I woke up on Saturday morning with my voice still hoarse from screaming at the TV last night.
Most football fans follow multiple teams, and their second choice is more secretive than their first.
At the pub, you might proudly raise a glass to the Western Sydney Wanderers, but at home, you’re covertly streaming the next Wollongong Wolves match in private.
The National Premier League NSW starts again this weekend, but this time, the second bite from the cherry could be an acquired taste.
Ignore the previous NPL matches played, because frankly, they didn’t count. For the unbeaten Marconi Stallions, three previous rounds of football were flushed down the thunder box.
Such was their sacrifice for a rebooted NPL 2.0.
The current competition only showcases 11 rounds worth of action.
It’s short, sweet and to the point. Suddenly, things are starting to feel eerily like the Big Bash League of yesteryear.
Did I mention there’s no relegation either?
All of the above will probably infuriate purists of football, but such a move is necessary to protect smaller clubs from folding due to financial constraints.
Still, at least we have a competition, considering it was a whisker away from being cancelled.
It’s precisely why your second team needs you now more than ever. What happens in the NPL will eventually filter through to the bigger clubs.
Consider Macarthur FC. The Bulls will be recruiting new players, and the NPL will provide options for the expansion team.
From the Woolpack Hotel in Parramatta to the Great Northern in Chatswood, give a shout out to APIA Leichhardt or Sydney Olympic.
Because, if the lower leagues of football are properly taken care of, then the A-League will flourish.