Archive for July, 2008
Some Good News
Whilst maintaining the rage against Channel 7, there are some good news stories this week.
The FFA announced a news sponsor for the Matilda’s and a new Womens National League. Westfield will sponsor the new W-League set to kick off in October, whilst our National Womens team will be known as the Westfield Matilda’s. This is great news for the womens game in this country and for the development of the game as a whole.
On Sunday one of Australia’s favorite Football sons made a comeback by playing his first match on Australian soil since 1999. Mark “Bozza” Bosnich was between the sticks for CCM when they defeated Sydney FC 3-0. After destroying his professional career with drugs, alcohol and women, Bozza is back and seems to be loving it.
ANd on another good news piece from a few weeks back, Craig Moore has made himself available to the National Team again. This is great news in my book, I have been a huge Moore fan since I watched him at the World Youth Cup back in ’93. His experience at the back will be a huge bonus, and with 14 NT matches between now and March 2010, I am sure we will need a large squad of players to choose from.
July 29 2008 | General | No Comments »
All we ask, is for a FAIR GO
As we all know, Channel 7 is the Australian broadcaster for the Olympics, as they have been for the past 3 or 4.
For us football fans the bells have started to ring again. I assume most of us remember the NSL. So then most of us remember when channel 7 had the rights to broadcast teh NSL matches. Problem was we had to stay up till midnight to get a glimpse of a highlights package.
It appears we may be duded yet again. The chance to have uninterrupted LIVE coverage of the Olyroos opening match against Serbia the night BEFORE the Olympics start has been lost on 7. Instead they will delay it by 2 Hours so they can cross to the announcement of the Flag Bearer. Now this is a very important announcement, no doubt. And I am very interested myself in who will get the job. (James Tompkins is my bet). However I am sure that 7 could have filled time with many other hours of Olympic stuff after the Football in the lead up to the announcement. Perhaps it is because it will be in Prime Time at 7pm that 7 think they will not get enough viewers and instead show “Today Tonight”, as well know is compelling TV.
Our next match is against Argentina, and Hooray, it will be live at 7pm, but there is a chance that they will cut to Swimming 15 minutes before the end. Argentina are equal favorites to win the thing, and the last 15 minutes may be critical for Arnie’s men.
Then to add the final insult, our match against Côte d’Ivoire will be interspersed with Basketball.
Now I do not begrudge any of the other sports their time in the sun and be on TV for their family and fans. However, there is a “Spill Over” broadcaster in SBS who are the spiritual home of Football Coverage in Australia. We would be able to watch a full 90 mins of Uninterrupted coverage with quality, knowledgeable commentators. Instead we will be stuck with Gordon Bray, a Rugby commentator.
Fair Go Channel 7, we have a true 90 minute sport here that deserves just as much right to be shown as any other sport in ist entirety. The point is many other sports such as swimming, athletics etc have many breaks for adds and switching to other venues. I suspect you know that Football is a growing popular sport here in Aus and you want that, but are unwilling to give it the true coverage it deserves.
Please prove me and other bloggers wrong Channel 7. All we want is a Fair Go
For more commentary on this, try these links
July 24 2008 | General | 3 Comments »
How Hard is it to Organise Match Tickets??
In stark contrast that was Dubai last month, the upcoming friendlies against South Africa and the Netherlands, there is Ticket Information available on the FFA website.
FIFA have rules and regs regarding ticketing, of which you have to delve deep within their regulations to find out what they actually are. They have them for individual tournaments from what I can see. In this case the matches are friendlies orgainised by the 2 nations. I assume the host nation would provide the ticketing.
Here is the regulation for ticketing for the 2010 World Cup Preliminary Matches. I would assume that friendlies would follow this fairly closely, with the exception of the free VIP tickets for FIFA.
During the preliminary competition, the relevant host association is
responsible for the ticketing. It shall set aside an appropriate number –
to be fixed by mutual agreement – of complimentary and purchasable
tickets for the visiting association. At least five representatives from the
visiting association shall be seated in the VIP box. The host association
shall, upon request and free of charge, provide FIFA with 10 (ten) VIP
box tickets and up to 40 (forty) category 1 tickets for each match. Such
tickets shall be provided to FIFA at least 30 days before the match.
