Posts filed under ‘Football’
One thing that has baffled many people involved in football has been the rhetoric coming out of the FFA on youth development, with hereto little action. Sure they are picking the supposed cream of football talent, and placing them in High Performance Centres or National Training Centres, but what about improving the overall standards? The standards of those who are not fortunate to live near the areas where trials may be held, get missed by the coaches or mature late.
In his presentation on the NPL and the future of football in Australia National Technical Director Han Berger showed a slide that stated the following: “In youth development the interest of the player should come first, not the self interest of clubs; coaches; agents; private academies; (sports high) schools; etc.” We agree 100%, and would add that the enjoyment of the player is also a crucial factor. If they do not enjoy playing the game and the coaching, they will soon look elsewhere.
Berger then advised that the FFA had recently ‘rewritten and restructured’ all of its coaching courses; which to many cynics sounded like someone trying to justify their job, or in fact find something to do in head office. As Berger rightly states better coaches should mean better footballers and better football played.
The FFA have as part of this development stated that all semi professional clubs must have coaches with certain coaching badges to be a part of this new era. Again this makes sense, the better the standard of coaches the more likelihood the standard of football played will improve. Most people interested in coaching or improving the standards of football would willingly become a part of this, however this is where question marks suddenly start to pop up.
For the next two years coaches of juniors can coach with a junior, youth or senior licence. To obtain this qualification at its most basic level will cost $85. Each level will cost a further $85. By 2016 all of these junior coaches are expected to have achieved a C-Licence in order to coach under 12′s up to under 20′s. The cost of this qualification, apart from the time, is at the moment $1320 per person. If you have ambitions to be a first team coach or the unnecessary expense of a Technical Director at an NPL club you will be required to have a B Licence which will currently set you back a further $3190, at the present time.
What surprises many is the fact the FFA have on occasion stated that they will not acknowledge a European equivalent coaching licence. This seems totally bizarre as the standards of football and coaching in Europe one would think would be higher than in Australia, as the game is a way of life there. Another concern is the pressure being applied to have those in coaching achieve these standards in these time frames.
However the big question that has to be asked is why are most of these courses not free or at least heavily subsidised for the next two years? If the FFA is serious about improving the coaching standards across Australia, have those qualified to train coaches moving around the country doing just that. To some the current costs are highly prohibitive especially in these tough economic times and with no security in any coaching position the cost will prove hard to justify to their partners at home.
If the FFA is serious about improving coaching at all levels these courses need to be more readily affordable. At the current time from the outside looking in it appears that it is simply another form of revenue raising, and once again the financial burden is being put on the clubs to find the money to up-skill their coaching staff if they wish to keep them working at the club. Surely there are grants to cover such training if it is keeping people healthy. Surely there is a sponsor out there who would love access to such demographics?
The game cannot go on in this way with the game’s governing body continually putting out its hand for money, eventually something has to give. It would be a shame to see one generation of young footballers suffer simply because of money, it is after all supposed to be a game for all
There is one code of football we rarely mention on this site, or on the show, but in light of the comments made by a man who is highly respected in Australian sport we felt we had to on this occasion.
There is no doubt that AFL coach Kevin Sheedy has opened a hornet’s nest with his comments over the weekend after Greater Western Sydney Giants could only attract 5,830 people to its home match against Adelaide Crows, an all time low crowd not seen in AFL since 1996.
For those who missed his poor attempt at an explanation for such a poor crowd he said that his club lacked ‘the recruiting officer called the immigration department recruiting fans for the West Sydney Wanderers’.
His comments apart from being highly offensive to the inhabitants of Western Sydney will have in fact done his future crowd projections even more harm, but they also say so much more.
Three sports went head to head in Western Sydney, Rugby League, Football and AFL. All three codes invested heavily in this market and it became like a race to the North pole, the code that could boast success first it was felt would hold the keys to being the number one sport in Australia in the next 5-10 years. Of the three codes Football and the AFL are believed to have invested the most, although neither code is willing to reveal exactly how much their push for ascendancy has cost.
