Friday, February 22, 2008
Expansive Thoughts - brief update
I'm still a little concerned that the FFA may be over-reaching itself with the introduction of a youth league as well, but two new sides will certainly add an exciting edge to the next A-League season.
Frank Farina has sounded a cautious note, outlining most of the major concerns that exist. One of these is the possible dilution of the talent available, which may become more of an issue as the younger, crowd-pulling A-League stars gradually head overseas for more substantial pay-packets.
On the flipside, there are plenty of younger players knocking at the door; at last Saturday's Johnny Warren Cup final I had a revealing chat with the parent of a fringe A-Leaguer, who complained with some vehemence that the league was not large enough to accommodate the many youngsters around who were keen for professional experience. He even went so far as to compare the situation unfavourably to the final days of the NSL, which seems a little unfair, given the professionalism (or lack thereof) of the erstwhile competition at that point in time.
There is some good news, too, in the article linked above:
...any admission would likely see the overly long pre-season cut shorter to allow for a 27-round regular-season prior to the finals series....
This is hardly an original thought, but where exactly are all these players going to come from? Obviously there will be 46 players for the 2 new clubs, and having another 6 or 7 players at the existing clubs to accomodate a 2nd XI will require an additional 40-50 players one would think. Maybe as many as 100 overall.
One way to reduce the problem is increasing the import quota to 5 players perhaps, but once again it's not easy to find imports of an appropriate standard within a salary cap.
I'd love to see a youth league, but in all honesty it would be preferable if that was implemented in a non-expansion year. Maybe Season 5 or 6.
That link in the second paragraph ('a cautious note') is broken....
Sorry. Should be fixed now.