Posts tagged ‘NIb Stadium’
As the search for a new coach at Perth Glory narrows one has to feel that the club is on a hiding to nothing; that is unless they appoint Guus Hiddink.
The club will never be able to appease all of the fans no matter who they choose, unless the could lure Hiddink to NIB Stadium. If they select a foreign coach, unless it is a high profile one, who in turn will cost a great deal of money, there will be questions asked of his pedigree and how long will he take to adapt to the Hyundai A League. A league that is very different in terms of challenges from many around the world, with a salary cap, no transfers, and no youth academies to bring through the next generation of players.
If the club goes with a coach who has already had A-League experience and who is obviously out of the League at the present time, questions will be asked as to why he lost his job at his previous club and his results at that club will be analysed. No doubt disgruntled former players will air their views on his ability and immediately the new coach will have to prove himself; unless he has a strong enough character to rise above such pressures.
The truth is football fans are rarely happy with the decisions made by their clubs. Some fans will want a foreign coach, some will want a local coach, while others will want an established proven coach from the A-League or NSL. The club can never win, unless the coach proves to be successful, and then everyone forgets.
There was a time when Manchester United fans were calling for Sir Alex Ferguson’s head, a fact that is conveniently forgotten after so many years of success.
Therein lies another issue, sticking with a coach. If, as Perth Glory have indicated they have gone through a thorough and intensive process to ensure that they have the best man for the job, then give that person time. Not 18 months and stipulations on where the team must finish in the league. Ian Ferguson and Ron Smith both lost close to ten games by a one goal margin, both were good coaches who lost some of those games due to poor refereeing or bad luck. The truth is the team was never that far away from being successful. The margin between success and failure is so finite in football. Sometimes you have to look beyond results, even though it is a results driven business.
Outside of the Glory’s recruitment drive one has to look at the overall scheme of things in this country when it comes to coaches and ask why would anyone follow that career path? The FFA and state bodies are pushing people to climb the coaching ladder, demanding that coaches cannot coach at certain levels unless they have set qualifications. However With those qualifications comes the expectation of work.
Yet the opportunities are few and far between. The top of the coaching ladder is the Pro Licence, and the FFA has told those who have achieved that level of qualification they want them in the system. Yet rejected some of those very same people for a key position in Australian development, and gave the role to someone who did not have a Pro Licence at the time, and who it is believed did not apply for the role when it was advertised.
There are now many around Australia with A-Licences – the next one down from a Pro-licence – many with aspirations to coach in the A-League or overseas, yet when clubs in the A-league look overseas rather than within Australia their opportunities diminish. Their credibility is also indirectly harmed.
The reason that they have been overlooked will invariably come down to experience. “The NPL/State League is very different from the A-League,” will be the reason given, and that is a fair comment, yet how will they gain the experience necessary to make that step up?
The FFA is supposed to have strong ties with the Netherlands and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the German FA (DFB) which the FFA stated “incorporates the sharing of technical information and coach development, the exchange of information and best practices in football management.” Why are we not seeing the cream of each NPL/State league’s coaches being given the opportunity to go to either of these countries and gain more experience? IN fact why are we not seeing A-League administrators not going and gaining experience in best practices in football management? That may prevent them all recording losses each year.
The other question has to be why are A-League clubs not assisting and working with these coaches to improve their knowledge and expertise? After all they will benefit at the end of the day, as the State Leagues/NPL is where they recruit from and if the coaching is better the players will be better when they eventually come to the A-League clubs.
There may be many an outstanding coach in the State/NPL competitions, yet they will never be given a chance purely because no one at the top of the game is prepared to explore the possibility, or even work with them initially to polish that possible rough diamond. Instead clubs at the highest level will recycle coaches with A-League experience or alternatively look overseas.
This cycle has to be broken and a new approach taken, especially if we want more Australian coaches to follow Ange Postecoglou into the national team role.
It is not one club’s fault that the game finds itself in this situation, but there has to be a change of attitude soon. Just as clubs look to find the best young players so too should the FFA and clubs be identifying the best up and coming coaches and nurturing them.
The recent Football Federation of Australia National Youth Championships held in Coffs Harbour were not only hugely successful for WA teams on the pitch as the under-13 team, coached by Brad Hassell, won the national title and the under-14 team, won their group going unbeaten. They scored 23 goals and did not concede a goal in five matches. Northern New South Wales was the team’s only defeat them in their sixth match.
