictions here:

A record crowd expected in Wellington and with Adelaide's Ange Costanzo and Robbie Cornthwaite out I'm expected a 2-1 win to the Phoenix.

The Roar at home. The form team at the moment against an energetic and entertaining Newcastle. 2-1 to the Coffee Club.

The Mariners to defeat Sydney? Unlikely and I'm not expecting many goals. 1-1. Don't be surprised to see the odd send-off or two.

And The Glory to put Victory to the sword. Wouldn't it be appropriate to see luckless Glory defeat Ernie "we're playing good football, and the crowd are enjoying it" Merrick.

4-1 in Adelaide without Kevin Muscat. Could be the same tonight?

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On Total Football last night...

Not much news last night, but AFC President Mr Bin Hamman talked of commercialising the Asian Champions League. Only 9 countries to be involved with maybe up to 4 Australian teams, come 2009.

And a Japanese, Australian and America team to play in a Pan-Pacific tournament in Hawaii. Sydney FC Director Antony LaPaglia thought it was a great idea. Prize money, TV Revenues, looks great, especially if The Beckham is involved. Imagine if Posh came as well!

And all A-League teams now have a Shirt Sponsor. With the Coffee Club with over 200 stores across Australia now staining the Shirts of Queensland Roar.

Slowly, but surely revenue increases for football across the country.

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Thursday, 29 November 2007

New Zealand mad for the football

15,000 New Zealand Children to attend a Beckham training session!

Has the World gone mad?

Have they ever had that for an All Blacks training sessions?

Over in New Zealand, my favourite NZ football team EVER the Wellington Phoenix, are expecting to break records galore.

With 29,000 tickets for the Beckham game sold the record of 31,000 for a football match in NZ is expected to be broken.

And a record Phoenix crowd is expected for the Phoenix v Adelaide A-League game on Friday night.

In New Zealand, it's great stuff and hats off to the Yellow Fever.

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Australia, you've seen nothing yet!

February the 6th, 2008. That's the day football in Australia will go to a new level, forever.

That's the date of our first ever World Cup Qualifier through the Asian Football Confederation.

Imagine if Australia qualified for the next TWO World Cups. How many games would Australia have had to win. At least 5 competitive World Cup games each year, followed by the actual World Cup itself.

How much media coverage will these Socceroos World Cup games earn?

Even the "old media" attitudes will be defeated by the size of the World Cup, the interest of the people particularly at key points along the road.

Football will never have had such consistent coverage.

And of course, because the A-League is in place, the Women's league soon to start, Asian Champions League and a Fox Sports TV deal, Australian football is in a position to grow like never before.

February 6th. It all starts then.....now we just have to win a few games!

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Australia back-up for Asia Cup 2011

So says the AFC Executive Committee which met in Sydney today. Below is the press release. Not, much in it, but all this Asia stuff is getting me excited.







SYDNEY: The AFC Executive Committee, chaired by AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam, met today here at the Four Seasons Hotel and ratified a series of important decisions taken by the AFC Standing Committees.



Summary of decisions:



Women’s competitions



AFC Women’s Challenge Cup to replace the qualifiers for AFC Women’s Asian Cup from 2009.



Referees



The regional quota for AFC Elite Referees has been abolished.

The panel of AFC Elite Futsal Referees increased to 20.



Futsal



AFC has been provided with four slots in FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008.

The qualifying format for the AFC Futsal Championship 2008 was decided. Twelve participating teams to be divided into three groups of four with each group winner and the best runner-up qualifying for the Final Competition. Malaysia to host the Qualification Competition in mid-March 2008.

New dates for AFC Futsal Championship 2008 in Thailand from 11-18 May 2008



Ad-hoc Pro-league Committee



AFC Professional League Ad-hoc Committee confirmed that none of the Member Associations met all of the criteria laid down for the new AFC Champions League from 2009 and recommended improvements in each Member Association. Final decision and confirmation in May 2008.



AFC Challenge Cup 2008



Thailand confirmed as new hosts as Chinese Taipei cannot guarantee provision of facilities according to AFC competition standards.



AFC U-16 Championship 2008



Ten players from nine Member Associations found to be overaged and to be called up for further investigations. If found guilty, disciplinary action according to provisions.

ØHosting of future AFC U16 and AFC U19 Final Championships will be open only to those Member Associations who have qualified to the Final Championship.



AFC CUP 2008



Turkmenistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar will be invited to participate in the AFC President’s Cup.



2011 AFC Asian Cup



Australia will be back-up venue.



2015 AFC Asian Cup



Bidding process to be initialized with first call for interested Member Associations in March 2008.



Appeals



Fine on Saudi Arabian Football Federation and Bahrain Football Association for breach of equipment regulations reduced to USD 10,000.


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Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Clint haven't you ever seen a Beckham bender!

You're 3-0 up, 80,000 people and Ufuk Talay fouls.

A soft foul, right in front of the goal.

Ufuk you didn't did you?. Nah it just happened.

Then yer man Becks steps up. Where would he put it?

Well the most famous Englishman ever didn't get famous without everyone knowing he bends it into the top corner.

Everyone knew except Clint Bolton or so it seemed.

As the ball sailed towards goal Clint must have got the surprise of his life to see a Beckham free-kick going top corner.

And did he appear slow to stretch across, or was it just me.

You see I've been brought up on exhibition sports. From a young age it was wrestling on TV, and when the Beckham bender went in, me just thought....wrestling.

Clint you didn't did you?

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Alfred Galustian, Coerver Coaching Co-founder, talks football.

Alfred Galustian, International Director and Co-founder of Coerver Coaching

Coever Coaching have recently formed an alliance with Capital Football to develop young players through the 9-12 Capital Football/Coerver Academies.

Alfred Galustian, International Director and Co-founder of Coerver Coaching based in Japan, is in Canberra this week to discuss the roll-out of Coerver across Australia. We met for coffee at the Hyatt to talk football.




Coerver Coaching started when Galustian and former Scotland and Chelsea star Charlie Cooke asked Dutchman Wiel Coever if they could use his name and some of his ideas.

“A lot of people don’t know that Wiel Coever isn’t involved. He never has been,” said Galustian.

“Charlie and I were in the USA. I was coaching and Charlie was playing. We were at a Soccer convention in America and we saw an old guy in a room. There were only five people in the room. But this guy was just showing some one on one ball skills. We went in, sat at the back for an hour, and watched.

“I had never experienced it, one on one skills. I’d never seen anyone coaching one v one skills. Charlie played at a much higher level than I did, but Charlie had never seen it either. We introduced ourselves to Wiel. He can be a bit abrupt so he sort of dismissed us.

“Six months later I was doing my Coaching Certificate at Lilleshall in England. Wiel Coerver was there for the two weeks. Wiel remembered me and I watched him work for two weeks. And Charlie and I named our two football camps, Coerver Schools. We asked Wiel for the right to use his name and he transferred the name Coerver to us.

“Wiel is not part of Coever Coaching but Charlie and I were inspired by him. He’s 86 now and I keep in touch with him. He’s a wonderful coach but he’s never been involved.

“Our ideas have evolved. We had to adapt. To make it user friendly, and fun. We work at the grassroots level, and advanced level. We needed to develop the Coaching brand and that has become the backbone of the business.”

Coerver Coaching is now established in seventeen countries and continues to grow across the World.

“We started off with the idea that as a foundation we should be teaching individual skills and not team skills. Some people thought we were crazy saying football is a team game.

"But we got more and more big names thinking this may be the way to teach young players. Focusing on skill, reaction speed and co-ordination. When players have these skills they are more valuable to the team.

“As Coerver started working at the grassroots level we found when you focus on players skills, players start to get more confident. We’ve had significant reporting back that children have improved at school after working with Coerver Coaching.

"Not all of course, but significant numbers. When the kids work with a ball, or something individual, they have to concentrate. This has improved their ability to concentrate in school!” said Galustian.

Coerver hit on a niche. Increasingly parents are turning to individual tuition and coaching to improve children’s’ skills and confidence in a whole range of activities. Football is just one of many possibilities for children today.

“We had to make it fun. Football is just one other pursuit in modern life. So we had to make it attractive for kids. They’ll do it if they like it. The fundamental reason why professionals get into the game is because they love it. Jurgen Klinsman, Harry Kewell they all love it. We try and get that feeling into the kids through the activities we provide.

“We’ve had over a million kids go through our coaching courses. Many kids used to be coached by novice parents/coaches and often these Coaches weren’t into football, but they want their boys and girls to play football.

"At Coerver Coaching the technical programme as good for girls as for boys. Girls and boys are both suited to it as it’s purely based on skill development. And that is the same for both.”

While presently based in New South Wales, Coerver in Australia is changing.
It will have its new headquarters here in Canberra under, former Futsalroo and Canberran, Jason Lanscar, It will take its Coaching Schools across Australia in the coming months.

“We’ve had great success in New South Wales but we always wanted to be across the country. That is what we are now aiming to do, added Galustian.

Galustian is a busy man. From Canberra he’s off to Singapore, then drops into work with Gerard Houllier at the French Football Academy. He’s an advisor to the English FA and has also worked with AC Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. He calls Japan home where he heads Coervers Asia Operations.

He’s spent his whole life in football. Why?

“When I started school, I was lonely. Someone threw a ball, a tennis ball to me. I started to play football with it and from that moment I had friends. I’ve tried to keep that feeling.

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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The Australian in me started to stir..even for a friendly.

There was 80,000 plus when the teams came out for the Sydney Galaxy game, it was electric for a friendly, even on my telly:)

I'm not normally into friendlies no matter how many people, or Beckham's on show, but when the game started I just wanted Sydney to thrash Galaxy.

