Thursday, 27 August 2009

Canberra United Coach plans for the season ahead.

Peter Funnell caught up with Canberra United's new Coach Ray Junna.

Where else would you get such a lengthy interview on local football in Canberra?
Got to love volunteers in this city; And it's a great interview.


Emily van Egmond, Overseas players signed up, pathway and training schedule for the team and just how hard is it to be a United player? It's tough and the details are all here.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Aussies or Foreigners?

Big Bob Malcolm, Scottish, has pushed Aussie Luke DeVere out of Centre-Back for Brisbane. Why? He hasn't improved the leaking Roar defence has he?

Was young Aussie Luke so poor last year when The Roar did so well.
And the embarrasingly fat Charlie Miller takes much of young Mitch Nicholls game time.

Miller has skill, did he even train over the pre-seaon, but Nicholls also has skill and Nicholls can run.

Australia should not bring in overweight, foreigners, particularly when they replace our young local lads.

Get rid of them and give our young blokes a go. Especially those young guys who have already proved themselves at this level.


Mark Viduka: Leave us with dignity?

Mark Viduka one of Australia's greatest sportsmen is in danger of leaving the game with a stain around his image.

If he's retired from professional football, club football fair enough. But when he decided or if he has decided to step down finally from the National team the country deserves better. We deserve to know.

If Ricky Ponting left us lingering or Shane Warne we'd be screaming for an answer. Viduka is as important to Aussie sport as either of those guys.

He lead the line of our National team for years, got us to the World Cup and helped us through the group, he used to turn up when Harry often felt injured. He turned Croatia down when Australia called, and don't underestimate that issue for "The Duke."

He's done us proud but he should leave the National Team with the same dignity, or indeed in form us of his other plans.

The nation needs to know, so come on big man...who the hell is advising you or can't you hear him above the waves on your boat?


Any Full-Time Football Staff in your club?

How many full-time staff does your junior club have?

Struggling for volunteers? Does the model for your club work? Is it going to be sustainable in the future?

Ever noticed how the Canberra football communiy, all 20,000 players, has no place in our community.
One Club in Australia has eighty full-time staff, so why does your club have NONE? What are we doing so wrong in Canberra, and maybe elsewhere across the country. And will your club be in the same boat in the next 10 years. Probably! Read on.

About Vikings Futsal
Vikings Futsal began in 1992, when a meeting of the Logan City Futsal Club decided to call their national league team the Logan City Vikings. Today Vikings are at the forefront of futsal management and development. Vikings operate around 200 clubs, with another 30 affiliated across Australasia, have 80 full-time and 150 part-time staff. It also has affiliates in Brazil, Chile, USA, China, UK and the Philippines. Vikings is a not for profit association. Our mission is to develop futsal as a sport in its own right, not as a form of training for alternative sports.

Few clubs in Canberra, if any, have any support from our licensd clubs, our own grounds or even our own shops. If Sportsman's Warehouse or Rebel sell some gear to our kids and we get a little rebate we think we've done a good deal. Pathetic if that is the best we can do.

Who is driving the business model for football in Canberra, or for our clubs. I see no evidence.

Resourcing is the single biggest issue facing football in Canberra.

As your kids go off to play futsal at the local Netball Centre or some private centre to pour money into those other sports over summer, take a look around you. At the kids who are playing, and the benefits they are getting. None! Not one long-term benefit to our kids from the money they are spending.

Turn up play your game and that's it. You can't even get a few minutes to train before the game as we've only paid for courts from 5-10pm and the courts must remain empty until 5pm. How much do we pay?

One club with over 1500 players approached a local licenced club in their area. "We don't support soccer."

When will the dingbats from Ainslie Footy Club, Wests Rugby or Raiders HQ and the like realise that we have all the kids and by joining with the community, the soccer community which is the Canberra community in essence, they not only get to contribute to the health and welfare of the community they could actually entice/offer special deals to get some kids to play their games...and by god they need them don't they!

Hey their green ovals could even get used occasionally but that's another story.

Why does football in Canberra despite having all the kids, hardly have any infrastructure worthy of it's name and not a single bus to collect kids from High School for training (AFL) Development Officers who spend considerable times in school from a Club (Wests Rugby), clubs providing free Coaching and Educational seminars, free meals for their 14-18 years olds (Raiders).

It's our own fault. Don't blame those in other clubs or codes. We have enough talent on our sidelines with Professional and Business nous, but it seemingly isn't being tapped. Our kids deserve better, our city deserves better.

You can only do this stuff if you have money. Football has none bar the odd handout from the ACT Government. Big deal!

And the Raiders and Brumbies get $1 million per year, Canberra football should get the same. The kids would benefit, we'd use it wisely and in time when an A-League team comes in the A-League would benefit, from players ready to go and infrastructure already set-up to assist an A-League club in the long-term.

Who is lobbying for us to get the same monies as League and Union?

How many balls are sold across Canberra every year? Does anyone make any money from it?

Rebel and various Sports Shops must make hundreds of thousands per years from football. Boots and footwear, same with socks, shorts you name it there isn't a football club making any real money from it's player purchases. And if they are it's all volunteers (God Bless em) isn't it.

Is anyone planning for our future or is our future a Government handout for TigerTurf every three years, is that the best we can do.

There is money out there, 20,000 kids and their parents must spend an awful lot of money in the community.

We haven't tapped our resources yet, and if we continue as we are we will be the laughing stock of all Australia.

Canberrans pride themselves on being smart people. Time our football community got serious, and worked their talents.

We could hardly do worse could we?


No National Podcast this week. Tech hitch apologies


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

20,000 registrations? You're dreaming

The next time someone in Canberra tells you we've a huge junior base with 20,000 kids/registrations tell them they are dreaming, same goes for 260,000 registrations across NSW or the paltry 50,000 in Victoria.

What we have is a lot of people playing independently in their own clubs, maximum community in Canberra is Woden Valley 1800. Not such a big community is it?

Because until you can show a sponsor we have the contact details, emails and mobile phones for 20,000 registered players, until you can communicate directly with those kids to tell them the A-League is in town or their season is about to have nothing do you.

That's where Australian football has to go to grow the game. Communicate with the masses, the grassroots and you have a chance to grow. We don't have free-to-air so we need to look at other sources..should have done it ten years ago..but better late than never.


Ivan: Tell the FFA to shove it!

Football Federation Australia has delayed making a final decision about a potential 12th A-League club following the national governing body’s board meeting last night.
FFA's board met to decide on the fate of a 12th potential A-League team. However, the decision to defer was taken to allow bidders more time to work on "...matters relevant to their individual applications".
The next board meeting will be in October but that does not preclude an earlier decision if possible, we understand.

