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reuster75

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Joined March 2017

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Passionate Victory, Tottenham Hotspur, Geelong and Socceroos fan. Would rather lose than win by being boring.

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“In the broader sense, the Australian football family is made up of A-League fans, NSL fans who have never left their lifelong clubs, regional association rep folk who never followed the NSL or A-League, Euro snobs, and players who play for fun but don’t connect to the professional game.”

Umm OK so what about W-League fans then? Are we not part of the football family? If you want cause for optimism in Australian football then the women’s game is where it’s at.

Has Johnson given us a circuit breaker?

Don’t know how plausible this would be but maybe across all the different sports once a week on a weekend pick a classic match and live blog it. Maybe it’s classic world cup matches for the Matildas (e.g. first ever knockout match win v Brasil in 2015), Socceroos (e.g. 2006 v Croatia and Graham Poll’s 3 red cards), Wallabies (e.g. 1991 QF v Ireland) and Kangaroos (don’t follow rugby league so no examples sorry). Maybe memorable finals for AFL & NRL, classic state of origin in rugby league etc. Naturally it would need the match to be freely available online (YouTube etc.) It could be a lot of fun.

As sport goes into lockdown, what do you want to read on The Roar?

Whilst it’s easy (and fun) to point the finger at the FFA board remember the true power lies in the FFA congress. And who holds the most power in the congress – the state federations. The interests of the state federations are different to those of the professional clubs and those of the FFA (who moving forward will be responsible for the national teams and not a lot else). That’s why for example Heather Reid is still on the board despite her appalling behavior in the Alan Stajcic sacking – only the FFA congress can remove her and the state federations aren’t interested in doing so.

The code wars are here, so let's have at it

Stajcic may be escaping criticism as CCM have been poor for so long that it’s just expected they’ll be poor, plus it’s fairly obvious there are bigger problems at CCM than the manager and until they fix those issues whoever is manager will struggle.

The code wars are here, so let's have at it

Worth reading great series of tweets from Adam Peacock in relation to media coverage and how the absence of a proper communications strategy run by someone who understands how the media works is really hurting the game. His basic point is that a proper communications strategy whilst it won’t stop negative coverage can help balance that out with positive media stories. Case in point for me is the general lack of coverage of The Matildas Olympic qualifiers or the great story of Western Sydney in this season’s W-League. The FFA should’ve been pumping out stories to media outlets about Kyah Simon’s return to the international stage after a 12-18 month period of consistent injuries. The Matildas are the best story football has in this country and are easily accessible to the media yet instead far more oxygen has been spent talking about rumors of a sponsor ending their naming rights deal with the a-league.

The code wars are here, so let's have at it

“We have heard for 50 years “we have a big junior base all we need to do is convert it. This is pie in the sky stuff unless you actually have a plan to manage your entire league.”

That is so true and football has been going on about that for years without ever doing anything. The supporter bases of the three biggest/popular sporting codes in Australia – Aussie Rules, Rugby League and Cricket – have historically been driven by regional Australia. Visit any small country town in the southern states in winter and you’ll find that the local aussie rules club is the lifeblood of the town and then in summer it’s the cricket club. Football in Australia has never really seemed to reach out and connect with regional Australia as the focus has always been on the capital cities. The A-League has only two clubs that aren’t based in a capital city, there aren’t many NPL clubs that aren’t based in a capital city. So until Football in Australia manages to properly connect with regional Australia it will struggle to reach its full potential.

Sponsors come and go, but Hyundai's reported FFA exit a symptom of greater ills

Great story and sums up perfectly the history of the game in this country – a well-conceived idea that was gestated over a lengthy period of time with input form experts goes before the game’s administrators and somehow gets hijacked by vested interests (i.e. the politics of the game) and the end result is a compromised version of the original idea. And yet still I live in hope of better days.

Why does the A-League keep playing afternoon games in mid-summer?

No doubt attendance is an issue however we also need to show some patience in relation to overall supporter numbers. The A-League has only been going for 14 years prior to this season and so with the exception of Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United (who all existed prior to the creation of A-League), that means w’re expecting clubs to have built huge supporter bases in a maximum period of just 14 years. The main way in which to grow a supporter base is by having generations of fans and so the A-League is still a way off this. Yes you can accuse the clubs of not doing enough to invest in football real estate but stadium building in Australia is a complex business and space in capitol cities for academy building isn’t always easy to find (and in the southern states there’s the not inconsiderable hurdle of governments being more interested in investing in cricket and aussie rules).

