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rob charlton

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Joined March 2018

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Australian born and bred. Grew up playing rugby union, real football and cricket. Gave up RU for real football in my mid teens - soccer was a whole lot more skillful and more fun. Now retired, but follow Sydney FC, the Socceroos and Matildas, Man Utd and the Swans.

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The Joy of X – no, it’s not clickbait. The ‘boom’ in AFLW numbers is from a miniscule base, and anyone with any numeracy knows that this is always what happens with almost any increase from a tiny base. Bottom line is that the number of women playing AFL is a drop in the bucket compared to the registered number of female footballers in Australia. Oh, and in football, all players have to register AND pay insurance, so football’s registration numbers are real. AFLW’s numbers??? Who knows. I doubt they have ever been audited because they are still too small to really matter.

Jenna McCormick’s Matildas debut sends shockwaves through AFL

Fadida – football and AFL are 360 degree games because, under the rules, you can pass a ball anywhere in a 360 degree arc. You cannot do this in either rugby code. An implication is that a player’s vision must be greater.
As for ‘punched in the head’, well that’s possibly true for the rugby codes and AFL, and there’s more scope in those codes for getting away with it, even though such action is illegal in all of them. Do it in football and it’s an early shower, a suspension and possibly a fine.

Jenna McCormick’s Matildas debut sends shockwaves through AFL

John – I have experienced NO issues in my club over whether the flag is in or out. I was simply theorising on the possibility of confrontation because, unfortunately, there have been instances in club golf of confrontations on lesser issues.

I agree that in the vast majority of instances, club golfers play for fun and play well within the spirit of the rules of the game. I’m sure we both know that there are a few who will try to bend the rules to their advantage. My critique of the new rules was bearing that in mind.

Changes to the Rules of Golf: Reaction and analysis

The commentary is a beat-up. The extra angle shows that there was no intent, which means there is no offence. If the ref had seen this angle, it would have reinforced his decision.

'It's handball': The crucial angle the referee wasn't shown for Spurs goal

Well I suspect this story has a long way yet to run. What odds an unfair dismissal law suit from Stajcic???

More to the point … has the FFA now sabotaged the best chance the Matildas have ever had for becoming World Champions?? If that’s how event play out over the next 6 months, Nikou, Gallop and the rest of the FFA ‘suits’ better have some teflon-coated excuses well prepared.

Alen Stajcic: Victim of the modern workplace, or creator of a flawed culture?

You really, really have to ask why the Mexican ref looked to his assistant before giving the ridiculous penalty. He was so much better positioned. This reeked of sheer incompetence, not just because of the decision but also because of the fact that the referee clearly threw responsibility for the decision to someone much further away and much more poorly positioned. This was not just inompetent refereeing. It was also gutless.

Socceroos triumph in a five-goal thriller over Syria

FOX probably said little because the match was on free to air (on Channel 10).

Australia smack Oman 5-0, but Asian Cup predictions remain foggy

There are reports that Rogic has a slight knee injury which blew up a bit on his flight from Glasgow. So the Australian camp took no risks with him.

As for the attitude of Celtic fans, too bad. International football in FIFA sanctioned tournaments always trump club matches, especially in minor leagues like the SPL.

Australia smack Oman 5-0, but Asian Cup predictions remain foggy

Oman under van Beek were about as good as Australia under van Beek. (ie terrible). So I agree, it’s difficult to draw to many conclusions from this match.

I suspect the role of playmaker dropping back to collect passes in mid-field will go to Rogic, or perhaps Jeggo, although it might be interesting to see how Boyle might operate as a winger who moves inside to pick up passes from defenders. Jeggo did not get on the park so it’s difficult to assess how he might fit in.

Sainsbury was rarely troubled by Oman but still made too many unforced errors for my liking. Jurman was solid if unspectacular when he came on. (I much prefer solid to spectacular in a central defender.)

