Monday, December 04, 2006

Smells like teen spirit

A key thing that is going really well for the A-League this year is teenage players. Nathan Burns, Ben Kennedy and Dario Vidosic - all 18 or 19 - have been the standouts, and have put older and many of the foreign players in the shade. When these sub-20 players come on the field, even if at the 80th, the game picks up pace. They tend to be unpredictable. The older players just can't rely on standard operating procedures to defeat them. And the crowd like that. The games are getting too predictable and the young players bring the chancey edge that means - for good or bad - the ball might get in the net. And crowds like that. It stirs them to life.

Nathan scored the season's best end to end goal so far. I hope Ben is fit soon he had a real testy start and showed real character. And other young players have certainly got their hand up. Ben Griffin (see holding the green bottle in the photo)has had two good games for the Roar and Chris Grossman - after training with the Roar for two years did not disappoint with his first go.

When Roar captain in waiting Matt McKay scored on Saturday - Dario showed how much he understands this entertainment business. He pointed to Matty, then signalled for the crowd to cheer and we did. Then running back to the kick-off he signalled for the crowd to lift, and we did. That sought of youthful exuberance is required in the A-League - not diving, not 'ground them out' football - we want speed, risk and entertainment.

With acknowledgements to Nathan, an aging Australian workforce has served Adelaide for a season and a half, and Melbourne feel it when Muscat isn’t available. But Perth despite their ladder position look like they are growing some very good young players. They probably felt it most to lose the young talent Nick Ward to the English CC league. And the nurturing Ron Smith - who discovered Frank Farina as a teen - could place them well next year. Like Ernie Merrick did for Melbourne last year.

Frank has stated that Roar can expect more young players next year. And the crowds will like that.


Hamish said...

Roar captain in waiting Matt McKay...

Not if someone from Europe gets him first.

PS. I really didn't mind the poetry John.

wayne said...

Good to see there is "movement at the station" again John..
Hamish reckons me and Scary are a tad obsessed with the roar, but for me its really more like empathy. Five games without a goal, I know that one, and aint the first one sweet.

Scary Monkey said...

No, it's obsession - they've got cute keepers, and a couple of cute mid-fielders. :P Mind you, I can't stand Gibson.

Jeccy - for the Roar said...

What's the problem with Gibson Scary??
And I know I have been told that I am obsessed with the Roar. But the saying rings true for me: I'm not obsessed. I'm passionate about soccer.

john said...

Well scary monkey football is of course serious business and I don't see them that way ;)

Not sure how much we are going to see much of Chad anyway.

Jeccy - for the Roar said...

Gibson will see the season out, but after that, who knows. Maybe he's just getting too old.

john said...

Hi Jeccy

He is not in the squad for tomorrow night - even though Sasho is out:

Queensland Roar FC Squad:
1. Tom WILLIS (gk), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Remo BUESS, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. Stuart McLAREN, 9. Simon LYNCH, 10. Ante MILICIC, 11. REINALDO da costa, 13. Spase DILEVSKI 14. Ben GRIFFIN 15. Matthew McKAY, 16. Hyuk-Su SEO, 17. Damian MORI, 18. Dario VIDOSIC, 20. Liam REDDY (gk), 27. Chris GROSSMAN.
*one to be omitted*

In: Ben Griffin (promoted), Reinaldo (promoted).
Out: Sasa Ognenovski (ankle injury – 2 weeks).
Unavailable: Massimo Murdocca (foot injury – 5 weeks).

Jeccy - for the Roar said...

Sucks about Sasa doesn't it. But Gibson wouldn't have been bought in to replace him anyway. He's been playing better in the mids.

Weasel said...

Well Gibson is in. Lucky though. It's only cause Dilevski is injured. Hope he's on the bench though. I'm in the same boat as Scary Monkey. Don't like Gibson much.

john said...

Gibson started and came off at half time - replaced by Ben Griffin. Not sure what that is saying.

Dario came on at 20 for Matt and Ante came on later. They brought some magic but not enough.