Yes attendances are a worry and yes stadium selection can leave a lot to be desired and yes kickoff times are a major problem but collectively we need to take a deep breath and understand things take time. Of course we should continue to question where the game is going and if the clubs are doing enough to grow the game (e.g. are they investing enough in their women’s teams to help capture a new audience (short answer no)) but we need to find a bit more balance to those discussion rather than expecting immediate improvement. History tells us that the game in Australia is never in as bad a shape as we think it is and somehow manages to find a way to survive.

Why does the A-League keep playing afternoon games in mid-summer?

The AFC have nothing to do with ACL games against Chinese opposition being unable to be played in Australia. The Australian government has placed a ban on anyone travelling from China to Australia and the AFC have no control over this. Greg O’Rourke is heading to a conference to discuss this with representatives of other leagues in Malaysia. With any luck part of the solution will be a ban on Greg O’Rourke having any further involvement in Australian football.

Why does the A-League keep playing afternoon games in mid-summer?

Daniel Garb has talked a few times this season about the reservations at board level within Victory over Kurz’s public demeanor prior to his appointment (how he presented to the press etc.) so from day one it seems the club wasn’t entirely convinced he was the right choice. I think they thought they were getting a Kevin Muscat replica and maybe hasn’t panned out that way.

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

The ever brilliant David Squires summed up in one panel Victory’s recruitment policy for the season – https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2019/oct/10/david-squires-on-what-was-left-out-of-the-a-leagues-pre-season-anime-video

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

It’s interesting that Sydney’s run of success has coincided with a lack of d**k waving about being Bling FC, biggest club etc. They seem to have instead concentrated on building a platform for continued dominance and let that do the talking but also seemed to finally grasp that it can take a little bit of time to build something (and I say this as a Victory fan). Whereas Victory always bang on about being the biggest club in the land and anything short of constantly winning is unacceptable blah blah blah. The reality is Victory haven’t put together consistently good performance since the double winning season of 2014/15. This modern obsession that not only is winning all that matters but that you must win IMMEDIATELY and if you don’t then it’s a case of chuck it all out and then start again whilst still demanding to win immediately and it seems Kurz is a victim of this. I was never a fan of his appointment but sacking him ain’t going to fix anything long term.

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

Interesting comments about our chances of hosting 2023 WWC. Linking up with NZ was smart because it brings Oceania into play as otherwise as a straight Asian bid we wouldn’t have the support of the AFC. 100000% we need to get JM as next Matildas coach as he’s one of the top women’s coaches in the world and as a bonus he’s Australian. If I was FFA I’d back a truck up to his door. Comments about moving to winter A-League was interesting coming from such an experienced figure. As for South Melbourne if they moved then would they still be the same club? Would love to hear from some South fans on that.

An interview with Lou Sticca: the man behind #FootballForFires

Yes but those involved also said during the bidding process the stadium was “shovel ready” and work would begin as soon as licence granted which was the argument put forward as to why Real Estate United was chosen over team 11. Last update from the council was that soil testing etc. was complete and next stage is planning permits and mid this year first soil should be turned (https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/news/western-united-wyndham-city-stadium-reaches-major-milestone). This a full 18 months after the license was granted and they were chosen over team 11 because the stadium build was ready to go.

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

I understand all the focus being on the A-League as it’s the top tier of mens club football in Australia but I think it’s worth having the broader discussion about how we grow the football culture in Australia. At the moment I believe there’s a core of dedicated football obsessives in Australia that live and breath the game, then others that like football but aren’t heavily invested in it and perhaps just follow their club as one of a portfolio of clubs across different sports) then you have the casual sports fan/event goers who dip in and out of the game (i.e. they get interested for big world cup qualifying matches, big asian cup matches etc. at national team level and Sydney Derby/Melbourne Derby at club level). So the question needs to be how do we grow that first group? Part of the answer for me is not focusing exclusively on the A-League and instead focusing on getting people connected with their local club whether that be mens, womens, NPL, A-League, W-League etc. This will require a lot of patience and would likely take many years to come to fruition but if we don’t grow that hardcore base then any discussion about when to play the A-League or W-League are pointless.

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

This is where it’s a no brainer for clubs to properly financially invest in the women’s game as it can bring a new audience and thus extra revenue streams making it more financially viable to build their own stadium. Plus running expenses are lowered as this is currently a significant cost impost on clubs. For example it costs Perth Glory $100,000 to hire HBF Park for three hours. So that is an initial outlay of minimum $1.3 million just on ground hire this season (based on 13 home games in the a-league and excludes any finals, FFA Cup or Champions league matches). Then there’s the ability to control catering rights etc. plus add in the revenue they could gain by having the odd major concert etc. there. In addition it’s an asset which although would lose some value over time it’s still going to be worth a significant sum. Building separate stands would help in terms of maintenance and also means more scope to redevelop in the future as you can redevelop one stand at a time. Yes building is expensive but there are so many different options available to raise funds these days. All i’m saying it if clubs truly want to own their own grounds there are ways and means available it just takes a bit of imagination.