While they may well have impressed on the pitch they lead Australia off of it.
While their competition was being played on the main pitch, the National Paralympic Football Championships were taking place on an adjacent pitch. Paralympic football is played by people with cerebral palsy, stroke injury and certain acquired brain injuries, and is seven a side.
The Western Australian under 13 and under 14 teams were the only teams to go and support their Western Australian counterparts in this competition, something that was greatly appreciated by the players and noted by other states. This is a credit to every single player, the coaching staff and the management.
In addition to this new Perth Glory CEO Jason Brewer was there, watching his son participate. So impressed was he with the Western Australian Paralympic team’s performance and the individuals concerned that he promised the players free tickets to the club’s last home game against Sydney FC at NIB Stadium. It proved to be no hollow promise and once back in Perth the players received their tickets and attended the game.
There have been many, this site included, who have questioned whether football really is a ‘family,’ and whether that is not just a word used to market the game, but actions such as these show that there is a family- feel and it is great to see Western Australians all pulling together and supporting each other, and showing the other states that unity.
To all involved in supporting each other, and Jason Brewer for following up on his promise congratulations.
In the interests of football in Western Australia, Perth Glory needs to be successful on the park, of that there can be no doubt. For having a team playing well and being successful in a national competition drives interest from future players and supporters and also gains media coverage which in turn results in investment in the game as a whole, from government and private sponsors.
This is also why there has to be a relationship between the game’s governing body in Western Australia, Football West and Perth Glory. Football West is there to grow the game at grassroots level and make sure that as many people as possible are playing the game in the state and a link with Perth Glory can help them do that. They also there predominantly to administer the game as a whole at all levels and ensure that there are sufficient pitches available for everyone who wants to play to be able to play.
Last year the two organisations worked together superbly when Perth Glory gave away 10,000 free tickets to their first game in the revamped NIB Stadium, and with most of the tickets being used by Football West’s member clubs ensured the biggest regular season A League crowd for the club.
Independent of Perth Glory, Football West in the past couple of years has made massive inroads in terms of communication. It has done this via social media and other such avenues, although the website still leaves a great deal to be desired with pertinent information often hard to find or simply not posted.
One of the major successes is Football 360. Peter Kapsanis and his offsider have done an outstanding job with this. The quality of the editing and production is first class, and shows their dedication to the task, as quality such as this takes time to put together.
As good as this is many people in and around the game believe that this webisode is supposed to be about the local game, the semi professionals the amateurs, the juniors, the women and the referees. It is not there as a vehicle to promote Perth Glory.
This is where lines appear to be becoming extremely blurred of late and it would appear that there has been a change in the relationship between the privately funded Perth Glory and the government funded not-for-profit Football West. It is easy to pinpoint when that shift started to occur and that was when Alistair Edwards and Gareth Naven were appointed to the coaching staff at the A-League club.
Suddenly two local boys were in charge, two ex players who had come through the game at local level and who had also worked closely with Football West. When they announced that they wanted to see Perth Glory become a side made up of predominantly local players not only was that good news for the game in Western Australia, but it was good news for Football West’s development programs; as every player signed from that pool of talent gives the program added credibility.
Since these two announcements Football West’s promotion of Perth Glory via its Facebook page – which surely is there solely for the areas of the game it governs? – its newsletters, and also Football 360 have featured a great deal more content on Perth Glory. A case in point the July 12th issue of First Touch, the official e-newsletter of Football West was almost completely about Perth Glory.
Football West pays for Football 360 to be produced, they pay staff to write their e-newsletter, so is the privately owned Perth Glory paying for this air time or the time the staff at Football West are dedicating to promote this privately run club? Many of the local clubs are beginning to become a little miffed that Football West is promoting Perth Glory so much and wonder what they, the clubs, or Football West are getting in return. If it is another 10,000 free tickets to one game this season is that a good deal?
Not the Footy Show over the past few months has been contacted by many clubs who feel that their competition is being neglected in favour of Perth Glory, that Football West’s focus is misdirected, rather than us be the judge, tell us what you think.
