Sunday, January 04, 2009

Three Card Trick - Tahj Minniecon

Tahj has signed for Gold Coast United Football Club. The Courier Mail says he will get $130,000 per year.

This type of deal, which I assume is the salary cap excluded youth contract, was designed by the FFA to keep young players in Australia. In practice it has robbed Roar supporters of one the players they get out of the house for.

Tahj has a lot of fans at the Roar. He came up through the former owners of the Roar, the Queensland Lions. This means he is also very well known to Miron. And while Tahj's agent was trying to play the Roar off against North Queensland Fury, ultimately successful negotiations were being laid at Gold Coast United Football Club.

If you read my blogs you will know that I am against players going from one club to another in the same league. It is anti-fan. That is, it is anti what the game is really all about.

In Tajh's case, he can be exciting and he is a reason that families take their kids to watch the club. He wears bling, he is young. The problem for the A-League is that he may have to start from scratch on the Gold Coast or the Roar families may leave the 52,000 seat Lang Park for the 27,000 Skilled Park. Or some of these families may just decide to stay at home, kids not understanding why their favourite player is now playing for the opposition.

The problem for the Roar is that Mitch Nichols is a better player than Tahj, better technique and a lot more energy (as Craig Moore said 'come on Tahj, WORK'). Tahj's agent has been pointing a finger at Roar management, and I think in the past they may have been slow to spend money when they really needed to. However, the Roar know that winning is more important than having a player who is currently popular. This season clubs have shown they can close him down.

Would they like both Mitch and Tahj. Yes. But Tommy Oar is starting to look more of a replacement. He can run at players, run into the box. And take free kicks.

This is why the Roar are complaining about the way the salary cap treats youth. The Roar are spending a fortune and investing massively on senior talent teaching youth. The money bags on the Gold Coast are just sitting on the couch picking up the ones that make it.

I would have been happier to see Tahj go overseas. Then I could support him and his new club. Like I will when Sasa heads to Korea.

So far GCUFC has taken Wellington's star player and favourite son, Shane Smeltz, and one of Newcastle's favourites Adam Griffiths. Who else have they got up their sleeve? Miron knows how to create interest. And this will. It is like the guy in a cape at a pantomime.


Anonymous said...

one message that all the clubs really need to push is that the club is bigger than anyone. that includes owner, manager, and players.

especially players. current a-league contracts are 1 - 2 years max - gotta expect a lot of player shuffle when they come off contract so often. if little jimmy/jill is a tahj fan rather than a roar fan - well, the roar has a problem, doesn`t it?

after the last game - i couldn`t pinpoint any 1 particular weak point on the team, i just thought it wasn`t good enough - across the board. all of the youngsters need to improve on what they are doing. did anyone look like they could walk into an overseas team?

will tahj become a national team quality performer? or will he stay a poor man`s archie? who knows? a lot of talent falls to the wayside. they don`t all turn into champions.

nichols readiness to step up will take the sting out of losing tahj. just as tahj`s contributions took the sting out of losing (last season`s) robbie kruse. i read somewhere that next season three youth marquees slots are available per club. this will help the roar

tell you who has a problem - good luck replacing jedi, CCM.


Bill said...

I can understand the frustration, but this sort of move is inevitable in a salary-capped league - I don't think the problem is the 'youth marquee' spot. Even if this option didn't exist there are a number of clubs that may have been willing to offer Tahj a better deal under the cap than Queensland would have been prepared to give him. It's just business. And it's better for Australian football that players like him are able stay in Australia on good money rather than moving overseas too early(imagine if N Burns was lighting up our league again as Gold Coast's 'youth marquee' rather than rotting on the bench in Greece, for example). Some clubs are good at finding or developing youth talent (Adelaide, Qld, Central Coast), and if they can't hold onto these players then the players are entitled to move somewhere else.