McClaren continues to underwhelm me. Perhaps he is just not in great form, but I really cannot see him challenging for a place in the first XI. Leckie will come in when fit and Ikonomidis and Mabil have clearly pushed themselves well ahead of McClaren. Perhaps even Irvine has done this now that Hull seem to be using him much more as an attacker.

Grant was busy but was placed under no real threat by Oman. His contribution to Australia’s attack was largely as a passing outlet. However, he almost always then played backwards or sideways. I cannot remember a single incisive attacking pass from him. For me, Risdon has the RB position sewn up.

The direct free kick from Mabil was an interesting highlight. He hit it very well, with great technique. With some more work on picking his spot, perhaps he is the answer to Mooy’s absence in that area. (Of course, one swallow doth not a summer make….)

I am not one of the Kruse-hating brigade. I think he’s an outstanding Socceroo. However he was very quiet in this match. He should have had an almost unmissable chance but Mabil took it off him and destroyed the chance. Kruse let Mabil know about that in no uncertain terms. Kruse worked hard but did not get on the end of enough passes. His best efforts were in winning the ball back.

You wrote that some long balls connected but some did not. That was overly kind of you. Very few long balls connected. Most were a complete waste and Sainsbury was probably the chief culprit. This is an area where the better Asian teams will just grab possession back and thank us for being so naive and wasteful of possession.

If this match was some “figment of some Lynchian fever dream”, I suspect it was more Michael Lynch than David Lynch. 🙂

Australia smack Oman 5-0, but Asian Cup predictions remain foggy

I think the FFA has made the obvious choices, plus they have clearly left the door ajar for Canberra to have an A League team sooner rather than later.

There are clear negatives with the other bids. The SE Melb bid has no certainty on a stadium. S Melb are just way too close to MV’s territory and Southern Expansion has the same issue wrt Sydney FC. The latter also made a very smart blocking move strategically with the MOU with Wollongong Wolves. I also feel that some of the public pronouncements by SE have been likely to raise hackles within FFA and the A League clubs. Their diplomacy has left something to be desired.

So now that this decision has been announced, where to next for the FFA?

I think it’s highly desirable that ANOTHER 2 teams be added to the A League ASAP. The obvious candidates should be Canberra and a 2nd Brisbane team (or even a Gold Coast team) provided the bids from those areas arrive and stack up. (I suspect Canberra’s already does.)

The future of the Phoenix needs to be decided. If they are unable (for any reason) to stay in the A League – bear in mind, this may be a FIFA decision, not an FFA one – then a 3rd feasible Australian bid needs to be found ASAP. Another Adelaide of Perth team perhaps?? (Sorry Tassie – I’d love to see you in the A League but you just do not have the population to support a viable bid IMHO.)

Even more importantly, FFA needs to find a way to introduce promotion and relegation. Now I know this is a can of worms. However, we MUST have end of season tension at both ends of the A League competition. This is the way of the world in football and it is a huge differentiator potentially between our game and the neanderthal codes. One possible way to do this … a 4 team round robin play-off at the end of the A League season between the bottom 2 in the A League and the best performed NPL clubs in that season’s FFA Cup. That will add bite, tension and excitement to all competitions. The play-offs should be 2 legs, home and away, with the away goals rule in force plus ET and penalties in the second leg if required. The top 2 in the 4 team round robin stay up or go up.

OK – I realise this tips the balance towards the A League clubs. They will be battle hardened at end of season. The NPL clubs will be in pre-season. So what? It’s an extra challenge for NPL clubs. If they are up to the task, they will deserve promotion.

More A-League teams for Sydney and Melbourne: Did the FFA get their A-League expansion decision right?

So clearly this was written before the match against S. Korea where our familiar failings in front of goal surfaced yet again.

Australia’s failings in this area get down to one simple issue, I believe – lack of control. That’s lack of ball control (because of inferior technique) and lack of spatial control (because of poor tactics or poor implementation of agreed tactics).

