Wednesday, June 24, 2009
KNVB-all and End-all - update, Part 1
First, a couple of small quibbles. The "Identified Gaps" section contains a couple of highly questionable assertions which deserve a wider airing; the document makes much of the fact that the successive waves of European immigration have dried up, and concludes that Australian football needs an injection of new blood as a result:
The historical immigration dynamic that has underpinned football in Australia appears to be weakening. This poses a major threat to Australia's future talent pool unless offset by a much greater share of young athletes from rural areas...
With the greatest respect, this is nonsense.
Second- and third-generation players of European background are still to be found in huge numbers at elite and close-to-elite level in Australia, and to pretend that a rush for the bush is necessary as a result of a change in the immigration dynamic bespeaks a flimsy understanding of Australian football, in my view. One can easily see more FFA money wasted on feelgood rural programs, if this is what the document envisages.
Then there's this richly ironic statement:
In Australia however, football is becoming an expensive sport and therefore not affordable for some families. When a child is identified as being talented and selected for participation in State and National Championships the threshold becomes even higher because of the ‘user pays’ system. Sometimes this is exacerbated by distance from the main football centres. Therefore, the assumption is justifiable that this situation causes a substantial loss of potential talent.
I need hardly point out the irony of a Technical Director whose substantial salary might have gone instead towards reducing the national levy on junior players complaining about the "gap" in this area.
Time for a few positives though. The spicing up of the theoretical framework with the odd parcel of good basic advice is a commendable idea, and indeed the suggestions throughout, general and specific, are basically very sound, if hardly original. Graded small-sided games for the different age groups? No arguments here, from a long-time supporter of this idea.
Next time, the big sticking points - the mandatory 4-3-3, and the "Accreditation and Rating" section, which, I feel, could ultimately prove dreadfully counter-productive if put into practice.
Your site is now clicked on by me instead of the dreadful news ltd sites
That Newcastle performance needs an appraisal
But I would also have to say that an acknowledgement that rep and elite football is often priced out of reach for some families is a good step.
After all many of European migrant family came hear to escape, now it is Africa's chance.
Football can be the silver lining for journeys out of terror.
Wish I could have, but I've been away for the last four days visiting a sick relative OS. So didn't get to see the Pohang-Newie game, or the Confeds semis for that matter. Looking forward to catching up on all the football news in the next couple of days...