Archive for December, 2010
What a year
2010 was a mixed year for me. Football wise I saw Gold Coast United finish 3rd in our first year in the A-League. I also saw crowds desert the team like rats from a sinking ship for a number of reasons. That poor crowd support resumed where it left off at the beginning of season 2. Only a rain soaked free entry night that lasted 20 mins seemed to have sparked some resurgence in support for the team here on the Coast.
Veronica and I attended our second World Cup to watch the Socceroos. After leaving the newly built Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban I thought what the hell went wrong there. But against Ghana and then Serbia the Socceroos definitely picked up their game.
We travelled around on our own personal trip with 7 friends who we met 4 years prior in Germany. Meeting people and enjoying their company on trips like this make it all worth it despite the results. We had a great time in a fantastic location hosted by wonderful people. I urge every football supporter out there, GO TO A WORLD CUP BEFORE YOU DIE. You will never regret it.
On a personal note I sadly watched my father slowly die over 12 months. It is bitter sweet. You are glad you get the extra time to spend with him but the pain he was in must have been almost unbearable. Either way it is not a nice thing to watch. We buried him in October and spent our first Christmas without him. Christmas day will never be the same again. I will miss him.
I really got into Twitter and have engaged with a whole heap of people from all walks of life and places. Whether it be Football, life in general or people who really make a differnce in the world you can really connect with people easily. Thanks to all my followers for help making 2010 a fab year.
It is time to move on. Gold Coast United has gained a little bit of momentum after the 20 min abandoned game, how that happened is anyone’s guess but it did. I am so happy they let the game start even if it should never have done so.
The Socceroos are rebuilding and have a new coach and new young blood looking at the Asian Cup squad for next month. I am hopeful we will pass the ¼ finals stage where we fell over last time. However I would think Japan is going to be very hard to beat.
And as for me, the only way is up. Or down as it was this morning. I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane for the first ever time at 46 years of age. I think I am on some sort of personal voyage of discovery, however Veronica thinks my mid life crisis is still in full swing.
I have made 2011 the year for change and I will see where that takes me.
Hope you all had a great year and that 2011 brings more fun and enjoyment to your lives.
December 31 2010 | General | No Comments »
Well who would have thought?
When Clive Palmer announced he was throwing the gates open for our game against Central Coast Mariners on December 13th I was a little skeptical as to the reasons given why. I was also little skeptical as to how many tickets would be snapped up by an apparent apathetic Gold Coast Football public.
The club took this on board and stepped up their marketing to unprecedented levels in my view. It was all over the media. The story of FREE tickets was too big to let go. Then the supporters club got in on the act as well. President of the club, Nathan Mulhearn, started a viral marketing campaign using Twitter and Facebook. #GoGCUtarget20000 was born.
I don’t know the statistics of how effective it was but there was a certain amount of interest from A-League Twitterers around the country. The guys at The Football Sack got on to it and supported it really well.
As the game approached it was all eyes on ticket “sales” from Ticketek. Nathan was getting daily updates from the club and I was blown away by the level of support on the Gold Coast. By kickoff there had been over 23,000 tickets allocated. A fantastic effort by the Gold Coast to show Clive and Ben Buckley that support for an A-League team on the coast was not dead.
The only thing we had no control over was the weather. We knew a wet day would turn people away in droves, especially people not really committed to the sport. I woke up yesterday and it was raining. I just felt disappointed for the Club and Supporters club who had put in a huge effort to publicise the game for a whole week and now it was looking very bleak.
I was hopeful of a break in the rain but deliberately kept away from the BOM and the forum so I would just not have to read or hear negative news. I headed off to RQ’s to join up with the rest of “The Beach” at our Beach Party put on by RQ’s. It just kept raining. But the pub was filling up with each passing hour and minute. I had a good feeling and was thinking could we really get 10,000 people on a day like this?
I posted some photos on Twitter and had a CCM fan reply to me that he thought the game should be called off due to the pitch. I refused to believe this and had a tongue in cheek reply about being soft. When I arrived at the stadium I couldn’t believe that I had to actually line up to get inside the stadium. All the gates had lines, I took a photo and posted it on Twitter, “What Rain”. It was awesome.
Inside I couldn’t believe the state of the pitch. It was atrocious and the rain just kept coming. But the crowd was building. How awesome was this. The Gold Coast was saying loud and clear, that they support a team here on the Coast. It had to be the only answer, 90% of these people had ZERO financial commitment to the game. They could have easily brushed it and watched from home or gone to a shopping centre etc to do something else. But they didn’t. They came out in the pouring rain to Skilled Park to cheer on a damn fine Football team.
30 mins to kickoff and the Beach began to fire up. We were not under cover and we were wet as. But the atmosphere was party time. We sang loud and proud and the Naming of the players was fantastic. They could have heard it in their dressing room.
The game kicked off and we were into it. The singing hardly abated. A highlight however was not supplied by the Beach but by the Crowd. As Kwasnik stepped up to take the penalty, the Crowd started booing and we followed. It is normally the home end to supply atmosphere and chants but not this time. He missed and the crowd erupted.
It is history now that the game was abandoned about 20 mins and I have no problem with that decision. Maybe it shouldn’t have started, but it did. And I believe that 20mins has started something special here on the Gold Coast. It is one small step back to some decent support.
By no means does one moment change everything, but it is a start. The club now needs to build on that support and make changes. There is obviously a price point problem for people in a struggling Gold Coast economy. But there is also a message there about generating publicity and getting the public involved.
Next home game is against Glory on Jan 3rd and you will receive a $5 discount on entry if you kept your ticket from yesterday. I would like to see more but it is a start.
