Archive for June, 2008
The People You Meet
One of the best things about following the Socceroos beside watching the boys, is the people you meet. Veronica and I have met some wonderful people who are now firm friends who catch up whenever we can get to a Socceroos match. And last weekend was no exception.
Firstly we sat next to a family of 5 at lunch at the Brewery last Sunday. Mum, Dad and 3 boys about 8-12 years of age. They had driven down from Newcastle and were staying overnight at the Ibis just like us. We spoke for about 10 mins after eating and we went off to our friends. Apparently after the game we ran into the Mum and Dad as we were entering the Hotel and were talking with them again. I say apparently as I was a little inebriated. My apologies to these people. The sober ones told them about Kickoff.com.au and hopefully we will keep in contact through the forum.
Then on the train to the airport we met Marianne and Cliff from Melbourne. Late fifty’s mid sixtys couple who are passionate Socceroos supporters. Their friends just cannot understand why they would fly to Sydney to watch “Soccer”. By the time we got to the airport we had exchanged e-mail and phone numbers. They were not planning on going to South Africa because some friends told them it is dangerous. I think we have convinced them otherwise now. Marianne has contacted me this morning about a phone call she had with a South African friend of hers. This friend has offered to go back to South Africa with them for WC2010, they can stay with her in the Unit she still owns. She wants to watch “Real Football” and show them “Africa”
Within the space of a week this couple has changed their plans to follow the Socceroos to South Africa and are planning to catch up with Veronica and I at home games if it works out.
I just love Football and the Passion of Football supporters. As you read this there are many people researching ways to get to Tashkent in Uzbekistan for Australia’s next WCQ match. The forums are already full of information on travel form Australia and England.
I will be adding some new pages soon to collate travel information for the next Qualifiers and also some background on South Africa.
June 29 2008 | General | No Comments »
AFC World Cup Qualifier Round 4
Tonight at 7pm our time in Kualar Lumpur, the draw for round 4 of the World Cup Qualifiers took place at AFC house. The final 10 teams were split into 2 groups of 5, with the top 2 teams of each group qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Australia were seeded No.1 and were in Pot 1 with South Korea, the only team we could not be drawn with.
Here are the 2 groups for Round 4
- Korea Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- DPR Korea
I think this is the best we could have done. Perhaps swapping Uzbekistan with UAE would be better, but in all seriousness, if we cannot make the World Cup from this group, then we don’t deserve to be there.
Here is the draw for Round 4
- September 6 – Bye
- September 10 – v Uzbekistan – Away
- October 15 – v Qatar – Home
- November 19 – v Bahrain – Away
- February 11 – v Japan – Away
- March 28 – Bye
- April 1 – Uzbekistan – Home
- June 6 – Qatar – Away
- June 10 – Bahrain – Home
- June 17 – Japan – Home
AN away trip to Teshkent in Uzbekistan sounds interesting, although as I have only just started a new job, highly unlikely. Super June 2009 is a definite possibility. 2 weeks holidays will get an away trip to Doha and then back home for Bahrain and Japan. Veronica is going to love another Football trip to celebrate her birthday, and when we beat Japan to finish top of the group it will be all worth it.
Start planning people.
June 27 2008 | World Cup | 2 Comments »
Our boys are 16 and 17, so we left them “Home Alone” last weekend whilst Veronica and I traveled to Sydney. We gave them the “No Corey Parties” speech and told them if the house ended up on TV, “RUN”.
We arrived home and the house was in one piece, the floors were filthy and a foam matress was soaking wet laying on the verandah, I suppose trying to dry in the shade. All up no problems.
What we did not expect was to see Nick’s ute in the driveway. We thought he must have finished work early until he greeted us at the door with his left wrist in plaster. Not the best sight for a parent to see after a weekend away.
Turns out he did it skateboarding on the Sunday afternoon at his mates place. As panicked parents do, we asked him a thousand questions all at once, and as teenage boys do he just said “its ok”. We calmed down and retrieved the real story.
He went to the after hours medical centre on Sunday arvo, but as we did not leave him a Medicare card it was going to cost him $60, so he walked out and went home. Poor bugger was in pain all night at home with some Panadol his only pain relief. He then proceeded to get up the next morning and go to work. His boss asked him if he was ok, and he said YES. Now Nick is a Roof Plumber, he installs Metal roofs, gutters etc. He went to the job and after 10 mins his work mate could see he was in pain and useless so told him to go to the hospital.
Nick went to Robina Hospital and had an X-Ray. He has a fractured Metacarpal, which is the bone leading to his left pinky finger.