Not sure what to make of this, other than Canberra isn't wanted, not considered ready, although I know the funds are largely in place and other discussions are developing as they say.

Still hard to get commitments when you don't have a licence isn't it.

As for an October deadline....forget it.
How could we possibly be ready for next season? Read the article below.

Clearly Western Sydney are nowhere near ready, as if they had $5 in the bank they'd have been in!

And guess what...the two A-League games in Canberra will have passed by the October meeting...someone is taking the piss ain't they.

Time for Ivan to tell em to shove it! We're in or we're out; and if we are out they can stick their football league up their proverbial.

Anyone got better understanding or reasoning.

Alternatively we could get 20,000 to the Central Coast Mariners games and we might get further consideration I guess. With the communication system to our junior base non-existent you would consider 5,000 a good crowd.

On that point: We might have 20,000 kids playing but if you don't have their email or phone number in a central actually have no members.

EXCLUSIVE: Football Federation Australia has delayed making a final decision about a potential 12th A-League club following the national governing body’s board meeting last night.
FFA's board met to decide on the fate of a 12th potential A-League team. However, the decision to defer was taken to allow bidders more time to work on "...matters relevant to their individual applications".

The next board meeting will be in October but that does not preclude an earlier decision if possible, we understand.

It's understood there was a range of issues which varied from bid to bid that the FFA wanted more detail and clarification on before making any decisions.

Bids from western Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong were all considered, though it's been reported that a second Sydney team remains highest on the league's agenda.

Meanwhile A-League expansion franchise Melbourne Heart, the 11th A-League club set to kick off next season, has begun advertising for key roles within their organisation.

These positions include football operations manager and two roles in their commercial and financial departments.

Heart can begin signing up players currently with rival A-League clubs from October if the player's contract runs out at the end of this season.

The longer a decision on their fellow newcomers is delayed, the more advantage it will hand Melbourne Heart.

The new club will be able to recruit the best of available players without any competition from the as yet undecided 12th franchise - which will still only be in the early stages of its basic setting up and backroom staffing.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Branko: Fozzie and Sir Les' favourite Coach

Yellow cards: Ben KANTAROVSKI 5’, Sasho PETROVSKI 23’, Fabio VIGNAROLI 30’, Sean ROONEY 45’ +1, Ljubo MILICEVIC 45’

In the first half five Jets players were booked. Look at the type of players who were getting booked.

Not a Danny Tiatto in sight.

So Branko why are five of your most talented players getting booked?...and all in the first half? What would Sir Les and Fozzie say?


A-League; The Glory now United?

Round Three saw the top six in the A-League now decided.

Yes I know we've got a few weeks to go but it looks sorted to me.

Well is Branko really going to sort that talented mob out, will Frankie survive the season, and Perth despite their win are too slow in the forward line to threaten aren't they, unless they can nick an improved Wellington's place, which leaves the Fury..they are still with us right?

Gold Coast, Adelaide United, Sydney FC, Central Coast, Wellington and Melbourne will fight it out for the top six positions at season end. Who would disagree?

This weekend we saw the Glory winning at home, Gold Coast telling us what we already thought, the supposedly new improved Sydney unable to beat the Mariners, Wellington raising their game late-on again, most un-Kiwi like isn't it, Victory back to the future; oh and Frank Farina with a team in a heap.

Perth Glory lacked attacking pace early but showed enough at home to suggest over the ninety they'll get better. Mile Sterjovski came to life. Why does it take these star players so long?

Brank Culina is capable it seems of turning a football flowing Newcastle into a bottom four rabble. Still not much signs of life, despite the talent on the park.

Sydney fans were over-impressed by their first victories even if one was against Adelaide, but a team which has Terry McFlynn and nice touches sometimes Karol Kisel in the centre are never going to completely dominate anyone are they?

Jason Culina v Terry McFlynn? Nice one!

Melbourne played the same. Boot it long to Archie and he'll score sometimes. He did.

Fury flustered but can only improve at home, maybe, and Gold Coast are flying.

Great to watch in a good game on Friday night. United's non-scoring forward Joel Porter, and team-mates Jason Culina, Adam Traore all caught the eye, not to mention their bench. Do we have a Salary Cap in this league?

Scott Jamieson was badly shown up again when attacked and that's a worry..for his career progressing as a full-back. I think he's better when the other teams have no right-sided attacker. Note to A-League clubs.

And of course I must mention Adelaide. A limp threat with one forward. But wait. Insoeb Shin did more in an attacking sense in fifteen minutes than most A-League players have done in 5 years, and Lloyd Owusu won a header.

That was the first header Adelaide has won in the attacking third since Bruce Djite left.

Paul Agostino, and Cristiano have won nothing in the air and if they did ( I don't think they did) who would have benefited; not Adelaide, they have no other forwards.

Owusu chased a ball down which must have left United fans wondering what he was doing. Agostino didn't do that either did he?

So Adelaide can add something more to their attack. They should improve.

For now The Roar are in a mess, Gold Coast are the team to beat, and Leo Bertos outshone Tommy Oar, Henrique, the kicking Robbie Kruse (how was he not sent-off) and all the rest of the creative Brisbane talent pool. And not many in the crowd either was there?

Next week Jets take on the Gold Coast...hmmn why am I always watching the Gold Coast.


Phil Gould: Were you drunk when you wrote that?

If it's not Pete FitzSimons writing rubbish about Union and having a dig at football, (why do journos in this country feel the need) in the Sydney Morning Herald every week, we now have Phil Gould trying to tell us that Jarryd Haynes is the greatest footballer in any code in Australia.

Phil wrote this in his article on Rugby League in the Sun Herald today.

RIGHT at this moment, Jarryd Hayne is the best player in any code of football in Australia.

He is without doubt the most dominant rugby league player in the world.

Now I've no idea if this bloke is any good, he must be I guess, but why Phil has to try and suggest he's better than Kofi Danning, Kevin Muscat, Ljubo Milicevic, Archie Thompson, and or course Jason Culina I've no idea.

Haynes is only 21 and played just 79 games in the local Eastern State Rugby League.

Culina played Champions League Football, ran around with PSV Eindhoven no less, and I'd suggest getting a gig in the Dutch League at that level is a tad harder than playing for your local professional suburban club in Sydney, and by sheer weight of numbers playing you have to be a better player to get a game don't you.

After all football is a World game where you compete against everyone else to get a contract at a Champions League Club.

And of course Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill, Harry Kewell and Mar Schwarzer are a few who have gone a tad higher and harder than the great Jarrod Haynes.

Come on Phil, whichever way you look at Haynes might be a brilliant League player but to suggest he's the best of any code. Haynes only has to outshine a few local lads playing the game to get a contract and then step up to the best of that pack, not such a great achievement is it?

