The Roar
The Roar

Buddy

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Joined August 2018

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Love football first and foremost although I keep one eye on most ball sports. Watching live rather than TV is my preference and away games are always more fun even when you lose.

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But remember, I’m not trying to present what is top in attendance, which code has more participants. It is all about the penetration of sport into people’s lives where the whole subject is intertwined and for some they might feel they can’t get away from it. Whilst undoubtedly Melbourne is AFL centric and people turn out in their thousands to watch, there are countries and cities in the world where sports plays a far more central role in everyday life and the round all is usually involved in the scene.

Football: More than just a game

I wonder if the argument would ultimately be switched around defining what can actually be classed as football? I’m sure some learned judges around the globe would love to get their teeth into the subject.

Football: More than just a game

No doubt they are but I’d still say that they are well behind in terms of scale compared to many football mad countries. However, if football fans want the sport to be number one anywhere in Australia, the first benchmark is AFL in Vic, SA and WA. It isn’t about participation numbers, it is about a way of life.

Football: More than just a game

But the whole picture is not just about playing numbers. It is more about how much football is all around and within the culture. When I am coaching kids this season, some will be fans of the game and go with families to watch A League, but more won’t engage beyond playing in their team and they have no wish to either. If I go and sit in a bar and try and have a conversation about the number of chances MV missed last night and what Nabbout did with his shooting boots, the majority of people will look bemused and assume I am on day release from a psychiatric hospital. When I pick up the paper and football stories are on the front, back and centre pages and I switch on the sports news and they are talking all things football then you know what really dominates the landscape.

Football: More than just a game

Oh yes no denying the Melbourne culture with AFL. It is just a matter of scale and population size. When you live in a country that is football mad you see it everywhere not just in one city or maybe state and I suppose there is a lot more money being turned over in the traditional heartlands of footballing countries.

Football: More than just a game

Jim – I don’t disagree in the way you are looking at exclusivity but that relates to the desire to play at a certain level. On the other hand, this month you can go and sign up for a local grassroots club and play irrespective of ability. A medium to large club will Field numerous teams in the various age groups so you could play division 1 or division 6 or 7 in under 12’s and that is the inclusiveness that’s we enjoy here. Sadly, beyond that the story is very different and in spite of the arrival of the A League clubs – that don’t charge fees, nothing much has changed for decades and it doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Football: More than just a game

Harsh but I see elements of actuality embedded in there somewhere!

James Johnson forgot to mention one key stakeholder: fans

Apart from its history with the A League, it has never seemed clear what the role of FFA and its predecessors even existed for. To me, that is still a road bump if not a mountain that is yet to be managed.
For so long, football in NSW at least has been governed by FNSW and earlier incarnations. It is the state organisation that has driven membership, organized referees accreditation programs, developed pathways etc. Whilst it was a terrible decision to have amateurs and professionals (or semi pro) being managed by different bodies for far too long, that has all been resolved and there is much greater unity these days although some of the older clubs still try and use some perceived muscle every now and then.
The national body was absent for so long and the game was administered and flourished without them. The LOTG are handed down in tablets of stone from FIFA and it isn’t as though the national body even keeps a close eye on things. A good example is the golden goals (and silver) that was wiped from the rules by FIFA some years back as a method of determining a winner. Nothing in the rules states that it is an option if a body wishes to use it and yet here in NSW it is used at state cup level, champion of champions and other competitions. It doesn’t come under the section of rules that can be adjusted to suit juniors and over 35’s yet FNSW carry on regardless. The national body appears to ignore it so hardly administering the lotg as such.
Hopefully life is different in other states but for an awful long time now it has been difficult in NSW to see the relevance of what is supposed to be a governing body. Time to change things perhaps?

James Johnson forgot to mention one key stakeholder: fans

We see that sort of stuff anywhere near a salary cap. I don’t discount it but rather wait to see what evidence is thrown up. Let’s just accept for the time being that they are streets ahead of the pack.