Being an apprentice in his first year, he has almost no sick leave and will be off work for a few weeks (To be confirmed next Wednesday). So it looks like Mum and Dad have a dependant again.
June 26 2008 | General | No Comments »
Australia 0 – China 1
Last night in Sydney the Socceroos lost 1-0 to China in the final match of round 3. Although we lost it had no bearing on our progress to round 4 of WC qualifying.
Meeting up with the AOT and GGA boys and girls was the highlight for me. We met at the Homebush Bay Brewery adjacent to ANZ Stadium where many beers were consumed. A new song was created in honor of “Pim Verbeek” by some of the AOT boys on Saturday Night. Needless to say that “And we’ll all go marching on with Pim Verbeek” is still ringing in my head.
Thanks to all our friends for making it such a great night. We celebrated our passage to the 4th round with more beer after the match. It is obvious to me that we all missed the new binge drinking campaign. Sally Shippard showed up again after the match and she actually remembered me. Mat and Sally were again shooting stuff for their Final Whistle program.
Following the Socceroos around has been a great experience for me and Veronica over the past 2 years, and the friends we have met along the way have made it that much more special.
Well it has been a big weekend and I am tired, so good night boys and girls.
June 23 2008 | Socceroos and World Cup | 3 Comments »
Australia DEFEAT Brazil
Last night in South Korea our Matildas defeated last years World Cup Runners Up, Brazil 1-0 in injury time. Read more here.
This is a sensational result for the girls and for Australian Football. This was no fluke but a hard fought win against a World Class team. It was Brazil who knocked us out of the World Cup in the quarter Finals last year so this was a fantastic result. Arguably our best performed National team to date, the Matildas keep going from strength to strength.
June 20 2008 | General | No Comments »
I Love being an Australian Football Fan
It has been a big few weeks for Australian National Football Teams. I have focussed on the Socceroos and their route to round 4 of Asian Qualifying. There is a game this weekend against China in Sydney, and I will be there. Some of you may remember this as being my romantic weekend away for my wifes birthday. What a top bloke I am.
So we fly off Saturday and return on Monday. Can’t wait to catch up with my friends who have traveled to the middle east to support our team, top effort by the Aussies who went there.
We have also seen the Matildas, our National Womens team in action in the Womans Asian Cup finals where we finished a credible 4th place. The girls are now in South Korea at the Peace Queen Cup. They were narrowly defeated by the USA, 2-1 and last night beat Italy 3-0 with a brace to Heather Garriock. We now play Brazil on Thursday. Good Luck girls.
We also have our U23 team in Darwin for a camp and games against Chilie in preperation for the Olympic Games in August. Then our Joeys (U17) and Young Socceroos (U20) teams are in action. So much football.
Life is Good
June 18 2008 | Socceroos | No Comments »
Australia 3 – Qatar 1
Well, the Socceroos are through to the 4th round of Asian World Cup qualifying. A brace from Brett Emerton and a sealer form Harry has put us through to the next round. A changed formation from Pim certainly paid dividends. However I was still a little worried with our defense at times. Sebastian Quintana was able to penetrate too many times for my liking. He is a quality player and we will come up against more players like him in the next round.
After the ticket dramas of Dubai, the Qatari’s decided to give 800 free tickets away to the Aussies. A great gesture by the Qatari FA, even though tickets would have only been $3 to buy. I know it was much appreciated by the traveling fans. All reports have the locals being very friendly as they were in Dubai.
Next weeks match in Sydney against the Chinese is not important points wise for the Aussies but I would think that losing is not an option for the Aussies who will pull on the Green and Gold that night. A win would cement our position as No 1 in the group and give us confidence going into the next round.
The draw for the next round will take place on June 27 in Kuala Lumpur. We have to play another 4 home and 4 away matches between September 2008 and June 2009.
June 16 2008 | Socceroos and World Cup | No Comments »
We were beaten last night 1-0 and all credit to the Iraqi team for the win.
A gallant Socceroos fought hard in difficult conditions but were beaten by a fantastic goal. I hind sight I am sure Shwartz would agree he was out of position, but he was beaten by an alert Emad Mohammed and all credit to him.
I thought our defence and midfield played well, with Jade North in good form. Chris Coyne had a good debut for the Aussies as did Carl Valeri. My only criticism is that we lacked penetration up front. Harry was very quite because he simply did not receive the ball. The second half was much better for attacking although I thought Harry was getting better when he was replaced.
I personally think a draw would have been the fair result, but that is Football and fairness does not always come in to it.
