Monday, March 17, 2008
The Upside-Down NSWPL
It's certainly a rarity, and underlines the fact that this year's competition will be very open.
All three have suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Manly United, the team which went on an inspired late-season run in 2007 and missed out on a Grand Final place by a hair's breadth. Coach Phil Moss, a close friend of Graham Arnold, deserves great credit for the continuing progress of his Manly side, to which some craft up front has been added this season with the arrival of Dusan Mihajlovic.
The Sutherland Sharks, too, have continued their excellent form from the pre-season, with their imposing striker Brad Boardman banging in the goals. Sydney United are the other team in the leading group; Luka Glavas is back with the Edensor Park club, and apparently looking much happier than he ever did in the A-League.
Watching the Sutherland v. Manly game from last week, I was struck by how quick and physically uncompromising both sides were, especially by state league standards. They will both be difficult to beat this season.
So wherein lies the reason for the collapse of the big three? To an extent, it's probably the old issue of the general transience of NSWPL playing squads. Blacktown have lost almost their entire 2007 first team (the departure of coach Aytek Genc was a key catalyst here), while Marconi have assembled a strong squad, but with many new faces...including the star recruit, Tolgay Ozbey, who is still recovering from injury. It may take a little time for the new troops to gell.
Bankstown, on the other hand, appear to have been let down by poor discipline; in two separate games this season, they have had two players sent off. Importantly, too, the promising Robbie Mileski suffered an injury early on.
All three sides will surely recover some ground as the season progresses, and it should make for a tight race for the finals. Come on down, Sydney football lovers...
I'm actually planning a trip to Sydney in April/May sometime to see how the standards compare. Definitely looking forward to cramming in as many fixtures as possible.
If you're interested in information about the game in QLD, I'd recommend www.yourbpl.com which is updated quite regularly.
Many thanks dch. I've heard plenty of good things about the BPL. Is there some sort of plan afoot at the moment to make a sort of "Q-League" as an intermediate step between the BPL and the A-League, or have I got my wires crossed on that one?
The QSL also has a website. Although it's usefulness is debatable.
When the information first came out, it was set up like you say, as an intermediary. Roar were to have a team in it in association with the QIS. Now that more details about the Youth League are revealed, I'm not sure how this changes things.
But as things stand, football in QLD is very Brisbane-centric.
FWIW... I too look forward for reports on the NSWPL. One thing I am looking for, and have been unable to find, is an insiders report on the up and coming talents in the NSWPL. Something along those lines would be fantastic, as it is the hot bed upon which so much of our talent comes from.
Well, the Football NSW website is a bit more user-friendly than this time last year, and some of the match reports on it are very good indeed (especially Joseph Carlucci's).
As for the younger players...I haven't yet seen any that really catch the eye this year apart from the two I mentioned last season (Shannon Cole of Olympic and Robbie Mileski of Bankstown). Brendan Gan at Sutherland is one worth keeping an eye on as well.
Interesting to note that two of the more "physically uncompromising" sides, as you described them, head the table, a trend we noticed in this year's A-League.
Nope. Teams are currently in their preseason at the moment.