This should have been a simple rule for the IFA to follow but they did not. Also the FFA should have made sure that the IFA followed the rules. Now we have some friendlies in London, where I assume we are the home team, and in the Netherlands and miraculously there are tickets available a month out.
I have no doubt that dealing with European and other western nations is easier than the middle east, but the FFA’s total lack of information for the Iraq and Qatar matches was ridiculous. They can obviously organise tickets in other parts of the world and FIFA have rules in place to make sure this happens. We have 7 Away matches in 2 tournaments between now and March 2010 plus friendlies. Please FFA, get your act together and help us fans secure tickets. We are the ones who travel the globe and give our boys and girls support in far flung countries such as Uzbekistan. How Hard Can It Be???
To the European based Aussies who can get to one or both of these matches, I am sure you will have a great time. Be proud and “Sing with One Voice”.
Qantas Socceroos vs South Africa
Tuesday 19 August 2008
Loftus Rd Stadium
Kick Off 8pm (Local Time)
£20.00 – £30.00
Where do we purchase tickets?
Phone – QPR ticket office on 08444 777 007 / 08448 471 659
Web sales – www.qpr.premiumtv.co.uk
Phone – Ticketmaster on 08448 471 659
Web sales – www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Netherlands vs Qantas Socceroos
Saturday 6 September 2008
Kick Off 8.45pm (Local Time)
€17.50 – €40.00
Where do we purchase tickets?
General Ticket sales commence August 9
Web sales – www.ticketbox.nl
(please note this website is in Dutch)
In addition FFA has received an allocation of tickets from the KNVB. Sales details for these tickets will be released here shortly.
July 20 2008 | World Cup | No Comments »
Matilda Legend Retires
Yesterday at North Sydney Oval, Di Alagich retired from International Football. Di went out a winner with a 1-0 win over the Kiwi girls who are on their way to Beijing. Di played 86 matches for the Matilda’s and scored 3 goals. Some glowing testimonials to Di refer to her never say die attitude and her determination to return from injury. Di was a fantastic defender who never the the Matilda’s down.
Well done Di on a great International Career. We will see Di in the future though, as she stated on SBS this afternoon that she wants to take part in the Womans A League when that takes off. That would be a great thing for Australian domestic womens football. What a role model Di would be to young up and coming players. A similar role to that of Craig Moore, John ALoisis, Danny Tiato etc in the mens A League.
July 13 2008 | Matildas | No Comments »
Gold Coast United – The Peoples Team
In todays Gold Coast Bulletin there is a great article on Gold Coast United and their plans for the future of Football not only here on the Gold Coast but in Australia.
CEO Clive Mensink said he aims to turn the Gold Coast side into the ‘peoples’ team and will court the support of the community with several roadshows spruiking the brand.
After the stalled bid of Gold Coast Galaxy and Townsville earlier in the year there are a few cynics out there in the Football world who doubt that Clive Palmer is serious about Football. I believe he is saying the right things and sincerely hope that he follows through on his commitments to the A League and to the Gold Coast.
It is my view that the A League needs more benefactors here in Australia to take clubs into the future of Football. It is the World Game and is the future of Australian Sport. There is no doubt in my mind that Football has all the ingredients to succeed here in Australia as long as we do it methodically and responsibly.
I am a sports fan and do not wish any bad feelings to the Other Football codes here in Australia. I will support my code to the hilt and will support a GCU bid for the A League in 09-10 season.
A Cynic is someone who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
July 12 2008 | A-League | No Comments »
Last week the draw for the 2011 Asian Cup Final Qualifiers was announced. Australia is in a group with Indonesia, Oman and Kuwait. The upshot of this is 14 matches between September this year and March 2010. There is talk of there being 2 squads of players to “cope” with this schedule.
What a load of crap. The FFA campaigned to join the AFC so we had more regular and higher competitive matches. I understand that the AFC does tend to have matches on NON FIFA dates which can be a problem, but surely we MUST pick our best team when available. I understood Pim letting the top players off last month against China and would be happy for that to happen again in the same situation. However, we MUST choose our best side for matches that we need the points
In any case it is an exciting time for us fans with a minimum of 7 away matches to plan for and whatever “Friendlies” that come along. The Aussie boys and Gals in England and Europe get to watch the Socceroos live in London and Eindhoven in August/September.