It will be the battle of the potential wooden spooners in Super Rugby on Saturday night at NIB Stadium when the Emirates Western Force take on the Highlanders from New Zealand. The Highlanders have had a horror season and will be looking for a much needed win as they make their way home after their trip to the Republic. The Force will be looking for a performance that lasts 80 minutes to show their loyal supporters they can deliver a win.
The Force have had some impressive performances with wins over the Crusaders and the Reds and going down to the reigning Champions the Chiefs by a point, but too often they have thrown games away through their own ill discipline, or not treasuring possession. Last week was a case in point, leading at half time they gave away two needless penalties after the re-start and fell behind to the Sharks, and then the backs continually kicked away possession that the forwards had worked hard to win.
It has been a frustrating season for Force fans as the team shows glimpses of what is possible, many claim that the team lacks consistency. Others claim they lack concentration for the full 80 minutes. The truth lies somewhere in between.
The Force have three games left in this year’s Super Rugby season and all the games are at home. It is vital that they manage to string some wins together in order to placate their corporate sponsors and their loyal fans. What is worrying are rumours that Emirates will no longer continue their naming rights sponsorship, as well as another key sponsor withdrawing; however that we believe is because of a change of ownership in the company and nothing to do with the Force’s form. Some sponsors are already stating that they are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their boxes on match days, the reason being the Perth public tend to only want to watch winning sides. This is clear in all codes of football as well as other sports.
So how far away are the Force from turning that corner? If one looks at their results overall it would appear not that far. Apart from the 41-7 thrashing from the Brumbies no other team has run over the top of the side. If we take their two wins out of the equation, they have played eleven other games. Out of those eleven games they have lost six, more than half of those games by seven points or less. That is one converted try. Yes, it is still a loss, but the margin of the loss would tend to indicate they are not too far away from turning these losses into victories. They probably require a few new recruits in the off season to tip these games in their favour, in particular a couple of backs who are capable of turning a game, they do not need to be big name players, just players capable of breaking the line on a regular basis.
For the last three games though, they must learn to treasure possession, be patient, and limit where they infringe on the park. When Jake White took over the Springboks he looked at the number of kickable penalties the side conceded in a game, and over the ensuing years worked on reducing this. He succeeded and the result was the Springboks winning their second World Cup. Managing that discipline in the heat of battle can have a dramatic effect on a teams performances.
The Force are not far from victory, but the game against the Highlanders is a crucial game, and one that they must win.
Many loyal Emirates Western Force fans were shocked to watch their team go down 22-10 to Super Rugby new boys South African side the Kings in Port Elizabeth, and it was undoubtedly disappointing, as many would have tipped them to have the superior experience to win.
The Force recovered well after going behind to an opportunist try from teenager Sergeal Petersen and went in at half time with a 10-7 lead. What will be a concern is how in the second half they conceded 17 unanswered points, which resulted in the loss.
The Kings reduced the deficit through the boot of flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis with two penalty goals and then as it had against the Rebels the week before, the Force’s task was made harder when they received a yellow card. Hugh McMeniman sitting out ten minutes for a high tackle. Sergeal Petersen made the Force pay dotting down for a second try while the force were a man down.
As they did in their opening game the Force did well to starve the opposition of possession, and were rewarded with the lead. Ill discipline, however has been their undoing, three yellow cards in 160 minutes of rugby has cost them dearly. It has given their opponents in both games the momentum, and with a passionate South African crowd behind them the Kings stormed home. An impressive victory in their first Super Rugby game.
The Force will have a tough game this week at Loftus Versfeld against the Bulls, and cannot afford to concede kickable penalties or they will find Morne Steyn has kicked the game away from them. However the Bulls are beatable early in the season and a disciplined game could produce an upset.
The club could certainly do with one as they do not want to be three games and no wins after this weekend with a bye the following week. They are then on the road for their fourth game in a row before facing the Cheetahs at home in a brand new NIB stadium. A few wins will help boost the crowd numbers for that game and create a great atmosphere.
The team needs a win of that there is no doubt and it would appear that a win will give them the impetus to kick on and have a competitive season. The sooner that win the comes the better for all, but what ever happens don’t lose faith Michael Foley is building a team that can compete with the best.
