Del Piero, Heskey, Ono – a season in the stands awaits
A-League Season 8 fans now have a constant and perhaps pleasing headache: Choosing between following Newcastle and Sydney games for Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero, as well as potentially Western Wanderers games for German legend Michael Ballack and/or Japanese hero Shinji Ono.
Although he has not officially signed, there are reports from Fox Sports saying that Ballack’s Australian representatives are having one last shot at trying to convince the FFA to back this signing and bring a man who was considered one of the best midfielders in his prime to Sydney.
This would be an astonishing coup for the A-League if is pulled off and would only do wonders in regards to crowd numbers and club memberships.
However unlikely, Ballack has scored 42 goals in 98 appearances for Germany and was even appointed as captain for his national team.
These are astonishing figures and make up an impressive resume that begin to get close to the achievements of Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero who just signed for Sydney FC a couple of weeks ago.
Yes these men are tenured campaigners and are at the latter stages of their careers, but what must be understood is that the league in Australia will only thrive on this kind of footballing experience.
Players such as Del Piero and Heskey are not bought to reinvigorate a club and build towards the future, but rather are bought as a source of footballing wisdom and for clubs to foster a domestic hegemony.
Internal league competitions and rivalaries will in turn be heightened, leading other A-League clubs to realise what kind of potential player demographic they can now strive to buy and include in their squads for the future.
Heskey for instance, having made 516 Premier League appearances and scoring 110 goals in the process will bring positional and goal poaching excellence.
It takes an exceptional player to also win 62 caps for your country, especially for England during an era where he would have had to compete for a spot with the likes of Peter Crouch, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.
Even though people have lately picked up on a few of Heskey’s flaws and in turn exacerbated them, no one can deny him what has been a stellar 17 year career.
I must admit I was a couch potatao last season hardly attending any matches and instead watching everything on Fox Sports.
This year though proves an entirely different prospect and an inherently unique A-League season where I hope I can catch a few of Heskey’s shots as they go out for throw ins – just joking.