Here is the schedule for the next 18 months of Qualifiers. Bring it on.
- September 10, 2008: Away to Uzbekistan (World Cup qualifier)
- October 15, 2008: At home to Qatar (World Cup qualifier)
- November 19, 2008: Away to Bahrain (World Cup qualifier)
- January 14, 2009: At home to Kuwait (Asian Cup qualifier)
- January 28, 2009: Away to Indonesia (Asian Cup qualifier)
- February 11, 2009: Away to Japan (World Cup qualifier)
- April 1, 2009: At home to Uzbekistan (World Cup qualifier)
- June 6, 2009: Away to Qatar (World Cup qualifier)
- June 10, 2009: At home to Bahrain (World Cup qualifier)
- June 17, 2009: At home to Japan (World Cup qualifier)
- November 14, 2009: At home to Oman (Asian Cup qualifier)
- November 18, 2009: Away to Oman (Asian Cup qualifier)
- January 6, 2010: Away to Kuwait (Asian Cup qualifier)
- March 3, 2010: At home to Indonesia (Asian Cup qualifier)
July 09 2008 | Socceroos | No Comments »
Is Life Unfair?
This has nothing to do with Football, or maybe it does.
The credit for this is to Craig Harper, a Motivational Speaker, Fitness dude. Have a read of his site to see what he is about. I just loved reading this.
Dear complaining, high-maintenance, pain-in-the-ass Victims of the World,
Hi, Craig here.
Thought I’d just give you a quick heads up on a few things which could make your life easier. And probably ours too. I think a little clarification is in order on a few key issues. I’ll be brief and clear…
1. Life’s not fair or unfair. Life just IS.
2. ‘The world’ owes you nothing.
3. You don’t deserve success, you create it.
4. Selfishness… kinda ugly. Amazingly, it’s not all about you.
5. Complaining and bitching… kinda ugly too.
6. The person who’s making your life a misery… you.
7. People don’t like to hang out with victims – you may wanna get yourself a PlayStation.
8. lf you’re fat, you probably did it to yourself. Feel free to get mad at me for writing the truth. Clearly, I’m picking on you and being insensitive.
9. If you’re in massive debt, you may have something to do with that too.
10. Some people won’t like you. That’s okay.
11. Bad things happen to good people. Get over it.
12. Self pity… not cool.
13. Things only have the meaning YOU give them.
14. Consider that you might be part of the problem. And the solution.
15. We still love you. We just hate your behaviour.
July 08 2008 | General | No Comments »
The Ugly Parent
And NO, I am not talking about me.
My youngest son Blake, plays U17 Football for Palm beach here in the Gold Coast. A bunch of lads who enjoy the game and each other. They are not the best team and are running second from bottom, but they have been putting up a good show of late.
Anyway, there is always that kid with those parents who think their child is better than everyone else’s and have to make sure everyone knows about it. In this case it is the goal keeper and his parents. Without detail, there has been tension between them and the coach since before the season started and there was a bit of a blow up a few weeks ago.
Last Friday night it came to an enormous head. They were playing against a very well drilled team who sat second on the table. 2-1 down at half time was not too bad and the boys had shown glimpses of good football and almost scored a second goal. With about 20 mins to go till full time it was 5-1 and the coach decided to replace the Goal Keeper.
The Ugly Parents came out with a tirade of abuse against the coach. They were literally yelling across the ground at the coach in a very sarcastic way. We were at home and this was happening right next to the oppositions parents and supporters. At one stage the dad was even yelling at the Palm Beach players but some of the lads put him in his place quick smart.
Another 2 goals and with each the vitriol towards the coach grew. It was very embarrassing and we could not even ask the ground official to step in because she was the mum of the goal keeper and is fully supportive of the dad.
It became even worse after the match when the coach was leaving the ground. He had to walk past the clubhouse where the parents and son were waiting for him. They just surrounded him and started yelling abuse in front of everyone. The coach just kept walking and tred not to inflame an already volitile situation.
The upshot of all this is that there were committee members there to witness this and at a meeting on Monday night the Goal Keeper was suspended for the season, the dad was banned from the club and the Mum was sacked from the committee. There was also another boy from the team suspended for his part in yelling abuse at the coach after the match.