Dismal start to the season proves costly for Kurz as Victory show head coach the door

Yep – that is strange although given the upheaval and where they are playing, the difficulties of transport to Moore Park before the stadium was dismantled maybe not so surprising. If they played at a BankWest equivalent and with the same level of success they are experiencing would they be hitting 18-20k? I’m not sure really. I somehow think not and I don’t see a new team in MacArthur as adding a whole batch of new fans either but I’d like to be proved wrong.

Dismal start to the season proves costly for Kurz as Victory show head coach the door

SFC’s success appears to be on the back of a consistent approach. They appeared to have a succession plan for life after GA and they are not turning over lots of players each season. They find players that do the job and they stick with them and re-sign them etc…seems pretty sane to me. Maybe the MV board have caught the disease that strikes regularly in the EPL – the need for Immediate success.
Nem makes the point below about why fans of other teams would want rivals,to,do well?
It is simple: a strong MV is good for the A League. I enjoy watching MV when playing well and I watch football to be entertained. MV have ticked most of the boxes since day 1 so I want them to do well and to continue. As I don’t live in Melbourne, it is pointless being a regular supporter or watcher of them but it doesn’t mean I want them to be terrible and lose every week.

Dismal start to the season proves costly for Kurz as Victory show head coach the door

Don’t agree with it but I’m not surprised in the climate we live in – and I’m not talking temperature or change!
Clubs and boards seem to feel they need to act quickly and that equals good decision making! Well, if they have a plan and a replacement lined up and they believe he/she is an ideal replacement then it might be a good decision but somehow I doubt it. I hope that WSW don’t follow suit and continue to provide pain and suffering until the end of season and then take what they consider to be necessary action.

Dismal start to the season proves costly for Kurz as Victory show head coach the door

I have no wish to “rake over the coals” and with only rumour and conjecture it just provides an unpleasant taste and feel that I would rather avoid. Right now things appear to be pretty good at CCM and on Sunday night there were smiles all around unless you were adorned in navy blue and white. The team is competitive although like the majority of teams, lacks consistency week to week but on the other hand, is capable of springing a few surprises. Here’s to a few more smiles this season. Even Matt Simon is not snarling – well not all of the time.

Alen Stajcic is reborn with the Mariners - and the Central Coast with him

Brilliant and fancy waiting until you are 38!

Is this the greatest injury time winner ever?

sorry wrong video

VAR blasted after controversially disallowing West Ham's last-minute equaliser

VAR a blessing or a curse? – it is neither. It is a piece of technology overseen by humans as a result of a demand for better Quality decision making That is fairer to the two teams.
Does it deliver the outcomes in the original objectives? – well I don’t know what the objectives were so cannot answer that.
What it has done is irritate me beyond belief. I don’t complain about referees and their decisions although I always complain about assistants not being in the right place to judge offsides.
If we collectively boycotted attending games until it is removed would FFA act accordingly? I doubt that we could effect a universal boycott so I doubt whether I will ever know. However, regardless of the fact I lend my support to a particular team, I love watching live football and being entertained and VAR adds absolutely nothing to the viewing pleasure of fans in attendance and it may well be that fact that means I will go less and find somewhere else to be entertained.
VAR is a curse to all fans who pay good (and bad) money to watch live games at a stadium.

Was VAR a blessing or a curse in the Mariners' win over Victory?

I missed this conversation – must be the heat!
The epidemic that has hit the A League this season is turning the ball over on the incisive pass. I won’t pin it down to 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc as it varies. What I’m seeing is a safe first pass, often an equally safe second one and then the player remembers the object of the exercise – attacking the other goal. At that point whether it is the third or 8th pass in their own half There is an inherent danger of the team losing possession. It is a mixture of positioning, movement and flair. There is always hope when a player backs himself to run at opponents with one or two supporting players running into space close by. That gets defenders thinking and having to make decisions – often fouling but it also makes the game a whole lot more interesting than the amount of passing practice teams put in during the 90 minutes all in their defensive third of the field.