One thing is for sure AFL never expected Western Sydney Wanderers to take off the way it did, and Sheedy’s comments reflect that. He would have been led to believe that his club and his code would be the number one sport in that region. It won’t be, it will most likely never rise higher than third in the pecking order between these three codes. Football’s success lies purely and simply in the fact that it is a world game, and no matter what country you come from this one or overseas you can relate to it; and are more likely to have played it at some stage in your life. Rugby League is second to none when it comes to involving the community and that is why they build loyalty. They will not splash the money the way AFL and Football have but rest assured with time they will grow a loyal supporter base.
For years AFL’s monitoring of its participation rates have been skewed, a result of not only counting regular registered participants in their participation numbers, as per Football and Rugby League. If all codes were forced to monitor participation figures the same way Sheedy’s angst may be better explained. One thing is for sure his comments show that in Western Sydney the battle of the codes is well and truly being lost, and we would hazard a guess outside of Victoria although not as apparent, at junior levels the same would be true.
You only have to stand outside of Subiaco oval on a match day to see the age of the supporters filing in and how large a percentage are female to know that the youth of Australia are focussed on other sports. The times are definitely changing and that realisation has finally hit Mr Sheedy, which may explain his ill advised comments.
There are plenty of people in Western Australia who will stand at the bar and tell you what is wrong with football in this state, many will tell you that no one wants to listen. It would appear that this is no longer the case with the Football Federation of Australia finally bringing their Fans Forum to Western Australia.
The event is to be held on Monday 20th of May at the Perth Soccer Club.
The choice of venue will not please many and shows a naivety on the part of those organising the event. Despite Perth having the best facilities this event should have been held at a neutral venue as it opens up Perth to the possibility of unfair criticism and accusations of favouritism.
On the panel will be CEO of the FFA David Gallop, Head of Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun, Chairman of Perth Glory, Coach of Perth Glory Alistair Edwards and CEO of Football West Peter Hugg. It has not been revealed who will chair the meeting.
According to the FFA press release on the agenda are the following topics the Qantas Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, National Premier Leagues, FFA Cup, grassroots football and the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and National Youth League competitions.
Not The Footy Show can’t help but question the timing of this Forum. First of all the announcement a week ago by Football West that they will push ahead with the National Premier League despite most clubs having grave concerns over the structure and who is going to finance it. Maybe this meeting has been timed to coincide with this move and therefore expect a great deal of ‘spin’ to support this decision. One question that may be worth tabling is what would happen if no clubs in Western Australia submitted for the NPL? Which when one considers how little information has been given on this radical new league would be a sensible development, yet sadly clubs currently feel they are being pressured to sign up in order to survive. Some we have been advised even being encouraged to submit an application!
As well as coming to support the NPL, don’t be surprised if with David Gallop in town an announcement is not made on Football being granted money by the Government for a new home. Something that the game has been crying out for ever since all segments united and they moved out of the old Perry Lakes offices, something that cost the game greatly; as had we stayed like basketball and Rugby we may well have already had a new home.
Quite what the Head of the Hyundai A League will have to share with those who attend is questionable, apart from crowds being up and viewing on Fox being up. Maybe he can explain why the W-League side which no longer receives any funding from the A league side should still have to operate under the same name?
It could be an interesting evening if similar events in other states are anything to go by. It will also be interesting to see what the main topics of conversation prove to be. One can’t help feeling that the NPL and youth development will in fact take priority over some of those topics listed.
Another that probably needs to be raised is where will funding come from should the Socceroos fail to qualify for the World Cup next year?
If you want to air your views on the game and the direction it is heading make sure you attend this meeting. Football needs your voice.
How fitting was it that Manchester United should seal victory in the last minute of normal time against Swansea City in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last home game in charge of the team, as so many times in his 1499 games in charge, and his 723 at Old Trafford, his charges have managed to snatch victory. His career as a coach has been truly remarkable, not only in terms of the trophies won but also in the players he has developed. There is even a symmetry to his departure after winning 38 trophies for Manchester United, as he leaves after 26 years in charge. It was in fact 26 years that the club had been waiting to win a league Championship again before Ferguson lead them to their first League title in 1993.