A sad day in junior club football, but one I am sure is repeated at some sports ground around the country on a weekly basis. There is simply NO excuse for this to happen like it did.
July 03 2008 | General | No Comments »
A Middle East Report form a Socceroo Fan
Some friends of mine, Chris and Antonette from Cairns, traveled to the middle east to watch the Socceroos. Here is a report Chris Wrote for the GGA Fanzine.
OH MY SANDPIT, IS BIGGER THAN THIS
The Green and Gold Army made its presence felt during the Middle East double-header for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and Qatar. A core group of around 25 GGA stalwarts made the long trip to Dubai and Doha and were rewarded with being at the game, which saw the Socceroos safely advance to the final phase of qualifiers.
THE 100 DOLLAR CLUB
The challenges were there immediately for the supporters as no one had guaranteed tickets to the games before setting off on their journey. A group of GGA members decided to rock up to the Al Ahli Club stadium on the eve of the match to see if they could get info on ticket sales. This group was privileged to be invited to the Socceroos closed training session and negotiations with the club, saw them liaise with the Iraqi FA to sell tickets.
The joy turned to frustration as it was revealed the Iraqi FA had made the decision to sell tickets for Australians at $100 US, which was over 10 times the face value of the tickets for Iraqi fans. The Australian and Emerati media became very interested in this inequity and many interviews with GGA member ensued that night and the next day.
The Iraqi FA would not back down, so we purchased our tickets and all became members of the $100 club.
“I would pay 100 bucks, and I would pay 100 more, Just to be the man who paid 100 bucks to see the Aussies score”
SWEATING FOR THE SOCCEROOS
The game was played in unbelievable heat and humidity, and due to the preceding events, the tension inside the stadium was as thick as the climactic conditions. The GGA sang loud and proud all game, trying to drown out the Arabic music being blasted through the stadium’s speakers. It was a disappointing result, 0-1 to Iraq, but no one could question the Australian player’s commitment in the stifling conditions. We left the stadium dejected but were surprised by the friendliness of most of the Iraqi sup-porters after the match who were happy yet humble and wanted to get as many group photos with us as they could.
ON OUR SEPARATE WAYS
The next day we went on our separate travels, some staying in Dubai, others moving to such exotic locations as Oman, Petra and Cairo.
QATAR FA ROCKS
During this week, the GGArmy had negotiated with the Qatar Football Association for 800 free tickets for Australian supporters at our next WCQ in Doha. What a contrast to the week before! The ground work for this was done by GGA member Pablo Bateson, who’s constant calls and emails to the Qatar FA had gone a long way to achieving this great result.
THE WINDY CITY
We all arrived in Doha to be greeted by 40-degree heat, 50km winds, and sandstorms! A small group of GGA members once again were granted access to the Socceroos training session, and then to Pim Verbeek’s press conference.
The game day tension increased as we got news that Iraq had beaten China, to put the 3 eligible teams now together on 7 points apiece. A slip up in this game could very well mean the end of Australia‘s 2010 ambitions.
The Al Sadd Stadium in Doha was nothing short of magnificent. The predominantly white background of the supporters in the stands, the constant music playing and white ticker-tape on the ground made for an imposing atmosphere. The GGA positioned itself on the fence near the corner flag, right next to the Australians tunnel, and once again we were in full voice to drown out the noise of the Qatari’s. The singing got louder as each of Australia’s goals were put away, the tense chants evolving into songs of celebration by the end of the game. A great moment when Harry Kewell scored his goal he came running over straight to our section and applauded us.
At the end of the game, long after everyone was gone, the GGA stayed on singing and chanting until the local police persuaded us to finally leave the stadium.
It was a magnificent effort by the GGA lads and lasses to travel to the Middle East to be part of this experience. It certainly wasn’t always easy, but the tenacity and determination of the crew paid huge dividends and everyone had a brilliant time with just reward at the end.
Finally, I have to mention Heather Kayatz who travelled from Australia to be part of this tour. She turned 70 the day before the Iraq game. We all know and love Heather, she is a GGA legend and sings as loud and proud as anyone else. She has now also touched the hearts of many people in the Middle East.
Thanks for this Chris
July 01 2008 | General | No Comments »