Do you even know what Jason Culina, Tim Cahill, and Mark Schwarzer have achieved for their clubs in the previous 12 months and they ain't playing for a suburban Sydney club or Suburban Sydney wages are they?

As for Haynes being the Best in the World?

No Haynes might be the Best in the Eastern States or North of England but that hardly makes a World Clas athlete does it?


Saturday, 22 August 2009

Ever thought you are in the wrong job!

Agents? So that's why they do it.

Pitch Invasion ran this story today:

Here are the totals paid to agents for each division in 2008/9, with the approximate Aussie dollar figures in brackets.
Total amount paid to agents: £7,541,379 ($18,302,060)
Average agent fee per transaction: £53,108 ($106,744)

League One
Total amount paid to agents: £1,078,955 ($2,100,337)
Average agent fee per transaction: £17,402 ($34,349)

League Two
Total amount paid to agents: £189,167 ($447,686)
Average agent fee per transaction: £4,203 ($9,992)

Even deep down in crappy League One in England you can make $34,000 for a single transfer.

Cor if that was the incentive I'd be trying to get my players transferred every season wouldn't you? ..who is Nicky Carle's agent?

And I guess the Premiership fees are just unprintable aren't they.


Friday, 21 August 2009

3, must be great supporters in Melbourne

Thats the difference between the best supporters in the land, Melbourne Victory
(18,000 at two games) and yes you guessed it the fickle ones Sydney FC (15,000)

Not that much is it.


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Friday: Cracker night

Adelaide v Gold Coast United, Friday night.

Should be a cracker and a great test for both teams.

I'm expecting a fast-paced game with the Gold Coast forced onto the back foot in front of the Hindmarsh faithful.

But will Jason Culina, Shane Smeltz and Joel Porter pounce again. Or will Lloyd Owusu make his debut; he's in the squad and we may see a change in the United attacking line-up...but then again we may not!

Reckon it will be the game of the round, don't miss it!


Half-Time Heroes: Makes a splash

Not bad, not bad. Australia's only national football fanzine has clearly met the need of the sporting public.

Football fans love something a bit more irreverant, maybe better written, more opinionated than you find in the normal Aussie media. SBS, SMH have constraints of space and etiquette I guess. A fanzine less so.

We've had over 5,000 Readers so far for the first edition, over 40,000 page views and a plug on Fox Sports website from Australia's Number One Commentator Simon Hill.

We welcome any ideas to improve Half-Time Heroes and indeed anyone who would like ot get involved in anyway. Website design or any other ideas you may have.

Clearly we're here to stay.


Viduka: Don't leave us this way.

One of Australia's greatest ever players needs to tell us if:

He's retired.
He'll play for Australia again.

He's starting to annoy me. What is going on Big Man. Aussie Football Fans deserve to know. We've supported you through thick and less thick.

And we need to know so we can buy the Kennedy Australia shirt for Christmas or keep yours.

His Agent needs to write a better finale, because this one has disaster written all over it at the moment, for club and country.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Champions League/EPL is soooo boring.

Scott McDonald clearly plays for a better team than Tim Cahill.

Although Celtic lost to Arsenal 2-0 last night, Cahill's mob got hammered 6-1 on Saturday. With the Celtic budget around a couple of Everton players, the cheaper ones, we probably did pretty well.

For me, I didn't watch the game. Watching teams with no budget take on the likes of Arsenal and Man Utd over two legs is hardly an interesting contest is it, unless you are an Arsenal or United fan I guess.

Celtic would have a chance in a one-off game, even with our comparatively limited funds, but these two legs and group stages have made the Champions League a very tedious competition until the semi-finals in my view.

The format needs to be changed.

Champions League or English football, there's only about four teams with any real hope and all the new Chelsea, United and Arsenal fans can enjoy their weekly EPL victories over the likes of Hull, Birmingham and Everton. Really couldn't be much duller or less predictable could it?

Give me the A-League where every team, well almost every team, has a chance. That's a real challenge for the Coaches and the fans and that's how I like my football.


Canberra A-League Bid. D-Day looms

Monday 24th of August.

The most important day in Canberra football history for sometime.

Will the FFA grant Canberra a licence at the highest football table in the country and indeed across Asia.

I think Canberra and West Sydney will both be given a provisional licence with the need to convince the FFA of their finances and other items by November.

But then I think Celtic are the greatest side in the World.


Half-Time Heroes is looking for a website design

Given the stunning success of Half-Time Heroes we're heading to a new permanent website. If you have the skills and can design such a thing, for free, or minimal cost, go for it!

With an International audience it would be a great way to highlight your skills. if you can help.


Capital Football High Performance: Back on.

The HP system is back on in Canberra, check and the program is North and South for 20 boys and 20 girls in both locations; so good things come to those who wait.

There is a cost, it's not insignificant, but it's a big step in a new direction and would seem to be big vote winner from the grassroots community.

Now of course it must be professionally delivered with quality coaching, expertise and professionalism.


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Nearpost Podcast this week

All the A-League news, Socceroos opinions and more. Australia's greatest ever football podcast!

National Show

Peter Funnell talks to Warren Grieve football West High Performance Officer. With all that is happening locally in Canberra and across Australia this is well worth a listen. You may have seen Warren's team at the National Champs, you know the team that played football from the back.

Local Nearpost


Monday, 17 August 2009

NSW HP Program: It's free

Football NSW Launches ‘Project 22’

Free to all selected players, this highly professional development setup allows players to train up to five (5) times a week – for 40 weeks of the year – with highly experienced and qualified instructors.

Now it's time for Canberra to follow, not neccessarily in the same form, but develop we must....release below.

Football NSW is proud to launch ‘Project 22’, the implementation of an elite player development system aimed at producing future Socceroos and Matildas who will potentially compete at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A Football NSW initiative, Project 22 seeks to identify the best players in the 9-14 age group across NSW, aiming to lay down the foundations required to give the best youth footballers in the state the highest chance possible to succeed at the elite level as adult footballers.

Based on the National Curriculum launched by Football Federation Australia (FFA), Project 22 is centred on Football NSW being able to exceed world best practice in providing an elite competition and training environment for our future National Team players.

Free to all selected players, this highly professional development setup allows players to train up to five (5) times a week – for 40 weeks of the year – with highly experienced and qualified instructors.

Football NSW High Performance Manager Paul Bentvelzen sees this as a fantastic opportunity for players to receive top-class coaching as well as compete in elite competitions.

“Finally we can combine a quality training environment with our own elite competition in which the ultimate goal is for player development and not the win at all cost mentality.”

The Sydney metropolitan area will be divided into six regions for boys and a single central region for girls which will provide players with a training environment specific to their geographical region facilitating an easy option for parents to access player development.