It comes as no surprise to hear Jesse Makarounas take a swipe at Perth Glory at his unveiling at new club Melbourne Victory, as his time at his home town club was wrought with frustration. It is however, still disappointing. Makarounas was signed after a spell at the AIS where he was marked for a big future in the game. He has languished in the shadows at NIB stadium on a match day making just four appearances from the bench in 18 months, while his AIS team mates have established themselves at other clubs prepared to give youth a chance.
One question that has to be asked is was Perth Glory the right club for Jesse Makarounas at that point in his career? As stated on “Not The Footy Show” at the time of his signing, we do not believe that it was. The style of football that they play he was always going to struggle to force his way into the side. Which proved to be the case.
A great deal has been made about the number of Western Australian players plying their trade in the Hyundai A League at other clubs and not with their home town one, and understandably the fans want to see local boys playing for their club, but sometimes that is not the best move for that particular player, and that has to be taken into account.
In March 2011 the much talked about Hatt Review into Perth Glory’s operations highlighted that Perth Glory needed to re-evaluate its recruiting processes and stated according to the club’s media release that ‘youth should be the priority.’
Fans and media were also advised that the Head Coach was to establish ‘clear performance goals for players and staff, and ensuring they are monitored and reported on regularly.’
Perth Glory have it appears since the Hatt Review signed local players simply to say that they have local talent at the club. As asked previously on this site has the club assisted those players in developing their game and getting those players closer to pushing for a first team position? It is one thing to sign a player who is raw and keen, but frequently a diamond has to be polished. Players need one-on-one help on developing areas of their game where they may be weak, shooting, crossing, positioning etcetera. Simply training as part of squad will see minimum improvement in some players.
As for playing young players it comes down to the culture at the club, and because of its past history, Perth Glory fans want success. The owner wants success, so the coach despite having a contract opts to play players with experience even if they are out of form, or results are not going his way, as he believes they have the know-how to deliver that success. His fear is by playing a youngster one mistake could result in a loss, which could ultimately see him sacked for not making finals. This is where strong leadership is required. The Owner should be giving guarantees that the coach’s job is safe until the end of the season but he wants to see young players coming through, after all they will bring money back into the club if transferred overseas. However time must be invested in those players to help them become good enough to hold a place in the A-League side.
More local players coming through and playing for Perth Glory will also help boost the crowds coming through the turnstiles, as West Australians are extremely parochial.
Perth Glory has to change the way it thinks as a club in terms of local players and the opportunities it affords young talent or we will continue to see players developed here in the West head elsewhere for game time and to play under coaches who have faith in them. Let us hope this change happens soon.
So Harry Kewell is coming to Perth on Thursday with his family, and the rumour mill understandably has started turning rather rapidly.
This could be a great media stunt for Perth Glory to generate interest in the club around the country, but it is also no doubt a worrying time for the coach and those fans who know football.
If the club has signed Kewell, it may be great in terms of publicity, although his star is definitely on the wane as a player and it is in fact sad that he still generates so much media interest when his career is all but over. In fact outside of Australia it has crashed and burned, with no club willing to take a punt on signing him. Only in Australia does the Kewell name now have any mileage, and that is the million dollar question, does he have any mileage left in his legs?
Ian Ferguson has assembled a well balanced squad this season. A squad that so far is playing well, with structure and attacking options on either flank, so there is no need to sign a Harry Kewell in footballing terms. To bring in a player such as this without the coach’s say could unravel the season. Some may argue it could make the season. It is however likely to destabilise the team, and if the coach is forced to play him will disrupt the squad beyond belief.
The reasons for signing him are hard to fathom, if it is to attract fans, it is a strange one with NIB Stadium restricted to 10,000 at the moment. Tony Sage has been saying the cost of running Perth Glory is too high, so why sign a player past his best? If it is to boost memberships, the club just capped its membership at 1500 last week, so that would appear strange. It is therefore hard to work out why, the club would sign Kewell, if in fact they have.
It may transpire that Kewell has not signed and is in fact just passing through Perth, in which case well done Perth Glory in getting tongues wagging and gaining untold publicity around the country.
It is often athletes who come out with statements that are hard to comprehend, but it seems as if the disease is spreading to administrators.
At the weekend the West Australian carried a story which was carried by other media outlets praising Perth Glory for capping its membership to ensure that 1500 tickets remain available on general sale to the public while their home ground NIB Stadium is being redeveloped. It would appear that those who praised such a move know little about business or actually thought this move through.
