Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Expansive Thoughts - brief update

Two interesting stories concerning the imminent expansion of the A-League came to light today.

First, the problems with the Northern Thunder bid, which have been the subject of rumours for quite some time now. Certainly, developments in Townsville seemed to be minimal in comparison to the rapid progress on the Gold Coast, with several players already signed by the Robina-based club, and the ever-voluble Miron Bleiberg on board as football supremo.

A 9-team league would be very awkward logistically, and I tend to think that A-League expansion should take place in groups of two. The byes were never particularly welcome in the NSL.

But wait, there might be a saviour galloping up from the Illawarra. I've always liked the idea of a Wollongong A-League side, given the long history of football in the region, and the fact that WIN Stadium could be an excellent A-League venue (with a bit of redevelopment). Yet there is an air of uncertainty about Mike Cockerill's piece, with the dreaded phrase "is believed to" repeated, and the equally unpromising "in principle" chestnut emerging. On another note, Victorian fans would not be amused to see a fourth NSW side in the national competition.

And we still don't quite know how an expanded competition would affect the Foxtel deal.

The next couple of weeks will be interesting.

Northern Thunder should get a half-decent foot into the expansion circle I reckon. They have to chuck something up real fast though, during the early stages the Thunder seemed the most concrete and was the most referenced new team but we haven't really heard much pass that stage.

Wollongong would be nice too, they'd attract a crowd and would tap into Southern NSW youth, where basically no-one has tapped yet - the Wolves would provide a backbone to the new team I hope.

Good read.
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