Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How is this good for the A-League?

Fox Sports have covered the Gold Coast boycott. Really this can not be allowed to stand. The financially strongest team in the A-League is threatening the viability of one of the less strong clubs. This is not good for the sport. How will the FFA respond?

"I won't be going to the game for sure, I don't think it's worth it," said Palmer. "I am making a statement - it speaks for itself.

"I would also encourage our fans to stay home on the Coast and catch the game on TV like me."

Palmer upped the ante further by also suggesting he would not be unhappy were Bleiberg to field an under-strength team for a derby he is confident will deliver three premiership points for the flamboyant newcomers - with or without a fully-laden line-up.' Fox Sports.

"I think Miron could pepper the team with some of the younger players," he said.'

The irony is that Fury may have attracted a bigger crowd than Gold Coast at Lang Park as the opener. Brisbane v Gold Coast may have been better in the 5th or 6th round. Fowler has more fans and these fans may have viewed it as a better game.

This is unprecedented. I just do not understand this bitter anti-Australian football stand. Can it be tolerated? In my view, Gold Coast are saying 'we have money, we are bigger than the game, we are going to show you how much you need us'.

Hey Miron what are you doing?

It isn't on the online version, but in today's Courier Mail there is a report, page 89, that Miron is boycotting A-League promotions because the opening game of the season was swapped from Gold Coast home to Brisbane home.

It said he missed the Unicef event for Queensland teams, will miss the Sydney season launch and won't say anything to promote the opener Brisbane v Gold Coast at Lang Park on August 8. If this is true, than I hope he knows what he is doing.

The Brisbane crowd was the 2nd highest last year. Gold Coast are unlikely to match Brisbane's averages to date because of the size of the stadium, its location, the demographics of the Gold Coast and the weight of sporting choice down there (see how the AFL Gold Coast team has hit the front pages and stolen key airtime by signing Brisbane Bronco Carmichael Hunt).

Miron is one of the A-League's best promoters - when he wants to be. If the crowd is say, sub 10,000 for the opener, does he really think this will not reverberate back on his club? Does he really value this type of Pyrrhic victory? And if he does, what is his real motivation?

It is success that breeds success.

Perhaps Miron should make his point - if the press reports are correct - by doing what he does best - getting out there are telling Brisbane people how good his team is and how it is going to beat theirs.

All we have seen from him so far is offers to buy Brisbane fans with cheap tickets.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hey FFA where are you spending your advertising dollars?

The season starts in 9 days.

A whole heap of great new match ups.

Brisbane v Gold Coast etc etc.

Does anyone who is not all connected up in this game every know?

Build and they will come eh FFA? I hope you don't end up sorry.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fury 1 v Brisbane RFC 0, Victory 2 v Adelaide 1

90th minute goal to Fury, but sounds like Brisbane were well beaten. Brisbane sound like they are carrying too many maybes and perhapses.

Adelaide said to be down 5 regulars. Dominated end of the game but couldn't score.

Half Time: Fury 0 v Brisbane RFC 0

Here is the half report by Fury.

'Adam Sarota came closest to opening the scoring for the Roar after his shot from 30 yards out skimmed over the top of the crossbar.' Fury Journalist.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gold Coast 1 v Perth 0, Central Coast 0 v Wellington 0

Last hit out. And Gold Coast most on-track. Perth have lots of outages.

A great quote from Miron from Fox Sports:

“A lot of people will say that pre-season isn't important and so on, but I believe that you need to prepare yourself well to succeed in football just as you have to with everything in life. '

Owners (part 1)

Since leaving the Roar in November 2006, Miron Bleiberg has acted like a man with something fundamental to prove. He is hit hard by the way he felt he was treated by the 'Owners' of the Queensland Roar. Since he has sought vindication and to prove them wrong and him right.

So what were 'they', the Owners, so wrong about? Simple, their investment in the club. I believe with intent or otherwise, Miron's beef is about the lack of money spent by the Owners on the Club and players. And that this underspend and not his coaching, led to under performance on the field, which in turn led to inadequate crowd attendance to make the club viable.

The first point is that Frank Farina is a better coach than Miron.

The second point is that Miron is right. Frank has got the Roar to 3rd and no further twice in a row because the 'Owners' would not fund a $1 to 2 million crash through player for at least a guest stint. The lack of such a spotlight has also limited the potential crowd at Lang Park. And that both these factors worked against the 'Owners' investment.

