Optimistic outlook at A-League season launch

The Roar Roar Guru

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    A-League season launch

    A-League season launch (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

    The much-anticipated buildup to the seventh season of the A-League culminated this morning at the season launch, and the message was literally spelt out by fans, players and coaches: ‘We Are Football.’

    The FFA’s ‘We Are Football’ campaign has steadily gained momentum over recent weeks and with the AFL and NRL seasons concluding over the weekend, the timing for the season launch couldn’t have been better.

    With an obvious intention to reconnect with football’s grassroots community, the FFA invited fans to the Sydney Football Stadium this morning to interact with players and coaches, and spread the message prior to the competition’s kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

    The signings of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton have already boosted the prospects of a league crying out for a boost, and CEO Ben Buckley was bullish about the season ahead.

    “It is fair to say that this is the most anticipated start to the season since the buzz of the inaugural season back in 2005,” he said.

    “The homecoming of Socceroos stars Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton has proved what we’ve always said – that the A-League is fast emerging as one of Australia’s top competitions.”

    Gold Coast boss Miron Bleiberg, the only surviving coach from the inaugural season, was also optimistic about what lay ahead, comparing the buzz to the hype that surrounded the A-League during its inception in 2005.

    “The anticipation for this season is very similar to the first year, no one knows,” he said.

    “Preparation and team recruitment is a bit of a mystery.

    “If you add the effect of marketing, with Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell, it looks even better than the first year.”

    Criticisms have been levelled at the FFA in recent years of failing to properly address the needs of the A-League while preparing Australia’s 2022 World Cup bid, and the fan focus at the launch was evident.

    While the ‘We Are Football’ campaign has been reminiscent of the initial A-League marketing campaigns that worked successfully, it will be the quality of the on-field product that ultimately decides the fate of the competition.

    For 22-year-old Sydney FC fan Tom Jensen, the ability of Sydney FC coach Vitezlav Lavicka to get his team playing attractive football was the biggest hope for the upcoming season.

    “We need to get the swagger back to bring our fans back, and hopefully ‘Emmo’ will help us do that,” he said.

    “If this season is to be successful, the A-League needs us to be doing well.”

    The FFA has carefully laid the foundations for the reinvigoration of the A-League, and it is a test for the game to see how well it performs in terms of support and quality of football on offer.

    It starts this weekend with the Newcastle Jets at 4:30pm (ADST) on Saturday, and the big clash between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at 6:30pm (ADST).

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • Editor

      October 4th 2011 @ 1:14pm
      Tristan Rayner said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      Breaking news: Branko Culina (who was present at the launch today, but left early) has been sacked by the Jets, effectively immediately. Story soon…

      • October 4th 2011 @ 1:58pm
        Kasey said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        Re Boxhead being sacked: For Syria? – thats got to be close to a record for a major sports code in this country – admittedly I don’t follow NRL at all or the AFL very closely, so I’m sure I’ll be corrected very soon. I assume the 11/12 HAL season guide has already been sent to the printers, that ‘error’ will annoy some of course!

        I just booked my flights and hotel in Perth to be there when the Adelaide United season gets underway in Perth! To say I’m jumping out of my skin in anticipation is to put it mildly!

      • Roar Guru

        October 4th 2011 @ 2:00pm
        Fussball ist unser leben said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        I’d say “unbelievable”, but I was expecting something negative to interrupt the beautiful build-up!

        The Jets have had 6 months to do this, but wait until 4 days before kick-off! Better change my tipping for that match! 🙂

        • Editor

          October 4th 2011 @ 2:17pm
          Tristan Rayner said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

        • October 4th 2011 @ 2:20pm
          Kasey said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          Once again footbal shows its propensity to take the focus off the game in the lead up to what should be a huge celebration of domestic football in Australia. I believe the technical term is to “shoot oneself in the foot” 🙁

          • October 4th 2011 @ 2:22pm
            Nathan of Perth said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

            They’re nuts, that’s absolutely nuts, so close to the start of season… what was Tinkler thinking?

    • October 4th 2011 @ 1:15pm
      Will Sinclair said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

      If nothing else, the change in timing for the start of the A-League has been perfect.

      Instead of getting lost in the AFL & NRL Finals, the A-League starts with no domestic competition, and thousands of Aussie blokes suddenly facing the prospect of months on end with no footy action!

      I predict more than a few converts. At least until the cricket starts!

      • October 4th 2011 @ 1:45pm
        AGO74 said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        Mate, I enjoy the cricket, but I couldn’t even tell you who is coming out here this summer!

        • October 4th 2011 @ 1:59pm
          Will Sinclair said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

          You’re right…

          Is it India?

          I think it’s India.

        • October 4th 2011 @ 3:33pm
          Brad_O said | October 4th 2011 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          Hmmm you know what Im the same. I too could not tell you who was coming out this summer.

        • October 5th 2011 @ 3:47am
          David Heidelberg said | October 5th 2011 @ 3:47am | ! Report

          I don’t know either, but who cares, as long as they are playing cricket I will watch.

    • Editor

      October 4th 2011 @ 1:16pm
      Tristan Rayner said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

      Just a note we’ve opened The Roar’s A-League tipping competition – my ambition is to top 10 this year, or beat Fussball ist unser leben if he’s up to the challenge!

    • Roar Guru

      October 4th 2011 @ 1:32pm
      Fussball ist unser leben said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

      Tristan you are giving me far too much credit – my tipping skills are absolutely TERRIBLE!

      I seem to always tip with my heart and not my head .. of course, some unkind people may say that I do this when I post on The Roar ;-).

      Challenge accepted … bring it on!

    • October 4th 2011 @ 1:51pm
      Cricket said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

      The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated…

      • October 4th 2011 @ 2:23pm
        Kasey said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        You might be alive, but I think you’re on life support. And not the trendy ABC comedy show with Dr Rudi and Penny! A couple more bad seasons from the National team and yet more meaningless T20/ODI chaff and you’ll be flatlining completely. Honestly, I can remember when a ODI used to mean something. Now it seems like they’ve just kept mining the lode to feed the BCCI TV money, until now, overkill has just killed the interest amongst general fans.

        • October 4th 2011 @ 2:32pm
          Johnno said | October 4th 2011 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          Cricket is seriously struggling, soccer i think will become the no 1 summer sport in AUstralia now. i am a cricket fan but i would prefer to watch and A-League or a NBL basketball match now any day of the week over a meaningless ODI, T20 or a boring test match. only cricket i watch now are the ASHES and the finals stages of the ODI world cup. It’s funny as well administrators semen to think playing more matches will make them more money well there wrong. By not adopting the less is more approach you eventually kill of the interest levels of the sport. And each match attendances and tv ratings and interest levels drop. The rugby world cup has been the perfect balance for me. I hope they do no go to a 32 team rugby world cup tournament as 4 knockout stages a round of 16 as well as the Q/Finals will be overkill. The rugby world cup has the perfect balance currently either 20 teams or 16 team format for now, but 32 round of 16 does not work for cricket or rugby but seems to for soccer becoz the teams can play 4 days later in soccer as opposed to 6 or 7 in rugby.

        • Roar Guru

          October 4th 2011 @ 3:21pm
          Rellum said | October 4th 2011 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          Cricket has been a massive part of my life but I may be alive to see it disappear from the Australian sporting landscape the way it is going.

    • October 4th 2011 @ 1:54pm
      Midfielder said | October 4th 2011 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

      WOW and double WOW … Tinkler must have watched SBS last night and saw what chance his side had..

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