And I heard the Cove singing and I thought yes I know these guys. These are the ones who I listen to every week.

and the Sydney FC banner they had was brilliant, "70,000 people, we play every week."

I wanted the A-League stars to do well, to do better than well.

and then..Alex Brosque scored once and then twice. Yesssss!

Why was I cheering? It was a friendly but the Australian in me wanted, needed Sydney to do well.

And the Sydney crowd lifted, and started to cheer for Sydney FC, and then Ruben Zadkovich scored.

3-0 after 30 minutes. Not bad for a friendly. Not bad for Sydney FC, not bad for Australia.

But most of us Aussies already knew the A-League was fine. We've seen the Asian Champions League. We've seen the National Soccer League. Beating a US side even with a Beckham.

Aussies can do that, we knew that.

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Podcast this week.

On this weeks podcast.


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Download

Graham Arnold talks Olyroos
John Aloisi talks World Cup draw.
A-League
Former Young Matilda Nicole Somi on life in football, as a young girl in Canberra, as a Young Matilda and on being rejected from the Matildas. How does a young footballer cope. And where now for Nicole on her football journey.

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On the Nearpost Radio Show tonight.

Tonight 6.30pm if you are in Canberra. 98.3fm or tomorrow on the podcast

What does Arnie think about the Olyroos win and what it means to football in Australia
Can we get to the World Cup. John Aloisi gives us his thoughts.
Former Young Matilda Nicole Somi talks about her football journey.
A-League talk, we've got it all.
Arif Hossein on his 'big issue' and it's big.
And all the local football news.

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Ossie for the Socceroos?

With Jurgen Klinsman definitely out of the running for the Australian job, England may be of more interest, what about Ossie Ardiles?

Ardiles is a World Cup winner with Argentina, played in England with Spurs and Spain, has coached in Asia for eight years, and is currently coaching in the Argentinean first division.

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Monday, 26 November 2007

Jorvan Vieira wanted by Japan...but not Australia.

Seems Japan have contacted Jorvan Vieira in case they need a coach to take over from Ivica Osim who is currently in hospital recovering from illness.

Australia haven't been in touch.

Why? Does Vieira have too much Asia experience. He's won Asian International trophies, been to World Cups, speaks many languages, and is culturally aware. Fits my bill.

Vieira is just travelling the World watching football at the moment. He has no club.

Surely with Vieira free you think he would be considered now the Dick has done the dash.

Apparently not!

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Will Shunsuke Nakamura miss World Qualifiers for Japan?

Not on your nelly!

Following Celtic over the years we fans have grown used to Shunsuke popping off to play for Japan, even for friendlies.

Well, if Scott McDonald and the other guys in England claim Iraq, China and Qatar is too far, I for one will be watching with fingers poised, specially if Shunsuke Scott's club mate leaves for Japan.

If the FFA plan the home Australian games in the June and October dates, every Australian should be available for every game.

A few of the Aussie boys need to have a look at some of their fellow Asian European based players before they shout "It's too far."

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Welcome to Asia: World Cup draw is a cracker.

China, Iraq and Qatar. That's who Australia drew in the 2010 World Cup draw overnight.

And it's a fantastic draw. Not for our chances of going through. Not because all our overseas players won't be turning up for all of the games.

But because every game will be competitive, highly competitive and that after all is why we joined Asia.

And if you think that is a tough group, remember we still have another group to get through if we finish in the top two here.

And Aussies overseas players are already saying they can't come, won't come. It's too far.

How far is Oman or Iraq from Europe? Why can't the Australians overseas make the relatively short trip to West Asia for a World Cup qualifier.

Australians take note: Shunsuke Nakamura has never missed a World Cup qualifier for Japan when selected despite playing for Celtic. And it will be funny if he flies off to Japan and Scott McDonald and his mates at Everton and Middlesboro stay home complaining about their clubs.

And we'll be watching every Asia player in Europe to see if they stay with their clubs instead of flying off for a World Cup qualifier.

If the FFA get the dates right there should be every possibility of many overseas players being available for the West Asia games and then come back for double headers in June when the European season is over.

China will and are improving and will be desperate to get to the World Cup. Iraq a country in disarray but unfortunately or fortunately we know how they can embarrass us.

And Qatar a country rolling in money and imported players.

It will be tough. But it will test Australia and that's how I like my football.

Highly charged, highly competitive. Can't wait.

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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Were Sydney FC saving themselves for David and his 80,000 fans

They lacked energy. Even when The Roar were down to ten, few Sydney players dashed to get the ball back into play.

Urgency from a Kossie led side? I didn't see any.

Maybe, just maybe, they all had one eye on the 80,000 crowd expected on Tuesday.

What would you have done?

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A-League wrap...not great was it!

Four games, four goals, four draws.

Not sure we learned a lot, but my winners of the weekend were the Central Coast Mariners.

With a nice lead up top a draw for all teams meant the Mariners were probably the happiest with a draw this weekend

Few teams sparked. Few players sparked.

Danny Vukovic was outstanding for The Mariners. Perhaps the game of the round. And The Mariners with Matt Simon and Adam Kwasnik coming on looked good for the whole ninety.

The Jets at home are always lively and Joel Griffith and rising star Tarek Elrich caught my eye. And young James Hoffman hit the post. It would have been great to see the young player score.

Elrich is playing with pace, aggression and skill. He's enjoying his games, and he looks full of energy and creativity. How much more can he improve?

Young player of the year? Not yet, but must be in with a shout.

The depth of the Mariners squad, the goalscorers throughout the team, a problem fixed since last season, may well drive The Mariners into Asia as the Minor Premiers.

Who can catch them now?

In Sydney both sides cancelled each other out. The Roar not so good away from home. But they play cagely and hit hard on the break. And aren't they tenacious around the midfield.

It was, to me, noticeable that the old men of Sydney, in David Zdrillic, Stevie Corica in midfield found it hard to put their stamp on the forward play for Sydney.

The Roar had chances, good chances. But Reinaldo couldn't finish. Still a point gained and another unbeaten game for The Roar and Frank Farina won't be disappointed.

John Kosmina's side looked tired and old, or in some cases both. Ruben Zadkovich was slow and he's not normally. Clearly jaded by the trip from North Korea. And with little pace in Corica and Zdrillic the team were too slow to move forward to cause the superbly led Craig Moore defence any real problems.

Except from free-kicks. Shades of the Olyroos.

And Farina left Danny Tiatto out, and Kossie again left Juninho out. Clearly Kossie doesn't feel Juninho can play in the same side as Corica for ninety minutes, or his team are too lightweight with Juninho, Alex Brosque and Corica in the same side.

The Victory hang in there for another week. By virtue of the other results.

And in case Ernie Merrick ever comes here. The Victory's season has been dismal. The football dire, the crowds great. Can Ernie sort it? Will he get it right for Asia?

Adelaide have lost their way. Without Bruce Djite they have lost their mobility and focal point. Forwards who can run towards the goal at pace are worth gold in any league.

Djite, Kruse, Reinaldo and Archie Thompson are perhaps the best and although not always scoring they certainly create havoc.

Adelaide have significant injuries but should still make the four if they can keep srcatching results while they get Nathan Burns and Djite back to their best.


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Caitlin Munoz strikes for the Jets

Canberra's Caitlin Munoz stuck one in in front of 5,000 fans in today's A-League challenge.

The Jets beat Sydney 4-2 and great to see some goals...unlike in the A-League today.

FFA match report is below.

NEWCASTLE JETS WOMEN WIN HISTORIC OPENING MATCH OF THE WOMEN’S A-LEAGUE CHALLENGE


Newcastle Jets Women won the opening match of the inaugural women's A-League Challenge with a 4-2 victory over Sydney FC Women in an entertaining clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle today.

The Newcastle Jets Women had to come from behind after Sydney’s Heather Garriock opened the scoring with a spectacular goal in just the third minute.

Up to 5,000 spectators were on hand for the match and they saw the Jets take a 2-1 half time lead with two stunning long-range goals from Matildas duo Caitlin Munoz and Collette McCallum who were guesting for the home side.

Novacastrian striker Kate Gill extended the lead with a second half brace before former Young Matildas striker Leena Khamis pulled a goal back for the visitors.

The match featured 11 stars of the Matildas recent FIFA Women’s World Cup including Cheryl Salisbury and Gill with interstate Matildas including Sally Shipard, Munoz, McCallum and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri. The Sydney FC Women included Sarah Walsh, Dianne Alagich, Joanne Burgess and Garriock.


Newcastle 4 (Caitlin Munoz 15, Collette McCallum 31, Katie Gill 58, 74)
Sydney FC 2 (Heather Garriock 3, Leena Khamis 85)


For more comprehensive match details, please www.footballaustralia.com.au


The second match of the series will take place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium when Queensland Roar Women host Newcastle Jets Women on Sunday 9 December ahead of the Queensland Roar and Central Coast Mariners fixture.

The final match of the series will take place at the Sydney Football Stadium with Sydney FC Women facing Queensland Roar Women prior to the Perth Glory and Sydney FC match on Saturday 15 December.