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage repeatedly bleats about how much money he loses owning the license of the A League club, and this is what makes such a move hard to comprehend.
NIB Stadium this year has a maximum capacity of 10,000. A fact that Mr Sage has publicaly stated he wants compensation for claiming it is restricting his ability to make money, limiting the number of fans who can gain entry.
Surely if you are concerned about the money that you are going to make, and you are trying to build a case for compensation you would want to make sure that the ground was full every week? Stating you have had to turn fans away will add gravitas to your argument.
Capping your membership and then not having a full house simply does not make sense. Surely it would be more beneficial to simply make fans aware that without membership they may not be able to get a ticket to enter the ground. Therefore you will increase memberships and almost certainly have the team playing to a virtually full house every week.
It sounds far better and is no doubt financially far better to be able to say that the game was a sell out.
It is a bizarre move when one considers that since the start of the Hyundai A league Perth Glory’s highest average crowd for a season is 9734, and that was in the first season of the league. Even last season when they made the finals for only the second time, and hosted two home finals they still only averaged a crowd of 8322, lower than the previous season. In fact over every season of the A League the average crowd is 8424, so when one considers the historical facts and the need for income, this move seems a very strange one, and one that simply does not add up to good business
First of all let us say that as lovers of sport and especially football we are grateful for the money that Tony Sage has sunk into Perth Glory to enable Western Australia to have a team in the national competition, the Hyundai A League. Many appreciate it, although sadly many do not come through the turnstiles and support the club.
There are a myriad of reasons why this is the case, but one of the reasons is that for all his good intentions Mr. Sage polarizes the community.
Talk to most fans of the World Game in Western Australia and they will tell you they either love Mr. Sage or they simply cannot stand him.
Many of those who are against him do not like the fact that his profile on many occasions appears to be more important than that of the club that he owns. An argument in his defence on this occasion would be that surely a man who sinks millions into a club for little or no return is entitled to benefit from that investment in some way?
There are others who find his constant outbursts on all manner of issues embarrassing and ultimately detrimental to the club as a whole; again when you sacrifice millions are you entitled to say what you think?
The sad truth is that Perth Glory despite their performances on the pitch last season no longer excite the general public as a sporting event for which they will rush for tickets. The fact that they were unable to fill NIB stadium for either of their home finals is proof that the club has fallen a very long way in the public’s opinion in recent years, even though the A League is a far better competition than the old NSL.
Now we see Mr. Sage embroiled in another public stoush, which will not endear him to Rugby League fans, because now their sport is gaining media attention for all the wrong reasons.
Mr. Sage helped salvage former Rugby League star Ben Elias’ Chameleon Mining when the company he chairs Cape Lambert Resources formed a ”strategic partnership” that gave Cape Lambert control of half the Chameleon board and a fixed and floating charge over the miner’s assets in 2010. In return ex Balmain star Ben Elias was made a board member of Perth Glory. Earlier this year Cape Lambert upped its stake in Chameleon and the board was reduced to just three members: chairman Elias, executive director Sage and solitary non executive director Paul Kelly, who is also the chief executive of the Glory. Then earlier this month it changed its name to Kupang Resources. It is important to know this when looking at the bid for the Western Australian NRL Franchise.
It was late last year that Mr. Sage decided to back Mr. Elias late surge to try and lay claim to the hoped for Western Australian franchise to join the expanded NRL.
Rather than being lauded and welcomed with open arms by the Rugby League community the bid appears to have rubbed many up the wrong way. Many have worked long and hard to position Western Australia as the perfect place for a new Franchise team, and the fans of League know the time and effort that has been invested and are loathe to let someone come in and steal the glory – if you will excuse the pun – at the eleventh hour.
With Perth Glory losing millions a year one has to question the motives behind backing a new franchise in another sport, which is unlikely to see a return on investment in the first three years. Maybe these losses could be written off against tax?
The last thing Rugby League needs is a public slanging match to de-rail all of the hard work to get the bid to this stage, and that is why many are very wary of accepting Mr. Sage’s possibly well-intentioned motives. They know that he will undoubtedly at times also attract unwanted publicity. The fact that this has already started before he has been awarded the licence will not help his cause.
For the sake of the game Not The Footy Show would ask that both parties try and keep their differences under wraps and their bickering behind closed doors, as it is not good for the game as a whole.