One can go on about his achievements of which there are so many but there are some which appear to have slipped under the radar.
When Ferguson took over at Manchester United in 1986 the club was simply an under performing football club with a massive supporter base. In 1991 when shares in the club were listed on the London Stock Exchange there was an added pressure to being the boss of Manchester United. Ironically along with that added pressure came added cash from the floatation of the club. Money that helped bring in key players that lead Manchester United to its first Premier League title in 1993. Success as they say bred success and that in turn kept the shareholders happy.
Ferguson managed to negotiate the turbulent waters in the boardroom, so much so that when shares in the club were listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 the prospectus stated that the projections were ‘highly dependent’ on certain individuals. It went on to say ‘any successor to our current manager may not be as successful as our current manager. When he announced his retirement last week these shares dropped five per cent.
In addition to having to deal with stock market fluctuations, as well as player form, Ferguson lead the club to new frontiers. He and key staff realised the number of supporters the club had in Asia who were never likely to be able to visit the ‘Theatre of Dreams,’ Old Trafford, so made the decision to take the club to them. It was a shrewd move when one considers that last year market research done by Kantar estimated that there were 659 million fans of Manchester United with 325 million in Asia.
Ferguson embraced such a move and has been credited with thinking more about the supporters in Asia than the club’s commercial backers. In Malaysia he asked the fans to be at the airport to meet the team arriving and arranged for them to mix with the players.
Amazingly Ferguson has also won praise for his signing of Asian players, unlike other clubs the feeling amongst the Asian fans is that he has never signed these players purely to attract Asian supporters or sponsors. Maybe the success of the players signed has helped in that regard. South Korea’s Park Ji Sung becoming the first Asian player to win Europe’s Champions League as well as the first to wear Manchester United’s Captain’s armband. More recently Japan’s Shinji Kagawa became the first Asian to score a Premier League hat-trick. For example who can remember the signing of China’s Dong Fangzhou?
He will definitely be a hard act to follow and hopefully David Moyes will be grateful to have him in the background lending advice, and that the shadow of the great man will not be too much for the new manager to handle.
One thing is for sure Sir Alex Ferguson has probably done more for Manchester United on and off the park than any one man in a very long time. His legacy is phenomenal.
The National Premier League is being pushed hard by the Football Federation of Australia under the pretence that this is the way forward for the game. First and foremost it is to satisfy the AFC that Australia has a united second tier competition from which, should the team meet the A League criteria they could be promoted and replace a current A League side.
There is no doubt that some of the suggestions in the criteria to be a part of the NPL are exceptionally good for the game and should have been in place years ago. Most State League grounds in Perth could have done with a facelift, and the NPL is forcing clubs to spend that money. Which is slightly amusing as in the Football West constitution it states under ‘Objects of company’ 1.1 subsection ‘i’ “The objects for which the company is established are: to provide and maintain grounds, playing fields, materials, equipment and other facilities for Football in the State.”
In the presentation given by National Technical Director, Haan Berger he had the wording “As part of the National Competitions Review NYL teams must play in the NPL” (NYL is National Youth League).
There are again merits in such a move, but first and foremost the FFA cannot make such a stipulation, that is why we have constitutions, that is why the Crawford Report insisted that those involved in the game had a voice, precisely so that the game did not suffer dictatorial changes that suited the administration but which may not meet the best requirements of the clubs and players. These are rules as to how the game should be run and the input required before making longstanding changes. Sadly the same does not apply to the rules of competition which seem to change at will.
Part of the NPL is the criteria on which the participants will be judged and accepted. Many of these based on coaching structures and club facilities. Perth Glory Youth currently does not have a technical director – an essential part of the NPL – they do not have a ground with any facilities. Neither are they currently subject to the salary cap imposed on State Premier League clubs. Will they be?
The model proposed is that the NTC participants currently in the Premier League will all drop down one level, so the Glory Youth can step into their place. So suddenly we have a privately run professional club, participating in a semi-professional league with the League’s administrators supplying the coaches and the players for the teams below that team. You wouldn’t read about it anywhere else in the world.
