There is more to our football than just the A-League

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    The big winners from an entertaining weekend of football were Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers, even if it was not immediately apparent.

    Congratulations to coach Mel Andreatta and her Brisbane Roar team, after they topped the W-League standings following a commanding 4-1 win over Canberra United at Suncorp Stadium yesterday.

    The Roar needed only a draw to finish their premiership campaign on top of the table and claim a much-deserved piece of silverware, but in the end a double from Abbey Lloyd on the back of goals from Matildas duo Hayley Raso and Emily Gielnik was more than enough to see off the visitors in front of a healthy crowd.

    And the Roar deserved their silverware after losing just twice en route to finishing top of the standings.

    They’ll now have to do it all again in a finals series which also features Sydney FC, the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City – with the Roar no doubt eager to avoid the fate of last year’s table-toppers Canberra, who were subsequently beaten in the semi-finals.

    And Canberra’s presence in the W-League, not to mention the four-team (out of nine) finals system, are surely concepts worth considering for the A-League.

    The Roar women certainly fared better than their male counterparts, although you can’t say Melbourne City’s 2-1 defeat of Brisbane Roar wasn’t entertaining.

    Massimo Maccarone has been one of the Roar’s better performers this season, but he’ll have had nightmares about his poorly-hit penalty, which ended up costing his side at least a point.

    Yet the Roar’s defenders were just as culpable – even if both Daniel Arzani and Marcin Budzinski were proving adept at unlocking the Brisbane defence.

    Arzani is clearly one of the revelations of the season, yet in the introverted Budzinski, City may just have the player to fill Ross McCormack – not to mention Tim Cahill’s – now departed boots.

    Melbourne City wonderkid Daniel Arzani

    (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

    As for the Roar, the fact there was a minor fracas with security over the removal of a banner in the home end at least proves one thing – there are still enough fans in Brisbane who care about their club to challenge the status quo.

    Although they’d already displayed a much wordier tifo, the banner that prompted security to step in was the simple “Stop the rot” line which first appeared a few weeks ago, and was presumably not on the list of pre-approved banners fans are allowed to display.

    Frankly, it’s a bit ridiculous that fans have to have banners pre-approved in the first place, although the offensive banner Western Sydney Wanderers fans held aloft at the Sydney derby last year is a prime example of why it happens.

    Speaking of the Wanderers, they did just enough to see off an inconsistent Central Coast Mariners 2-1 yesterday, thanks to goals from Jaush Sotirio and Oriol Riera – or a Ben Kennedy own goal, if you believe the sticklers.

    Sotirio was born in Cyprus, while Riera was made in La Liga Santander, to borrow the convention from commercials we see ad nauseam even though we’re already watching the A-League.

    And in a team also containing the likes of Raul Llorente, Roly Bonevacia and Marcelo Carrusca, there aren’t too many opportunities for players from Western Sydney to represent their local region.

    But hopefully that will change now that Western Sydney are the new National Youth League champions, after the Wanderers downed Melbourne City 3-1 in a thriller in Saturday’s grand final.

    Both City’s Denis Genreau and Western Sydney’s Lachlan Scott possess A-League experience, and it took extra-time to separate the two sides after the pair saw their early goals cancel each other out.

    In the end, it was goals from Mark Tokich and John Roberts that helped see off a spirited City and hand the Wanderers their first ever NYL title.

    Congratulations, then, to Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney.

    Their senior men’s teams may be experiencing mixed fortunes, but they proved this weekend that’s there’s more to football than just the A-League.

    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 since December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (106)

    • February 5th 2018 @ 7:04am
      Waz said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Thanks for leading with the W League decider, hardly a mention in local media despite the implications of the result. Mel has done a great job with the team, and she’s had to overcome the lack of a natural striker after the signing of Hong Kong international Wai Ki Cheung turned in to, being polite, something of a fizzer. The finals though are anyone’s, Sydney are in fine form and Jets and City both look more than capable.