SQUADS
Newcastle Jets Women:
Cheryl Salisbury (c) (World Cup Matilda, Newcastle), Kate Gill (WC Matilda, Newcastle), Melissa Barbieri (WC Matilda, Melbourne), Clare Polkinghorne (WC Matilda, Brisbane), Caitlin Munoz (WC Matilda, Canberra), Sally Shipard (WC Matilda, Canberra), Collette McCallum (WC Matilda, Perth), Amber Neilson (Matildas squad, Newcastle), Amy Chapman (Matildas squad, Canberra), Stacey Day (Young Matildas, Adelaide), Victoria Balomenos (Young Matildas, Adelaide), Jordan March (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Jess Seaman (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Emily van Egmond (U17 national team, Newcastle), Alison Logue (former Young Matilda, Central Coast), Rachael Wynne (NNSW, Newcastle), Tracey Baker (NNSW).
Coach: Gary Phillips

Sydney FC Women:
Heather Garriock (c) (WC Matilda, Sydney), Dianne Alagich (WC Matilda, Sydney), Joanne Burgess (WC Matilda, Sydney), Sarah Walsh (WC Matilda, Sydney), Lisa Hartley (Matildas squad, Wollongong), Teresa Polias (Young Matilda, Sydney), Ellyse Perry (Young Matilda, Sydney), Lyndsay Glohe (Young Matilda, Sydney), Leena Khamis (former Young Matilda, Sydney), Britt Simmons (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Sam Spackman (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Alesha Clifford (Young Matildas squad, Sydney) Lisa Gilbert (NSWIS, Sydney), Carli Ikonomou (NSWIS, Sydney), Linda O'Neill (NSWIS, Sydney), Teigan Allen (NSWIS, Sydney), Nicola Bolger (NSWIS, Sydney), Liz O'Reilly (NSWIS, Sydney).
Coach: Alen Stajcic


FIXTURES
Women’s A-League Challenge
Sunday 25 November, 2.25pm
Newcastle Jets Women v Sydney FC Women 4-2
(Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners, 5pm)
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle

Sunday 9 December, 3.25pm
Queensland Roar Women v Newcastle Jets Women
(Queensland Roar v Central Coast Mariners, 6pm)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday 15 December, 4.25pm
Sydney FC Women v Queensland Roar Women
(Sydney FC v Perth Glory, 7pm)
Sydney Football Stadium




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Where will Carl Valeri move to?

Socceroo midfielder, Serie B with Grosseto and his team is on the rise.

Where and when will Carl Valeri be moving?

Serie A? England. Glasgow Celtic:) I'll keep you posted.

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Football TV Commentators in Australia

SBS commentator David Basheer is calling the Beckham game on Channel 10 on Tuesday.

Anyone who heard him call Celtic v Milan recently, or even the amazingly exciting Matildas World Cup campaign, would surely have been left underwhelmed by the occasion and the sense of history and excitement in the game.

And don't you hate commentators who don't have the football knowledge, the history of the game, the passion and the nuances.


So excluding the outstanding Simon Hill does Australia have a TV commentator, another one, who can represent the game with authority, and quality.

A match commentator, as opposed to an expert who sits alongside, needs natural passion, wit, and enthusiasm.

It is a skill that needs to be developed. In Australia our talent pool is near empty. There are so few games that are called. So few opportunities for local talent to develop.

And football fans are used to listening to games from all over the world. They know quality when they want.

Good luck on Tuesday David. But where will our next outstanding Aussie commentators come from?

Is there anyone out there who you've heard?

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Beckham is great for Australian football

The purists and the cynics (me) may not be impressed by the Beckham/Sydney FC game.

I'm not going. There's no points at stake, not even a cup. And I like my football to mean something.

But this will be a great, historic night for football in Australia.

And it is a great initiative by the Football Federation of Australia. So hat's off to Channel 10 for showing the game, to Sydney FC, to the 80,000 who will rock up and to the FFA.



And it is so much more important than the big games when Manchester United and other club sides used to come.....

Because they are playing Sydney FC. A club that is building a story in the new A-League. A club that is already known in parts of Asia through it's Champions League games.

80,000 people will see Sydney FC play live. Millions will watch on Australian TV.

This is the first time the A-League will have been shown to the masses, the kids who play football but can't watch it. And building the brand is so vital to football's success in Australia.

Sure some Australian journalists have turned their noses at the game. But it doesn't matter.

With the AFC annual awards in Sydney the following night. And the Socceroos about to start on a two year qualifying campaign.

The benefits of Australia being in the AFC are about to start to flow through.

You just wonder where the game might be should the Socceroos have a successful qualifying campaign.

So come on Beckham, bend one in...mate:)

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Saturday, 24 November 2007

Good signs for Canberra's Shaun Ontong

Canberra's Shaun Ontong started his first A-League game last night for Adelaide United.

Adelaide United 1 Peth Glory 1 was how it finished.

The former Australian Under 20 Captain is slowly but surely getting an increased amount of game time. Even if it is as a result of the Olyroos games and injuries, Shaun surely won't care.

And after the horror run he's had with injuries it's great to see him play.

And on last nights game. He's fast, very very enthusiastic. Has skill, quick feet and looks like he'll be around for a while. And don't you love the way he gets in their faces.

He won't die wondering!

If he can stay injury free, and continue to get game time he may well be the sort of player who pushes for a starting place next year. As a former Australian Under 20 Captain he must surely have more to offer once he gets more games under his belt.

Think Adam D'Apuzzo at the Jets, Bruce Djite, Leigh Broxham and even Nathan Burns. All players who have pushed and earned a regular place in their second year.

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Friday, 23 November 2007

Did I hear this right?

Makes you wonder if the providers of the shirt have any, I mean any idea, about football

Manchester City have recently signed up with Perth Glory, or the other way round depending on your view:)

City have offered the Glory fans City shirts to wear on their "Tour of Duty" to Adelaide.

Need less to say not a Glory fan had a City shirt in the TV pictures this evening.

Why would you? Will City fans be wearing Glory shirts in England? The Glory probably have fans who support English teams, but the chances of them all supporting City is zero.

Besides if you are on the "tour of duty," you really are hard core Glory.

And there's only one shirt for you isn't there.

Makes you wonder if the providers of the shirt have any, I mean any idea about football

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Victory to divide fans..because the fans have been naughty

Sadly it was always going to happen once the internet fueled Sydney/Melbourne taunting carried over to the Telstra Dome and surrounding areas.

The headlines were bad for the game, and we all know it isn't Europe or even one day cricket game, but a few "fans" have sorted it for everyone.

And if you throw a flare, smash a tram window, swear in unison at the opposition fans, and generally charge through the roadways surrounding the ground, in Melbourne particularly Melbourne, the media are going to have a field day.

And so football fans are divided again, just like the world over. So that makes it right?

Wrong.



Was it to much to ask that rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne couldn't be good natured, full of banter and passion.

Imagine a big football game lacking the need for the police escort march of away fans to the stadium.

Family game? Well how many families will be making the trip for the next Melbourne Sydney game at The Dome?

And watch out for the next game in Sydney. Can you imagine the fans who might just be attracted to their first Melbourne Sydney game!

Even good guys on the forums talk of throwing flares back if thrown at, and giving it back to the others, if the others start it.

Violence is just wrong. And I'm sick of it.

But the fans don't get it. Or so it seems. Every paper and journo in the country is desperate to write anything negative about football.

And the incidents at Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne are just a sign of the times in Australia. Not just football I'm afraid.

Cronulla, AFL, Rugby League all have public violence. And I'm told it can get a wee bit testy on a weekend down the various towns and cities of Australia after midnight.

Even in Canberra:

Brumbies Coach Laurie Fisher was recently pelted with bottles, verbally abused and scared to walk to the stadium car park and the Brumbies finished 5th!

And not an away fan in sight.

So fans will be divided. Will it help?

Yes. But the vitriol served by one group on the other may well be here to stay.

Yuk!


So the following has been announced by Melbourne Victory:

Victory announces new seating arrangements for future games



Melbourne Victory has supported plans introduced by Telstra Dome to provide a new seating plan for visiting supporters for future matches to ensure that any potential confrontation between fans can be avoided.



The changes to be implemented by Telstra Dome for the game against Wellington Phoenix this Saturday (kick off 7pm), and for future home games, provide a dedicated visiting supporter end behind the goals at the LaTrobe Street (Northern) end of Telstra Dome. Visiting supporters will enter and exit Telstra Dome through Gate 7, and this gate will not be available to other ticket holders.



Additional seating bays will be provided on Level 1 for Melbourne Victory general admission members and supporters who purchase a general admission ticket for individual games. New dry zones have also been created at the LaTrobe Street (Northern) end of the stadium. The Melbourne Victory supporter end (Bourke Street Southern end) will continue to provide opportunities for supporters to stand.



Victory CEO Geoff Miles said that the new arrangements had been put in place by Telstra Dome to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all supporters was guaranteed and not compromised by the poor behaviour of some fans.



“In light of the incidents between fans at our game against Sydney FC, action has been considered necessary, as the major priority for Telstra Dome and Melbourne Victory is an enjoyable match night experience for all fans including supporters from visiting clubs,” Miles said.



“The poor behaviour of a small minority of fans has been the catalyst for this change and no one wants to take a risk for future games, especially given the huge number of families attending Melbourne Victory games.


- No standing on levels 2 & 3. It was re-iterated to me that Telstra Dome will not be swayed by this.



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A-League: Key round coming up

If the Victory lose this weekend are they out? If the Mariners win have they secured an Asian Champions League place. Will Beckham show? Will the Croatian fans turn-up?

And should the Mariners win I for one will be glad for the Final Series, a series that some Australian football fans still don't like.

Imagine what would happen to crowds and interest if like Victory last year the Mariners secured the title early, and there was no final series.

My eyes would be popping just like former Socceroo and Beckham minder, Andrew Bernal who turned up on Total Football last night. What a strange interview that one was. I digress.

