The Roar
The Roar

Xavier Smith

Roar Rookie

Joined August 2015







On weekdays, Xavier is a policy wonk for the public service. On weekends, he is a fanatical North Melbourne fan and terrible golfer. Views here are clearly his own, not his employer's.



The increased competition from upgraded stadiums appears to accelerate how quickly existing stadia become “dated” – the Gabba upgrade was compeleted this century, and the 18 year old ANZ Stadium apparently needs to be demolished.

The crowd for this test wasn’t horrendous, though. I’m genuinely surprised this wasn’t a day-nighter. That would have dramatically improved attendance.

Future Gabba Tests at risk after poor Ashes crowd

That would be ideal, but can that apply to Etihad Stadium, Adelaide Oval and Suncorp for the entire weekend as well? It would be quite a logistical challenge to manage the shifts for each of the other codes

Waratahs won't move Saturday match despite request to help A-League grand final pitch

Well said!

How will the Allianz Stadium pitch affect the A-League grand final?

Sydney FC haven’t earnt any such right, only the right to play the game in NSW, as has been the case in previous years. The venue remains at the discretion of the FFA.

My comment was that I’m surprised FFA haven’t sought a larger crowd at ANZ. Aside from the surface, I have no issue with the game being played at SFS.

Will take your word on TV viewership, and only note that it’s not the first time a Sunday game has caused issues.

How will the Allianz Stadium pitch affect the A-League grand final?

This isn’t the first time we’ve had venue problems with the Grand Final. Remember 2015 and hosting at the far too small AAMI Park? I’m surprised the game hasn’t been scheduled for ANZ – it would attract the biggest Grand Final crowd in history.

Having said that, it should be a booking requirement for the SCG Trust to provide a suitable surface, and should have advised the FFA of any problems months ago. Just because board members are associated with a particular code doesn’t absolve them from their responsibilities to act in the best interests of the Trust.

Perhaps in future the Grand Final should be held on Saturday nights? Much better than a Sunday evening, and reduces the likelihood of this happening in future as there would only be a potential Friday night fixture beforehand.

How will the Allianz Stadium pitch affect the A-League grand final?

Not sure of the three regions proposed by southern Sydney – it seems like a bid by the Shire to ward off competition from Wollongong. A Shire team in itself would work well.

South Melbourne would also work very well, though hopefully the ethnic issues of the NSL can be left behind should it join. I’d be concerned about the impact it would have on City. I’m sure right now there are South Melbourne fans who support either Victory or City, and would support a club they have most likely supported well before the establishment of the A-League. Victory will be fine, City would only continue at the pleasure of the City Football Group.

One thought though – nothing will guarantee an AFL team in Tasmania more quickly than an A-League side down there, so here’s hoping FFA look beyond Melbourne and Sydney!

If south Melbourne and south Sydney succeed, Australian football is dead

Gold Coast Red Bulls will surely feel most at home on Cavill Avenue

Are Red Bull about to give an A-League club wings?

I’m still probably suffering from too much sun, but having just returned from a holiday to the Gold Coast, I think the BBL might be the only competition a GC team may work. Short season, relatively large population and absolutely buzzing with families on holiday looking for something to with the kids a night at this time of year.

Big Bash burnout, anyone?

Given I recently contributed to this year’s State of Origin word dump, I’ll only add that scarcity is the key to any representative/All-Star game. It might work if held every few years.

The case for an AFL All-Star game

North-GWS on the Friday night would be a cracker.

The only issue is that it would be North Melbourne’s 9th 6-day break this season, apparently a record. That’s not ideal heading into the finals, bye or no-bye.

How the final round of the 2016 AFL season should unfold

As a Melburnian, I’m looking forward to the opening game. Not sure it’s wise for the game to neglect its base though.

Rugby League World Cup draw announced, with NSW served a serious snubbing

I share your cynicism Ronan.

Given money talks, would an extra seven prime-time games make any difference to a broadcast deal?