Project 22 will not only act as the official state team player pathway but will also account for country development, with the Riverina, Western and Southern Regions set to administer a centre of excellence in which state team players will train one (1) night per week.

Football NSW CEO Michael Quarmby is elated with the program, as it provides talented players with an exciting opportunity to work in a professional environment with Football NSW and the FFA.
“This is one of our major initiatives that we have been planning for some time.

“To be able to provide free coaching on a full-time basis is something that we have been striving for.

“The Board of Football NSW and I are very proud that we can take the next step in developing our elite NSW based boys and girls and look forward to seeing some of their names on the Australian team sheets in the future.

“I want to congratulate the FFA on providing a clear national vision through the football development plan and the new national curriculum.

“The united pathway and partnership with key footballing institutions; such as the Johnny Warren Football Foundation, the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and the Australian institute of Sport (AIS), make towards fostering our next generation of players.

“It's an exciting time for an up and coming football player.”

Bentvelzen sees Project 22 as a significant stepping stone in improving the standards of coaching at the junior level to rival those seen across Europe and South America.

“For the first time in Australian Football history, we finally have a long term vision for the success of our sport on the world stage.

“The national body have employed highly educated and experienced technical staff who in turn has developed a comprehensive National Curriculum.

“Football NSW in conjunction with the FFA have created the environment and structure through Project 22 in which this curriculum can be brought to life, I can’t wait to see the rapid improvement that our best players will make when placed in a truly world class program.”

Open trials will be held for boys and girls at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood.

· U9, U10, U11, U12 (DOB 2001-1998) [boys] 19th & 20th of October, 2009
· U13, U14 (DOB 1997-1996) [boys] 26th & 27th of October, 2009
· U13, U14, U15 (DOB 1997-1995) [girls] 26th & 27th of October, 2009
Interested players can register at or call (02) 8814 4436.


Jason Culina; Standard already slipping?

Now we all know Pim Verbeek is worried about his Aussie boys returning home to the A-League, and probably no-one concerns him more than ever-present Socceroo Jason Culina.

Great player, who Robbie Slater praises before he even plays a pass, but are Culina's standards already slipping?

A few showpony touches with the score at 1-0 in the Fury game on the weekend suggests this whole A-League thing has finally attracted a professional player who finds the games too easy.

From PSV to A-League is perhaps the biggest drop in standard any returning Socceroos or imported player has made.

So although fans, like me, will love Culina's showboating, he never does it for the Socceroos, or PSV, and one wonders if this is the beginning of what Verbeek is talking about.

Will Culina's standards slip. I think they are already.


Sunday, 16 August 2009

Round 2: Sydney shine?

Gold Coast stomped their rich footprint all over the A-League with a 5-0 home win, Wellington beat Perth in front of a healthy 10,000 crowd, Melbourne came back from 3-1 to draw 3-3 with Brisbane and the F3 Derby saw the Jets draw 1-1 with the Mariners.

Sydney had a tough test against a fit, tactically sound Adelaide United.

Despite some errors from Karol Kisel and Terry McFlynn in midfield throughout the game Sydney remained strong and won the game through substitute's Mark Bridge wonderful link play with Alex Brosque.

Korean import full-back Byun Sung-Hwan impressed again, quickly becoming a crowd favourite, but once again it was Kofi Danning who took the eye.

Up against the uncompromising Scott Jamison Danning was tested early, but the longer the game went the young star just got better and better. Another test passed for the young star.

Wonderful stuff.

And with Mark Bridge, Mitchell Prentice, Adam Casey, Brendan Gan, Rhyan Grant, Stuart Musialik among those fighting for a starting birth, seems like Sydney might have a bit more fight in them this season. Early days.


Joel Porter scores 4

Well what does Shane Smeltz have to do to be man-of-the-match?

Scores 4 and Porter gets the award!!

And was it a goal for every thousand fans!

The Fury got 8,900 on debut, Gold Coast with Jason Culina and all the hype for 7,000 on home debut.

Oh dear oh dear. Canberra would beat both crowds on debut no problem but how is it possible for the Gold Coast to get such a poor crowd.

Imagine if Robbie Fowler hadn't attracted 3,000 and Jason Culina the other 4,000.
Still the football was great and that's what counts long-term.


Capital Football Board must act now

I've never written to the Capital Football Board before, never felt the need or desire but the current debacle over "our" High Performance programs and it's ability to provide opportunities for a much broader and younger football base, boys/girls, is such a positive move that something must be done. And now.

Who are on the Board?

Alan Bradbury, Peter Maybury, Kim Chapman, Fethon Illeris, Stephanie Issaacson, Rachel Harrigan and John Logue (President)

The Board cannot throw this opportunity for our young players away, at least we deserve some communication and quick.

And secondly they should endorse John Mitchell's ANU outfit and encourage them, promote them and ensure they get as many Youth League games as possible in the coming months. And scrap the Youth's been tried and failed.

See my letter below and feel free to add comments.

To: Capital Football Board.

As a member of the Canberra football community I would urge the Capital Football Board to consider urgent resolution of it's High Performance programs.

The placement, removal, and what only can be regarded as an unsatisfactory message placed on the Capital Football website leaves many of the community I've spoken to dismayed, disillisioned and some outright angry. Whatever your internal processes the way you have informed the community is poor to say the least.

I've spoken to many Academy Parents, Coaches and many many people from across all level of the game in clubland.

I've never heard such a positive response to the North/South Development HP programs from all sectors of the game, boys and girls, men and women. I'm sure your registrations would reflect this and I imagined they would have tripled come trial day such is the word of mouth excitment that was being generated.

It seems to me the Board have little idea of the success and goodwill Capital Football were getting from this initiative.

Of course there are those who disagree, but few if any outside the current Academy (and hasn't that program got some equity and development issues) disagree with the proposed changes. While some support the Academy within the program you'd be lucky to find one person outside the program in support of it's maintenance in it's present form. Have you tested the grassroots on this?

People who have no history of the game are signing up their kids, their girls and boys, to get "better developed." Do you realise what you have done by abandoning, stopping or reviewing the program. That's the point; no-one has an idea what you are doing or why you have done it. Capital Football are not looking to good on this one. We simply deserve better?

There are rumours across clubland and the information you are giving us is disappointing.

Why Capital Football cannot proceed immediately with it's HP program for 9-12 girls/boys North and South as proposed; and if needs be argue about the other HP programs/Academy few in clubland can understand.

Of course an Academy selected on merit may be worth maintaining, one based on financial ability to pay leaves most of us chuckling at it's proposed aims. The FFA clearly have noted this, and NSW's of course, are making their programs free. One wonders if we'd see the same squads if Canberra Academies were free. True development?