      • February 5th 2018 @ 7:27am
        Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        Well done the roar mate

        Hoping for a Brisbane v jets g f

        • February 5th 2018 @ 9:08am
          Waz said | February 5th 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          Me too kanga, me too ?

          • February 5th 2018 @ 2:19pm
            Choco Muffin 911 said | February 5th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            If Roar is in the final at which stadium will it be played?

            • February 5th 2018 @ 2:51pm
              Lionheart said | February 5th 2018 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

              next Sunday’s final Roar-City will be played at Perry Park. You can buy tickets through the Roar website. Don’t plan beyond that, just win this one and then see.

              • February 5th 2018 @ 3:39pm
                Waz said | February 5th 2018 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                Well said. It will be st PP though IF it happens unless poly’s get involved and drop the stupid rent. But City will be a tough game.

      • February 5th 2018 @ 8:30am
        Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        Haley Raso is a damn good player waz

        • February 5th 2018 @ 12:12pm
          Lionheart said | February 5th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          another Gold Coast kid done good. They produce more than their fair share of sports stars, a pity they don’t support their teams.

    • February 5th 2018 @ 7:25am
      AGO74 said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Timely commentary on W-league Mike. I spent yesterday afternoon at Seymour shaw park – home of state league team Sutherland sharks- watching Sydney fc and Westerm Sydney wanderers in w-league. It was a very successful day with over 2,500 turning up. Sydney won 4-1 with some great goals scored and impressive football played by Sydney fc.

      A successful afternoon for all 3 stakeholders:

      *Sydney fc w-league – got to be the headline act in a boutique (rustic perhaps!) stadium played before an enthusiastic crowd.
      *Sydney FC – terrific fan engagement at grass roots level after a coordinated effort with local football association and local clubs; and
      *Sutherland sharks/Sutherland shire football association – similar to Sydney fc above as well as probably had their largest crowd in years along with cash injection from food and beer sales.

      Great afternoon in the sun and great day for all stakeholders. Just my opinion but W-league management should look to replicate this for at least a couple of rounds each year. I’m sure the benefits of yesterday are more tangible than playing before a few hundred in a massive stadium.

      Looking forward to the finals.

      • February 5th 2018 @ 7:30am
        Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        Sounds good too,
        The Jets women’s used to crowds of a few thousand at the suburban grounds and it creates a good atmosphere .

        But the jets W league crowds are bigger at the McDonald jones stadium,

        They actually get a fair bit of media in Newcastle and do they should.

        • February 5th 2018 @ 7:43am
          AGO74 said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:43am | ! Report

          Regional teams do have negatives such as the population available to them compared to say Sydney or Melbourne etc to draw upon but that level of media interest across all sports is much stronger in regional teams which is great for your W-League team.

          The resurgence of the jets has been the story of the A-league this year.

          • February 5th 2018 @ 7:51am
            Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:51am | ! Report

            You are correct,

            regional teams get saturated media coverage

            and that’s just another reason to look at Geelong Wollongong Geelong and a Queensland team in expansion.

            • February 5th 2018 @ 8:55am
              Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

              Canberra I meant to add

    • February 5th 2018 @ 7:48am
      Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Totally agree Mike

      I caught the end of the Wanderers winning the youth league and watched a fair bit of W league on the weekend.

      Our W league players are so far advanced of the new rival women’s code skill wise , there is no comparison.
      Massive congratulations to the Brisbane Roar .

      I have to chuckle , because I’m a aflfooty fan I’m becoming aware of the hysterical reaction of their lack of ratings on the weekend. So there only recourse was to bag the A league, so insecure they are .

      Anyhow enough of that .

      My A league weekend was fun , sat with my Mrlbourne victory supporting son in the away section at Newcastle for the first half with him..

      Had to keep relatively quiet when the jets scored.
      The victory fans are not a happy lot at the moment is one way to describe it .

