A-League set for most exciting finish yet

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    The Central Coast Mariners. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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    Could it have been scripted any better? The regular season is set for a grandstand finish as eight teams jockey for a place in the A-League’s top six and a chance to ultimately be crowned champions.

    Central Coast’s relatively comfortable 2-0 win away at Adelaide United last night sets up a blockbuster final set of matches, although in truth much of the sting could be taken out of it midway through the round.

    Should either Brisbane Roar or Sydney FC prevail in a winner-takes-all showdown at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, they’ll sew up fifth place in the league and the finals place that comes with it.

    That would ensure there’s everything to play for at Hunter Stadium the following evening, as Newcastle attempt to scramble into the six at the same time Western Sydney Wanderers look to secure the Premiers’ Plate.

    The Wanderers need only a point to finish top of the league at their first attempt, however defeat to the Jets could open the door for Central Coast, who would finish top on goal difference by beating Melbourne Heart the following day.

    And amidst the chaos, Perth Glory will be hoping they’re still in the running for a finals place when they host Adelaide United at the newly completed NIB Stadium.

    The Glory will also hope a bumper crowd packs into a venue which has proved more of a hindrance than a help this season.

    The Glory are working in conjunction with Football West to give away thousands of free tickets to ensure the new eastern stand is packed for the occasion.

    And should Perth sneak into the six under the stewardship of new coach Alistair Edwards, it would mark a remarkable turnaround for a side which has struggled to find form all season on the back of last season’s controversial grand final defeat.

    Glory’s dramatic 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory on Saturday had Victory coach Ange Postecoglou hopping mad, but in truth few of the top teams outside of the Wanderers are in anything like a rich vein of form.

    And after much conjecture over the merits of the A-League’s new finals system, Football Federation Australia has been vindicated by the fact so many teams go into the final round with a chance of progressing to the play-offs.

    After blowing the chance to wrap up the premiership against city rivals Sydney FC in the derby on Saturday night, the Wanderers may find the trip up the F3 to Newcastle to face a fired-up Jets side a similarly daunting prospect.

    And although the Jets might only be considered an outside chance of making the six, there’s every possibility they’ll be liberated by the knowledge that nothing less than a win over the upstart Wanderers will suffice.

    A-League fans could hardly have asked for a better Easter present from what will be a gripping round of football, though once again the issue of whether fixtures should kick off simultaneously bears some consideration.

    It might be the done thing overseas, but it’s hardly a premise host broadcaster Fox Sports is going to champion and the current scenario ensures the excitement is spread over several days.

    It starts with what will be a straight-up shoot-out between the Roar and Sydney FC, in what is an ideal precursor to the battle for the Premiers’ Plate over the following two days.

    And with Mariners striker Daniel McBreen just ahead of Wellington’s Jeremy Brockie and mercurial Victory youngster Marco Rojas in the race for the Golden Boot, there’s still plenty for all 10 clubs to play for – even if the Phoenix and Melbourne Heart are already out of the race for the finals.

    This has been an exceptional A-League season to date and the final round of action promises to continue that trend, as the premiership is decided and two teams say goodbye to the prospect of finals football for another campaign.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (124)

    • March 25th 2013 @ 8:07am
      Bondy said | March 25th 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      What a way to finish possibly the best HAL season every,some sports could only dream of such scenarios playing out with their final round/s,at least the A League cant be accused of being a boring comp thats over with a third of the comp to still to be played .

      Its a very tricky game for the Wanderers travelling to only need one point where they’ve been almost unbeatable for the past few months suddenly a solomn point wiil clinch the title for them ,in what should be a very fortified Hunter stadium.

      The Mariners now must come into favouritism for the plate surely with the luckless Heart to travel to Bluetounge?.

      Its been a tough fantastic season of football.

