Friday, July 10, 2009

A-League Season Preview [Part Three]

The third part of this A-League season preview looks at the chances of Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Wellington, and Central Coast.

Brisbane Roar (6th)
It will be a weird year for the Brisbane Roar. They have had a change of name and a new chairman in former state MP Chris Bombolas. Some of their supporters have been changing their allegiances to the two Queensland teams by going south (Gold Coast) or north (Townsville).

The Roar has lost Tahj Minniecon to Gold Coast United and Massimo Murdocca to a long term injury.

Not too many new signings: 24 year old Brazilian Henrique came late into the campaign and showed glimpses of skill that could be exciting to watch. Michael Zullo will be hoping to benefit from the second coming of Robbie Kruse, and then there is the Indonesian Dutchman with the Brazilian name Sergio Van Dijk, who was on fire during the second half of last season. Mitch Nichols and Tommy Oar are two other exciting players to watch out for.

Brisbane to make the finals and perhaps even the grand final.

The Den is not the best supporter’s end of the A-League, but can still Roar.

Newcastle Jets (7th)
The problem child of the A-League, with chairman Con Constantine either angry at the FFA or his own fans. The Jets have lost their coach, Gary Van Egmond, on the eve of the season to a job at the FFA coaching the AIS.

But no fear, Novocastrians, ’sexy football’ disciple Branko Culina is the new boss.

The former coach of other Australian football clubs was at one point citing his then pay masters Sydney FC as being the “Manchester United” of the A-league. After Newcastle Jets come dead last year, will Branko be calling the Jets the “Newcastle United of the A-League?

One hopes not.

Have lost most of their good ones.

Somewhere in the bottom four.

The Squadron is situated in the worst home end, which is to the side of the play rather than behind. Being an ultra does not mean you should get a good view of the game.

Wellington (8th)
Wellington has lost some key players and still holds a tenuous place in the league. New Zealand could qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next year. Seven players from Wellington Phoenix could figure in South Africa. It will be good for New Zealand football, Wellington Phoenix and the A-League if that happens.

Diego from Adelaide United will add some quality and experience in the midfield, while Leo Bertos, Brazilian Daniel and Tim Brown are capable at times. Marco Rojas won a Yellow Fever scholarship worth $5000 that allowed him to train with the Phoenix for a week, and then got signed up on a two year deal.

Will miss out on the finals, just.

Supporter group Yellow Fever will be fearless and shirtless and singing “same old Aussies always cheating” all season.

Central Coast (9th)
Just switch off the machine because the Central Coast is dead. They need the word new to spring up. New players, perhaps a new coach, and please, for the sake of football and all who love it, a new way of playing would be good as well. Mile Jedinak can’t be that good for the Central Coast to have not won a game since he left.

None. I am bored already not talking about them. New signings are on the horizon. Adrian Caceras is good to watch, but he is always in the bench. Mat Simon barnstorming style is starting to get him goals.

Long balls, boredom, can I go now?

The Marinators. At least someone is trying.


  1. I enjoyed this thanks.
    I like your optimism on Perth, we'll see.
    Accounts from the Fulham game indicate GCFC is going to be very hard to beat (in past years many local players wanted to play for Sydney Fc - now they want to play for GCFC - pity they don't have many fans (the AFL is clearly operating a strategy at GC and western Sydney)).

    It will be interesting to see how Adelaide go. I'm not that convinced they will be top 4.

    My guess is the 4 will come from - GCFC, MV, BR and Sydney - don't know the order. But I'd like to see some Asian matches up here.

  2. Hey John,

    GCFC are going to be great to watch. They will lift the whole league.

    The AFL has loads have cash and are trying to "wedge" the sporting market by going into Western Sydney and Gold Coast. It's all about trying to get a better TV deal.

    I like Adelaide for some reason.

    Melbourne I hate to say it should be up there.

    Can't wait for the talk to finish and the action to start.

  3. Thanks Con
    I was in western Sydney when the AFL launched its 18th team intention last week. It struck me that the it wasn't about a fan base - Mr D said as much although he did say it would help the Swans with a Derby. To me it appears to be about converting would be 'soccer' mums and kids into AFL mums and kids. Because of this FFA must give team 12 to western Sydney.

  4. Hey John.

    agree 100% about Western Sydney.

    Would also like to see Canberra and Tasmania included at some point.

  5. Con I lived in Tasmania in the late 80s / early 90s. People their eat, sleep and drink AFL. The senate just had an equiry, run by Tasmanian senators about whether the AFL should have a team from western Sydney. Their verdict? No should be Tasmania! On ABC Offsiders (great show) a senator suggested the FFA should based a team in Tas to teach the FFA a lesson. hmmm.

  6. Hmm Con
    I just re-read my last comment. Could have written that a little late at night. I meant to say 'a senator suggested the FFA should base a team in Tas to teach the AFL a lesson. hmm.'

    Ah that's better.

  7. No probs John,

    Tassie should take on board the Senator's suggestion.