      Needless to say , I was thrilled with Jack Duncan saving the jets in more then few times

      Daniel Arzani,,, he’s got it . Get him in the Socceroos squad asap

      Punter and other sfc fans …,, Sydney roll
      on with the best 4 attackers anyone has ever seen this century, but the jets or maybe even Mrlbourne city are coming to get you guys in the grand final mate ??

      gee I hope it’s Newcastle, you will need a 60 thousand seat stadium if the jets play Sydney

      Nemesis, were you in the victory away fans ,what were they fighting about ???

      • Roar Guru

        February 5th 2018 @ 8:33pm
        Griffo said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        The Victory supporters wanted you to leave Kanga so they could unfurl the ‘FFA Out’ banner… 😎

        • February 5th 2018 @ 8:41pm
          Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

          Griffo

          U could be right .. , i don’t mind boisterous crowds , but a handful of the victory mob were a bit too angry … no place for my 8 year old .

          Some people on here want Kanga out … and who can blame them .

    • February 5th 2018 @ 8:28am
      Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Riley magree

      Could be the best January signing , his movement off the ball is so good . Totally opens up the field for petratos and co .

      Would like to see how good he can be over 90 minutes .

      Has magree played for the Socceroos yet ??

    • February 5th 2018 @ 8:36am
      Fadida said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      At the start of the season there was an article about Berisha. In it I claimed he was in a serious decline, and would be lucky to get to 120 goals (ie he’d struggle to get 17 more). Fair to say there were many who were astounded by my claim.

      Watching him this season, missing dozens of easy chances, or at least easy chances for the old Berisha, living offside because he has lost his pace, I’m interested to see if anyone agrees now? Has he 9 more goals left in him?

      • February 5th 2018 @ 8:50am
        Kangajets said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Besart looked slow ,
        But should have scored 2 on Saturday, but didn’t take his chances.

      • February 5th 2018 @ 9:30am
        Nemesis said | February 5th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        So, let me see if I understand this correctly.

        Besart Berisha is getting into positions regularly during every match, just like he used to, but he is missing his chances?

        And, this means he’s too old?

        Yeah. Because no striker in the history of football ever goes through a lean period where the goals don’t go in.

        Ok then.

        If we remove the penalty goals, Berisha is 5 goals behind the leading scorer in the competition. For sure, he’s missed a few. He’s always missed a few. But, no one remembers the missed chances if the team wins.

        Bobo misses many chances every match. So did McCormack. But, if the team wins, no one bothers. This season Victory is not winning, so the missed chances get highlighted.

        Just like GK errors get highlighted only when the team loses. A GK can make several blunders in a match, but if the team wins, it’s irrelevant.

        • February 5th 2018 @ 11:36am
          Fadida said | February 5th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          He is no longer clinical. And he is slow.

        • February 5th 2018 @ 11:39am
          Fadida said | February 5th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Do we remove penalties now? Funny that when Berisha was scoring 4-6 a season they counted!

          • February 5th 2018 @ 11:51am
            Nemesis said | February 5th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

            If we are assessing the worth of a strikers, absolutely I would eliminate the penalty goals.

            If a striker has 10 goals and they’re all from penalties & another has 10 goals all from open play, I know which striker I value higher.

            Berisha has won the Golden Boot in ALeague twice. On both occasions he’d have won even if the penalty goals are not counted.

            • February 5th 2018 @ 3:17pm
              Michael Mills said | February 5th 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              What if the striker also wins the penalty before converting it?

              • February 5th 2018 @ 3:51pm
                Nemesis said | February 5th 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                Means more to me if a striker wins a free kick outside box & scores indirectly from the free kick.

    • February 5th 2018 @ 8:36am
      AGO74 said | February 5th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Kanga – re your comment on skills Ive watched quite a few Matilda’s games but I have to admit to not having watched too much W-league before yesterday but I was really impressed by the skill level. The close control, passing both long and short as well as movement of players was very impressive. Sydney FC’s first goal had great lead up work and a cracking finish from outside box that would make Adrian or Ninko proud. Our 4th goal was a result of more intricate movement and a clinical finish from a right back no less. Very skilful and great to watch.

      Oh – and A Sydney FC vs Newcastle final would be brilliant.

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