On a further note: Capital Football's Youth Rockets program has failed to give our Youth real consistent opportunities. No problem, it's a difficult thing to maintain. But you have the answer staring you in the face. Why not put your support and energy behind the most progressive program we currently have in the ACT for our young boys. John Mitchell's ANU "Youth" team is playing games against Sydney Youth and giving our players a chance to showcase themselves.

If a better model comes up you can always move to that but for now let's blow it's trumpet as best we can. If you don't who will?

In view of a lack of other suitable programs, why try and reinvent the wheel. Seems like the ANU team is the best way forward for our elite boys. Support it and encourage John and his team to get a full program of Youth games over the coming season.

I've never written to the Board of Capital Football before but the feedback I'm getting has compelled me to do so.

Once the season is over many many parents and kids will have missed the boat. You're website talks about resolving things in September. Too late!!

Club communication systems slow considerably come Sept 5th everyone knows that.

It;s time to act. Either get the program going now or inform the community as to the way ahead.

Your faithfully

Eamonn Flanagan


Friday, 14 August 2009

AFL Media: Do they ever get bored?

When you hear of Simon Hill and Robbie Slater jetting off to Thailand, Uzbekistan, South Africa and even Ireland (were they in Ireland?) the world is now really full of opportunities for those in the Australia media football game.

SMH Seb Hassett was recently in South Africa, and many other football journalists get to go hither and thither from time to time.

Even little old me got to go to the Asia Cup, Bangkok, just 3 months after starting to write about football on my blog.

Spare a thought for the AFL mediahounds. They have heaps of chance to write, pages and pages to fill. But they never get to go anywhere.

After the initial buzz of covering North Melbourne away to say West Coast...they soon dream of covering title chasing St Kilda or attending the Anzac game over and over.

Now that's a great thing but surely after doing that for five years you'd like to be able to get your passport out just once, to go somewhere, anywhere, wouldn't you. Or is your career over before it started. Go the Sainters!

Oh well just a thought!


No guts no glory!

Due to the increasing abuse of my goodself and others, by AnonyMOUSE, I deleted all comment capabilities.

However comments are now back. But before the abusers dash to their keyboard..please note..all ANONYMOUS posters, good or bad will be blocked.


Because despite what some think I couldn't careless if you read my blog or not!

And I'm sick of waking up to abusive posts about individuals in the Canberra region.

Besides how can you abuse me when my posts are always well thought out, excellently crafted, and highly intelligent insights on the world of football.

So if I upset you in the name of World Peace or should that be pieces, a big Greg Inglis/Barry Hall to you ..and my advice is don't read this blog. Simple!


Thursday, 13 August 2009

NSW HP PRogram: It's free

Launched last night and apparently it's free so I'm told.


Why Fozzie doesn't get football.

When the beautiful Arsenal with Ces Fabregas running the Wenger show come to Scott McDonald's Celtic Park next week, Fozzie will want to see the style, the flowing football and the result to match. ie Arsenal must win.

The 60,000 Celtic fans who will be watching their team assembled at around the price of a Theo Walcott will want to see Celtic win. Simple game innit.

Fozzie if you don't understand that, you don't understand football!


Is Pim interested in the Asia Cup?

Pim put out a third rank team for the Asian Cup game in Canberra recently. Insulted Archie Thompson prior to the game, and you have to wonder at Verbeek's motives.

The team that took the field against Ireland, a friendly on a FIFA date, had Jade North flying in from Asia and all basis covered.

Does Pim care about the Asia Cup or will he walk after the World Cup when his price will be highest?

Why did he select a third rank Asia Cup team v Kuwait, rumours abound that he didn't realise the Asia Cup were part of his contract. Hard to believe.

His third ranked team still rankles with this Canberran and why you would select such an inexperience side, particularly when he is so cautious in ever other respect.

Was he trying to show us all that the A-League players aren't good enough?
Was he showing the Aussie press why he picks who he does?

Either way he'd better lift his game. The World Cup is great but once that is over we better have qualified for the Asian Cup or he should be lynched!

By me and my Canberra mates


Can we play Ireland every day

Listened to the boys on Fox talking up the quality of the Irish team the other night.
I was thinking do they know anything about the Irish team?

Yes the Irish did a job on Italy recently getting a famous 1-1 win. I know it's a draw but in Ireland 1-1 has become a win.

But none of the Irish play outside of England, or Scotland play at a high or technical level other than maybe Robbie Keane and Aidan McGeady.

And the likes of Luke Wikshire, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell, Scott McDonald, Jade North, Nikita Rukavystya, Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill and co would match up very favourably, individually, against the Irish, and all are getting or have experience in leagues that play something other than English ping pong, or are at the top of the English game.

Even Scott McDonald gets regular European battles outside of Scotland.

And surprise surprise Australia thumped Ireland. A disciplined approach, a settle pattern and a nice bit of football to boot.

We only get to play in Asia. Well let's just say playing the second tier in Europe isn't such a challenge is it.

Most of the Irish play in England and it showed didn't it. South Korea and the Dutch to come; now those should test us.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

FYI: Canberra HP Development on hold.

Surprise surprise! Football pathways stumble on! You couldn't make this up could you!

Development programs for our kids advertised, over 500 kids registered, and now they are on hold...well Capital Football Board sorted that one very nicely didn't they.

What a shemozzle.

Sack the Board, Sack the Board, Sack the Board oh well only joking...........but I think the football community deserves a better explanation than the few lines buried somewhere on the website.

We deserve more.....and quick.


Canberra's A-League Goldmine

Adam Griffiths is reputed to be heading to the Gold Coast.
Transfer fee: $1.4 million

Nice bit of business for Australian football, for the Gold Coast and of course his Agent.

Ned Zelic is in Canberra looking at what he describes as a largely untapped talent pool of juniors see the Offsider at

Nicky Carle went for $600,000 plus $20% from any other transfer fees back to Newcastle and he's had a few, now Adam Griffiths and don't forget Bruce Djite, James Holland and the rest.

So Canberra A-League.

Kofi Danning will move for $500,000 won't he? And a 20% on sale fee could reap a million every three years for a Canberra club if he'd started here. Stephen Lustica, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Chris Bush, Adam Casey, Sam Munro, Kaz Patafta all have potential to be sold on to Europe or perhaps more realistically Asia.

We wouldn't want to lose our local boys but the revenue stream could be as much as $1million on average per year.

We have a huge talent pool in the region, still under-developed. We need an A-League team to reap the benefits or see Sydney FC and the like reap the benefits of Kofi and others.

Now that's just mad isn't it?