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2013 @ 9:48am
        Redb said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Only 10 teams and 6 of them make the finals.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 10:19am
          Bondy said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          Its been cut throat all year thanks Redb,as this week suggests,nothing wrong with it.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 10:50am
          Punter said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          Hence why first past the post is far more important in football & more especially A-League than it is in the AFL or NRL.
          They are called the premiers (nothing minor about it) & it’s them that gets the first position to compete at the next level (ACL).

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2013 @ 11:19am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | March 25th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          The finals in A-League is our knock-out competition. You only get invited to this competition if you finish 1-6. Then it’s .. GAME ON. Any team can win over a 90 minute period, with the option of Extra Time & penalties.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if other sporting competitions in AUS start their own knock-out competitions to enable teams, who have no hope of ever winning the title, an incentive to win a trophy.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 11:50am
          Adam said | March 25th 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          You add nothing to this article – the teams from 5th to 8th are within one point of each other. It’s a very exciting end to the season, doesn’t matter how many teams are in the comp. I don’t want to get involved in sniping but when the AFL has about three teams that will get 2 wins for the year, i’d rather an exciting finish to that scenario anyday. But that’s just my opinion. And i’m a Bombers fan as well

      • March 25th 2013 @ 10:34am
        Ben from Brisbane said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Graham Arnold has come out and said he will be playing a youth team this weekend, so no they won’t be favourites.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 1:30pm
          Melange said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

          Media headlines have made it sound like he will be playing a youth team. From the articles I’ve read he’s used it to highlight the flaws in the format, he has an ACL match next week, if Wanderers get the premiership on Friday he can then rest his best players if he wants to. He didn’t say he will, he’s used it to highlight the potential damage to the integrity of the league.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 4:51pm
          striker1 said | March 25th 2013 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

          While Matty Ryan, Birnie Ibini,Mitchell Duke,Anthony Caceres,Fitzgerald,Zac Anderson,Trent Sainsbury may be young, they’re are all players with first grade contracts and a lot of HAL games behind each of them.So,why is everyone repeating the same stupidity of ” a youth team”?.They’re part of the senior squad.

    • March 25th 2013 @ 8:35am
      MV Dave said | March 25th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Brilliant final round in prospect…even the timing of the games ie BR vs SFC can’t settle for a draw but have to go for the win as a draw may not be enough for either…they won’t know at the time of playing.
      The FFA will have their fingers crossed that SFC make it and get to play MV at Etihad in the 1st week of the finals which could draw 40-50,000.
      Attendance records have been smashed and HAL is on target to achieve 1.75million fans through the gates this season, up 200,000 plus on last year.
      Playing all final round games simultaneously sounds good but would only work in a mature Football league so HAL will probably need to wait for several decades, when there is pro and relegation also involved. Anyway it’s been a great season so far and lets hope the next 10 games are all crackers with the mighty MV ending up as Champions 🙂
      Also just read that HAL will have 2 direct entries plus 1 qualifier from next years ACL…the news just keeps getting better.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 1:13pm
        madmaco said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        Hey mv dave great news about the changes with the acl for next season. Where did you read about that. Thanks

        • March 25th 2013 @ 4:17pm
          MV Dave said | March 25th 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          From the 442 forums

    • Roar Guru

      March 25th 2013 @ 9:26am
      langou said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      I have just been crunching the numbers and from Perth Glory perspective

      If we lose we are out

      If we win, we will make the finals except if Newcastle win

      If we draw, it gets a bit complicated. If we draw and Newcastle win we are obviously out. If Newcastle draw and Brisbane win we are in, if Newcastle draw and Sydney win we are out. If Newcastle lose and we draw I think we are safe regardless of the Brisbane v Sydney result, if Newcastle draw and Sydney…. Oh jeez I need a coffee, my head is starting to hurt

      • March 25th 2013 @ 9:37am
        King robbo said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Glory just have to win. Newcastles goal difference is -12, compared to glorys -2.

