The Roar
The Roar

Paul Nicholls

Roar Guru

Joined April 2014







Sydney based writer with a particular interest in the history and culture of sport. Likes Sydney FC in the A-League and Cronulla Sharks in the NRL.



Fighting words Tom Williamson! The Crowd are the ones you really have to worry about. Good one and welcome to the panel.

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 1

I think an under-appreciated reason for some dull games is the heat during the summer in matches not played during the evening. Some players are looking fairly knocked out by half-time in some of those games. I’m not sure if even 5:00pm starts are optimal. Perhaps A-League fans should be petitioning governments to abandon daylight savings so we don’t have to put clocks forward…or is it backwards….

ABC viewers must see attacking football when they watch the A-League

Yes I did, Jimmy. In fact I spent more time thinking about the title than the content… but don’t tell anyone.

Hey A-League, wake me up when September ends

Cheers Griffo. I gave up with FIFA when 7 year old relatives started to run rings around me. I’ve been getting into a bit of NFL to be honest.

Hey A-League, wake me up when September ends

I saw the incendiary device in the photo and thought, cool, we have another quantum physics article. Nice work Professor Tuckerman. Seriously though, it is welcome news that the assistant commissioner is a fan of the game. Also, can you somehow split the off-season atom so that we can start the A-league season? My thumbs are getting blisters from twiddling.

Better policing will help improve A-League atmospheres

Interesting article, Mike. A 3 part reply:
1. If MVFC permanently move to AAMI then really it is only SydFC, Brisbane and Wellington that would be playing in oversize venues. Wellington is tricky but part of me thinks SydFC and Bris SHOULD be playing in big stadiums – and the solution, as you touch on, is how to fill them – or at least to average 20-25k per game. Sometime football people aim too low.
2. How many currently existing boutique stadiums would be good enough for a 2nd div? I doubt there would be 12. Would there be even 5 or 6?
3. Why no quantum physics in the article?

Boutique stadiums are a must for a national second division

Nothing live for me this week – mini matches rule

Did anyone watch an EPL game live this weekend?

Is the A-League independent as of now? I have heard of 1 August deadline but not heard confirmation that it has happened. If the draw has not been released are the discussions still between FFA and Foxtel or is it between the A-League and Foxtel? Who is the chairman of the independent A-League?

A-League independence is almost here but how commercially daring can it be?

Just needs a final lick of paint and all should be ready for the season opener….

I'm on the Western United bandwagon - and you should be too

I have a feeling I don’t get 9Gem. Hmmm…. radio and The Roar blog should do it

The Ashes: England vs Australia, first Test preview, prediction

9Network? But I can’t see it on any of my TV guides. Is it on one of their subsidiary channels (which I don’t get?)
PS Great preview Scott.

The Ashes: England vs Australia, first Test preview, prediction

Assuming the foot-shooters were clean

Shayna Jack reportedly faced with four-year ban by ASADA

Not League Cup, but the FA Cup rounds are on weekends. Lighting wouldn’t be such an issue for a mid-week round of NPL if they are not being televised to broadcast standard.

There'd be more magic in the FFA Cup if teams could play at home

Not in England.

There'd be more magic in the FFA Cup if teams could play at home

What I’d like to see is some Saturday/Sunday afternoon matches – at least we don’t have the lighting issues.

There'd be more magic in the FFA Cup if teams could play at home

What a fantastic game of cricket. The rules re super over were well known in advance – no complaints from me. Knowing that with 1 ball left in the super over there could only be one winner made it all the more exciting.

England win World Cup final in thrilling super over finish against New Zealand

Absolutely Griffo. Quite a few changes – hopefully the Stajcic case was the lowpoint.

Confirmed: David Gallop stepping down as FFA CEO

Awesome read.

What the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup - and everything before it - means to me

Such a soft penalty that one. These pitch side reviews are farcical – I see the Premier League are going to cut down on most of these in their VAR which is a good thing.
But USA far too good and congrats to them. Great game by the Dutch keeper as well

When you play like the USA, you can say whatever you want

Fascinating sub-plot to the World Cup – just as America starts to gear up for the next Presidential election. Mr Trump will want to score political points but as the US team is so popular at the moment he would need to be careful how he does it. Ms Rappinoe seems to be a forceful personality – will the whole team stand with her? Is it a bad look for woman’s soccer if they decline the invitation? Will be interesting to see what happens.

Rapinoe vs Trump: Disrespectful or inspiring activism?

Awesome story. Thanks for this

The night old soccer came home

I think people underestimate the strength of RL and soccer in the west of Sydney. Parra and Penrith have massive followings even if they are reluctant to go to games. I also think GWS did themselves no favours by aligning themselves with Canberra – it’s given them an in-built identity crisis from day one.

GWS are tearing up the AFL, so where are the fans?

I have hardly looked at the Rugby columns for a while and am wondering why considering how good this article is (although the tech videos are a bit distracting!) It does say something that I have come to this page after watching the great sporting package that is state of origin. If anything, NRL is getting more popular in Oz and Rugby seems to be losing its way. I just wonder whether we shouldn’t just embrace this – let the players go to UK and France for as much money as they can get. Put pressure on IRB to have International breaks so the best players can be picked for internationals and at the same time reduce the number of internationals that are played – I’m actually getting bored of playing NZ so many times. Is there some kind of transfer system in Rugby? Could clubs/states/provinces be rewarded for helping produce good players for overseas clubs? Maybe if Aus rugby was just a feeder comp for Northern Hemisphere rugby then we might at least see some very competitive young players going around. Club football (soccer) in Brazil and Argentina is still fairly popular even with the best players in Euro clubs. I do have a soft spot for the great sport of Rugby that my father played and loved and hope there is a resurgence in the Australian game soon. Great read, Nic.

Will Australian rugby become a farm for the north?

A good optimistic piece Stuart … although “the new 13-team A-League season” I counted only 11 !! But that’s neither here nor there. On point 1) Great idea but the fact we are only getting 1 not 2 new teams and therefore still just 5 games a week means it feels slightly half-hearted. I’m truly baffled why they didn’t go to 12 straight away. Thoughts? I’m more looking to the following season when there are 12 teams.
5) I think this one is massive – if the new stadium doesn’t boost WSW and the league then there are problems. They have made a great start by playing Leeds Utd – hopefully that sets the bar – as long as seats are not too expensive I would like to think WSW could average 20k next season.
And… go the ’tildas !!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the state of play in football after another stagnant A-League season?

Great article Jordan. Isn’t football a game for the people? Surely Perth Glory represent the people of Perth. This game is a showpiece – let’s get it out of the garage and put it on the big stage.

This A-League grand final bandwagon talk must stop