Virtually all of Australia’s goal attempts vs S Korea were rushed. Mostly this is because the attempts came from players under close defensive pressure, though some, like Mooy’s abysmal attempt in the first half, came because players did not realise the space and time they had, or did realise but failed to use it. Robbie Slater’s commentary on Mooy’s attempt gave him a huge “get of gaol card”, but on replay Mooy’s assessment of the situation and Slater’s commentary were both incorrect. Mooy had time and space to use his instep and place his shot. Instead he blazed away and the ball ended up closer to Warwick than Brizzie.

Am immediate priority for Australia’s coaching staff MUST be to teach coolness, patience and precision in front of goal. Players like Mabil and Boyle could clearly help by injecting some flair and pace, two characteristics that defenders hate. However, our key failing is that we do not play attackers into positions where they have time and space to shoot and, importantly, are facing goal.

In most other respects, apart from the MK Dons or Australian local all-age style goal, a hoof down the middle, Australia tore S Korea to pieces in the first half. With the lead, S Korea made it a whole lot harder by playing ‘keep the ball’, which they did very well to be fair.

Late equaliser can't conceal familiar issues facing the Arnold era

What rubbish. I don’t know why that even went to the VAR. It was as clear a pen as you’d ever see.

Another completely bonkers VAR controversy derails Jets-Phoenix clash

What a stupid headline!! Yes I am an A League fan and no, I do not have (and never will have ) Foxtel. I would much prefer to spend my time and money attending Sydney FC’s home matches.

Can you call yourself an A-League fan if you don't have Fox Sports?

Nemesis – I can say this because it’s true. Instead of frothing about what you perceive as past performance, it might be more sensible to look at the issues raised and consider whether (a) there is evidence to support the concerns and, if there is (b) how those concerns might best be alleviated.

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

So you would prefer to be driven by your prejudices rather than looking at issues as they exist now? D’oh!!

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

Exactly. That’s the situation that drove my comments about issues of concern with the CRWG recommendations.

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

Lowy stated several times that he would not stand for re-election. He has done this without attaching any caveats.

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

Sydneu has been pretty wet since Thu and Saturday’s weather was foul, so the 14K turnout was pretty reasonable. More marketing would have helped though. FFA has been underwhelming in its promotion of the FFA Cup.

The joke derby?

The media coverage of the politicking within and without the FFA has, I feel, spent far too much time drooling over the drama of the politics and far too little time actually examining the arguments put up by competing parties. My criticism extends to this article.

At the end, the FFA published a letter that set out quite cogently the concerns they (and Sports Australia) had about some recommendations of the CRWG. I have seen NO articles that attempted to analyse these concerns or to present counter-arguments. As far as I am aware, the groups pushing for reform, especially the A League clubs, studiously ignored these concerns. Yet they seem to me to be real and well-reasoned.

So are we now likely to head into an era akin to the time of the NSL, when top tier clubs dominate political power, grab the largest share of revenue and starve the national teams and grass-roots football of the resources they really require?

The latter issue is critical IMHO. Junior football has become far too expensive. If there is any reduction in financial support for grass-roots football, be sure the AFL especially will leap in to take advantage. FFA really needs to direct more, not less, finance towards ensuring football can be enjoyed by every kid that wants to play the game. The recommendations of the CRWG give me no reason to think this will happen.

FFA can see clearly now, the reign has gone

Events ALWAYS need marketing until the demand for tickets is so overwhelming that a stadium sells out in minutes.

The joke derby?

Lowy has already “walked’. He has made it plain that he will not stand for re-election.

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

Some good comments and questions Mike, but I am exasperated by much of the media coverage of the impasse between FFA and other stakeholders in Australian football. I am also exasperated by the fact that some writers in the media seem to be acting as cheer leaders for the anti-FFA forces and seem to have put aside completely their critical faculties.

I understand why the anti-FFA forces have come up with the recommendations made by the CRWG. The economic state of the A League is a strong driver. I am sure there is also great concern from the larger state federations over the now ridiculously high cost to parents of having their kids play football.