So crucial games everywhere this weekend

The Mariners away to Newcastle is the pick. The Jets are slipping of late. And the Mariners have recruited crucial goalscorers not just at the beginning of the season but half way through.

Greg Owens, John Aloisi Sasho Petrovski, all new signings this season, all have scored match winning goals in recent weeks.

Should be a fiercely competitive game. The Jets will need Joel Griffiths and Mark Bridge to score if they are to win.

Victory v The Phoenix.


On election night. But Ernie will see his ratings plummet further if they lose this one.

Already Victory fans are rumbling and grumbling. A loss here and it's all over surely.

But they won't lose surely?

Of course the Phoenix will be up for it. Everyone is at The Dome. But Victory if they can keep a clean sheet will surely, finally, have a win.

Adelaide United v Perth Glory

No Bruce Djite and the results have turned for everyone's favourite team. They are playing the best football so we keep hearing, indeed saying, but one point from nine suggest otherwise.

No Djite, less mobility I say. And it is the x-factor that is missing. Bruce also scores. Dez Giraldi and Paul Agostino have yet to match Bruce.

The Glory. Who knows? But they will be desperate to keep the feint hope of a season alive. A win and they could just start to hope. That would be two in three.

A crucial game for both coaches. I'm tipping a draw.

Beckham watching Sydney FC v The Roar

Well Becks maybe deflated if the all the Croatian fans in Sydney turn up to give him a welcome..wouldn't that be nice. Will Becks be there. I'm tipping no in this one. He'll save himself for Tuesday:)

And the Roar everyone's very new favourite team are going to win according to every tipster in the World.

But don't bet against the fiercely organised, competitive Sydney FC at home. Kossie ain't going to let his team lose this one to Frank Farina, not without a fight.

And although Robbie Kruse and Michael Zullo have had a huge impact, the Roars performances away from home have been patchy. Scoring early and scrambling goals, and not many of them.

Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto are back. And Steve Corica. Tony Popovic won't be missed, not if Mark Milligan has recovered from the North Korea trip.

I'm picking Sydney to win. At home, under Kossie, and everyone pumped to get in the team to play Beck Beck in front of 80,000, I think They'll do it.

They'll need Michael Bridges to fire. And will Kossie play Juninho? Probably at home he'll give him a go.

The Roar will need Kruse, Zullo and in-form Reinaldo to do it away from home. Sydney defence should be strong enough. Although Kruse could be the key.

With Tiatto back expect a humdinger at Aussie this weekend.

Sydney by one!


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Thursday, 22 November 2007

Canberra's Matildas playing for Newcastle

Sally Shipard, Caitlin Munoz and Amy Chapman will all be playing for Newcastle Jets in this Sunday's opening round of the Women's A-League Challenge.

STAR-STUDDED TEAMS FEATURE IN OPENING ROUND OF WOMEN’S A-LEAGUE CHALLENGE



Up to 11 stars of the Matildas recent FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign are set to feature this Sunday when Newcastle Jets Women host Sydney FC Women in the opening round of the Women’s A-League Challenge at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle.

The Newcastle Jets Women will be lead by Cheryl Salisbury who captained the Matildas in China, alongside fellow World Cup Novacastrian Kate Gill. The ranks of the Newcastle Jets Women’s side will be boosted by a host of interstate Matildas including Canberra duo Sally Shipard and Caitlin Munoz, Perth’s Collette McCallum and Melbourne’s Melissa Barbieri.

The Sydney FC Women will be captained by Matildas midfielder Heather Garriock and also feature key Australian World Cup players in Sarah Walsh, Dianne Alagich and Joanne Burgess.

Both sides will also contain a number of current Young Matildas including Ellyse Perry, Lyndsay Glohe, Teresa Polias competing for Sydney FC Women, while Adelaide pair Victoria Balomenos and Stacey Day will appear for Newcastle Jets Women.

The second match of the series will take place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium when Queensland Roar Women host Newcastle Jets Women on Sunday 9 December ahead of the Queensland Roar and Central Coast Mariners fixture.

The final match of the series will take place at the Sydney Football Stadium with Sydney FC Women facing Queensland Roar Women prior to the Perth Glory and Sydney FC match.

Australia recent quarter final appearance at September’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in China was the nation’s most successful appearance in a major tournament with the team finishing sixth in reaching the quarter finals after being knocked out by eventual runners-up Brazil. Following the tournament Australia moved to an all-time high of 12 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

The Australian team received wide acclaim for their performance in China and coach Tom Sermanni was last week named Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Coach of the Year, while midfielder McCallum finished third in the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award. Both Salisbury and Garriock were short-listed in the final list of ten players nominated for the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award. Following the World Cup Australian striker Lisa De Vanna was named in the FIFA All-Star team and has also been short-listed for the FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year to be announced in Zurich on December 17.


SQUADS FOR SUNDAY 25 NOVEMBER
Newcastle Jets Women:
Cheryl Salisbury (World Cup Matilda, Newcastle), Kate Gill (WC Matilda, Newcastle), Melissa Barbieri (WC Matilda, Melbourne), Clare Polkinghorne (WC Matilda, Brisbane), Caitlin Munoz (WC Matilda, Canberra), Sally Shipard (WC Matilda, Canberra), Collette McCallum (WC Matilda, Perth), Amber Neilson (Matildas squad, Newcastle), Amy Chapman (Matildas squad, Canberra), Stacey Day (Young Matildas, Adelaide), Victoria Balomenos (Young Matildas, Adelaide), Jordan March (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Jess Seaman (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Emily van Egmond (U17 national team, Newcastle), Alison Logue (former Young Matilda, Central Coast), Rachael Wynne (NNSW, Newcastle), Tracey Baker (NNSW).
Coach: Gary Phillips

Sydney FC Women:
Heather Garriock (WC Matilda, Sydney), Dianne Alagich (WC Matilda, Sydney), Joanne Burgess (WC Matilda, Sydney), Sarah Walsh (WC Matilda, Sydney), Lisa Hartley (Matildas squad, Wollongong), Teresa Polias (Young Matilda, Sydney), Ellyse Perry (Young Matilda, Sydney), Lyndsay Glohe (Young Matilda, Sydney), Leena Khamis (former Young Matilda, Sydney), Britt Simmons (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Sam Spackman (Young Matildas squad, Sydney), Alesha Clifford (Young Matildas squad, Sydney) Lisa Gilbert (NSWIS, Sydney), Carli Ikonomou (NSWIS, Sydney), Linda O'Neill (NSWIS, Sydney), Teigan Allen (NSWIS, Sydney), Nicola Bolger (NSWIS, Sydney), Liz O'Reilly (NSWIS, Sydney).
Coach: Alen Stajcic


FIXTURES
Women’s A-League Challenge
Sunday 25 November, 2.25pm
Newcastle Jets Women v Sydney FC Women
(Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners, 5pm)
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle

Sunday 9 December, 3.25pm
Queensland Roar Women v Newcastle Jets Women
(Queensland Roar v Central Coast Mariners, 6pm)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday 15 December, 4.25pm
Sydney FC Women v Queensland Roar Women
(Sydney FC v Perth Glory, 7pm)
Sydney Football Stadium


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Hooray hooray the Victory fans are back

One of the Victory fan groups have been in dispute with Telstra Dome management and Victory management re:standing/safety on Level Three and a number of other issues.

And as a result the fans have protested by remaining silent for 60 minutes of recent games. Upon the 60 minute mark at the recent Melbourne Sydney game the crowd up top produced an amazing wall of noise.

All the more amazing because they hadn't made a peep all game!

Anyway it's over now. Not the dispute.

Just the lack of noise.

I for one will be delighed to hear the full Victory support as I sit at home watching in my lounge room.

Forget Fred, Victory need their support more than anything at the moment.

Welcome back.

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Canberra boy knocks out England

Canberra's Joe Simunic may have given a penalty away this morning for Croatia in their final qualifying game against England at Wembley.

But it didn't matter for Croatia. They'd already qualified, but still dumped England out with a 3-2 win.

The luckiest man in World Football, Guus Hiddink, saw his Russian side sneak through, instead of England, with a 1-0 win away to Andorra.

Simunic will now add Euro 2008 to his impressive list of International tournaments He has starred for Croatia in World Cup 2002 2006, and Euro 2004.

And Croatia seemed to have improved considerably since the World Cup. A new forward line has helped.

Or maybe England just aren't as good as Australia:)

Yes, that must be it!

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Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Who should be Canberra's first A-League Coach?


Well no better person to ask than our special guest on last night's Nearpost radio show former Canberra Cosmos Coach Milan Milovanovic pictured above with Nearpost host Nicole Somi.

Milan,or Milo, as he known to all in the Canberra football community, noted that across the A-Leagues it's Aussie who are succeeding.

"We had Steve McMahon at Perth, Richard Money at Newcastle, a couple of English guys in New Zealand, Pierre Littbarski and Terry Butcher at Sydney. Look at the guys doing the jobs now. They are all Australian or have been in Australia for a very long time."

"At the Cosmos we appointed former England and Everton centre back Mike Lyons. Sydney appointed Littbarski and Butcher. You have to ask yourselves the questions why with their reputations had they not got a job in their own countries. Even in the lower leagues in their own countries.

"Littbarski was a three time World Cup winner, Butcher captain of England. If these guys were recognised as great coaches, with their playing pedigree, do you think they'd be coming to coach in Australia?

"And why are they available to coach in Australia?"

"So a Canberra team needs to think hard about where it puts in coaching money."

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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Podcast delayed due to

This weeks podcast has been delayed due to:

The vibrant Canberra warm weather cafe and pub culture after the show.
The Beckham show on telly.
Producer chucking a nana
Computer error.
All of the above.

