The Roar
The Roar

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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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I’m checking the calendar to see if it is April fool’s day today? I can’t think of another reason right now except perhaps for a psychotic episode . A blockbuster at Old Trafford between Western United and Perth – really!
This all needs to be consigned to the waste paper basket before some idiot starts to believe that it might be a good idea. I don’t have the time or the inclination to start listing why it would fail on a massive scale and end up as one enormous cost that has to be paid by someone.
I’m all for ideas on how to grow the game and generate interest – needs to be right here on our collective doorsteps.

Does the A-League have the clout to make a UK-bound event round work in season 2024/25?

Best example I know is in uk when Wimbledon ground shared with crystal palace and then relocated to Milton Keynes and became MK Dons, original Wimbledon fans resurrected the old club from scratch and built it up and got into the league. The hatred of my dons remains strong!

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

But they did. I remember seeing quite a few in Brisbane continuing to wear Fitzroy shirts to games and in Sydney there were groups of die hard South Melbourne fans that travelled up……madness imo 😂

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

FF – I don’t want an argument about summer/winter competitions as it’s a bit on the futile side and I totally get what you are saying. However, most countries play winter and people do come through the turnstiles. It may well be that games clash with supporter’s games but the supporter pool is large enough to not worry about it. NPL only makes up a small proportion of potential customers though whereas grassroots associations account for a huge majority. What happens now is that the ALeague clubs prepare for their new season just after the grassroots season ends and families etc turn to summer pursuits. Associations have enormous difficulties in garnering an interest in the off season so often the supply of mascots, half time mini football etc is a real “hotch potch” of players that have most likely been recruited by individuals who are keen supporters themselves. grassroots kicks off in March/April just as the A League is coming to play off time and although there is more and easier engagement with associations and clubs, realistically, the horse has bolted or rather the opportunity has been lost. It just doesn’t work. I can’t remember what the NPL numbers are these days but if you take Sydney associations – there are 12 and they have between 12k and 19k registered players each and when you add in all the relatives and friends – that is really where the opportunity lies and is being wasted in spite of regular emails etc. It is the coordination and “buy in”. Then you replicate that with Newcastle,
Wollongong, country areas and then do the sums all over again for QLD and Victoria you see the potential which is what the APL don’t really get and FFA didn’t have a clue about or didn’t care.
If there was more alignment, you would schedule games and training around the team’s home games. When I used to play state league back in 80’s and 90’s there was never any fixtures on state of origin night and training was moved that week and that isn’t even our sport – it could be achieved imo!

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

FF – maybe the APL doesn’t’t know the answers. Clubs could do so much more but they appear to lack imagination too and whilst ever A League doesn’t get played at the same time as all local football it will continue to struggle.

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

FF – both Swans and Lions were relocated clubs and in the early days the support came with them. Both clubs have been supported by afl admin and have enjoyed a fair bit of success which has helped with crowds but also many Victorians migrate to northern states and continue to follow their teams or a new one in a new home. At least, that’s what I get whenever I inquire with fans of the code either in Brisbane or Sydney.

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

Has high profile glamour owners who have some passion and know how to milk the media!

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

FF – I haven’t really come across that. I know plenty of people who have tried it and not liked the experience and know plenty of people who support overseas teams and won’t touch the A League. I don’t go in for name calling; I just accept that they are not ever going to converted and shouldn’t. Be the target audience.
Policing at Aleague games is an enormous issue. Yesterday in Osaka I did not see a single policeman except for traffic control. The stewards were incredibly friendly and helpful – bear in mind my tickets were in Japanese and I can manage hello, goodbye and 2 beers please. I’ve been to games in Sydney where I have been called “scum” by a female steward and that was after a game on the way out and I walked up some steps to look back inside the stadium to see what all the noise was about. As for policing – it is just out of all proportion.There is nothing like it when I go to NRL games and yet I see so many drunken fans falling all over the place that should be dealt with it just defies belief! Based on last weekend’s experience I reckon I could convert 100’s of fans to watch J League every week; sadly I can’t make the same claim about the A league.

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

There’s a long list of things that have happened at various clubs that have turned people off.

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

I’m in Japan at present and yesterday afternoon went along to see my first ever J League game between Gamba Osaka and Sagan, The game was great and contained all the ingredients of many leagues with a send off, VAR intervention to award a goal, to deny a penalty, and a winner deep into stoppage time with a wicked deflection.
What stood out for me though was the bond between club and supporters, The Gamba active support was outstanding for the 90 plus minutes and the visitors had a good following too. At the end of the game the two sides collectively bowed to the fans before the home side did a lap of honour which consisted of stopping at many points to bow and then wave to supporters, Finally the team took up a position in front of the North Face terrace and the club anthem was sung to them. The fans on 3 sides of the ground joined in and it went on for nearly 10 minutes finishing with clapping and cheering and the players then greeting individuals and having selfies taken etc, There just seemed to be a great deal of love for the club and supporters that makes people feel part of something special. I daresay it might not be like that every week but having witnessed it and the friendly nature of fans towards my wife and I, it would encourage me to become a regular attendee if I lived here and I can’t say I feel that way about our local A League.

How can the APL convince casual fans the A-League Men is worth supporting?

Grem, I confess I burst out laughing when he went down and was slightly amazed at the red card. i expected VAR to intervene but watching the replay you see the arm come up and make contact and it is deliberate – very foolish in this day and age. The commentary was quite amusing. It didn’t say anything except point to the fact that people would be making their own minds up.

Western United's football-specific facility is a milestone worth celebrating

But give them points for trying? – as it never appeared to be the case for decades or perhaps they just paid lip service to the idea.