Why Kogarah is perfect for the A-League

Government stadia are vanity projects for politicians and thus a media soundbite of “We’re spending $50 million to build a brand new stadium” plays better than “We’re going to spend $10 million to give the stadium a basic upgrade”. The first option means they can have their photo taken in hard hats and high vis vests before they get bored and move on to the next announcement. Projects always overrun as it suits the company building it as they’re spending someone else’s money and they know in any standoff over costs government will blink first, and it suits the unions as sadly the workforce is usually made up of contractors so naturally it’s in their interests to keep the project going as long as possible.

Why Kogarah is perfect for the A-League

MC facilities are light years ahead of what MV have. MV train on public land and share facilities with Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Rebels and don’t have an acadamey or seem to show much interest in consistently blooding young players at A-League level (they do in the W-League). credit to MC also for the way they treat their W-League team. Since day one they paid the full amount of salary cap, provided more secure long term contracts for players, provided players with world class facilities (especially medical) and have gone out and recruited high quality players. Meanwhile Victory farmed the side out to Football Federation Victoria for years which saw the team play home games in Geelong and have only recently taken over running the team again but haven’t shown it a great deal of love – they play home games at 5 different venues this season (they have 6 home games overall). Visit City’s website and 3 of the 4 news stories featured on front page are about the W-League side, meanwhile the last article Victory published about the W-League was 5 days ago.

City are catching Victory on and off the park – will the proof be in the pudding this Christmas?

This is hardly a shock to Victory fans as the team have been on a downward slope since we won the double. It’s just that in previous seasons the quality was there to win games through an individual piece of brilliance which papered over the cracks (mainly Berisha, Troisi, Barbarouses and Antonis). There is no joined up thinking at Victory, no evolution of the game plan. Under Muscat recruitment was always about trying to find exact replacement when a player left (Matthieu Delpierre is the embodiment of this – ever since he retired we keep signing the same type of player even when they’re not as good). This isn’t a bad idea per se but relies on quality recruitment and long term planning, neither of which are evident at Victory. Instead of treating each season in isolation and only focusing on winning the title that season, build a squad that can win multiple titles (although granted it’s hard to do with the structure of player contracts in the a-league). In a salary capped league with small squads and player contracts that are rarely more than a few years it’s even more imperative to think long term.

What's going wrong at Victory?

Is it more that perhaps MR has a different brief at real estate united than he did at Wellington and the fact he didn’t have very long to build his playing squad? Because they are a new club with no home and are trying to build a supporter base he’s tasked with winning as a way of trying to entice fans once they eventually have a home. And so maybe for now that’s all that matters and in years to come they may try to evolve the playing style? Whereas at Wellington he was following on from how Ernie Merrick was attempting to play and so tried to play more attacking style.

Is attacking football more important to the A-League than winning?

There’s a generation who have grown up with the line that “Sport is part of the entertainment business” and so that’s how they view sport, hence why they are so picky about when to attend etc. Whereas for those of us from a previous generation grew up following the old Bill Shankly adage of football being much more important than life and death.

Is attacking football more important to the A-League than winning?

Does give credence to the rumor Fox overpaid for the cricket and hence are trying to push as many people as possible into watching it. They did it last Sunday during the coverage of the W-League when they had an ad for the WBBL final that was on at the same time.

Is attacking football more important to the A-League than winning?

yep because the sports we watch are largely determined by culture

Is attacking football more important to the A-League than winning?

But does the a-league need more attractive football to prevail? Brisbane Roar under AP played a very attractive style of football that no-one has replicated since yet it didn’t turn the dial much in terms of crowds. MV under AP and KM played some very attractive football at times yet average crowds didn’t massively increase. Melbourne City have also played some very attractive football at times throughout their history yet their crowds have barely altered since season 1. Don’t get me wrong style of play is very important to me and I am far more interested in watching a team trying to play an attractive pro-active style than a team only interested in winning, but to get the general Australian populace to engage with football (outside of the national teams) is a cultural problem more so than an issue of the type of football played.

Is attacking football more important to the A-League than winning?

Incorrect. The land the stadium was to be built own is owned by the council and has been kept in reserve by the council for the sole intention of building a stadium there. The local council was heavily involved in the bid so thus knew what the stadium plans were and so planning permission would’ve been given fairly quickly. The land is right near Dandenong station so whilst the station would’ve needed an upgrade it doesn’t need to be built from scratch. But the FFA were swayed by the whole ‘growth corridor’ myth – that because the population out there is expected to grow therefore they will all be football fans.

All quiet on the Western (United) front