At this time our best guess is that the podcast will be up sometime later on Wednesday if we can iron out a few sound problems.

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Crucial Olyroos Qualifier on Fox Live tomorrow 5pm

Great, great news for football fans....if you have Fox.

In case you didn't know, it's the last game, Australia need a draw or better to go to the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

The game is on an artificial surface.

Olympic Games Qualifier

Australia v DPR Korea
Wednesday 21 November
LIVE and EXCLUSIVE

FOX SPORTS 2
5.00pm

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On 2XX 98.3fm 6:30pm Radio show Tuesday (tonight) in Canberra:

and the podcast even later tonight on here. (Yew we're faster than the ABC!)

A-League with all the weekends review and previews.
Interview with Matildas Star Caitlin Munoz. Where is she going?
Socceroos talk, I have no doubt! Arif will be into it. Poor old Dick Advocaat is going to get in the neck, I reckon!
Olyroos.

And former Canberra Cosmos Coach Milan Milovanovic discusses Canberra and the A-League.

And some of the best football music ever.....mostly English because I haven't been able to locate much other...YET!

And we also have an interview with Socceroos midfielder Carl Valeri.

You can text us, email and even phone us during the show...too much, just get the podcast here tomorrow.....

you know you want to...

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Sally Shipard in the media scrum with David:)


You can catch Beckham on the ABC tonight at 9.25pm But Matildas star Sally Shipard will get a closer look next week at the Sydney FC Beckham game.

Matildas Star Sally Shipard writes,

"I'm actually involved in some media work 'experience' through FFA next week. Which should be very interesting. Fingers crossed I get to be within a few hundred metres of the great David Beckham hahaha."

Matilda's Star Sally Shipard writes,

"I have been working quite a bit recently!

Both in finance at the AIS and at Parliament (a clothing store in Canberra) so I have been flat out.

I'm actually going to Wagga, (NSW) tomorrow (home town), for a primary school presentation. Im to talk about goal setting:-) so that should be fun!!!

Then I'm heading up to Newcastle to train with the girls up there as I'm representing the Newcastle Jets womens team in the 'showcase' games before the a-league matches on the 25th, 9th and 16th of december!!!

So those games should be a great opportunity for us!

Caitlin Munoz and Amy Chapman are also taking part in these games. So we will be obvioulsy doing our bit for the mighty capital:-)

The 442 road trip has been put on the back burner, I think a few of the organisers or sponsors for the event were dragging the chain.

But now it kind of worked out well because the game this weekend over-lapped!

I'm staying in Sydney after the game in Newcastle and will be attending the David Beckham game.yay!

I'm actually involved in some media work 'experience' through FFA. Should be very interesting. Fingers crossed I get to be within a few hundred metres of the great David Beckham hahaha.

There has been talk of a national league, for the women of course. Who knows when a sponsor will jump on board to fund it?

Assuming somthing begins next year:-) Fingers crossed once again!!!

bye Sal.


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Monday, 19 November 2007

Caitlin Munoz and Sally Shipard to play for the Jets.

Canberra's Matilda Stars Caitlin Munoz, Sally Shipard and Amy Chapman will play for the Newcastle Jets on Sunday at Energy Stadium, Australia.

The three teams, The Roar, The Jets and Sydney FC will all get the benefit of the talent from the ACT over the three game series.

Caitlin Munoz has been training, since a very short break after the World Cup, and is really looking forward to it.

"It's great to play at good stadiums. Hopefully it will keep the game in the public's mind and we get a good crowd."

And Caitlin and the Matildas are off to watch Sydney FC, ok Beckham FC, next week with 88,000 others.

"A few of the Matildas are going and we'll catch up for a meal. It should be a great night," said Munoz.

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Australian School Boys and Girls squads to tour England in Jan/Feb 2007

A trip to the UK in January/February!

Who said the life of a young footballer was fantastic.

Anyway good luck to all those chosen. And to Chris Conti, Canberran, and administrative manager of the tour.

The list of schoolgirls and boys is below.

AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS 2007.


Hussain Akil NSW
Anthon Fearon WA
Chris Roulston Qld
Jesse Pinto NSW
Michael Debono SA
David Rowley NSW
Steve Biason NSW
Glen Trifiro NSW
Simon Ryan NSW
Christopher Atsikbasis SA
Umut Tokdogan NSW
Travis Anderson SA
Aleksander Jovanovic NSW
Andrew Ciarla SA
Nathan Sherlock NSW
Daniel Carter SA
David Lowery NSW
Sebastian Usai Qld

AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLGIRLS 2007.


Sian McLaren SA
Monique Nelson Qld
Jordan Marsh NSW
Alesha Clifford NSW
Becky Kiting ACT
Hayley Abbott NSW
Gabrielle Dickinson NSW
Lorena Maggio Qld
Jenni Bisset ACT
Carlie Ikonomou NSW
Katrina Gorry Qld
Gema Simon NSW
Amanda Taylor Qld
Georgia Pelling Qld
Stephanie Tokich ACT
Rochelle Kuhar SA
Caitlin Jarvie NSW
Courtney Beutel Qld

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Fan culture: This weeks positive story and the beep test at your club

After the miserable display of a few fans misbehaving last week in Melbourne how great it was to see A-League fan culture alive and well in New Zealand.

Not only did a few Sydney fans make the trip, or at least wear the shirts of Sydney FC, but the dismissal of Tony Popovic was a great moment.


Not for him, but for Yellow Fever, The Phoenix's football fan base.

Poppa had to walk from halfway to the corner flag, where the players entrance is at the Beehive ground, and the Pheonix Yellow Fever army let him have it.

In unison the hands went up and gave him a wonderful loud and prolonged cheerio.

Great stuff.

And not to be outdone in keeping us laughing. Steve Laybutt came on for the Newcastle Jets and we were in histerics.

Jardel did 9 on the beep test this week we were informed. Most Jets players did around 14. You suspect Joel Griffiths won. But what would Steve Laybutt have got.

And if Jardel is fat, how has Steve got off so lightly. To heavy to have on the same bench as Jardel?

But he had an amusing but disastrous few minutes when he came on. Luckily for him it all came to nought. But everything he headed he missed, his kicks went up in the air and in the end I think he just started fouling.

That way he didn't have to worry about the ball.

But made me wonder how your starmen would go in a beep test.

Tony Popovic maybe around a 10. Sasho Petrovski similar. Romario, who knows? Not sure Kevin Muscat would get past 12. And Carlos Hernandez might just these days.

James Downey of the Glory would be flying. Fred last year did 15 plus. Socceroo Carl Valeri is up there when he's fit. Brett Emerton, in his day, would have won the record for the Aussies I suspect. David Carney would be a strong performer.

Big Nikolai Topor-Stanley would surprise many. For the Roar non-stop Matty Mackay would surely be number one. Travis Dodd would be strong. Olyroo Ruben Zadkovich surely would be great.

There's no ball involved just two cones twenty meters apart. And you have to go there and back a number of times within an allotted time.

And that's one set.

Who would fail the beep test at your club. Failure? For a professional footballer, in season, anything 13 or under I reckon is poor, unless you are an older player with experience:)

Hey Poppa!

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A-League taking shape.

Well who would bet against the Mariner now.

Another win, Johnny Aloisi boosting the team at just the right time. Great bit of bureaucratic fineprint could win the Minor Premiership and a place in the Asian Champions League for the Mariners.

Sydney are in the four did anybody notice?

And I thought they played well, particularly in the second half.

They ran like they never ran when under Culina. And surprise surprise David Zdrillic the forgotten man under Branko, the man who helped Sydney to such success in Asia with his performances for the team, giving the team structure, Zdrillic shown he can do it and do it for the team under John Kosmina.

Interesting.

And
Tony Popovic sent off. Absolutely a fair decision. He'd been skinned for pace a number of times by the very very old Vaughan Coveny and with the prospect of an embarassing chase on he put the old arm up. The same one he put into a Uruguayan on that famous Sydney night.

That night Hiddinck took him off. Immediately. Last night he was sent off. And Sydney lifted.

And the sight of the Wellington Phoenix fans giving Tony a noice farewell was absolutely fantastic. Great for the game. Great for the TV viewers.

It really lifted the spirits after last weeks fan headlines in Melbourne. Well done to the Yellow Fever.

Pity your team couldn't hang on. So close, against Sydney and The Mariners recently. Anther four points would have helped your season. But goals in injury time have "stuffed youse."

Adelaide the most entertaining side in the league had better start entertaining because two losses and a draw doesn't equal entertainment does it?

Not in football.

And whilst Paul Agostino is good. Played overseas and had an amazing send off from his club Munich 1860.

Like many others who have played overseas he's not better than our locals. Bruce Djite, Shane Smeltz and Archie. I would put each of these ahead of Agostino.

And how many defenders are up to the task of marking the old fellas?

Jade North, but not Steve Laybutt:)

The Victory have the Phoenix on the weekend. It is a must win game for both sides.

And The Roar, the beautiful Roar.

Are on the up.

Home final at Suncorp.

I'd like to see that, but maybe just maybe we will.


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Sunday, 18 November 2007

Kevin Rudd to put Socceroos back on Free-To-Air

Senator Kate Lundy announced Labour football policy on the SBS today.

And it nearly bowled me over!

$32 million over 4 years, that is double the Liberal party commitment, with most of the expenditure in the next two years.

This would cover a TELEVISED women's national league,

A Labour Government will put the World Cup qualifiers back on Free-To-Air. That will really benefit the game and give the children, the players, and our future, the chance to see the stars of the World Game they play.

