Buried deep in Australian cable television land lays a show dedicated to local football; the show features highlights from all the state leagues in Australia.
It has Football Federation Victoria, Football NSW, Football QLD, Football Federation Tasmania and Football West.
The football show is buried between the “Love Bunker” (the program guarantees to lift the lid on what twenty somethings get up to behind closed doors) and Dark Carnival (featuring the wonder of amateur short films).
The show in question is called The Australian Premier League Football Show and it’s on the AURORA channel on Foxtel
The times you can catch it is Friday nights at 7:30pm and repeated on Monday night’s at 10:30pm.
That’s right, potentially Australia’s new Harry Kewell or Tim Cahill is strutting his stuff for all to see in prime time community cable TV.
The show is hosted by the charismatic Ross Alatsas; I wouldn’t say he has Nicholas Cage hair but he is getting close - think around the time of the Cohen brother’s film, Raising Arizona.
Last season in the A-League there were many players who were recruited from the various Premier League competitions around Australia, here are just some:Shannon Cole (Sydney FC), Mark Pelligrino (Perth Glory), Pedj Bojic (Central Coast), Many Muscat (Phoenix).
So why is this show so hidden?
Even folks with cable have no idea this show exists, surely it deserves to be on a sports channel somewhere.
Here is an update of what is happening around the Premier League’s across Australia...
There are 12 teams competing in the 2009 club championship and there have been eight rounds completed so far.
Former NSL (National Soccer League) representatives Sydney United lead the table on 20 points with six wins and two losses so far.
Not far behind with a gap of five points lay the Sutherland Sharks and Manly United on 15 points each.
Sydney Olympic has had a season of controversy after Aytec Genc quit his post as head coach and was replaced by ex Newcastle Jets coach Nick Theodorakopoulos.
Last week the blues beat the Bankstown Lions for their second win in a row under new coach Theodorakopoulos; they climb into the top five with 12 points.
Top goal scorers so far are:
Mathew Mayora, (Sydney Olympic) 7 Goals.
Luka Glavas, (Sydney United) 6 Goals.
Football Federation Victoria (FFV)
With former NSL teams like South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights competing and players like Melbourne Victory’s Rodrigo Vargas and Adelaide United’s Sasa Ognenovski joining the A-league after strong performances in that league, there is strong argument to suggest it is the strongest state league in the country.
The 2009 season saw the Whittlesea Zebras FC retain its position in the competition as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) will no longer be competing in the Foxtel Cup as of season 2009.
The decision to leave the competition was due to the AIS offering scholarships to younger players subsequently making it inappropriate for the AIS team to compete in a Premier League competition.
After eight rounds Dandenong Thunder leads the table on 22 points while South Melbourne and Heidelberg United is equal second on 16 points.
Top goal scorers so far are:
Osagie Ederaro, (Heidelberg Utd) 6 Goals
Goran Zoric (South Melbourne) 6 Goals
Queensland State League (QSL)
Well with names like the Capricorn Cougars and Whitsunday Mariners and Robbie Fowler joining the North Queensland Fury, Nth Queensland is more than a tropical escape route for fed up southerners; it is fast becoming a haven for young footballers and old ones as well.
The top two took on each other last week as Olympic FC met cross town rivals and ex NSL side Brisbane strikers on ANZAC day.
Olympic FC won the clash 3-2, a send off, a penalty and some ferocious tackling saw Olympic go to the top of the table, with 19points, four points clear of the Brisbane Strikers who are on 15 and six clear of third placed Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) on 13 points.
Top goal scorers so far are:
Gareth Musson, (Brisbane Strikers FC) 6 goals.
Joshua Searle, (North Queensland Razorbacks) 6 goals.
Russell Woodruffe, (Redlands City Devils) 6 goals.
Football West (WA League)
Three rounds have been played so far and the match of the round in round three saw Floreat Athena beat the reigning premiers Sorrento 2-1.
The ladder sees two undefeated teams sharing the lead with Perth SC and Floreat Athena with nine points each.
Todd Howarth for Perth SC is the leading scorer so far with four goals.
Football Federation Tasmania (FFT)
With the A-league looking to expand and talk about the Tasmanian bid circling in the media recently it’s particularly interesting to see the quality of football that is played in Tasmania.
The problem that the Apple isle has in getting a team in the A-league is the north and south divide with a North and South league separating the island.
The Tasmanian Northern League sees the Northern Ranger on top of the ladder with five games played and 13 points followed in second by Somerset on nine points.The top goal scorer for the Northern League is Paul Bremener of the Northern Rangers with eight goals.
The Tasmanian Southern League sees South Hobart and Tilford Zebra’s share the lead with both teams on 16 points after seven games played.
The top goal scorers for the Southern League are Luke Cripps (Clarence Utd), Greg Freeman (Kingborough) and Dwayne Walsh (Tilford Zeberas) all on seven goals.
So with the A-league having a very very long off season if you still want a hit of local football action, the various State Premier League’s can provide you with a football fix during the cold wintery off season, even if you have to search for it.
Con Stamocostas, Goal.com