This is written with tongue planted firmly in cheek, for a start the Youth League players are not on full professional contracts, and the NTC is an obvious feeder for the Glory. However it does make a mockery of the criteria.
One has to ask why would all of the state league clubs, many with a rich history, vote for one of their own to lose a place in the top league in the state for such a team? This argument will gain even more weight if the NPL is reduced to an eight team league. Surely it would be more beneficial for these players to be allocated clubs and learn their game around men? After all Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards stated only this week when announcing that Steve McGarry had re-signed for the club as well as younger recruits Cameron Edwards and Jack Duncan, “The recent additions are in-line with generating the appropriate balance between our excellent experienced players and the up-and-coming youth.” Obviously he sees the benefit in young players playing alongside experienced older players.
At the moment not enough questions are being asked as to why this is being pushed through with such urgency? What is the rush? If it is to be done properly surely it is better that time is taken and everything is worked out properly before committing to such a major change. Remember the AFC requirement.
There is also talk that the Government will be pulling funding to the various Institutes of Sport around the country, and in particular the football programs. The reason for this is twofold, the Government has given the FFA a massive amount of funding and feels that they should run their own development programs with that money. The second is that few of these programs, that have supposedly been working with the cream of Australia’s young footballing talent, have managed to develop a steady stream of players to play in the highest leagues in Europe.
Why is this the case? There is no definite answer, but maybe the Dutch system is not the best suited to Australia. They came in and changed all of the existing structures and sadly the effect has not been as positive as many had hoped at this present time.
Caution is to be advised, once this is pushed through it will be very hard to do a u-turn. The NPL will not result in a superb league with better quality football overnight, it will take a number of years before it reaches that stage. Which begs the question can the state league/NPL afford such a move at a point in time when crowds and support are low and media coverage limited? What is the marketing plan to back this NPL up? What is going to be done to drive interest in this new brand around the country? What is the budget for promotion? What is the marketing strategy?
So many questions, but so few answers, and next to no funding. Caveat Emptor, those who buy into this beware!
The corruption case involving collapsed sports marketing company ISL (International Sport and Leisure) and FIFA saw the man presiding over the FIFA Ethics Committee Adjudicatory Chamber, Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert describe recipients of ISL’s generous donations as ‘morally and ethically reproachable.’ The men in question were former FIFA President Joao Havelange, and his former son in Law Ricardo Texeira along with Nicolas Leoz, once head on the CONMEBOL. The findings saw the all powerful Havelange relinquish his post as honorary President. The sun has finally set on the ‘sun-king’ as he was known. It was alleged that Texeira and his father in law pocketed USD41million in bribes relating to the television and marketing rights of the FIFA World Cup.
Current FIFA President, Sepp Blatter was cleared of any misconduct during his period as General Secretary of FIFA, however the Judge did criticise his handling of one very large payment which made its way into FIFA’s bank account rather than the then President, and Blatter’s then boss, Havelange’s.
For those who were unaware, ISL was Fifa’s media and marketing partner at the end of the 1990s. They were given the task of handling all TV rights negotiations for the World Cup. A very lucrative business one would expect, but ISL went broke in 2001, owing millions of pounds to creditors. During an investigation into the company’s collapse investigators found evidence that ‘commissions’ – or for want of a better word, bribes – had been paid to senior FIFA officials. They in turn helped secure lucrative TV deals, most notably in South America.
The judge’s findings stunned many who thought this would result in FIFA finally cleaning up its act, but he ruled that senior directors of FIFA were not guilty of taking bribes from the sports marketing company ISL. This is where the law has saved these senior directors, as they were found not guilty not because they hadn’t received money from ISL but because at the time the time that they were, such payments weren’t illegal under Swiss law. Unbelievable, but that was the law. It is not now.
All of this has been like a cold that would not go away for FIFA, ever since investigative journalist Andrew Jennings uncovered the link between ISL and FIFA. Only as recently as 2004 did FIFA set up its Ethics committee, long after the money had gone and ISL had ceased to exist. The outcome has not satisfied many outside of FIFA but the truth is the ‘investigative panel’ and the ‘decisions panel’ the latter headed by Judge Eckert has been unable to reveal more than most people already knew. The reason being FIFA’s own ethics committee can only enforce the rules set out in its own code of ethics.