And they will have a use it or lose policy for sports broadcasters.

and money for grassroots, and Australian teams into Asia.

It sounded good to me. It sounded like, finally, after all these years, an Australian Political Party can see the benefit of the game to Australia politically, economically, socially and culturally.

The Labour Party seemed to have tapped into the growth of the game at grassroots level, the Socceroos and Matildas success, and the opportunities the sports can bring to Australia through increasing our links across Asia and the World.

Not hard really. Makes you wonder why The Liberal party haven't taken the initiative over the years as they have continued to pour disproportionate amounts into Rugby Union and Rugby League.

Disproportionate to the numbers who play, and the countries the National teams meet.

Which ever party you vote for, football fans can at least be pleased about the benefits the game will gain from a Rudd Labour Government.

I'll look for a response from the Liberal party during the week.

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Australia: Wow we won both, now a Coach please!

Australia beat Nigeria 1-0 in the middle of the night. What a silly time to play football.

And the Olyroos beat Iraq 2-0 in the crucial Olympic qualifier in Gosford in front of thousands of Iraqi supporters!

Great to see, but would have been nice to all the Mariners fans fill the stadium to support Danny Vukovic and the team.

Here's hoping the Olyroos can clinch it on Wednesday in North Korea. It won't be easy but it will be a fantastic achievement if they do it.

And I for one will have been surprised after watching the Seniors in the Asia Cup.

This group of players, and it is a big group of effective players. This group have done good me thinks.

Complete the job, you've earned it.

Should I go to the Olympics to cover the Olyroos...thinking thinking, someone has to...

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Canberra's Joe Simunic heads to Wembley for crucial game....

crucial for England that is.

Simunic's Croatia side has already qualified for Euro 2008, but if they win at Wembley they could dump England out.

Hmmmn tempting, probably not, most footballers would like to see England in the finals I reckon.

Given Joe would like to play in England he'll be looking for a strong performance on Wednesday.

Joe has already marked Christian Viera (Italy) at Japan/Korea 2002, Thierry Henry (France) Euro 2004 and Ronaldo( Brazil) Germany 2006...and of course our own Mark Viduka at Germany 2006.

Not a bad achievement for an Aussie. And that's how Joe describes himself. An Australian who loves Australia.

Don't be too harsh on the boy who chose Croatia. At 17 maybe we all made decisions we would have done differently, or maybe it' not a hanging offence anyway.

And would Joe like to finish his career with an A-League side.

"Yes," says Simunic, "I love to play for a Canberra side."

So hands off the Mariners and any other potential thieving A-League team. And anyway it will be a while yet.

Joe has a five year contract with Hertha Berlin and Canberra doesn't have a side...yet:)

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Friday, 16 November 2007

Roar Krusing

Queensland Roar 1 Melbourne Victory 0

Is the Victory's season over?

Maybe, but The Roar are the on up. The Queensland crowd sensed it you felt at the end of the game. This was a big big win.

And without Craig Moore, Danny Tiatto and Michael Zullo

There wasn't much in it, but the young Robbie Kruse did what Socceroos Archie Thompson and Danny Allsopp couldn't do. He scored.

The Roar came out of the blocks flying. The pace of Farina's men rattled a Melbourne side without chief organiser and whistle blower Kevin Muscat.

Matty Kemp was stressed early by the pace of Robbie Kruse.

Massimo Murdocha couldn't find a forward in attack, but he was more clinical at the other end.

Archie six goals Thompson missed a perfect Murdocha through ball, I know he plays for the Roar, okay back pass...and Archie missed another sitter later on.

The Roar were flying. Pace from Reinaldo, Robbie Kruse and in your face Matt Mackay were running the show.

And then Kruse scored. He picked it up deep, ran at the soft-centred Melbourne defence and curled one past Theolokitos the Victory keeper.

But Theo saved the next one from Matty Mackay and you just thought it might be important.

Craig Moore, who is having a fantastic season, went off injured.

After 22 minutes Adrian Caceres put in possibly Victory's first cross of the season and things were looking up.

Carlos Hernandez was ineffectual in the first half, or rubbish, depending on your preference.

But suddenly as the half went on the Roar slowed and Victory had a sniff. Danny Allsopp was linking well.

Ernie Merrick sent out his most attacking line-up of the season in the second half.

Leandro Love on. Hernandez, Caceres, Thompson and Allsopp.

And Victory pushed on.

Archie crossed superbly and Allsopp missed an open goal.

The Roar fans were loud.

Robbie Kruse was superb, is he better than Michael Zullo? I think so.

Kruse twisted and turned and tormented whoever came near him. In fact he seems to be having a much bigger impact than his highly-rated Nurnberg mate, Dario Vidosic and the left-sided Spase Dilveski when they were with The Roar last year.

Carlos Hernandex hit the post. So did Robbie Kruse.

A great game. The Roar edged it, but for Victory another set of missed chances and if you don't score you don't win, or even draw.

The crowd sensed this season is going to be about them. I'd love to see The Roar in Asia, never mind in the final four.

The Victory have know Kruse, Zullo or even a Minniecon. The structure is wrong. Their wing men. Caceres and "Sure touch" Love are producing enough. Caceres is confident but doesn't really cause much damage. Love, well he looks overawed.

What now Ernie? We played well, but didn't score?

I would agree. And on such things your season turns. In the last three games Victory gained a point. Against the Mariners, Sydney and even tonight the Victory with a little luck and finishing could have taken nine.

Queensland won two games at home in row for their first time ever. 17,000 tonight. As word spreads it could be 20,000 next time.


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Has the internet saved football?

My very best new friend Mike takes Paul Sheehan's monthly anti-football piece apart on his blog.

Simon Hill discusses the continued existence of the Australian anti-football media in this months 442 magazine.

And it got me thinking, given the lack of Free To Air TV coverage and the continued snipes from many in the mainstream media, has the internet saved football in Australia?

Indeed would the A-League have sunk to NSL crowd levels without the internet?

Would it have ever reached it's giddy heights of 40,000 or 50,000 plus crowds.

The World Game website, Four Four Two and mainstream newspapers now provide a coverage to Australian football supporters like we've never had before.

In the old days, pre-A-League where could you get your information about Australian football and footballers from, and how much?

The odd magazine, the Australia (don't make me cry) the Herald Sun, the Sydney Morning Herald.

But how much?

SBS was the saviour.

Now fans can and do connect through the various fan forums. Continually.

Imagine walking into a work place and talking NSL, even A-League could still be a problem as most don't ever see a game. If they don't have Fox do they even know what you are talking about?

Or if you were a female talking A-League with anyone, which girls or women could do that. Now female fans have their own spaces, and voices on the net.

The internet has enabled people like me, a football fan of some years, to connect with people from across the country. With many many fellow passionate Australian football fans in away I never could in the old days.

Not even when Canberra had a team. Even in the Cosmos days people were negative and thought only that the team couldn't survive, and they were right.

But now I can talk to people who are positive about the game. In Canberra and importantly beyond. And it's great.

And that gives football fans further encouragement and strength to continue our support of the new league.

You can now share your match experience, just look at the forums after the grand final wins, and Socceroos games.

The game doesn't stop at the final whistle like it did in the old NSL.

Bloggers, podcasters have increased the ability of fans to connect and feed on new and trivial or vital information.

Sydney FC fans have their internet radio show, Melbourne fan Cecilia has her Girl's Guide blog to the A-League, The Mariners have their forum and so the list and diversity goes on.

Hamish has an Australian Bloggers Cup, uniting the bloggers of the A-League in a unique way.

So next time you see an Australian journalist producing the usual anti-football bias, hop on the web and get some support from your fellow fans on a forum or whichever your favourite blog is.

Better still go to the Mariners forum and join the small but rapidly growing response of the football community to do something, anything, to Paul Sheehan's newspaper, or Tom Zed's (as Simon Hill says are you for real) front page piece in Adelaide,or even Tim Gavel here in Canberra, anti football and loving it.

What we the community will do, I don't know but I'm going to have great thinking about it.


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Women's A-League challenge kicks off next week

Fantastic to see the FFA moving quickly to provide the major Women players in the country the opportunity to play in high profile games in major stadiums.

And of course it leads in nicely to next years Women's National League.

Great stuff/

AUSSIE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP STARS TO FEATURE IN WOMEN’S A-LEAGUE CHALLENGE



The stars of Australia’s recent successful FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign will feature in the upcoming Women’s A-League Challenge that will see Australia’s finest female football talent pitted against one another prior to Hyundai A-League matches.

Australian national team players such as captain Cheryl Salisbury, striker Lisa De Vanna and midfielders Collette McCallum and Heather Garriock will represent teams known as Newcastle Jets Women, Queensland Roar Women and Sydney FC Women.

The three match series will commence at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle on Sunday 25 November with Newcastle Jets Women hosting Sydney FC Women prior to the Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League match.

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host Queensland Roar Women v Newcastle Jets Women on Sunday 9 December ahead of the Queensland Roar and Central Coast Mariners fixture.

The final match of the series will take place at the Sydney Football Stadium with Sydney FC Women facing Queensland Roar Women prior to the Perth Glory and Sydney FC match.

The squads will be primarily based on players featuring in the respective State Institute programs. Australian World Cup stars from other cities such as Melbourne’s Melissa Barbieri and Perth duo Collette McCallum and Lisa De Vanna will guest for one of the three participating teams.

“These matches present a tremendous opportunity for Hyundai A-League fans to see our top female players in action following their outstanding exploits at the World Cup,” said Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer Ben Buckley.

“The FFA is committed to establishing an enduring and sustainable format of domestic competition for women in Australia, and these matches will provide a small test event as we look towards building the best possible model for our elite female players.”

