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Opinion

The official early season A-League report cards

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Expert
2nd December, 2019
38
1039 Reads

During each and every school year students excel, others fail and some behave downright disrespectfully. How would a teacher assess the 11 A-League clubs after one quarter of the 2019/20 season?

Adelaide United
Grade: B
Adelaide have made a strong start to the academic year and shown signs of clear improvement.

They have failed a few assignments, excelled in others and that inconsistency is something they will need to address should they hope to perform well in the final exams. Working closely with new tutor Gertjan Verbeek appears to have made all the difference and continuing sessions should bring further improvement.

Brisbane Roar
Grade C+
I must admit to being very concerned about the Brisbane Roar at the start of the school term. They appeared to have a completely new personality and showed little ability in set work. I am pleased to say that since that time, things have improved considerably.

An understanding of how to work out problems has been evident, yet two recent formal tasks have finally seen that knowledge morph into better results and improved scores. Well done Brisbane.

Central Coast Mariners
Grade: C-
Considering the weak base from where Central Coast began the academic year, their performance has been commendable thus far. However, they do still sit quite low when compared to other students in the class.

Sadly, there are gaping holes in their knowledge base and only hard work, practice papers and remedial classes will see them make any real progress in the near future.

I encourage them to remain actively involved in the class, keeping other students on their toes. Every now and then they will pop up and do well in a quiz or class test.

Danny De Silva

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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Melbourne City
Grade: A-
Melbourne City have finally turned the academic corner after frustrating me in the classroom in recent years. Frankly, their attitude stank at times.

Now, after taking up French as an extra-curricular subject, their view on things has broadened and a willingness to take calculated risks has emerged. There is real potential in Melbourne City, enough that even a top-of-the-class ranking is well within their grasp in the final examination.

Melbourne Victory
Grade: D+
I am not exactly sure what has happened to Melbourne Victory, usually one of my favourite and most consistent students. Their performance has been well below expectations thus far. I recommend a complete overhaul of their study schedule.

Even a decent result in last Friday’s pop quiz was disappointing, with the questions asked of them not particularly difficult. Much work lies ahead if they are to do well in the more challenging tasks to come.

Newcastle Jets
Grade: B-
The Newcastle Jets continue to be an unfashionable and unpopular member of the class, with many students believing they are a lightweight when it comes to performance. The subsequent bullying appears to have them highly motivated to do well and they have started brightly with two excellent exams, two mediocre test results and two pieces of incomplete homework.

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I will continue to support Newcastle throughout the term and will inform the school counsellor should any signs of emotional distress come to the surface.

Perth Glory
Grade: E
It has been a stunning decline for the Perth Glory thus far, dropping from first in the class to last in a short space of time.

Performance wise, they appear to have lost all confidence. I know Perth’s father is particularly upset and other students have reported tirades of yelling emanating from their residence. The question for Perth to reflect upon is whether their poor performances are merely a blip on the radar or something far more serious, and a potential sign that their preparation for the school year has been inadequate.

Bruno Fornaroli

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Sydney FC
Grade: A
While Sydney FC have performed exceptionally well thus far and appear a likely candidate for Dux, their popularity continues to wane.

I know that is tough on Sydney, who so desperately wants to be loved, yet an ingrained superiority and arrogance continues to see them viewed as entitled and favoured. It will be a busy time ahead for Sydney, with a host of mid-week activities looming. For their sake, I hope they are able to remain focused on their core studies and mentally fresh in the lead-up to the final examinations.

Wellington Phoenix
Grade: B-
Travelling so far to attend the school is always a problem for Wellington and it did appear quite stressful early on. Thankfully, and despite new pencils, pens, erasers and writing pads, recent results have been promising. It was a real shame that much of their reliable equipment was stolen during the break and I must admit to being concerned for their welfare.

However, I am pleased to say that the obvious study undertaken has them well prepared to finish in the middle of the academic pack.

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Western Sydney Wanderers
Grade: B
Watching students from broken homes struggle with the associated emotional baggage is always challenging. Such has been the case with Western Sydney.

It is so pleasing to see a sense of assurance and solidity return and their performances have reflected a much happier home life. There are still flashes of anger and frustration from the paternal figure and a consistent message of love and trust is lacking. However, it will take some time yet before full balance is returned.

Western United
Grade: B
It is never easy being the new student and Western United have been doing a lot of adjusting in the early weeks of the academic year. So far, things have looked promising, although the skill, knowledge and potential they show has not quite translated into consistent results just yet.

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That appears to be only a matter of time, as their general approach to study is impressive. Once fully immersed in school culture, Western United could perform strongly enough to expect to feature prominently at awards night. A terrific achievement for a new student.