To play it short or hoof it long? Western United have a plan

Waz, not at grassroots level in NSW. Registrations open early January and some of the division 1 sides – mainly men and some youth teams may be training but most do not start until end of Jan or early Feb. clubs that participate in the leagues that sit between A League and grassroots fall into the category you described and will have trialled in October/November and recruited accordingly but they are small in number by comparison. We have 12 Sydney associations with the smallest having bout 10000 players and Sutherland is usually the largest between 17-18000. My estimate would be that around 155000 players will be registering during Jan/Feb to play in the upcoming winter season at grassroots level in metropolitan Sydney. Many clubs do not even have access to their fields at this time of year as they are often shared with cricket. Our main complex in Nepean district has 10 fields shared between 2 clubs and they are not made available until after cricket has finished for the summer.

Would a winter season even work in the A-League?

One aspect that should greatly improve if seasons were aligned is the communication, cooperation and participation down the line from A League to grassroots. With little crossover it is hard to communicate effectively and engage with the 400k or so football players that are actively involved in the sport. Forget the actual number, the important part is the engagement which is the part that helps draw find in to the fold and creates new ones. I have no doubt that clubs work hard to try and overcome these issues although some will do it better than others but if you take something as simple as mini-Roos that play at half time; a January fixture when many are away on summer holidays combined with the fact that at grassroots, they finished in August or September and are now swimming, playing cricket, at Little A’s or vegetating somewhere waiting for the next winter season perhaps.
It may be just a small part of the overall picture and nowhere near the top of the list of priorities but it is likely to be where many fans and future fans reside and an alignment, engagement and good communication could be a very powerful ally in. The battle to put bums on seats and generate a larger spectator group.

Would a winter season even work in the A-League?

Oh good it has been updated. I am visiting in May for a long weekend and tickets to see Maiden there…makes a change from the indoor aren at Homebush.

Caceres backs A-League winter switch

The fact that fans appear to find a myriad of reasons for not attending – would evening kick offs in winter simply present another one? In outer suburbs of Sydney, we get an awful lot of complaints about the cold when night games are scheduled . Whilst stadiums may be warmer, they may still not be as inviting as sitting in the warm and dry watching television.

Caceres backs A-League winter switch

In the summertime, more games are scheduled as evening kick offs although I grant you that they go as early as 4-00 pm depending upon which state you reside.
If they were winter games, I wonder where they would be seated? The same, or afternoon kick off etc?
My curiosity on this single issue lies with spectators and community football. The focus is not on losing spectators to other codes but being able to attract what we would generally consider to be current fans. If games were played on a Sunday afternoon for example, I know a huge number of current fans that would be involved in either playing, officiating or administering the game at grassroots level and I’d be fairly sure that would be the priority over going to watch a game.
Maybe it wouldn’t be that important and maybe I’m atypical. However, I’d be willing to bet that grassroots football would require some major rethinking and planning were this to ever happen.

Caceres backs A-League winter switch

I always look forward to these types of tournaments to see how younger players fare against the world or region but I always struggle to follow it with little publicity and tv coverage but thanks for the reminder; let’s hope GA and the new batch of players don’t repeat the past mistakes and certainly don’t think it is a matter of turning up, we should have learnt that from the asian cup several times over now.

Olyroos and Arnie hoping history doesn't repeat

My favourite player – Ikonomidis. I was so cheesed off that WSW didn’t get him back for a second stint. I thought that 7he would service Fornaroli well and having Castro was the icing on the cake but as you say – these things take time.

Can anyone work out Western Sydney or Brisbane?

When AM left WSW he had been playing in a fairly defensive midfield role and he was forever passing sideways, backwards or turning the ball over. I thought he had potential but at that point in his career he was stifled as far as creativity was concerned and most were not sorry to see him go. As often happens, you change employers and you blossom and he did to be fair and the potential has been realised.

Can anyone work out Western Sydney or Brisbane?