Australia recent quarter final appearance at September’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in China was the nation’s most successful appearance in a major tournament with the team finishing sixth in reaching the quarter finals after being knocked out by eventual runners-up Brazil. Following the tournament Australia moved to an all-time high of 12 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

The Australian team received wide acclaim for their performance in China and coach Tom Sermanni was last week named Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Coach of the Year, while midfielder Collette McCallum finished third in the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award. Following the World Cup Australian striker Lisa De Vanna was named in the FIFA All-Star team and has also been short-listed for the FIFA World Women’s Player of the Year.

“The players at the World Cup performed magnificently and this will provide a fairly rare opportunity for the players to appear on home soil and I know it is an event they are greatly looking forward to,” said Australian coach Tom Sermanni.

“It will also be a great opportunity for the players in the State Institute programs to test themselves in a competitive environment against the nation’s best and I’m sure all the matches will prove to be entertaining and high quality contests.”


Women’s A-League Challenge

Sunday 25 November, 2.25pm
Newcastle Jets Women v Sydney FC Women
(Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners, 5pm)
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle

Sunday 9 December, 3.25pm
Queensland Roar Women v Newcastle Jets Women
(Queensland Roar v Central Coast Mariners, 6pm)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday 15 December, 4.25pm
Sydney FC Women v Queensland Roar Women
(Sydney FC v Perth Glory, 7pm)
Sydney Football Stadium


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Young Socceroos 0 Korea Republic 4 (FOUR)

hmmm weather bad, we'd already qualified, but we were thumped by another Asian team.

Anyone worried, anyone, anyone?

FFA report below.




FFA Media Release
Thursday 15 November 2007

QANTAS YOUNG SOCCEROOS GO DOWN IN FINAL MATCH





The Qantas Young Socceroos have concluded the AFC Youth qualifying tournament in disappointing fashion going down 4-0 to Korea Republic, to finish second in the group.

Despite the loss in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Australia has still qualified for next year’s AFC Youth Championships, with the top two from each preliminary qualifying group progressing to the tournament.

Going into the final group game tied on points, Korea stole an early goal after three minutes and never looked back and by half time were three goals to the good.

They added a fourth goal midway through the second half to complete the scoring.

Much of the match was played in heavy rain although the Koreans were clinical in pouncing on several hesitant moments by Australia in its own penalty box.

The opening goal came after Australia failed to clear the ball properly and they pounced quickly and had the ball in the back of the net.

Australia’s first meaningful effort on goal came in the 23rd minute, but Oliver Bozanic’s long range effort was high and wide.

Soon after Korea was up 2-0 when they again pressured the defence in the penalty box, who turned it over and the Korean striker had an easy tap-in from close range.

With the rain bucketing down, Australia was again punished for not clearing it lines effectively in the 40th minute, with goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne beaten a third time by a clinical finish from 10 metres out.

Redmayne was forced into two excellent saves after the break, but was unable to stop a solid shot in the 69th minute.


The top two berth for Australia ensures qualification for next year's 16-nation AFC Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia. The top ranked teams at next year’s tournament will qualify for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.


Korea Republic 4 (3', 28', 40', 69')
Australia 0

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne (gk); Luke Devere, Sebastian Ryall, James Holland, Tahj Minniecon, Daniel Mullen, Oliver Bozanic (Matt Mullen 54’), Ryan McGowan (Peter Cvetanovski 62’), Jason Hoffman, Mitch Nichols (Mario Jesic 79’), Nathan Elasi
Subs not used: Milos Lujic, Isaka Cernak-Okanya, Matthew Jurman, Glen Trifiro, Michael Entagert (gk), Rocky Visconte

Cautions: Holland (42’), Hoffman (51’), D Mullen (67’)




The Qantas Young Socceroos squad to compete in Vietnam is:

Peter Cvetanovski, Luke DeVere, Marko Jesic, Daniel Mullen, Milos Lujic, Matthew Theodore, Isaka Cernak-Okanya, Matthew Jurman, (all AIS), Tahj Minniecon (AIS/Queensland Roar), Sebastian Ryall (Melbourne Victory), Andrew Redmayne (AIS/Central Coast Mariners), Matthew Mullen (AIS/Adelaide United), Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (AIS/Newcastle Jets), Nathan Elasi (Marconi Stallions), Glen Trifiro (Marconi Stallions), Michael McEntagert (Everton, England), Ryan McGowan (Hearts, Scotland), Rocky Visconte (Hearts, Scotland), Oliver Bozanic (Reading, England), Mitch Nichols (Queensland Roar)
* All players AIS-based unless stated otherwise


Australia v Indonesia 2-0
Tuesday 6 November

Australia v Vietnam 2-0
Thursday 8 November

Australia v Guam 15-0
Saturday 10 November

Australia v Korea Republic 0-4
Wednesday 14 November
All matches to be played at Thanh Long SC, Ho Chi Minh City



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Thursday, 15 November 2007

So you don't have Fox, here's the bites from Total Football

Urawa win the Asian Champions League but what did their fans do to the trophy? The team took the trophy to the crowd and let a guy, a fan raise the trophy. Unbelievable.

Ange Postecoglou reckons the Socceroos game against Nigeria without a Coach is a wasted opportunity. He's right!

More from Mark Bosnich, Graham Arnold on the Olyroos game and Aurelio Vidmar on the ACL.

Mark Bosnich is on the Fox Sports team for the Socceroos game. He thinks Australia will walk over Nigeria. Robbie Slater thought we would as well.

You're joking boys. Remember Denmark in London? This Australian team has no Vinny Grella, Mark Viduka, and Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill may not play.

And you really think we'll win comfortably..I wish I was so confident.

Graham Arnold thinks it will be tough on Saturday in Gosford, The Olyroos have yet to concede a goal. Neither have Iraq. And 0-0 won't be enough will it?

Arnie said 69% of goals at the World Cup came from set plays. Yuk! So the team have been working on that.

Worryingly Arnie said we had 24 chances against Lebanon in Lebanon, but didn't score.

Unfortunately that is a recurring theme with Australian sides. Let's hope we score a few on Saturday.

And Aurelio Vidmar, the Adelaide United Coach looks excited about next years Asian Champions League. But he doesn't want to draw Urawa Reds until the final.

Thoughts of Melbourne and Adelaide playing in the Asian Champions League at the end of the A-League got my mouth-watering. Can't wait. Thank god for Asia!

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And the Socceroos Coach will be in the crowd...

So you think the Socceroos Coach is Dick Advocaat.

Even though he's just been offered a new $4 million after-tax contract with Zenith St Petersburg, having just won the Russian league.

Oh bugger!

Well the only thing we know for sure is that the new coach is expected to be in the crowd on Saturday for the Socceroos game against Nigeria.

This will make for great fun for Fox Sports Simon Hill....and may be the newest way in the Corporate world of unveiling your new boss.


So Dick Advocaat won the title with Zenith St Petersburg in Russia. Bugger!

Because he’s coming to coach the Socceroos isn’t he.

Well he’s going to sign soon according to the worst kept secret in Australian football, but not yet, or maybe after the Russian season, or maye we're all as clear as mud?

It gets worse, those pesky, I mean rich, Russians have offered him more money than we Aussies could afford, for what, to coach in the Champions League.

The new manager might be in the crowd to watch the Socceroos v Nigeria on the weekend in London. Now we all know football fans have a great sense of humour but this could be too close to the bone.

Can you imagine the Fox Sports team lead by Simon Hill scanning the crowd through the cameras before the game to spot the new Coach.

Robbie Slater,”Simon, who’s here?”
Simon Hill, “Just scanning the crowd now Robbie. I can see Mark Viduka!”
Robbie, “I don’t think so.”

Simon, “Fergie’s here.”
Robbie, “Can’t afford him.”
Simon, “Dennis Wise, Steve Coppell, Laurie Sanchez they're all here.”
Robbie, “No, has to have international clout.”
Simon, “Laurie did Northern Ireland, okay I’m joking.”

Robbie, “Is Dick Advocaat here? Guus Hiddinck? Jorvan Viera, Sven Goran-Eriksson,”
Simon, “Hands off, City are on the up.”

Robbie, “Well who then,”
Simon, “I’m still scanning, its’ not looking good...my god I think I’ve spotted him.”
Robbie, “Who let me look.”
Simon, “You’re not going to like this.”
Robbie pushes Simon aside and looks to the screen. “It’s me!”

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Do you feel for Socceroo Archie Thompson?...I do.

Now whatever you think of Archie, he has been to the World Cup, was in the Asian Cup squad but didn't play.

He missed out to Mark Viduka, John Aloisi, and you could argue even Brett Holman and Harry Kewell in both tournaments.

But come the European season, Viduka can't make the Argentina game in Melbourne and Aloisi didn't have a club.

and of course Archie starts!...

And according to the pundits, not me, but many others lumped large amounts of praise on Archie's performance.

So certainly he would be in the next Socceroos squad.

Right?

Wrong?

And Viduka and Aloisi are out and still no place for Archie!

Well as a footballer everyone wants to play for the National team. Indeed we the punters want everyone to play ie Viduka,Joe Simunic etc.

Imagine the cricket team not selecting a guy who had done well in the last game and had been in all the previous squads...or the Wallabies for that matter.

So Archie didn't get selected. Game time for the Socceroos is crucial to future selection. Archie knows this better than anyone.

Since his first half show in the WCQ against Uruguay in Montevideo his next real game was against Argentina. He did well, even Robbie Slater and Craig Foster said so!

Surely he would have a chance to at least remain in the squad.