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2013 @ 9:55am
          langou said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Good point, for some reason I had Newcastle a point ahead of us

        • March 25th 2013 @ 8:59pm
          Kasey said | March 25th 2013 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

          Glory probably will win. AU have been disinterested for about a month now. I can see the Reds limping into the finals with two losses on the trot and then exiting after 90 minutes of finals football. We only seem to be able to get up for MBV games and seeing as both AU and MBV have home finals on Sunday and Friday respectively, unless we can convince our opponents to wear the MBV council worker away kit, I think we’ll not make much of an impact on the finals Series this season:(

          Very excited though to see how this Finals Series plays out under the new format.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 10:16am
        Bondy said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Iangou,

        Actually nicely explained,you can see why these types of scenarios are hot for tv companies in countires like england up to four to five clubs are in the throws of a relegation dogfight for 50-60 minutes not knowing whether they’ll stay in the league.

        I think the Central Coast Mariners will win the title where it looked like a given three weeks ago the Wanderers would win,interesting times ahead.

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2013 @ 10:25am
          langou said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          Thanks Bondy,

          Unfortunately as Robbo explained my figures are all wrong anyway and should act as a warning to youngsters not to start predicting the ladder on a Monday morning.

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2013 @ 10:53am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:53am | ! Report

      • March 25th 2013 @ 12:32pm
        Ian said | March 25th 2013 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        yeah my head started hurting reading your post Langou.

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2013 @ 12:42pm
        Cameron Kellett said | March 25th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        Brisbane Roar – win – they make it
        Brisbane Roar – draw – they make it if Perth and Newcastle lose or draw or if one of Perth or Newcastle win Brisbane will still make it.

        Perth – win – they make it
        Perth – draw – they make it if Brisbane win

        Newcastle – win – they make it if Brisbane and Sydney draw
        Newcastle – draw – they don’t make it

        Sydney – win – they make it
        Sydney – draw – they make it if Perth lose and Newcastle draw/lose.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 1:19pm
          Bondy said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          Kellet,

          I cant remember a H.A.L season with all of this on the line with so many clubs also if the Jets win and Mariners too they win the plate on goal difference.

          I think Ange may be concerned with the drop off of form and intensity Fuss, Adl Utd could pinch third spot..Lol.

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2013 @ 1:26pm
          langou said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          It’s a good position to be in for Perth, Brisbane and Sydney knowing that it all comes down to them and they are not reliant on the opposition teams.

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2013 @ 1:56pm
          Cameron Kellett said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

          I would love to see:

          Jets beat wanderers
          Roar beat Sydney
          Wellington beat Victory
          Mariners beat Heart
          And
          Perth beat Adelaide

          What are the chances of every home team winning and there being a winner in every match of the round?
          Now that would be a great round!

          Mariners for the plate
          Roar for 5th
          Perth for 6th
          Heart for last

          Then… Perhaps my prediction may come too fruition. Still a round to go so anything can happen.

          isn’t it lovely being an A-league supporter?

          • March 25th 2013 @ 2:01pm
            pete4 said | March 25th 2013 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            Add to that the tale of 2 new coaches. One playing for a Premiership and the other playing for the wooden spoon

            You wonder how much pressure Aloisi is under at the Melbourne Heart should it happen

            • March 25th 2013 @ 4:59pm
              Stevo said | March 25th 2013 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

              3 year contract and a tight budget means he ain’t going anywhere. He’s a protected species at Heart-land