Nearpost Podcast: A-League, Socceroos, Young Matildas

Aaron Walker, Eamonn (me) and Paddy Bordier discuss A-League crowds, the Gold Coast, Pim's Socceroos squad, and our differing views on our Young Matildas and keep you up-to-date with the key football news in Australia.

Haven't got Fox? Where better to get your Aussie football news on the radio.


Locally Peter Funnell has all the issues and the big local interviews. Don't miss an episode. And this is the best and only guaranteed place to get the local podcast as Capital Football rarely put them up. Why? I've no idea!



Hawker upgrade? Is that it?

Now most Canberrans love nothing more than sitting and having a coffee. In their spare time, or even in their work time

First we nipped out for a fag now it's for a coffee, anything to get out of the office.

So having visited the wonderful new facility at Hawker I wondered when we will see the off-field match the on-field.

Currently some dingy little hole in the wall constitutes a cafe at Hawker.

So with many many hours of football to be played over the year from kids, training, and senior games where's the plan.

Chuck a modern state-of-the-art cafe come club room on top of the current changing rooms. With huge viewing windows.

Get the best coffee in town and when our little darlings run out for their training sessions etc football can suddenly become a more enjoyable experience for our parents.

Time to take football hospitality into the 21st century and make a bit of cash for the future isn't it? And why not set up a football shop at the centre, selling all our clubs gear, boots, balls you name and corner the market.

Isn't it about time football did this, made money to plough back into our game, for our game. If Capital Football Board don't want it, the A-League4Canberra will take it..thankyou very much. It's called business and they'll clearly have the nous that Capital Football Board seemingly lack.

Or will Capital Football Board never have any idea as to how they can make money and grow our game, or will they always merely beg for Government handouts.

Don't get me started on the revenue from a 24 hour Futsal centre with money pouring into Football, instead of the local Netball centre.

As one Board Member told me, " We don't want to do anything like that." God help us!

Where will we be in another 20 years? Still scratching around for dollars or have an infrastructure to be proud of.

Capital Football Board: Love to hear your vision.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Half-Time Heroes Humour

The cartoon has obviously offended some people with it's use of profanity.

So apologies for that, and should you go to the link and you are Under 18 be sure and ask your parents.

Go straight to the humour in the latest edition. Wayne Snowden is the cartoonist, every football fan will love him I reckon.


Pim Verbeek: Ireland closer than Australia?

So Jade North and his Asian mates couldn't fly in for an Asian Cup Qualifier v Kuwait in Canberra in March, and Australia lost as a result.

But he can head to Limerick.

And anyone knows there are no direct flights to Ireland from Korea or any other Asian city. Everyone has to fly through Heathrow or Europe, and then travel down fron Dublin to Limerick.

So not an easy place to get to.

But why Pim wouldn't bring back our Asiaroos for the Kuwait game, a game that mattered, but will now take them half-way across the World for some friendly in Europe's most Western country, Ireland.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Who's next to leave the A-League?

Aussie Agents up to their neck in it?

You can almost smell the greed of the Aussie Agent. An Agent who seals the deal for the likes of Brendan Santalab to get a gig in the A-League only to work his socks off to move him and any of his other players as quickly as possible to North Asia, the Middle East or even Europe.

If Brendan Santalab can leave for China before he kicks a ball for the Fury and let's face it he must have a great Agent, and Adam Griffith is in the Middle East as we speak after just one game for the Gold Coast, then you wonder if he has the same Agent.

Or if all Agents in Australia are the same. Could not careless about the local game.

Why is Griffith there? $900,000 a year compared to $300,000 apparently!

So who are the next five to be whisked before the end of August?

Jason Culina, Carlos Hernandez, Jacob Burns, Diego, and Robbie Fowler?

Closely followed by Kofi Danning, Ben Kantarovski, Mitch Nichols, Sean Rooney and Jason Hoffman after the Under 20 World Cup..maybe. Watch the Agents circle that tournament.

Aussie football Agents are doing the right thing by their players, getting the best amount of money for them as quickly as possible even if they have just signed a three-year deal, but really it makes you sick dunnit.

Are the Aussie Agents the only football people in Australia who could not give a toss about the local game, the local product?


Charlie Tim Tam...why so fat..still?

Did Charlie Miller do any pre-season training? I mean any!

And if so why does he look exactly the same as year. Maybe even fatter. He should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

I hope Mitch Nichols keeps Charlie Tim Tam, who is listed at 67kg compared to Mitch's 75kg's in the FFA Media handbook, out of the ball game.

And why does Frank prefer Big Bob Malcolm to our own Luke DeVere. DeVere played all of last season but suddenly he gets replaced by some blow-in has been from Scotland...who is a mate of Craig Moore's and Charlie Tim-Tim.

Charlie great player but if that's the best you can do, then there is no place for you in the A-League. You've had your chance, in the name of Tim-Tams go!


Sydney FC v ANU: Monday night football

Canberra Youth Football: A chink of light remains;

Anyone who has followed this blog will know that I'm not impressed with the lack of high level football for boys/men in this town.

And with the National Youth League up and running nothing has been organised, supported or encouraged it seems by Capital Football. Not the Canberra FC proposal, not the ANU option, or indeed the their own Youth Rockets, who let's face it two games a year is not a programme.

I said that last year, I say it again this year.

Now Capital Football clearly can't run a Youth team at the level required, and they've enough to do with Canberra United, and Futsal, Development programs etc etc, so why not outsource it to those who can, and fast.

And promote it; all junior footballers and parents in Canberra should realise that their is a pathway of sorts. Our boys can get to showcase themselves in the National Youth Team window, even if it's only occasionally.

It shouldn't be left to some ad-hoc blogger to promote it....should it?

At 17/18 you might burst onto the Premier League with it's short season and two training sessions per club..and then what? By 18/19 you are so far behind players of similar age across Australia you may as well drop your ambitions and remain with Belconnen or Canberra FC forever!

No national youth team, no Youth team games no NSW Pathways team and no A-League team, not yet anyway. So how does any promising Canberra footballer get beyond the local game, particularly if he misses the AIS squad.

But a chink of light remains:

Over at ANU FC the players who missed the AIS, too old for ACTAS moved in with some others to take advantage of the intensive, professionally organised pre-season training that started under John Mitchell in November last year.

Yep that's right almost 6 months before the Premier League season started.

Stephen Lustica was the first to head to the AIS, then Sydney FC Youth team and now is on the fringe of the Gold Coast first team squad.

Luke Pilkington could not have become a Fox Sports Melbourne Victory Football Superstar if he'd trained twice a week in ACT Premier Clubland, could he?

Did you see his fitness levels on the show. The ANU regime clearly helped.

Over the past few weeks the entire Premier League squad has been training with Sydney FC youth squad. Some initial interest in a number of players has been expressed by Steve O'Connor the Sydney Coach.