But now he's dropped.

The official line is, we're taking a European squad.

But when I was left out of a side for any reason I felt dropped. I'm sure Archie does to.

Archie should have been selected. He's not here to hold up the A-League. His mate at Melbourne Leigh Broxham can go on National duty with the Olyroos this week, even Sebastian Ryall for the Under 20's but not Archie.

Not Archie. He misses out on the greatest prize of all, Socceroo selection.

Even a trip to London, where the breakfast's are great:)

And this is the last game before the WCQ which start in February.

And we expect loyalty from Viduka and co.

Loyalty, FFA, is a two way street.

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A-League season ticket sales up 52%

Oh and the A-League is challenging cricket for summer patrons, well no real surprise there.

In the Daily Telegraph this morning.

An amazingly positive story on football, particularly challenging the notion that a few International test matches make cricket a more popular sport than football.

Why not compare apples and apples.

The domestic A-League crowds against the domestic cricket competition crowds.

Stop laughing.

And then ask yourself which domestic competition gets most coverage on TV, and Radio.

You couldn't make it up could you:)

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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Angelo Kostantiniou back in the Futsalroos


On The Nearpost show last night was Nearpost hosts, Arif Hossein, and Nicole Somi, special guest Canberra Olympic keeper and Australian Futsalroo keeper Angelo Kostantiniou and myself Eamonn Flanagan. Kai Thornton is in the front row.

Angelo Kostantiniou is back in the Australian National team. And he's delighted.

Angelo speaking on the Nearpost show last night said, "I'm back in for the games against Malaysia in Sydney on the weekend."

Why had you been dropped Angelo?

Angelo smiles.

"Shall we say I speak my mind."

"Yes but why were you dropped?"

"The Coach (Scott Gilligan) wanted me to stay in goal a bit more. I like to come out." Angelo shrugged.

But he's back in the team and raring to go.

Will he stay in the goal more?

"We'll have to see."

Angelo has travelled across the World with the Futsalroos. He'd love to return to Brazil for the next World Cup.

"We've got the Asian Cup next year and if we do well there we go to the World Cup in Brazil. I'd love to go back to Brazil."

You can listen to more of Angelo's thoughts on Futsal and the Futsalroos on this weeks podcast.

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So what happened to our previous host..


Many people have asked what happened to Terry Henry, our previous Nearpost podcaster who left the show before we went to air on 2XX.

Terry's demise, although sad, was inevitable once he tried to reason with above snake.

Shortly after this photo Terry's vocal chords were ruined. The voice of radio is now recuperating.

He tells me through an interpreter, "I'll be back when I'm louder!"

Terry is an Arsenal fan:)

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Kai Thornton, 9, star of the Nearpost radio show.

Kai Thornton was our special guest talking Futsal live on 2XX Nearpost show his week.

Kai in the studio


Of course Kai was nervous. He's nine.

It was his first time on radio, talking about his love of football. He told us how he does his 360's and nutmegs in his backyard. How he taught his brother Shae "everything he knows."

"Yeah Shae (7) is good. He should be, I taught him everything I know," said Kai.

And if you wander round the backyard at Kai's place take your boots, there's always a game on, and it's fiercely competitive!

Kai was brilliant on air. A little nervous, who isn't.

But he'd prepared well and relaxed more and more as the show went on.

The Nearpost team loved listening to Kai talk about the teams he plays for, Majura outdoor and The Storm (Futsal).

And Kai was selected for the Canberra North Side representative side during the week.

Well done Kai. You are our youngest, therefore our most special guest, EVER!

And I'll be round for a game soon....when your Dad has mowed the pitch.

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Tuesday, 13 November 2007

On the Podcast this week

A-League stuff, Nicole Somi talks Capital Football,
Armchair analyst Arif says, "Is Dick Advocaat really coming?
David Williams, Olyroo
Matthew Kemp Melbourne Victory
Kaz Patafta Melbourne Victory
Nathan a frustrated and angry Melbourne Victory fan
Angelo Kostantiniou, Ausralian International Futsalroo keeper and Canberra Olympic player.
Kai Thornton, nine years old, Futsal player.


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Monday, 12 November 2007

FFA should deduct points for fan misbehaviour

That would get a response, immediate and swift from the fan group wouldn't it?

It worked at Celtic Park with 60,000 people, it could work in Newcastle with your next door neighbour in the 10,000 person crowd.

The FFA will do their bit, but the fans need to save our game. The loud singing abusive taunting fans. You might think it adds atmosphere, but when you are let out of the stadium, surprise, surprise the taunted want to take the insults a little further.

FFA ACTS ON ANTI-SOCIAL FANS...


Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced a number of specific steps that have been taken to ensure that any anti-social behaviour from supporters is eradicated from the Hyundai A-League.



Key amongst them is the appointment of a specialist security firm to undertake a broader review of security arrangements for the League, and to recommend a series of initiatives to improve the current security arrangements. Specifically, the appointed firm will address:



Relevant legislation across states and territories
Venue terms of entry policies
Co-ordination and interface with policing services, across jurisdictions
Gathering and sharing intelligence on perpetrators
Sanctioning policy

This action was initiated some five weeks ago as a result of an issue involving fans in Sydney on October 6. At that time FFA progressed the appointment of a specialist security consultant, to assist FFA and the Clubs to investigate the behaviour of a number of Sydney fans during a home match at Sydney Football Stadium. That investigation, which is ongoing, has so far resulted in

bans for two individuals
adjustment of seating arrangements for visiting supporters at SFS
updated protocols for managing access and egress of supporters before and after matches.

Also in the last month, FFA and the Hyundai A-League Clubs have met and conferenced regularly themselves and with relevant authorities, venues and other stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that all parties are operating as proactively as possible to ensure appropriate standards of fan behaviour are maintained. The issue was an important agenda item when the Club CEOs met with the FFA on October 18, with all Clubs recognising its critical nature, and committing to the review process.



In direct response to the events of last Saturday, meetings have taken place in Melbourne today involving all relevant stakeholders to identify why the events occurred, and what can be changed to prevent them occurring again in the future.



“From its inception, the FFA has worked very hard to provide a safe, family-friendly environment at our matches, and we therefore take crowd conduct and allegations of crowd misbehaviour very seriously,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley. “We are committed to continue to use all available resources to eradicate this from the game. The appointment of a specialist security firm will allow relevant legislation to be reviewed, together with policies governing access and egress to venues, the co-ordination of and interface with policing services, intelligence-gathering and sharing, and what sanctions will be most effective in preventing issues in future.”



Buckley continued, “At the same time, it is important that this problem is recognised for what it really is – which is a small number of trouble-making individuals ruining things for the vast majority of genuine fans, who are true football-loving supporters, creating a wonderful positive unique atmosphere at our games. Our focus, with the Clubs, will be to continue to weed out those individuals, so that their actions are not allowed to taint the remarkable resurgence of this game in Australia.”


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Fans need to sort the fans out..it's the only way.

There was violence at the game, Melbourne v Sydney on Saturday, so I'm told by my daughter who was at the game (she's eight), oh and every media outlet in the country.

My daughter was scared..she said she'll come back if there are no more "punch ups" as she called it.

Friggin great. That's me days at the football numbered isn't it.



She is eight and walked out of the game with her mother and some friends having sat on the third level at the Telstra Dome.

We had all enjoyed the game, the crowd noise, the whole bit.

I'd nipped into the Press Conference after the game, and agreed to meet them outside.

But will I be back with my daughter? Not if she doesn't feel safe or want to go.

She's already been to the Uruguay game, the World Cup qualifier. She didn't feel scared in amongst all that passion and noise that night. Not even as Aussies and Uruguayan fans mingled outside the ground before kick-off.

I had. Not because there was any trouble. But because I'd watched Celtic and Rangers fans before games, during games and after games. I knew what could happen. Only this time I had my daughter with me.

I moved away quickly that night.

I didn't need to. Not that special tense night.

But now she may not be back!

Thanks to some stupid mindless fans intent on abusing, slagging each other off, taunting and then surprise, surprise, when the chance arises handbags occur...I know it wasn't bad, not Celtic Rangers bad, or even Italian bad, it wasn't even NSL or one day cricket bad.

But it doesn't look good for the game. Does it?

It's still hard to get media coverage for football in this country and suddenly we get loads....all negative.

but for my daughter the sight of teenagers running, and the police shouting after them was concerning, very concerning.

The so-called trouble, I'm not sure it was significant, but the trend is worrying to me.

Like a fight at school, everyone runs don't they...towards it. That's what it seemed.

It wasn't good, and of course it gave every media and anti-football fan a chance to stir the pot.

Our own fault?

Probably.

FFA need to deduct points to both clubs involved. Watch the fans sort this out quick smart then.

The fans need to sort out, point out the flare throwers out in the stadiums, the bottle throwers, and do you really need to visit the oppositions pub in a large group for an abusive song singing contest.

Go by all means, but go in Aussie friendship. If you are going to taunt and abuse don't be surprised when someone takes it the wrong way and the media show the worst side of the game to everyone else.

Is that too much to ask of football fans in this country?

The FFA can help. It seems they will from their Press Release below but the fans could sort it themselves, and should in the name of football.

Why put the fans so intent on heckling and abusing each other next to each other at the stadium.

Why allow Newcastle fans to take cans and bottle into the ground or buy them in the ground so they can throw them at the players as they did the other week against Sydney?

I could go on, but why bother. The fan groups need to self-police. Blaming the police. I've heard it all before. I don't care about the police.

I care about the game. Fans provoking each other. It's always the other sides fault.

What are the true fans in the fan groups going to do about it?


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