The overall situation is laughable, but is probably best summed up by Kevin Roberts the Editorial Director of the Sport Business Group who wrote in an article on his take of the whole affair “ISL was born out of the growing but fairly recent realisation that there was big money to be made out of sport. Everything was new. Rules were being made up on the hoof because there were simply no precedent for much of what was happening and according to some of the people doing deals at the time, the entrepreneurs of the day were dealing with people who were at the same time self-interested, naïve and slightly astonished by the power they had unexpectedly acquired as the value of the rights they controlled soared.”
This comment could well sum up football in Australia of late, but maybe we are being a little cynical. Then again maybe we are not!
Alistair Edwards has just made the boldest move in his A League coaching career, by signing his twenty-one year old son Cameron. It is a bold move because unfortunately it will see him accused of favouring his family, and will also see Cameron come under closer scrutiny than many of the other members of the Glory squad. Cameron is going to have to prove to many doubters that he is there on merit, and not just because his dad is the coach.
The last Glory coach to sign his son was Steve McMahon, who swore blindly that his son was good enough to play in the Hyundai A-League. Many begged to differ. He came to Perth from Blackpool, where again he signed for his father, and was voted by Tangerines fans as the worst Blackpool player in FourFourTwo magazine. Tough criticism to have to take.
Other players to have played for their father when he was coach are notably Darren Ferguson who played 27 times for father Alex at Manchester United, and Nigel Clough who played 403 times for father Brian at Nottingham Forest. His father always referring to him as ‘the Number 9′ to the press and never by his name. Kenny Dalglish had his son on the books of Liverpool when he was the Manager but never gave him a game. He did however sign him for Newcastle when he took over as Manager there and Paul made 14 appearances.
It is a tough gig playing for your father. If you struggle with form the accusations of nepotism soon surface. It can also make it awkward in the team dressing room, where the coach is not always popular. Other players loathe to speak up when the coach departs for fear of the son telling his father what was said. Having your son in your team and in your squad, puts him under a different kind of pressure, some cope some don’t.
Cameron Edwards has talent of that there can be no doubt. Technically he is very good on the ball, has great vision and a cultured left foot. He is able to pass with both feet and frequently makes himself available for the ball. There are two areas that he will need to improve on to establish himself in the A-League, and hopefully playing for his father he will be able to find these attributes. The first is physicality, Cameron is not a player who appears to enjoy a physical tussle and if an opponent closes down his space and dominates him physically he has been known to lose the individual battle. The other area is influencing the game when his team needs inspiration. He has the talent to turn a game with one pass, to carve an opening out of nothing, but several times when playing for the Glory Youth, when the team needed that moment of brilliance that he had the skills to deliver, it didn’t happen. Playing for his father he may be more confident to back himself and his ability, and we may yet see him influence the outcome of games by using that superb passing skill and vision.
Alistair and Cameron will both cop stick of that there can be no doubt, but hopefully both have the strength of character to pull through it. Hopefully both have discussed this issue before the contract was signed. Cameron has the tools to be a good player, he would not have been signed by Reading, or Melbourne Heart if he didn’t. Let us hope the fans give him the chance to express that talent, and justify his father’s faith before anyone makes any judgement on the two linking up.
It definitely won’t happen in the next nine years, and in truth is unlikely to happen in the next 13 years. What are we talking about? England hosting the FIFA World Cup.
If they do decide to bid for 2026, and if they do manage to ‘convince’ all the key voters to give them the hosting rights one wonders whether the brits will follow what is fast becoming a nostalgic sideshow of the World Cup finals, the unique local football instrument.
Fans and viewers had to endure the Vuvuzela in South Africa, and one’s ears buzzed for hours after the experience. Now in Brazil next years ears will be bombarded by the cacophony of the Caxirola.
