Thursday, November 05, 2009


'Nix Fixed

Has there been a better team goal in this season's A-League than Wellington's second against Newcastle last night (about two and a half minutes into this)? If Paul Ifill's surging run down the left was typically impressive, Costa Barbarouses' nonchalant flick was sublime. And Chris Greenacre's finish was no less classy.

It's tremendous to see the Phoenix so buoyant in the league despite the loss of Shane Smeltz. Although Greenacre has not been as prolific as his predecessor, he appears to be slowly finding his feet. Ifill has been a splendidly effective signing, probably the best foreign acquisition in the A-League this season, with the possible exception of Robbie Fowler.

Perhaps the most heartening aspect of their victory over Newcastle was the fact that they managed to maintain their positive frame of mind despite the setback in Sydney. Some of the euphoria from their thumping of the Gold Coast clearly remained.

With every passing season, I am more convinced that Wellington's presence in the league is a boon, not a burden. It would be a shame if their participation in the Australian domestic competition were to become a political chip for Australia's rivals in the battle to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups; with some sensible manoeuvring from the FFA (never a given, these days), it needn't be.

I think it's great that they are in the competition and I hope they get up against Bahrain. That would be fantastic.
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