    • March 25th 2013 @ 9:29am
      Towser said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Whilst its hard to disagree with the heading(regardless of the finals) it raises for me a deeper issue.
      Sure the competition is even in comparison with many Overseas leagues ( it has to be given the scenario unfolding in the final round) ,but does the eveness reward mediocrity therefore stifling the possibility of improved standard of play on the park?
      Or do we have to sacrifice eveness for the sake of a few clubs dominating as per Europe ,so we can compete with the Japanese etc in the ACL.
      The third alternative is that standard of play is improved across the board amongst all A-League clubs.
      Can that be done within a salary cap ? Only by 2 ways IMO more moolah coming into football to recruit better overseas players & better more technically adept youngsters coming through a more knowledgeable junior coaching system.
      I’ll accept pats on the back for football in Australia,but if you’ve been around football for a long time you realise pats on the back soon fade away in a world game forever on the move & constantly changing by input throughout the continents.
      For me the mantra is always “How to keep improving the football on the park”,for the A-League the biggest issue IMO is how to achieve this without one or 2 clubs racing away from the pack.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 10:47am
        jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        Towser – A deep and meaningful analysis of where our game has to go.The huge differential in the cash flows at “gates” level has been influenced greatly this season,not only at the “home” gates of Sydney ,but at the other “home’ gates when the little maestro has appeared. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from the importation of a real world class marquee player, to aid clubs get their acts into gear.
        Money????? We hear every week of the bigger allocations being handed out to clubs and there is little doubt, that money is spent keeping them afloat, but would it be better to use that money to attract another 9 ADP’S to each of our clubs and let them cash in on the obvious marketing benefits to be had from such a personage in “the fold” so to speak.
        Your “technically adept youngsters” is another problem altogether. Our coaching dogma of today has had multi-millions of dollars thrown at it ,millions more than 10 years ago and yet there is a disturbing lack of, not “keen, fit ,youngsters around” but your description of “technically adept” may differ greatly from what is on show and what you,as a veteran fan,expects.Technique has to be acqured much earlierr than learning experience in a top league and I feel that is a factor not often taken into consideration by the average passionate fan. Thoughts? jb

        • March 25th 2013 @ 1:52pm
          Towser said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

          jbinnie
          I’m not a member of Mensa nor do I challenge Einstein’s theory of relativity by my “Towser football musings” but as you state a real world class marquee pulls in the punters,delivers on the park & just as importantly raises the profile of the A-League in 2 key areas.
          One being in the eyes of the the Eurofan who IMO was just about every fan of the game in Australia pre A-League, except the dyed in the wool NSL follower. & Two the mainstream media.
          Re “technically adept youngsters I stand by what I said the other day I dont see any players in either the A-League or the Socceroos that are vastly improved in this area(Not talking tactical awarenesss ,level of physical fitness )from the NSL era.
          Simple question to football fans,show me a Harry,Mark,Okon or Ned anywhere on the park either in all the A-League games last weekend or indeed from the Socceroos on Tuesday.
          If you asked me which players in the A-League I would call “technically adept” I would answer “any foreign player”.
          Del Piero of course takes the cake,but show me any Australian who can hold the ball,change direction into space like Broich did yesterday. Yet Broich was not special in Europe.
          This raises another key question for me & ties in with your line ” Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from the importation of a real world class marquee player, to aid clubs get their acts into gear.”
          When I was a lad playing in the street or schoolyard there was no coaching of football,everything I learned I learnt from older kids in our games,who in turn had learned from watching the 2 professional clubs in the city. To emphasise I did a junior coaching course in the early seventies at Parklea. Bottom line is all the skills taught on the course I already knew from playing ‘Street football”.
          So whilst I agree much can be taught kids about skills early on,much also can be learned by watching Del Piero or Broich first hand then mimicking those skills on the park.
          This is why IMO the big so called Ethnic clubs in the NSL produced more skilful players than those who came up from what I would term the Aussie/Anglo/Celtic junior system & went on to play for the Socceroos in that the fans, fathers, sons family members,friends all knew the nuts & bolts of the game & it washed off on their kids.
          SO to answer your basic question yes it would be better to allocate money to 9 ADP’s (Or as close as possible) because in my book it is a wholistic approach to improving football here. It will rub off.

