We have survived the year and given the off field issues it’s been a remarkable year to build on.
If you break up our season into three rounds, the opening round is our strongest with the closing round our weakest. The lead-in to the season meant we had a very poor opening nine matches. However our last round was the strongest it’s ever been.
Both ratings and crowds had only minor drops when compared to last year. We had a number of things to overcome.
This would be my list of preseason issues: overhang from the Perth salary cap debacle, the PFA and FFA dig fight which cost two senior executives their jobs, Brisbane ownership and poor past management, Newcastle ownership and poor past management and the grand final stadium issue.
Also during the early part of the season we had a number of issues that just kept coming. These included: FFA cup ticket issues, the Phoenix extension with conditions, the talk of a new Southern Sydney team and the gin queen attacks and resultant reaction by fans.
In all fairness to David Gallop and his team, many of the issues were forced upon them and decisions had to be made. On balance I think they got most things right.
Maybe some things took a little longer than you could argue they should have, but equally many if not most issues had more than one side and often the media and fans only looked at the FFA issue not the other side.
The future looks so bright, with Optus and beIn Sport looking to enter the broadcasting market. Added to this many of the negatives leading into last year simply will not be there.
Further Sydney FC, the Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets will be all playing better next year and the FFA are looking for marquees.
With the Matildas at the Olympics, the Confederations Cup in September and difficult World Cup qualifiers coming, it looks like positive signs to come for the game in Australia.