And at least the ANU boys are seeing the standard they must aspire to.

Indeed ANU will play Sydney Youth in Sydney tonight.

Throughout the year three of the ANU Premier League squad has taken up short-term contracts with the AIS, and two are still in the mix for the AIS National Youth League squad.

Clearly this is the most successful development pathway in Canberra for our maturing young players.

We should find a way to support it, improve it, register it and applaud it.

Unless we can find anything better, and currently can anyone?

Indeed without the ANU model I would argue Luke Pilkington and the others would not have got to further their football in such a short space of time, if ever.

We should support the best we have until something better is provided. Because at the moment there is nothing else is there?


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Fanzines: Melbourne and now Adelaide.

Melbourne fans have been publishing a fanzine for a while and they are now joined by the Adelaide fans.

Bill Skinner has got the Pissants organised and take a look at the first one. Some good stuff in there, particularly like the oomour...our game needs more of it methinks.



A-League: Look who's hot.

Gold Coast United has lifted the bar for domestic football in Australia.

Jason Culina, Joel Porter, Shane Smeltz, Robson, Bas Van Den Brink all lit up the Brisbane night with intelligent, skilful football. 3-1 to United. Great for the A-League, great for football fans everywhere.

Joel Porter particularly caught my eye. Strong, great vision on the ball and perhaps better than Shane Smeltz! As expected Jason Culina did not disappoint. And notched a beautiful team goal.

For the Roar: Scottish veteran Bob Malcolm over Luke De Vere in the central defence? Any improvement on our young Aussie? I think not.
Robbie Kruse is out of sorts, and Mitch Nichols was still the best of an uncreative bunch.

In Townsville:
Would Canberra get more than 8,900 for their first A-League game, especially if we drew Sydney and had a Robbie Fowler name on the team sheet. Of course we would.

And with that crowd you'd have to ask why Townsville got the nod and is it sustainable.

Loved David Williams, the Japanese defender Kaijiro Kiamoto and not much else other than a spirited fightback from the Fury. Although one suspects this says more about Sydney's lack of quality, again, then the Fury.

But Canberra junior Kofi Danning stole the show. Another gem of a performance, another goal, and it was a cracker.

In Adelaide Joe Costas, 17, very interesting to see him take the field and Aurelio Vidmar noted his team were very fit.

It showed.

With an improved Perth, still lacking forward pace it has to be said, Melbourne and Central Coast look like yesterday's men. Ernie Merrick lift your game!

And still Ljubo Milicevic to come.


Saturday, 8 August 2009

Mum, is that the Young Matildas?

"Who's that," said the young girl watching the team in Australian colours fighting the team in Chinese colours on the telly.

"That's the Matildas," replied the Mum.

Well I saw my friend Tom Sermanni defending the Young Matildas and I know some of the shenanigans that have gone on in games against the Chinese and North Koreans in the past but what the team did in response to a player allegedly being tripped, debatable from the footage in my opinion, what the player and team did is....

a disgrace.

No if's, no buts.

I'm sure there will be howls from those in the know, about how they were treated by the other teams, the other fans, even the referee. But it don't make it right does it?

Not for Australian national teams.

What provcation on a sporting field leads to this sort of rubbish. It might be acceptable to Australians in State Of Origin or AFL but in my view football, men and women's doesn't need it. Not at a National level of Division 9 level.

Our leaders have to balance between building team unity, support etc and out and out thuggery.

One Australian girl had her eyes opened that night.

And it was noted we lost the game!


Friday, 7 August 2009

Magnificent Mariners

Or that should read magnificent Tony Tannous from the Half-Time Heroes.

Was he the only football writer in the country to have any real analysis of the opening game?

He picked the Jedinak factor as being important, no surprise their but unlike any other football analyser in the mainstream media he solved the problem, or least found out the solution from the man who knew, Laurie McKinna.

And McKinna out thought Ernie Merrick, but clearly even I could have, given the dreadful Victory line-up and the same old, same old tactics for about five years from Melbourne.

Of course a Melbourne team with Grant Brebner, Leigh Broxham and surely in Evan Berger the most useless left-footed crosser in the country, although I'll wait to see Stefan Stefanutto, meant McKinna must have been laughing his head off.

No width or Berger gave them plenty but he clearly spent no time practicing crossing in the off-season. Is it possible to play left-sided with a left foot and produce that sort of cross time and time again?

And what nob let anyone other than Carlos Hernandez take the corners and free-kicks. Late on Hernandez drove one into the box but before them Broxham seemed determined to match his mate Berger.

Ped Bojic replaced Jedinak, as Tony Tannous predicted and clearly in an away game he is a solution of sorts. Still not much football from the Mariners but a win's a win and something to build on.

As for Melbourne, we've watch Carlos and Archie for years it seems. Any Coach knows how they play and who they play with. A midfield that cries out for something more, a defence not worthy of winning anything, and Kevin Muscat already showing his age as he came off early.

Time to change the style Melbourne, we've seen it all before. Even Laurie can out think you! For Melbourne it may already be too late.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Celtic march on...for now!

When Celtic lost 1-0 to Luke Wilkshire's Dinamo Moscow this Celtic fan groaned. Out of the Champions League in July.

54,000 saw the first leg in Glasgow. In July for God sake, you don't play football in July in Glasgow, it's 13 degrees, it never gets dark and the Scots are all on their two weeks holidays.

But behold the Hoops. Aussie Scott McDonald nabbed the first in Moscow and then George Samaras got the second in the last minute. The last minute!

Celtic won 2-0, Aussie Scot now goes into the final Champions League Qualifying round where we may face Arsenal or Fiorentina or the like to get to the group stages,

Bring it on! Sorry Luke! Now back to the A-League.


Did the A-League Die?

So this is the best season ever? Well how come Fox Sports presented a show designed from 1967.

Get six talking heads,
all men, in black suits and no tie and get them to talk and talk and talk. Missed it? Well just imagine the staring at the picture above for 90 minutes.

In a world where we can't do anything for more than 15 seconds Fox produced that!!!

Now most of those guys are interesting in a small group, informed and often entertaining...I said most..but put them all together and Paul Trimboli, John Kosmina, Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater were wasted. Wasted I tell ya!

I couldn't bear it. Hardly a goal to be seen, fast-paced, if you are ninety and insights...hardly any unless you like hearing about how useful Kevin Muscat could be.

That's analysis, that's our Season 5 A-League?

So lift your game Fox, 90 minutes of pure drivel. Has the budget run out already, have the ideas run out.

It's 2009, there has been one million TV shows to study on what works and what doesn't and if former Teacher Andy Harper used that style in a classroom, any classroom he'd be laughed out of the school. Does Andy have any input?