Third, Gold Coast's team is so strong that they are going to do well this year irrespective of the coaching quality. Or put it another way, Miron's coaching skills are good enough to win with the talent he has bought at Gold Coast. This is possible with the salary cap because a host of players have wanted to play - for less than they are worth - with quality players - that are getting paid what they are worth.

Miron seems to be proving that he has a better commercial brain than the 'Owners'.

However and unfortunately, the potential crowd is still in Brisbane and is yet to be proved on the Gold Coast.

It would take a lot of passion and courage to be an owner of a football club. There is very little evidence of clubs making anything like a normal return on investment over a reasonable period of time - say 10 years. There are plenty of EPL stats that show this.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jonti Richter back with Strikers after 4 years... and Chay Hews to play for BRFC this week...

A stack of former Roar names played in the recent Olympic v Brisbane Strikers:

Firstly, Stuart McLaren is retired from playing and now only coaches - BS. Then there was:

Jonti Richter - BS
Seo Hyuk-Su - Oly
Matthew Ham - keeper for Oly
Chay Hews (trial Saturday) - BS
Former Roar's that I don't think were used - Todd Gava and Warren Moon

Oh and is Andrew Oar - Oly - Tommy's brother?

Chay Hews' profile (from Brisbane Strikers QSL site):

16 Chay Hews

Club: Brisbane Strikers FC
Field Position:Midfield
Bio:After several years playing his football overseas, Hews returned in the middle of the 2008 Hyundai QSL season to the club he previously played for in the NSL. This year, with a solid pre-season behind him, Hews is stronger and fitter and this, combined with the experience and mental toughness he gained from playing in high pressure situations in Europe, looks likely to make him an acid test for opposing midfielders in the QSL.
D.O.B: 30 September 1976
Home Town: Toowoomba
Previous Clubs: Vastra Frolunda, IF Sylvia (Sweden), Carlisle United (England), Bellmare Hiratsuka (Japan), Brisbane Strikers (NSL), QAS

Crickey 8 injured for Brisbane RFC Crickey

Two weeks from ground zero. This is not great.

Massimo Murdocca (broken leg)

Charlie Miller (groin)

Danny "I was going to retire but got talked out of it' Tiatto (back and hamstring)

Michael Zullo (shoulder)

Josh McCloughan (groin)

David Dodd (quadriceps)

Tommy Oar (quadriceps)

Reinaldo (osteitis pubis and ankle)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brisbane Roar Comics test page

Brisbane Roar @ 'we didn't reinvent the wheel... we just make re-inventing the wheel easier'

Some quotes from Andrew Davidson about Brisbane Roar and its new profile:

'Brisbane Roar Football Club is the industry leader of client-focused social networks. The aptitude to synergize wirelessly leads to the capacity to innovate magnetically. The ability to recontextualize nano-interactively leads to the aptitude to optimize intuitively. We constantly implement bleeding-edge all-hands meetings. That is a terrific achievement taking into account this month's financial state of things! Think granular. Think strategic. Think frictionless, subscriber-defined. But don't think all three at the same time. Think next-generation.'

'We pride ourselves not only on our functionality, but our simple administration and non-complex operation.'

'Brisbane Roar Football Club has refactored the conceptualization of structuring.'

Brisbane Roar Football Club has revolutionized the abstraction of re-purposing. '

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brisbane RFC 1 v Newcastle UJFC 2

Last year it was Tommy Oar, before than Kruse and Zullo. This year it is Luke Brattan. And he is the best of the lot. Seriously. He is seriously good. When he came on in this game he dominated. Everyone. Even Ljubo Milicevic. He is everywhere in the middle, running the ball forward, pushing it wide, getting it back, tracking back, tackling - hard. Brattan is no 25 above.

Before Brattan came on it was Henrique and Kruse doing all the heavy lifting. May be Hamish is right about Kruse. Perhaps he is too ill disciplined for the professional level. Most of the time he was upstaging Newcastle defenders and they were kicking him as hard as they could. Most of the time the ref just let them - Ontong did get a yellow card. Then there was a goal mouth scramble and Kruse gets it off the line. The ref says he used his hand, and sends him off. Thanks a lot ref.

