Friday, May 02, 2008


Version Four

Well, the 2008/09 season of the A-League has landed, with the first round featuring a grand final replay and a Sydney-Melbourne grudge match (or perhaps, on the basis of last season's encounters between the two teams, drudge match is a more appropriate description).

It's pleasing to see that breaks have been scheduled for international weeks this time, although given that the A-League-heavy Olyroos have now finished their qualification series, the words gate, horse and bolted spring to mind. But it's a sensible step.

More important news, however, is the continuation of the Hyundai sponsorship (under much improved terms, I have been reliably informed). Certainly the impressive attendances in Season 3, and the exposure of the A-League "brand" in Asia through the medium of the Asian Champions League, would have put the FFA in a strong bargaining position.

A Saturday night final? Probably a wise move, although it's hardly the startling innovation that it is being presented as.

There has been a distinct lack of news on the A-League's complementary youth competition as yet, however. Perhaps the recruitment of players and technical staff is simply being undertaken quietly and efficiently, but one would have expected some coverage of the clubs' efforts in this area by now. Meanwhile, the acquisition of another very youthful talent by the Queensland Roar, presumably as a member of the senior squad, rather exemplifies some of the awkward anomalies that an essentially amateur youth league may engender.

hmmm, if the good youngsters are filling out senior rosters ...

who is the junior comp for ? or will clubs loan their own senior squad youngsters to their youth team squads to give them game time.

and given that the comp is essentially amateur, are their youngsters who will choose to stay with their state league team, playing against men?

be interesting to see how it plays out

I think there will be a senior player limit..something like 3 overage players per youth team lineup.

I think its great as players coming back form injury or donkeys like Zdrillic can still keep match-fit.
Harsh Mike, the last Sydney Melbourne game was as good a spectacle, for the neutral, as you will ever get in football.

And Sydney FC to win the Youth League by a country mile. Only one Coach in Australia would know the best 20 or 21 year olds without any research...Steve O'Connor.

And wouldn't you play older lads, if you are preparing them for A-League games immediately.

Patafta at 19 too young, Nathan Burns coming good at 20 this week.
Only James Holland has made much of an impact before 19 years of age and then only a limited impact. Correct me if I'm wrong. Why would you take a whole heap of 17 18 or even 19 year olds just yet?
I suspect next season will see crowds fall as the economy slows.

I think players clearly need to be paid more to play here and we need more teams.

Sorry I have no solutions though
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