'Hate to be in his shoes': Olyroos coach explains why he's snubbed Irankunda for Paris qualifiers when 'I could be selfish'

Waz, these days it is probably more about psychology than anything else but for years I have been critical of clubs for not providing pastoral care to players, particularly young ones coming through the ranks. I’m not talking religion although that could be part of it although less likely these days but the general mental well being and adjusting to life as a professional footballer. I think right back to the days when Manchester United signed George /Best and took the scrawny teenager from the streets of Belfast to the dizzy heights of a European Cup win in a relatively short space of time. However, his social and moral welfare were never considered and we all know the rest of the story and it has been repeated so many times. I know people argue that employers are not responsible for that area of development and whilst that may be true, there are few employers that compare to a professional sports organisation such as MUFC. Things could have been so different for Gb and countless other prodigious talents that have followed.

'Hate to be in his shoes': Olyroos coach explains why he's snubbed Irankunda for Paris qualifiers when 'I could be selfish'

Oh good, we are talking the same language – Growlers these days.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

Undoubtedly EH has a whole lot more pressure on her this season as there are 2 other title contenders in the WSL. Her team is fighting in the champions league as well as 2 domestic cup competitions and the League of course where they are going neck and neck with Man city and whilst they are 3 points adrift, there is a make up game to come. She has accepted something of what could be a poisoned chalice taking on the USA women’s team who have been struggling of late/perhaps in decline but not dominating the world scene they way they did before Europe in particular decided it was time to support the women’s game.
So there are pressures from outside and within and she blew up just like we read about with just about every manager who is considered to be newsworthy. As for SK, from what I’ve seen since her injury, the side is thriving without her. They take different options and different routes to goal but you can’t make a claim that they are struggling without her. Whilst you’d rather have her fit and available as an option, there is a fair depth of talent at the club ass you’d expect from a team that has dominated the WSL in England for quite a few seasons.

Hypocritical response? Chelsea coach Emma Hayes cites male aggression, then shirt-fronts Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall

LH- They jam by flying into a formation over an area and then use the equipment whilst sitting well above the target area. Meanwhile in the area affected, nothing works.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

I think “Jamming” is probably the right terminology.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

I have a son who spends some of his time in the air blocking those signals…well not yours as such but I’m sure you get my drift! 😊

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

Waz, certification issues arise all over the place and the tyranny of distance has always and it appears will remain a major issue in football. My cousin had to travel hundreds of miles to referee in central queensland as there was nobody qualified locally and no courses available either. Even at a much lower level it can be difficult though. I needed to renew a youth licence some years back as our local association has it as a requirement for Div 1 coaches. There was nothing available in Sydney and so I drove for 5 hours one weekend and stayed in a country motel just to complete a course so I could be employed as a volunteer coach!

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

Saturday night saw what I consider as the best performance from SFC that I’ve seen for quite a few seasons – or perhaps complete performance would be more apt. half a dozen more like that and Mr Talay will be polishing silverware in May. Their one area that still requires a deal of improvement is the age old issue of “finishing”. They have creativity, lots of energy and crossing ability but they do lack genuine firepower at present.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

Chris, in the UK they tend to talk about being a buying or selling club although the bigger clubs can afford to do both although they still make plenty of errors in the process. You only have to look at various players that have been released or transferred at a young age – more than likely before they blossomed and reached true potential. However, the smaller clubs do need to develop and sell to survive and compete and find young talent or develop it so that they are competitive – well some of the time at any rate.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

“He’s a superstar in the making, but at times he’s let a lack of emotional maturity blunt his effectiveness” – I don’t believe he consciously “LET” anything. He is still a teenager and despite the fact you can drink alcohol, drive a car and get to vote by the time you are 18, most (if not all males) are anything but mature at that age. He has been thrust onto a big stage with everyone watching and has had to face some nasty treatment dished out by opposition players and fans alike. Whilst the young man maybe a a rising star and has plenty of talent, the tall poppy syndrome has also kicked in early in his career. Being held back by Mr Veart has probably been for the player’s own good in many respects as he needs to be rolled out gradually and perhaps kept in cotton wool for a while. Playing in a tournament with younger players will also aid his development in my opinion and it will be an interesting story watching how he develops over the next few seasons in Germany. We have enjoyed this early part of his career and hopefully he will blossom overseas and have a lot more success than many misplaced young players that leave these shores for the right reasons but poorly advised.

If it wasn't for Irankunda, every A-League headline would be negative right now

Subtle irony is a lot of fun!

Football in Australia must never stop fighting for its fair share of funding

Punter – we do have to be careful when throwing those sorts of figures out there. World Cup, Olympics and the likes get a fantastic response and we all know how popular the Matildas are and are riding the crest of a wave. However, that doesn’t translate really to the domestic scene and that is apples vs apples. I’d love a Sydney or Melbourne derby to get the viewing figures that SOO gets each year but it is nowhere near and each weekend of the a League season we lament the lack of an audience watching either free to air or Paramount and there are those of us who lament the lack of crowds actually attending. The way things are, I find it more enjoyable to go down to my local field and watch grassroots games along with one man and his dog. The guy is friendly and his dog likes being patted and stroked and there are no riot police in sight ????

Football in Australia must never stop fighting for its fair share of funding

Not all of us. Under the current model I’m all for the sharing of the facilities but I do wish that the surface could be better maintained – all those concerts etc. There is technology around that could have been invested in that would assist. I’m pretty sure the Amsterdam arena doesn’t get chewed up the same way after Taylor swift or the latest artist touring and [laying stadiums.

Football in Australia must never stop fighting for its fair share of funding

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