          • March 25th 2013 @ 2:02pm
            Titus said | March 25th 2013 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

            “Towser football musings”

            Towserism

          • March 25th 2013 @ 3:56pm
            jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            Towser – Whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with 98% of what you have said here I would debate 1 point,the teaching of juniors. When you & I were kids running around ,there was precious little TV & absolutely none of the electronic gadgetry that takes up much of the leisure time of kids today not to mention the huge differential in the amount of money we had in our pockets.So we went to a piece of waste ground & instead of playing a “small sided game” as we “preach” today, usually did the opposite & played in 20- a- side teams trying to put the ball between 2 jackets lying at each end of the ground.
            Despite what you may have been told the “revolution” against this type of “learning” did not take place in Holland (it was refined there) but actually came out of an educational establishment in England where ,after intensive study,it was found the small sided games on small pitches to be a better way of ensuring a kid got a better chance of touching the ball & do, what it was found, kids under 8 like to do most,”score a goal” or”just get a kick at the ball”. Those simple aims became the basis for modern coaching methods as they are practiced today.
            Another strange contributor to this state of affairs was World War 2 when, in Britain, a complete overhaul had to be done in workplaces in general & terms like Work Study,Method Study,Human movement areas, & the Union’s worst enemy, Time & Motion Study, had all taken place in an attempt to greatly improve production time in the factories & other production workplaces. This knowledge also gradually found its way into sports coaching & ,in Britain, a new “industry” was born, qualified sports coaching at all levels of sport.
            I too did one of the first senior coaching certicate courses held here under the Englishman Eric Worthington & found to my amazement that many of the “broken down” facets of the game, ie how to receive a ball (trap it) was actually part of the same procedure that I had been doing in a college course I had done on Method Study a few years before. It was actually at this course I first heard the name Hugo Meisl who,being a deep student of Human Movement ,had published a theory he applied to be used in a football team. That became known as the “Viennese Whirl” & is widely regarded in coaching circles as the basis for all tactical innovations that have been tried since in the game.
            While agreeing in principle with the method of junior coaching that has since emerged, I have found in my visitations to junior,& school grounds that “the message” has yet to get down to those levels & after 40 years that is slightly worrying .Cheers jb

            • March 25th 2013 @ 5:25pm
              Towser said | March 25th 2013 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

              jbinnie
              Yes well remember Time & motion study. Sure they had a Time & motion person when I first started work,always wondered what they did at the time.
              You are indicating to me that the more things change, the more they remain the same in relation to football skills at least.
              We cant as you say replicate the conditions of yesteryear in countries where football is a way of life,so that coaching is passed on by society so as to speak, so in that sense there is a need for kids here to learn by other methods.
              Your visitations confirm what I see on the park,which indeed is still a worry.
              Haven’t been in contact with kids coaching for years so am out of the loop,but if small sided games are just about kids getting more touches of the ball,scoring goals but dont understand the best ways of making the most of that touch is it really improving the football landscape here so we produce those “technically adept players”?
              As I said though I’m not in the loop so maybe the finer points are being taught in conjunction with SSG’s.
              Wiil keep looking for the signs on the park & will know if the message is getting through when I see a budding Broich & the like. Expecting a Del Piero is probably an unrealistic general goal ,as even amongst the elite ,he was elite.

              • March 25th 2013 @ 8:04pm
                jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                Towser- My apologies. The small sided games on small pitches is a purely mathematical arrangement that sees the chances of ball contact for every individual in the team increased, The practice is the “weekend match” only for kids up to the age of 10-11.Their “training sessions” are also set up to ensure more ball contact,2v2, 3v3, 4v4 in an even tighter area,with the exercise mirroring the skill under practice,passing,receiving,tackling,etc etc.It is hoped by concentrating a kid’s attention on these aspects of the game his general expertise in those skills will have improved greatly by the time he is moved to a bigger pitch in a bigger team at around the age of 11 to 12.This format was introduced into Australia around 1974/75 and many of our Golden Generation have indicated they took part in the arrangement as youngsters.
                My problem is that after 40 years the message has not yet worked it’s way down to grassroots level and that is worrisome. jb

            • March 26th 2013 @ 1:29pm
              Ian said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