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

You’re spot on with the revenue. That’s probably the best way to get the clubs on side.

Timing is always a problem. I originally thought October would work best, but does anyone care about footy after the Grand Final?

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

East v West is just as rubbish as “the Allies”. No one is going to support that.

“Treating everyone the same” ignores the fact that there are vast sections of our community that are seriously disadvantaged whilst others maintain immense privilege.

If the players are up for it, let them represent an indigenous side. We’ve done it in the pre-season, and we’ve done it for the International Rules series. If it’s done in the right spirit, a sporting event can be a force for good.

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

I remember that suggestion, and it wasn’t a bad one, though isn’t simple enough. Without some sort of competition, the games become exhibition matches, and held annually will repeat what happened in the 90s.

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

By that logic, Indigenous Recognition shouldn’t happen. I think such a game could be positive opportunity for Reconciliation, though I am, of course, open to better ideas.

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

How would something held every four years ruin the AFL long term?

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

Agree, the Allies concept didn’t work.

It doesn’t matter what code you follow, club coaches always hate representative football. Given their worth is ultimately decided by wins and losses, you can’t blame them. However, as with rule changes, these decisions need to be made for the benefit of the game, which is why they should never be left with coaches.

Hosting SoO every four years is an attempt to reduce that concern.

After another cracking State of Origin series, can the AFL please revive the concept

If I hadn’t known you were a comedian Ben, I almost would’ve believed this.

As others have noted here, the AFL is yet to understand the concept of “unintended consequences” with its frequent rule changes over the past 15 or so years.

Shot in the clock: How the AFL fixes every problem

Agree premierships aren’t won in May, so the jury is s still out on everyone, including North.

Disagree Norh are playing out of their skin, I’ve felt they only just been getting by – plenty of room for improvement for when the big games come.

Waite can lead North Melbourne to the flag

North fan here. You can only beat the teams you’re fixtured to play against, so I don’t get the carry on about needed to beat Hawthorn, Sydney etc. That will come in time.

Personally, whilst some of their play has been fantastic, North still have a lot to improve upon (skill errors etc). I think that will happen as the season goes on, so whilst not getting ahead of ourselves, the rest of the season is indeed looking bright.

So, do you rate North Melbourne yet?

Share it around in those three years. Articles like this suggest the Trust don’t like being shown up.

Play one year at Suncorp, as a nod to the passion of Queensland.
Play another at the MCG to grow the game and ensure a 100,000 fan party.
Finally, play one at the SCG for nostalgia (and as acknowledgement they’re stumping up $1.6 billion for the game).

The lack of vision in league is astounding.

The SCG awaits rugby league's return home

I’m a Roos fan, and think for large patches of each game, North have been rubbish.

What’s pleasing is the newfound ability to turn things around when the going gets tough, and they are undefeated when there is plenty of room for improvement. That gives me hope.

North Melbourne top of the table? Guess what? No one cares!

Eddie’s ideas always seem to involve taking over a site (in this case, Hisense Arena) and shifting whatever else there is somewhere else. An easier solution would be to build on the old Olympic Park site, which the Magpies conveniently took over.

Shifting away from Docklands would just enshrine the AFL’s poor decision making by shifting from a prime location. Waverley is now the demographic heart of Melbourne (as predicted by city and league planners in the 1950s and 60s), with huge growth in the south-east. Docklands is much more convenient for the rapidly expanding west, and spreads out entertainment events across the city. Remember Docklands was chosen to relieve the congestion around the Melbourne and Yarra Parks.

McLachlan wants Vic stadium investment

As stupid and dangerous as they were, the flares weren’t the worst issue I had with the RBB on Saturday night.

More concern was the RBB chanting to the South End that they “f*** your mothers”, or something along those lines, with children dancing along to it until parents realised what was being sung.

How on earth is that acceptable?

Fan issues escalate: FFA charge Wanderers with bringing game into disrepute