Tuesday, April 29, 2008

To be a Victory fan: all this and Juventus

Juventus will play Melbourne at Telstra Dome on 30 May.

My old boss Lordy Lordy says he is only interested in foreigners who 'put bums on seats'. And he is good at that.

To be a Victory fan must be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adelaide 4 v Binh Duong 1: Nathan Burns seals his future

The A-League have tweaked the salary cap rules to allow clubs to pay one Australian Olyroo $150,000 over the cap. Some had suggested that this had been designed to help Adelaide keep Nathan Burns. However, Adelaide have confirmed that Burns is very likely to now leave the club - for of all places Norway. Good luck with that boyo.

In form reminiscent of Reinaldo's game against Sydney last season, Burns set up 3 goals in 6 minutes to produce a nice tape for his new club.

Up to half time things were not looking so good for Adelaide as their final third finishing deserted them and their legs looked very post season. However, the win means Adelaide are now 2 points clear with only two games to go. Only the top team will go through.

Meanwhile Adelaide has now dropped keeper Robert Bajic, young mid-fielder Shaun Ontong (to Newcastle), defender Milan Susak, striker Dez Giraldi (Roar) and winger Bobby Petta while defender Richie Alagich has retired.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Socceroos coming to Brisbane 1 June v Iraq.. so get ready, get ready

Football Family ticket sales are now on. And from Wednesday tickets will be available to the general public at ticketec and online. Premium tickets are $90 plus booking fee. I bought some adult seats behind the goal mouth for $45 plus a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for $115 ($28.75 per seat).

This is a must win game for the Socceroos. Mark Viduka is likely to be there, but Cahill out. Kewell is a possibility and Schwarzer likely.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Adelaide show the lessons learned: Binh Duong 1 - Adelaide 2

Adelaide, using the experience of its second ACL champaign, is showing A-League clubs how to win in Asia.

First manage the tempo of the game. Slow it right down.

Play the long ball game and close down at the back. For this, buy hardmen Sasa Ognenovski and Jonas Salley to keep any pretty Brazilians thinking twice.

Finally play a lone striker who is largely there for show and holding up the ball.

ACL thinks about challenging the Foxtel monoploy, then thinks again...

It nearly happened. Internet access pay per view and subscription to all games involving Australian teams. See this ACL official website.

Nearly. But not quite.

Last week one of my mates chose a monthly fee option. Watched a Japanese J-League game and then waited for the Melbourne Victory ACL game.

Suddenly the terms and conditions changed and he was locked out. No Australian Internet Service Providers for games involving Australian teams thanks.

Could be one for you in the A-League season Clayton?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Melbourne 3 v Gamba Osaka 4: Magnificent Melbourne

Melbourne were magnificent. Once again they were beaten by a long range thunderbolt and perhaps some poor keeping positioning from Michael Theoklitos. But the rest of the Melbourne team played like all stars.

Fantastic versatility as Victory opened up with a long ball game, switched to short passing and running through the middle, and back and also scored from a Billy Celeski taken free kick. I was left wondering about how under-utilised Celeski was by Perth Glory and just how they will make up his loss.

Melbourne will have no such worries. While Kevin Muscat, who played his best game in 12 months, may or may not be there next year, others are clearly going to step up. With Thompson still out from China's two footed foul, Danny Allsopp showed his class with two goals. Vargas scored a cracking header. And I though new boy Steven Pace was going OK until Melbourne went behind 1-2.

Osaka had massive advantages and showed just what is available to non-major league clubs if they are prepared to fork out big time for Brazilians - Jader Volnei Spindler (Bare) was everywhere and used his strength and pace to force his will and the injured Lucas Severino, who came on at half time, also scored the winning goal on the death of 90 minutes.

No yellows, no reds highlighted a high quality game by the ref Subkhiddin Moho Salleh.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Lessons from other sports: You want a piece of me - Netball

Netball may well have done the deal of its sporting history. After surviving alongside hockey as the sport everyone plays but few watch, netball has signed up to Fox Sports to create an Australia - New League. And the sport is wrapped. They have gone from intermittent coverage from ABC radio and TV to mainstreaming on Fox. Fox have already set about publicising the teams and stars.

While rugby union and basketball are struggling to maintain audience and keep their clubs afloat, netball may be on the brink of new growth with a sharp and commercial product.