I got to the game a few minutes late and Newcastle had already scored. But from then on it was all Brisbane. All that Newcastle had in the first half was Milicevic banging the ball long and wide. Song was entertaining and trying for a step-over record. But I'm glad we have Henrique, he looked much more dangerous.

Sergio scored a thunderbolt just before half time. In the second half Newcastle tried to go more central but still Brisbane dominated possession. McKay looked speedy particularly pushing down the left and cutting in. Packer had a fairly good game. Moore was very good and very committed. Mundy and DeVere looked more at home than against Celtic. Van Dyk had a few good shots but was occasionally wasteful with possession. Kruse had a valley chance in the second half. And Mitch was away and through before being pulled down - only a yellow there - after the Kruse episode I expected a red.

Newcastle didn't play that well. But they won so that speaks for them. And when Fabio Vignaroli and if they get this new Chinese guy...

But the second half of the second half was Luke Brattan. Magic.

Gold Coast 2 v Central Coast 2

Ohhhhhh. GCFC came back from 0-2 with 10 men.

Are they beatable? You would have to think so.

FFA cover it here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

FFA: What are you doing?

To be honest I am stunned by this turn of events for Gary Van Egmond. The FFA have sacked him from the AIS because they claim he said he had no contract with Newcastle when he did. The story is here and Mike covers it here.

As Newcastle Con Constantine says, his beef is with the FFA not Gary. His beef and call for compensation remains. As Mike suggests, how could FFA have not have known about Gary's contract?

Sounds like Gary has made a mistake and the FFA have shafted him to keep themselves out of trouble. Gary has done a lot for the A-League and put up with a lot at Newcastle. He deserved better from FFA. I wish him well.

Preview Preseason - Brisbane RFC v Newcastle JFC

Coaches get ambivalent feelings during the preseason. The results don't count for points so they can relax a little and most of their fans are watching something else (mostly their lives rushing past). But then they are making the gambles and trials that will effect the season and if these go wrong people will notice, particularly during the season. So you have to get things right.

This is why I am keen to go out to Ballymore tomorrow. This game is the 2009-10 Brisbane team's first real test against A-League competition. The games after this, before the season opener, are against local teams. The final losseners if you like.

I want to see that the concerns I have heard from some fans are not justified. Brisbane must make one of the two Asian positions this year. For all the hoopla and bravardo from Gold Coast, Brisbane is still the big opportunity for the A-League. An average crowd of 10,000 will be great for Gold Coast. An exciting Brisbane team, like the Lions and Broncos, could draw average crowds of 30,000 plus. Under-spending seasons one and two meant this didn't happen. Miron has shown what is possible in the salary cap (amazing really). But even if they win every game, the Gold Coast has demographic and geographic limits to just how big their fan base is going to be. That is why Gold Coast is trying to claim great slices of Brisbane as theirs. If Brisbane folk new they could go to home matches without going home feeling dejected then they would come in their thousands. Do we have that team?

While the Coast's team is all new, Brisbane went the other way. Aside from some youth teams members from last year (and Brattan could be the revelation), Bob Malcolm is going to be the only new face. I hope anyway. At first I was against his signing. Then I saw the Cetlic game and read the new signings from other teams. Like it or not Bob Malcolm is going to be needed. I think the GFC has flushed out a bunch of Socceroos and foreign players who otherwise would have been paid ten times as much as the A-League could pay. Now the A-League looks like a safe port in a storm. By and large, Brisbane - playing it safe and making sure Miron didn't get its signings - have missed out on this talent wave. And some fans are feeling it.

To make matters worse Massimo, a key plank in Frank's plans, broke his leg. And the U19s broke Tommy Oak by ignoring his fitness program.

What I want to see tomorrow is some sign that some of the injury question marks are coming back, Zullo, Reinaldo and even Miller, Tiatto and Packer. I want to see that DeVere, Sarota and Mundy are in fact (still?) up to the A-League. I want to see Mitch and Robbie Kruse in a goal scoring mode. And that Henrique is as good as he looked against Celtic. Is Tim Smits going to be a worthwhile investment? Will Sergio VD going to take off from where he left off? What did McKay learn in China?