              I can attest to most under 8s only wanting to score goals or do a big kick. my 5 yr old was that in a nutshell last year. we’ve explained not everyone can be berisha and score goals all the time and there are 9 others and a goalie who help get the ball to the other end and get it in the net. saying broich does not score goals all the time was a help – on a point of difference broich was special especially in his early 20s making his way into the german youth team and i think germany b team. he was touted as a ‘beacon of hope’. but the rest from there is on his dvd doco.
              anyway – i find the training discussion very interesting as i am assisting with my daughter’s football and know the drills to put them through in their midweek training session in preparation for their 4 a side small sided football on saturdays. while good at little training exercises and dribbling, she was intimidated by trying to get 1on1 with larger boys to get the ball. that has changed this year and seeing her get the ball and shield it while moving it around the boys and go down field (until a bigger boy catches up to her) couldn’t make me prouder.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 10:57am
        MV Dave said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        Some decent points there Towser…but l’ll think you’d agree that the onfield standard has improved since season1 (I’d say it has been a big improvement). Doesn’t mean that we just accept the current standard but with the increased TV money clubs may be able to afford decent marquees and put further money into youth development.
        You are right about the ups and downs of Football in this country and right now l am happy to celebrate all the positives…plenty of others will be happy to highlight the negatives. Still much to be done to make Football an integral part of sport in Oz but we are closer than ever before.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 5:04pm
          cliffclavin said | March 25th 2013 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

          i agree. the standard is much higher now than at the beginning of the a-league. Also i think that the new youth system needs to bed down for at least 10-15 years before it starts to filter down to the level of the Sandringham Pirates under-6s (team made up for narrative purpose). I also think that whilst we may not have a current golden generation of technical players – most middling nations are in the same boat.
          I think that we are getting better with lots of good young players coming through and finally getting a run on the park in a fully professional environment which was not the case 9 years ago. For Victory – outside of Broxham – young players rarely got much of a go under Merrick for all those years, but now we are seeing more getting a run – which was the case in the old league. I remember many players at the Newcastle breakers getting a run whilst still at school (e.g Clayton Zane)- when the a-league started this dried up somewhat.

          Also with the new premier league set up – hopefully we can see more professionalization trending downstream as well – which may affect the ability of kids to maintain their technique under more pressure, than say just when they are playing in youth tournies with little at stake…

          • March 25th 2013 @ 8:22pm
            jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

            Cliff. There is no one happier than I to see a youngster “making the grade ” and getting a decent run in an HAL team. I think the point that Towser (and I) is making is that how many of these youngsters have attained a level of skills commensurate with the players they are playing with. I can watch most HAL games and without too much trouble I can pick out most of the imported players just by watching their levels of skill.
            You talk about bedding down a system taking 10-15 years.!!!! Our latest program is based on ideas first introduced Into Australia in 1974 so has been around not for 10 -15 years but 38 years.I have in my possession an article published in a local football magazine written by a State Director of Coaching,(every state had them in those days) in which he explains the benefits to be had with the new system of junior coaching being introduced.The magazine is dated 1974.????????. jb

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2013 @ 12:14pm
        AndyRoo said | March 25th 2013 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

        I don’t think the ACL is really worth worrying about and I think the focus should be on building a competition we enjoy.

        The Japanese teams seem to see the ACL as a bit of a burden and it brings with it a bunch of logistical problems that practically force you to choose one or the other (flying to Asia midweek then coming home for a game on that weekend).

        The WSG that run the ACL don’t really leave much incentive in the pot to do well unless you have a team capable of winning it.

        If we dropped the cap and let the bigger teams dominate I don’t think domestic fans would be left with a very satisfying competition. We are always going to be a feeder league and come that January transfer window the best players would leave and you would see the “big” clubs have to take players from the smaller clubs.

        Even if Sydney or Melbourne quadrupled their spend on players it’s still miles off what the big leagues can offer players.