About 300 Aussies paid the extortionate price of US$100 for a ticket to the match last night. This is something that FIFA and The AFC need to look at and soon. It was obvious to the Aussie fans last night that they were not wanted at the ground, and a deliberate price hike for the fans was how the Iraqi FA wanted to tackle it.
This is the same Iraqi FA that myself and many other Aussies either blogged or posted about how unfair it was that they were banned by FIFA for something their government did. They then repaid our support by RIPPING OUR SUPPORTERS OFF when they had their turn. Don’t expect a fair go when you return to Australia one day IFA, because you DO NOT deserve it.
June 08 2008 | Socceroos and World Cup | No Comments »
SHAME IRAQ FA, SHAME
A mate of mine who is in Dubai for the second leg of the Iraq fixture posted this morning about the exorbitant prices being charged to the away fans, that’s us Australians. A ticket that would cost the Iraqi fans about $7 is “Officially” $100 to the Australian fans.
This cynic would say this is Corrupt. Here are some excerpts from Chris’s post this morning.
The Iraqi official who was selling tickets to iraqi fans said the Australian tickets were about to arrive. He was selling tickets to the Iraqi’s for 20 dirham ($7 ish) and 50 dirham ($18ish). Finally when the Australian tickets arrived he said, “$100 US”… they were official away supporter’s tickets with $100 (360 dirham) printed on the ticket!
We finally got a hold of one of the heads of the Iraqi FA and he first promised us 50 free tickets, but reneged after we asked for them. He then went on to say that Australian Iraqi’s had to pay $45 in Brisbane which we informed him was the price everyone paid, and his final comment was, “You are from Australia so you are rich”. Another Iraqi official told us that they were pricing the tickets for Australia so high, so the stadium can be full of Iraq supporters only.
Imagine this… Tickets in Brisbane for the World Cup Qualifier between Australia and Iraq… Australians pay $45, Iraqis pay $350!!! What would be the fall out of that??!!
Just as a footnote, the officials in the UAE and the Al Ahli club have been fantastic, and most of the Iraqi fans were sympathetic to our cause, it is only the Iraqi FA that we have a problem with.
Imagine if the FFA here in Australia tried this crap. The Australian supporters would be up in arms. It is hard enough getting around Australia to watch home matches. But when the travelling fans take off overseas to foreign counties they expect it to be a little hard but you eventually break down the language barriers etc and get around. This is a brick wall thrown up in front of them like in one of those obstacle courses.
I wrote about the FFA and their lack of enthusiasm in ticket information for the travelling fan. This is the result of such inaction. I say Shame FFA, Shame, also.
June 07 2008 | Socceroos | No Comments »
Gold Coast United
Today a ninth A League Franchise was granted to the “Gold Coast United” team. This is a bid team bankrolled by Queensland’s richest man, Clive Palmer.
I am a conservative person by nature and have expressed opinions on Football forums about the need to have financially viable clubs involved in any expansion of the A-League. We just cannot afford to expand for the sake of it.
In this case we have a benefactor worth in excess of $2.5 Billion. He has done in 8 days what the “Galaxy” bid could not do in 10 months. And that was to come up with $5 Million start up capital. Here we have a benefactor with $2.5 billion behind him who knows what it means to be part of Asia. This guy is a self made Millionaire through property, but is a Billionaire because of China. He does not have to rely on anyone else to support his finances. As long as Iron Ore is required for steel making, he has 300 million tonnes of it to sell.
How good will the facilities be? I can see top class training facilities and equipment, coaching staff and consultants. Not to mention the private jet to ferry the team around Australia and Asia. Along with a marquee player to and guest appearances, GCU will certainly get tongues wagging. He has high ambitions to win the A-League in the first season followed by Asian Champions League success. And that is where his motivation lays. Asia. He is a business man, and business men are in the business of making money. His business is growing in Asia, particularly China, and Asia supports Football very well and is a growing region for FIFA.
Clive Palmer is a Gold Coaster and having a local as the driving force in this is an essential ingredient for success. Now he needs to get the local Football community behind him and the team. He needs to involve the local Football community in the franchise. there are many of us who have travelled to Brisbane to follow the Roar. Many of those will jump ship to follow Gold Coast United including me. Skilled Park is an excellent ground and the Gold Coast community is an eclectic mix of people from all over Australia. Most of us have moved here as a lifestyle choice, and we have many different tastes. Take Football to the people Clive and you will never look back.
Move over Bling FC, GCU has arrived.
June 06 2008 | A-League | No Comments »