And TV is much more visual. Who organised that rubbish?

And interesting Simon Hill wasn't there. Maybe he has a clause, I don't do crap.


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Half-Time Heroes out now!

Australia's football season kicks-off on Thursday and to celebrate 25 writers with a love of the game have let their fingers do the talking and drawing.

Something for everyone, men, women, boys and girls. Get into it, anyway you can.

And send the link to your mates. Thanks. (issuu site is down this morning, typical so if you can't see the pages below that is why)

You can click to the right or the left of the page to see the pages flick over, or click in the document to zoom in.


Nearpost Podcasts out now.

National Download: Bernie Lustica, Lucy Zelic and Aaron Walker talk A-League, Young Matildas and more.

What are the Gold Coast up to? Why the Young Matildas loss is so disastrous and all the previews of the coming games.

Local Download: Peter Funnell catches up with Tuggies United Tech Director Eugene Lawrenz


Academy v Talent Identification

Well this has really got the locals talking. And thank god for the Nearpost; always got a solution and right now that's just what we need.

And in blogland solutions are easy.

Capital Football has put on hold, maybe even scrapped, their plans for a change from the less than equitable and limited current Academy structure to the proposed and advertised FFA facilitated Talent Id program.

First up the Academy has produced a small number of players each year which head to the AIS so from this perspective it has been a success. But most people in Canberra elite football tell me we can produce more elite players given the numbers of kids playing the game.

Luke Pilkington is an example of what can be done outside of a post-Academy boy heading to the AIS. And if developed correctly we can clearly have more who follow Luke's pathway. John Mitchell's training schedule I believe would have assisted Luke to meet his goals, a program provided for boys who miss the AIS but leave our Academy.

And further Kofi Danning didn't attend an Academy but did make it to the AIS so different pathways do exist to elite football if we can provide them.

(Of course the current pathways for our boys suck but that's another story but FFA Board meeting on Aug 24th could change that when the Canberra A-League will get the yay or nay.)

Apparently the Cap Football Board voted against the changes proposed from my understanding. Why?

They clearly didn't think the changes were going to benefit our players. Can't argue with that view if that is their view then they should vote to block the changes but why not do it months ago. They don't look so good right now do they?

Now I would argue that the Board are out of touch with the broad sweep of the Canberra football community. I reckon I have a fairly good handle on the mood of the men and women running our game at junior level across the community.

And it's their kids who will provide the future talented player pool.

And I reckon the only complaints that I've heard about the changes come from those already within the Academy. And it should be noted at least one of the Board have children in the Academy structure. Possible conflict there?

The FFA has deemed that more kids being developed, more often is the way to go. And I haven't met one parent who doesn't think this is a great idea....providing it is run properly. So do the Capital Football Board think they have more football knowledge than the FFA.

Indeed is there a child developer, a former professional player or high level specialised football coach on the board or are they like me people with a view about football but with limited professional, football and child development expertise.

I think many blocking the changes don't seem to realise is the numbers of talented 13 year olds outside the current Academy who could be developed to the same standard thus potentially surpassing the current Academy players in years to come.

Can you really say the current 13 year old in the Academy is one of the best in town and indeed will remain one of the best in years to come. Or is he/she just the wealthiest?

Is the current Academy the best we can do? In 2010 the football landscape is changing dramatically, has changed and will continue to do so. Everyone knows it.

And can all Board members, Academy parents and Coaches, justify this next point!

A player from a family of six doesn't go to Academy trials as his parent can't get him there and if he did they couldn't afford the $1,000 plus cost should he get in. (The case is true btw)
The current development structures in Canberra football does nothing for this talented kid. Nothing. Can the Board justify this continued approach?

And would a Ronaldinho be developed in our town with his financial background?

Is this the spirit of our football development in Canberra?

And losing Academy teams well I can hear the shouts of glee and joy from every parent and kid and club outside the Academy. Not the most popular teams in town are they?

The changes represent the future. More kids being developed, lower costs, so more equitable, north and southside easier for commitment.

Of course I have huge concerns:

Can we get the Coaches of the numbers and standards required. I'm not convinced, not yet.
Development programs without team based games often struggle if not done professionally. Coaches want to test their skills and win! So do players.

And maybe we've gone at the whole process too quick, a case of too much, too soon.

Nearpost Solution:

Why not start with the 9's to say 13's show the community that this can be done correctly and professionally and phase it out at the older level slowly.

This would appease the current vocal Academy parents. Maybe also appease anyone who supports the current system and allow them to find their place in the new mix. Make no mistake we need the current Academy coaches, players and parents, and this is not an attack on them.

It's a debate about the big picture. For all our kids who aspire to develop to an elite level.

Some say the current Coaches haven't been approached. Poppycock. I find that hard to believe. After all the FFA Han Berger gave a presentation to the whole of the ACT football community and ACTAS Coach Milo Milovanovic, Robbie Hooker and Academy Coaches were all present. I was present.

And I didn't hear anyone say boo to Han Berger, only me and me mate the football visionary Anthony Hatton asked a question suggesting the plan wasn't quite so great for Canberra.

So the coaches would know what changes were coming.

If they haven't found out by now well maybe they shouldn't be Coaching the Academy as clearly they don't keep up with or understand the developments in football.

How does the Academy ensure we get the best players currently? It has a fundamental flaw that the Board of Capital Football must address if it is serious about future talented pathways.

And with the huge numbers playing and the changing game in Australia, you can feel the changes sweeping the land in football can't you, now is the time to move to a new approach, a better approach and I'll take the FFA approach over the current flawed structure any day.

The Academy had it's time and place. Football is changing.

But it must be done right and not on the smell of an oily rag with poor coaches. I don't think we have the Coaching base to deliver yet. Someone needs to tell me different.

And the solution is simple in blogland, it always is:

For the rest of us we'll just carry on watching our kids enjoy the game they play.

Elite football? You're dreaming.

No abuse of me! No abuse of individuals in your reply but feel free to argue until that cow comes home


Sunday, 2 August 2009

FFA: High Performance blocked in Canberra?

Sign-ups for Capital Football High Performance Talent Ientification Program in Canberra have been taken down.

Which either means:

They are full...unlikely.
The Board has put a stop to it. Embarassing for them to be in direct opposition to the FFA. Better have a good reason if this is the case, not to me, to the FFA.
Capital Football has been unable to get enough Coaches.
We have no Talent in Canberra so it's not needed.

or some other explanation that I haven't thought of yet. What have you heard? Someone must know.


Fanzine Content sorted!

Con Stamocostas and I are working closely on this to get it out on-time. So far we're on track and content is ready to roll. Here's the Promo/Content.