And we will learn about Newcastle. Their Italian signing looked good in the ACL but prone to injury (Joel Griffiths has said he wants to stay in China or go elsewhere. Con C says fine give us $1m). They are signing a fabulous Chinese international, but only because this is the only way he can move from his current club to his home town. And of course Petrovski is on fire. Kennendy has come of age in the Newcastle goal. And then there is their new coach Culina.

But the big question is do we have the team to beat Gold Coast. I think we might. I just want to see more. So its off to Ballymore 2:30pm tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Football Superstar

I am not so big on reality TV. But if you are going to have it, this one is probably for me. I only watched the last 2 episodes. Which was enough.

The idea was a top 50 of young football players is reduced to one - selected and then signed by Melbourne Victory for the upcoming A-League season. Last year, with John Kosmina doing the selection for Sydney FC, I thought it sounded like a risk. Then we saw Sydney play and the winner got injured before setting out on the park.

This year was Ernie Merrick's turn. The 'superstars' were put through the Victory's regime and health and fitness tests. And got to play some interesting games. Like against Gold Coast Utd FC - imagine if they'd won that - could have turned the whole season upside down ;)

But we did get some insight's into Ernie. And actually he has a hole lot more personality than you would think from watching him at the A-League. Also he has a very attacking philosophy that he trains and selects to. He wants players who are always looking for goals, looking to pass forward (as opposed to Frank 'If we need to go back, we go back.') and he likes strikers to face goal and take their first touch towards goal.

And the winner? 'Luke' from a Scots family in Canberra, I think. What a coincidence Ernie.

Gold Coast Utd FC 1 v Rochdale Rovers 1

Ha. A late equaliser saved GCFC. Won't it have been funny if their 'win every' game season had been ended by a Brisbane Premier League team.

However, it shows how far north GC or Miron see their potential fans base.

Hey look its Barry Hand...

Words of wisdom from the Grandmother sitting next to me at the Celtic game as Bob Malcolm ran on. Hmmm looks like we need him, I thought carefully to myself.

Barry Hand is a Sydney Swans players who recently retired because he couldn't stop himself hitting opponents. The Grandmother was a big AFL fan.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


McDonald didn't look like scoring. I would be surprised if he makes it to the World Cup. At best he is jinxed from scoring in Australia. He got taken off 3/4 into the game.

Brisbane RFC 0 v Celtic 3

Celtic had a clutch. They watched the Roar's game for most of the first half. Then double-d-clutched. From fast to fast to faster still. They saw the Roar playing their tight places, short passing game. And just nipped in and pitched the ball in Brisbane's half. Twice in some few minutes. The first time they swung the ball wide left, Mundy did well but was not fast enough, and whipped it back in for a great headed goal. Second time it was Sergio whose pass was too slow and short. And Celtic cut Brisbane up the middle. The third and softest goal was in the second half. then it was all slowed down to nothing. 3 was enough.

Before the first goal it looked fairly even. And Brisbane had its share of chances. Mitch got away in the first few minutes. For half the game Robbie Kruse was everywhere - even got a card for not being back 10 yards on a free kick (rubbish refing for a friendly).

But the Celtic back line, 4 across, was just too quick. Noone got too close. No one had enough space to shoot. Sergio in particular was made to look slow and clumsy in the air.

Great to have Matt McKay back. Brattan played a good cameo. Bob Malcolm came on when the game was over but showed how solid he is (we will need him against GCFC). But Brisbane's best was Henrique - he was as fast as the Celtics. Miller looked OK but the Celtics had him covered.

We could have done with some hale Mary shots, we took too many touches. Smits, also on late, missed a sitter, trying to change feet (or something).

3 goals and three streakers.

There was also some real lessons for the FFA who, I think, ran ticketing. If you look closely at the attached photos you will see that nearly all the top price seating was empty - that is where the Roar members sit, either they didn't go or went for cheaper seats. Of the 31,000, I would say at least 20,000 were for Celtic. I hope someone did their sums on this one as an opportunity to expand the game could have been lost (45,000 went to see Brisbane thrash Geelong last night). I am a bit concerned about the crowd size for this year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brisbane RFC V Celtic - 3pm tomorrow

Victory just went down 0-3 to Fulham in front of 21,000. On reflection it seems Fulham's 2nd half changes flattered GCFC. But the score doesn't tell stories.

It is our turn next. Moore is trying to provoke his team-mates into action. Bob Malcolm will be playing his spot.