The organisers revealed the percussion instrument last week painted in patriotic green and yellow. According to Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff ‘the caxirola is not only compatible with football, but is a symbol of our country’s huge capacity to offer a much better instrument than the vuvuzela.”
As with the Vuvuzela, the world cup Caxirola’s will be made from recycled plastic, although the caxirola is said to produce ‘a harmonious ratting sound” when shaken.
If England were to win the hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup finals would we see the football rattle resurrected as a traditional football instrument? These wooden objects were twirled around above your head and made, not surprisingly, a rattling sound. However in the late 1970′s as hooliganism started to invade the game, they were outlawed due to being deemed a possible weapon. Would our nostalgic friends at FIFA welcome them back in the spirit of tradition? Time will tell.
in September 1993 Manchester may well have lost out on its bid to host the Olympic Games when Juan Samaranch announced Sydney the winer to host the 2000 games, but they are about to have their own piece of Olympic History, albeit temporarily.
Manchester United’s football museum will play host to the largest exhibition of Olympic Games modern and Ancient history from July. The exhibition comes from Qatar who are desperate to host the Olympic Games after it has hosted football’s world cup in 2022. The exhibition belongs to the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum put together by German Archaeologist Dr Christian Wacker.
This is promoted as being one of the most comprehensive exhibitions on the Olympics, and includes the history of the games, doping, murder and explains the various Boycotts of the Games. There is a torch from every modern Olympic games, as well as a mini stadium where visitors can track around a track.
With the proposed Olympic museum in London’s Olympic Park being shelved this may be the closest britons get to a comprehensive Olympic history.
By all accounts this is another reason to visit the field of dreams, as Manchester United’s ground is known, and sports fans can enjoy two unique exhibitions.
Football West has very wisely opted to sit back and watch how the National Premier League structure of the game is implemented in other states around the country, before committing to it 100 percent. This is a very wise move and one that should be applauded, as they will have the benefit of seeing how things pan out in the other leagues and adapting to prevent the same problems arising in Western Australia.
However they are still pushing ahead with making the state league clubs comply with the requirements to be a part of the National Premier League. Which will benefit the game whether they proceed or not.
Clubs in Western Australia however would be wise to cast an eye across the country before accepting such a reform to the State League competition. The current league may not be fantastic and has stagnated in recent years, but it does have history and has managed to survive upheaval in the past. Sometimes it is better the devil you know.
Queensland’s National Premier League is a good example to keep an eye on. In the current league there are only three sides who were in the Hyundai Queensland Premier League of 2012 in the same incarnation.
New sides are in the league this year and according to many already the league has become a three horse race, after just seven rounds. One person involved in Queensland football scene who requested to remain anonymous told “Not The Footy Show” ‘it’s a complete farce and we are only seven games in. With any luck they will scrap it next year and go back to how it was.’ Players from the established clubs stayed with their old clubs and opted to play with them in a lower division, and the sides elected into the top league are simply not strong enough. CQFC have conceded 42 goals in their seven games! Western Pride have conceded 20, while FNQFC have conceded 22.
The model has been to place clubs who meet the criteria on peripheral issues and not the football played on the park in the National Premier League. This has given the state body the chance to put clubs in key development areas. This has a great deal of merit, but in sport you should always have to earn the right to play at the highest level, it should not be given to you because you have clean toilets, spacious changing rooms and a decent car park.
Clubs in Western Australia would also be wise to remember why the National Premier League model, is trying to be rushed through by the FFA. The powers that be promised the AFC when they joined that they would have a second tier competition below the A-League and that there would be promotion and relegation. The deadline for that promise has passed, and the AFC want to know what is being done.
Even if this model does get approved in the West, will we see an NPL club promoted to the A-League, should they win the proposed Champion’s play offs? Could many State League clubs afford to make such a leap? How would an A-League license holder feel to see his club no longer playing in the top league?
Rest assured clubs will again have to meet a new criteria to be promoted, and that will be the protection clause for the current A-League clubs. The one good thing is no club could be precluded because of their ground, as after all no A-League club with the exception of the Newcastle Jets, owns the ground that they play at.