I feel SBS has been so left out of Australian football they have been squeezed into a pretty unpleasant niche. Of course this was a very serious and extensively researched article. And the author in no way would have meant or felt what I am about to say. But. With my passions for the game, the way the article sounded to me was:
'Those big kids with lots of money have taken our ball and now they won't let let us play. And if you don't do anything about it then I'm going to yell at those kids playing. And I'm going to find one who says that - players getting $1m plus per year overseas can play better. And I'm going to blame the coaches. And you'll see, you'll see. And if you still won't let me play then I'm going to tell all the fans to stay away.'
But I realise that that wasn't what was being said.
Let me declare my hand. I think Mary Kostakidis is fantastic and I hope she comes back. I liked Nerds FC season one a lot and Andy Harper, former official with Sydney FC who is now with Foxtel still does great work with ABC local radio some Saturdays. In fact Andy showed the way and I consider him to be following the path that Johnny Warren told us to go down.
What is the point of knocking a sport? Particularly in a country where it is competing with AFL, NRL, ARU, basketball and soon twenty20 cricket.
To be honest I didn't like this bit
'However, those of us who refuse to accept the status quo and believe in the potential of a better league were celebrating a major breakthrough recently.
At long last, somebody with enough courage and credibility to tell the truth says he's only stating the obvious when highlighting the A-League's technical and tactical deficiencies....
Compare Moore to someone like Dwight Yorke - he did play for Manchester United but I never heard Sydney FC's former star identify the failings of Australia's system. Why would he bother? He was paid $1.2 million dollars to smile for the cameras, sell the A-League and get fit for Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup adventure. Yorke's priorities were elsewhere, a long way from helping Australia discover the fundamentals of what it takes to be a top-class footballer.'
Quote from A-Grade Mediocrity - Andrew Orsatti 5 October 2007 at www.theworldgame.com.au/opinions/index.php?p
Because I remember seeing an interview with Dwight Yorke when he did criticize the quality of the A-League and suggested that each team have two marquee players to raise the standard. I spoke to a young A-League player about this (who is now playing overseas) and complained how Sydney did nothing till Sasho Petrovski came on and Yorke didn't seem that interested - he agreed laughing: 'yeh he said we weren't good' but marveled at Yorke's penalty kicking ability.
Weirdly, Mr Orsatti builds up Moore as a credible source of commentary on the progress of the A-League over 3 years - and then provides evidence that Moore has no knowledge of version 1 and 2 of the A-League. To be honest, I will get excited about what Craig Moore says when he dominates a game like Danny Tiatto, or Michael Zullo - rather than getting sent off for fouling Nathan Burns twice then bringing the game down by yelling at him. No, quoting Craig is not proving a point.
So SBS lost out to Foxtel. A lot of people have sympathy for them because now you have to pay to watch away games or go to a pub and not be able to hear the commentary. But to go on like this, well what is the point??? What is the best outcome???
Andrew Orsatti again...
My concern is, if the best Australians are on the first plane to land lucrative contracts overseas, what are we left with here?
When wasn't it like this for Australian football? Until it becomes as popular as AFL expect that. Money to keep them comes from people watching pay TV and not free to air - sorry but a fact of life. But when they go we get to see new players and other teams get to be strong - and sometimes they come back - ask Central Coast.
We have been seeing the football we have because the competition is so small and everyone knows each others game plan. But now we are seeing the antidote to that.
And this is where the A-League is adding real value. Dario Vidosic (now bundesliga), Nathan Burns, Michael Zullo, Robby Kruse, James Holland, Nikolas Tsattalios... and more waiting for their starts...
And what did Mr Orsatti have to say?
'In essence, it's the same issue. What do you expect when there are very few qualified coaches to teach our kids?'
Good on you mate. But it seems to me that there are some great coaches in the A-League and the backing of the FFA and Foxtel is encouraging them to bring out the teenagers. Just how is SBS helping?
By the way I have a different view on what it means to be a good coach and it isn't about finding the next Harry Kewell - but that's another story.