    • March 25th 2013 @ 9:51am
      pete4 said | March 25th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      I agree it’s going to be a cracking last round of football (with the Socceroos in-between). Some interesting news on the WSW ownership front too

      Western Sydney Wanderers attract buyers
      http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/sport/western_sydney_wanderers_attract_6uKRbZePu6nljogAO71U5J

      • March 25th 2013 @ 10:27am
        jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        pete4 – An interesting article and poses other questions, for the writer in the FR cites WSW as being a success based on 2 factors, they have only a “loss” of $1 million instead of the budgeted $2 millions and the better than expected attendance figures.!!!!!
        Question – Where does that put Nix,Heart,Glory, Adel,& CCM who all had averages below the magical 10,000, and much lower than WSW’s average of 11,600.
        Before the onslaught of info from the armchair accountants start, remember I am only using the criteria mention by the FR as making WSW a good investment prospect. jb

        • March 25th 2013 @ 10:39am
          pete4 said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          JB – Shinji Ono is reportedly being paid $800K a season by WSW so I do not believe those other club’s mentioned have a marquee player on that type of wages.

          • March 25th 2013 @ 1:13pm
            jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            Pete- I think you may have misunderstood,What I was referring to was that after the effects of ADP on his own club gates and the other club gates it may be time to look at introducing some “ex-world class” players into the HAL through the other clubs and it may help them to bridge the gap between their attendance figures, get it?.
            P.S. No matter what he is being paid I would not put Oon on the same “drawing power” level as ADP,Beckham,or players of that ilk who are nearing the end of their top football life. jb

            • Roar Guru

              April 8th 2013 @ 12:46am
              nick richardson said | April 8th 2013 @ 12:46am | ! Report

              Ronaldhino is off contract at the end of the season.
              Wouldn’t it be amazing if he came to the A-League.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 11:14am
          Australian Rules said | March 25th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

          jb, people that buy football clubs dont do it because they’ll make a return on their investment.

          They do it because it’s the ultimate status symbol – one of the best play things a rich fan can have.

          • March 25th 2013 @ 1:28pm
            jbinnie said | March 25th 2013 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

            AR – my friend there are literally thousands of football clubs in the world & they are not all owned by Russian billionaires or Arab oil sheiks. So although I don’t think it is your intention to mean that every one of these football clubs is not capapble of being run at a profit it has been proven in the not so distant past ( & was discussed on this blog site few short weeks ago).a man, Fergus McCann, saved a huge club (in football terms) that has been owned by a family for years.The club was withinn 8 hours of bank declared bankruptcy when the Canadian millionaire stood guarantor for $16 million. It is said that five years later,the club, with a brand new 60,000 seated stadium as an assett & floated on the London exchange resulting in 60% ownership by club fans through associations etc, the man sold his shares for $132 millions & walked away,so, given the right set of circumstances & an acute business brain at the top, it is possible to make a profit. jb

            • Roar Rookie

              March 25th 2013 @ 3:22pm
              BrisbaneBhoy said | March 25th 2013 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

              And the above said club, have not only cleared all debts (as of a few mouths ago), but are now in a very financial sound place, and by all reports should be for the next 4-5 seasons (minimum).

            • March 25th 2013 @ 3:56pm
              Australian Rules said | March 25th 2013 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

              Absolutely jb, it is *possible* to make a profit from a football club…it’s just bloody hard!

              And notwithstanding good intentions to improve the running of a club, very few (if any) white knight investors would *expect* a reliable return on such an investment.

              Having a salary cap certainly helps.

      • March 25th 2013 @ 11:12am
        Australian Rules said | March 25th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        A little bemused by Gallop’s comment:

        “There’s no doubt the Wanderers have been the most successful club in any Australian sport this year”

        Totally agree…but it’s March.

        • March 25th 2013 @ 4:13pm
          Simmo said | March 25th 2013 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

          He is technically correct. Which is the best kind of correct.

    • Roar Pro

      March 25th 2013 @ 10:03am
      smithha said | March 25th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

      I may just put a sneaky 5er on the roar to make it the treble…

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