Posts tagged ‘Premiers’
Yesterday the FFA announced the fixtures for the coming A League season and they are to be congratulated on implementing some much needed changes. It is indeed encouraging to note that the men in the ivory towers appear to now be listening to not only the fans but also people in the know when it comes to football.
Gone are the Wednesday night fixtures which were never embraced by the fans, often because the schedule kick off times were too close to people knocking off from work and being able to make it to the ground on time.
The first month sees some important match-ups that should see the season start strongly if these games are marketed to the maximum across the nation. The scheduling is there and with the right marketing approach all clubs should benefit. THis gives the A league the chance to start the season with a full head of steam and then hopefully maintain that momentum all the way through to the re-vamped finals.
The revamping of the finals is probably the best news as the previous incarnations were too long and convoluted with many struggling to grasp the way that it actually worked.
Rather than the top two teams in the league at the end of the home and away season earning a double chance and playing their qualifying final over two legs for the right to not only contest the Grand Final but also host it, they will now have the first week of the finals off and enter at the semi-final stage against the winners match ups between the four teams below them on the final league ladder. This is a vast improvement although in our opinion the finals series should not include so many teams in such a small league. To have the sixth placed team in with a chance of being crowned Champions if they win three successive games is not good for the league as a whole and ultimately is rewarding mediocrity. However this format is a vast improvement on what has been run in the past.
The old format was skewed in favour of the top two teams and some would say deservedly so, the problem was it often served up the far from inspiring spectacle of the same two clubs playing each other in three out of the four finals weeks.
With the new Finals format there will be a more cup-tie feel to the games than existed previously in which the Grand Finalists only played one do-or-die game.
Just to cause debate we ask with the new format should the League winners now be called the Champions and the Grand Final winners the Premiers as it will be the most consistent side that wins the league? This is certainly a feeling shared by most coaches and players.
The changes though are positive news for the A League and those who implemented these changes should be commended, as they are sure to help lift the profile of the game if supported with the appropriate marketing.
Last year we stoked the fires of those people who love to debate who are the champions at the end of a league season, the team that finishes top of the League or those who win the finals series.
In the Football West State Premier league this year the Western Knights won the League title and Perth won the finals series. Both sides deserving to win their respective titles. Although the finals format used this year probably needs reviewing with one less game being played as it seems strange that the top team plays two games and if they lose one they fails to be Champion, while the teams that finish second and third get an extra chance to take the title.
As we said a year ago it may be semantics, but surely if you finish the League season top of the log you deserve more recognition than a term such as “Minor Premiers.” Why not call them League Premiers, especially as there is no team currently called “Premiers” at the end of the season. The team winning the finals series currently being crowned the “Champions.”
Please don’t give us comments such as this is the way it’s done in other codes reasoning. Does that mean its right?
Ask people you know who play sport how often they have won a league title over a whole season, it is a rare feat, and does not warrant being belittled by having the word ‘Minor’ preface that achievement.
After much to do about Perth Soccer club playing the in the Football West Charity Shield against Floreat Athena at the weekend, they regrettably made a mockery of the day by not fielding a full strength side, and ended up getting hammered 7-0.
By playing their reserves, because they obviously wanted to hold back their first team players for the start of the regular season this weekend, they put the fixture and the chance for football to raise money for charity in jeopardy, as many will think twice before attending next year. It smacked of Manchester United’s withdrawal from the FA Cup to concentrate on the World Club Championship, understandable, yet not in the best interests of the game.
Being Champions comes with a level of responsibility to the game itself. It is not just about trophies in a cabinet. It is very unusual that Perth should have taken this approach, as they have for many years been the benchmark club, but on this occasion they would have been better off being left on the bench.
Maybe this should in fact be a game for the League Premiers and the Cup winners, rather than the Champions?
This site has made no bones about finals series in football in Australia, and who we believe should be named Champions and who should be called Premiers, so we will not go down that path again.
However Fox Sports’ Andy Harper made a strange statement following Sydney’s victory over the Melbourne Victory, that saw them crowned Premiers, “the crowd justifies the final series.”
He went on to say the crowd know that the main prize is still at stake. If you ask, and even looked at the faces of the Melbourne Victory players they felt this was the ultimate goal. We suspect that most of the fans on the terrace and in the seats believe that Sydney FC are the champions and that if they win the finals series that will be a bonus and if they lose, nothing will detract from their victory today over 27 games.
Sydney FC congratulations!
If you feel that Mr Harper’s comments are on the money let us know.
There is definitely a place for finals, we would prefer not a top six in a ten team league, and that they not be called Champions, but that is simply one opinion in a sea of opinions.