Ange Postecoglou was a guest commentator for Foxtel's coverage of the Socceroo's qualification game against Qatar on Sunday and backed this up with the starring role in the ABC Offsiders sports program. Ange has earned his place in Australian football, a top class player and coach in the NSL and in Greece. He played for the Socceroos 4 times.
Australia's qualification for only the 3rd time is reason for celebration. Yet deep in the off season with State of Origin raging around few seem to be. And Ange pointed this out on Offsiders, saying that the qualification news was 3rd in the sports headlines on the radio he was listening to. But he did get the opening of Offsiders. And what he said came off, for me, as - we should celebrate this because this may be our last qualification for some time and that the game was 'dour'. He also seemed to be having a go at Pim as a coach and that we should expect boring games at the World Cup. Future qualifications may or may not be, but this impression just when we have actually qualified seemed to justify not celebrating.
It was another example of FFA not focusing on the right message at the right time to ensure a solid future for the sport. FFA should have prepared its 'main person', maybe Fox's Andy Harper - coming in by satellite if necessary, hitting all the FFA's key messages that could resonate from qualification:
- Australia proves that it is internationally competitive
- World Class stars shine
- Australian kids should keep playing or sign up (indirect message to combat the poaching from AFL) because there is a career in football
On Saturday there was a great example of what can be done to promote football. ABC radio 612 is a great supporter and Andy Harper is often on on the weekend as a guest talking all sports and promoting football and the A-League. Off on Socceroo commentating duty for Fox, his place was taken by 2 Newcastle Jets players (sorry guys I was in the car and missed your names). And what a great job they did. Talking about their team and its fantastic achievement to get to Asia's second round, team mates going overseas (James Holland) and why they will stay local - at least a while longer - helping kids and womens' teams. This was in contrast to the work of others.
(Thanks to Mike at TFT for link to the above story).