It was an awesome afternoon with no result on the park but a great result in the stands. 10,146 and a new A-League record in atrocious conditions
I took a mate of mine to his first ever A-League game. He lives in Canberra and is a Roar supporter but he had a great time as well. We will go to the M1 derby together as well.
December 20 2010 | A-League and Gold Coast United | 4 Comments »
A group of Australian supporters will stage a pub World Cup on home soil following FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
Australia was knocked out in the first round of voting by FIFA executives in Zurich last Friday (AEST) to decide the World Cup hosts, despite having one of the strongest technical bids.
A group of Aussie fans, known as Aussies On Tour FC, have now launched Reclaim the Game – Pub World Cup in protest to FIFA’s decision.
Under the name International Pub Football Association (IPFA), the football fans from Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast and Bathurst plan to stage a tournament each year until 2022.
The fans, who have travelled to the past two World Cups to follow the Socceroos, want the tournament to grow and eventually involve teams from overseas.
In the past the group has organised games against local teams in Germany during the 2006 World Cup and against an ex-pats team in Thailand during the 2007 Asian Cup.
They also played in a five-a-side tournament in Durban before Australia’s opening game of the 2010 World Cup.
Reclaim the Game – Pub World Cup will be open to all football supporters and involve seven-a-side games over one weekend in a regional city.
The cost to players will be limited to ensure the tournament to open to all football fans, but a donation will also be made to charity yet to be decided.
“We all know Australia would put on a great World Cup, so we want to prove it,’’ co-ordinator Terry Hands said.
“Following the decision to give the World Cup to Qatar we want to put something on that will be a bit of fun for fans.
“In the future we’d like to get teams from each Confederation involved, but are happy to start off small.”
Players or teams interested in being part of the tournament can register their interest via the Facebook, Twitter or supporter website kickoff.com.au
After gauging interest from teams, a location for the first Reclaim the Game – Pub World Cup will be decided.
Facts about Reclaim the Game – Pub World Cup:
- Seven-a-side tournament to be played over one weekend.
- First tournament to be held late 2011 in a regional city.
- Each subsequent tournament to be hosted by a different city to be decided by the players.
- Aim to build the tournament up to eventually involve international teams.
To find out more information on Reclaim the Game – Pub World Cup:
December 09 2010 | World Cup | 1 Comment »
How do you say Qatar?
The fallout from Friday mornings World Cup Bid Announcement has been enormous not only here but around the World. And not only about Qatar winning but also Russia. England were on a hiding to nothing after the BBC aired their Panorama documentary on FIFA corruption.
As an Aussie who woke up especially to watch on Friday morning, I was absolutely gutted to hear “and the winner is, Qatar”. I just could not believe what I had heard. I was sure I would cry if we didn’t get it, but I didn’t. I was just numb for about 15 mins.
I would like to give a big shout out to Frank Lowy and the entire Bid team for a fantastic effort to try and bring the greatest show on earth to the best country on earth. But it was not to be.
The overall majority of the football world outside Qatar and the Middle East believe it was pure corruption. How could a country of 1.3 Million people and only 161km long x 80km wide host the biggest single sporting event in the universe? The Emir of Qatar will simply spend 10’s of Billions of dollars building relocatable stadiums and presumably hotels to ensure the structural success. These stadiums will be dismantled and given to developing football nations presumably in Africa and parts of Asia. This is a massive gesture and if done properly will benefit those nations one would hope. But what else did they promise to the ExCom? We will never know. It just seems the World Game is up for sale to the highest bidder and to hell with the game and fans.
What about the Fans?
Whilst the stadiums and hotels will be air conditioned, getting around in 50 degree heat between venues and days where you won’t be at the football will be almost unbearable for the majority of people. Their technical bid raised all sorts of flags whilst Australia’s was the best. Our commercial bid came in for a caning though.
It is a clear indication to me that the bid process is a farce. In the end the ExCom voted with the money and Bin Hammam has won a decisive battle in his personal war with Sepp Blatter. The worlds football fans are the big loser here. We are completely disillusioned with FIFA and their lack of transparency. The makeup of the ExCom and the voting process needs to be overhauled so as the representatives are held accountable to the grass roots of the game.
Likewise the bidding process needs to be overhauled. There is no way football associations should be required to spend 10’s of millions of dollars to woo the votes of the ExCom. The same should be said for Olympics and other International events. There is just too much room for corruption and collusion to run unabated.
The upcoming Asia Cup finals in January will give us an insight into the ability of Qatar to accommodate football fans on a large scale. The World Cup will be 10 times bigger.
Where to Now?
Well, we just have to concentrate on what we can control. That is the development of our own Leagues and national teams at all levels.
Next year at a senior level we have the Socceroos at the AFC Asian Cup Finals in January and in June the Matildas (reigning Womens Asian Cup Champions) will be at the Womens World Cup in Germany. As fans we have to get behind our game at all these levels and those teams need to perform exceptionally.
I have left all my anger and disappointment behind and will just move forward. I wont waste all that negative energy on a bunch of old wankers in Zurich. Move forward Australia and lets show the World what we have and show those old farts in Zurich how friggin good we are.
Not Sour Grapes
I suppose you could say I have sour grapes that Australia did not win. But this is not the case. If the bid went to either the USA, Japan or Korea I probably would have cried and congratulated the winner. Then looked forward to planning a world cup trip there. I do congratulate the football fans in Qatar, they are over the moon and no doubt looking forward to hosting.
This reaction is similar if not identical to every Aussie fan i have spoken to.
No doubt I will be there if Australia qualify.
December 05 2010 | World Cup | No Comments »