However FFA and Sport Australia have raised serious and sensible questions about some of the recommendations of CRWG. The over the top reaction by Ray Gatt, Craig Foster and others to Sport Australia’s questions have been IMHO unhelpful. I would be amazed if FIFA does not understand that the Australian Gov’t through Sport Australia supports football financially. I would also be amazed if FIFA felt that SA’s questions were symptomatic of the Australian gov’t interfering in the running of the sport. They seem to me to be good questions raised by a very interested stakeholder, one not represent BTW on the CRWG. Nothing more, nothing less.

So if the CRWG’s recommendations are not passed at the forthcoming EGM, I doubt that FIFA will do anything more Draconian than putting in place a normalisation committee. The chances of Australia being suspended by FIFA are IMHO zero.

So surely those agitating against FFA should start looking to address the concerns raised by FFA and SA rather than just playing political games?

The major concerns seem to be:
* will too much money be re-directed towards A League clubs, rather than to supporting our national teams and grassroots football. The risks involved in starving grassroots football are stark. Just look at the parlous state of Rugby Union in NSW and Qld at the moment. (Elsewhere it’s hardly a dot on the map anyway.)
* if the mooted changes are made, will the new organisation be able to negotiate the size and quality of media deals done by FFA. These are major sources of funds for our sport.
* if A League teams get a much larger share of the economic pie, will they kill any chance of a promotion and relegation system. Natural selection suggests they will do everything possible to kill of competitors before they arise.

I think it’s disappointing, extremely disappointing, that most of the media, even well regarded and intelligent commentators, seem to have ignored discussion of the issues raised by FFA and SA and have been content with portraying the current governance situation as purely an ‘us vs them’ battle. They have been doing football in this country a huge disservice.

What do you think the A-League will look like after the EGM?

Good article Lou.

I do not blame Greg O’Rourke for trying to be a little inventive to get bums on seats at matches. I think music at corners etc is a lousy idea and should be canned. I am not sure what ‘controlled flares’ are. Wait and see, perhaps. What does concern me is that there are many better ways to get people to matches that do NOT seem to be getting much promotion. These include:
* letting kids under 12 in free if they are accompanied by a paying adult with a ratio of, say, 2 kids max to 1 adult
* heavily discounted ticket prices for 13-18 year olds
* ticket discounts for group sales through local football clubs to their members. Perhaps a commission structure could be added to let the local football clubs earn some money
* re-negotiating stadium lease to allow 3rd parties to supply food and drink (from pop-up vans say) at reasonable prices. These might include the sale of ‘picnic baskets’ inside the security screen which would be allowed into stadia
* turning DOWN the volume on big screen ads, especially at Allianz in Sydney. It is SO annoying.
* letting kids on the park after the match for a kick-around (OK – unashamedly nicked from AFL but, hey, they have never been backward at nicking good ideas from football)
* working with active supporter groups to ensure they have RESPONSIBLE leadership. Perhaps there needs to be a jointly-developed code of conduct for active supporter group leadership groups.

The development of grounds built for football is also essential. I think the new Parramatta Stadium will very quickly demonstrate this.

I cannot agree with your left field suggestion about expansion. There will probably come a time for 4 Melbourne and 4 Sydney teams, but it’s too soon. 3 teams in each of our 2 largest cities is all that is feasible now. Development of local derbies in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and admission of a team from Canberra should all be put before 4th teams in Syd and Mel.

Should the FFA really have been criticised that much for their matchday music suggestion?

Paul – what a great article and what great research, but alas the article finished too soon. Are you working on a second installment, something to tell us what came next?

Did the Granville club you mentioned become Granville Kewpies, a club that played in a strip of black and white quarters (well, in the late 1960s/early 1970s at least).

Given the current hype of women’s competitions in other football codes, it’s interesting to note that they ‘discovered’ women’s football close to 100 years after Australian women started playing real football. Not that AFL, RL and RU are forever reactionary of course.

Mothering the Matildas: The trailblazers who kickstarted Australian women's football

Should we believe a survey that lists Mitch Langerak as an outfield player????

VOTE: Pick your 2018 Socceroos World Cup squad