I'm ready to do my job. Apparently so are 30,000 others.

Welcome to town Glasgow.

Best ever pre-season continues: Perth 0 V Wolverhampton 1

Sounds like a cracker. Crow of over 11,000 put Gold Coast to shame (particularly as it sounds like there were a few Brisbane based Fulham fans there).

Socceroos Mile Sterjovski and Jacob Burns and defender Andy Todd from Derby County sound like they have filled Perth's gaps.

Our turn tomorrow, after Victory play Fulham tonight, Craig Moore thinks we could loose 0-5 (oooo er).

John in the wild west .... of Sydney

Highlight one:

A slightly nervous flier, I whipped out 'The Damned United' as soon as the taxiing began:

'You are lifted onto a stretcher. You are carried off on the stretcher - ... You are lifted onto a plinth and a white sheet. There is blood everywhere, through the sheet onto the plinth, down the plinth onto the floor..'
This wasn't helping my stomach and we're not off the ground yet. I plough forward into the book and get its rhythm. One passage inside Brian's head at Leeds. Another months before when he was still at Derby. Then forward then back. I get it. ....

Highlight two

My train draws in from the west to Strathfield station. And is, large as life, Frank Farina is a handing me a football. Well a poster of him anyway advertising Paddy's markets.

Highlight three

Andrew Demetriou travels to western Sydney to announce the 18th AFL team. And gives us insight into his plan. While he expects this team to generate a great derby for the Swans, he isn't expecting it to be a popular team. So why is it happening? To cover off the growing popularity of football and attract the soccer mums and kids to his TV ratings and draft feeds...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

GCFC 2 v Fulham 1: EPL gets a lesson

A mate of mine went down to Skilled on a cold Wednesday night, to be among a disappointingly small crowd (10,400). It was perhaps an under-promoted game. And the Fulham was in the paper getting his excuses in before the game. Still, the newest A-League team gave Australians who watch the EPL and refuse the A-League a lesson. It is really over to Brisbane RFC to push that message home on Sunday against Celtic.

This will lead to more Australians returning home. And I doubt we will see Fulham again. I am not sure what Fulham did on the Gold Coast to promote the game. But it has to be said Celtic have been fantastic - holding open training sessions and training local Brisbane youth.

As for tonight's game, Fulham went 0-1 up but a blatant hand ball penalty against them was reported to have been missed by the ref. Schwarzer went off at half time and the goals came for GCFC.

Tomorrow we will know...

The A-League has picked up a notch. No doubt about it. Some teams will forge ahead. For the first time perhaps, others will not.

Sydney FC are starting to look the business. We wouldn't expect less from Melbourne. Brisbane have kept a solid crew together. Newcastle, Central Coast, Wellington, Perth? Who knows. If the new players can lift them. Probably. And Fury - the summer heat is going to help and Robbie will bring the fans.

But after tomorrow we will know about Gold Coast FC. Miron has been driven by a desire to get back face. The pain started in Queensland Lions brief stays in the NSL and the taunting from John Kosmina. But he has now outlived John. Then it was the ignominious way he left the Roar. A team who could have promoted into the limelight as football director, but as an under-funded coach, well their was little to be done. Now he has a very very classy team. And a string of to wins - most a lot to nothing - behind him. He will be feeling his return to Lang Park - Suncorp. The A-League's Brian Cough? Well not as coach. But certainly the same voice.

A victory against against Fulham will provide real metal to the shots across the bows...

Tonight 8pm Skilled Park: Gold Coast Utd v Fulham

Some Bravado from Culina:

"I think the boys would be a lot happier if we got to play against Manchester United or Arsenal, but Fulham?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Well done BRFC

Brisbane RFC have appointed a Marketing and Commercial Manager - Steve Guise.

Guise seems to be exactly the type of person we have been waiting for:

'With a double degree in marketing and sports management, Guise spent 10 years working for Canterbury International in Australia and New Zealand, before starting his own events management business last year.' BRFC website.

Guise was Sponsorship & Marketing Mgr at the rugby jersey fashion business.

Things are falling into place for the A-League this year. This seems to be the best build-up we have had since year one. And with Celtic, Fulham and Wolves playing in the pre-season, the is much more publicity to come. Very bullish.

Well done FFA. Well done Brisbane. Can't wait.