Thursday, October 1, 2009

Musings on the State Of Australian Football

Australian football speculators have had a busy week trying to figure out all manner of things that are wrong with Australian football at the moment. If it’s not low crowds, it’s the inadequate shouting from the sideline by Dutch coaches at the Youth World Cup.
Or it’s the seemingly bungled attempt to get a 12th team in the A League.
2. The doom and gloom of the low A League crowds is one cause for concern. The biggest cause for concern, though, is how concerned we should be.This Article first appeared in the Roar
If you look at it like Fox News the America news cable channel, you would say we should be on “High Alert” and perhaps the alert should be scrolled underneath while games are on.
“Be alert not alarmed” would be the Australian version, especially if the Central Coast Mariners and WellingtonPhoenix are playing.

3. Some of the goals this season have been quite spectacular. So, too, has some of the poor play. One of the eye-catching themes is the hogging.
When a teammate is in a much better position, you see quixotic attempts on goal by left backs and central defenders shooting from 30 yards out. You’re a striker, I’m a striker, everyone’s a striker!

4. Let’s make the A-League more entertaining by adding a conspiracy theory. The A-League has been infiltrated byAFL spies. Ben Buckley and Archie Fraser are the hired goons.
So a big heads up to the AFL run Football Federation Australia for scheduling the A-League during the prime time AFL and Rugby League finals series
5. I can’t blame folks for not turning up to A-League games. After two months into a very entertaining and compelling League/AFL finals series, it’s not like the crowds are going to come back after the finals are finished.
Or will they?
I hope the crowds do come back, but why would you buy a season ticket now? After eight weeks has passed.
6. Let’s have a bet on the crowd figures. Can someone check the betting at half-time on what the crowd figure will be? The draw always seems like a good bet.
The betting agency/commentators think it is.
7. A bit of consistency in the fixture list would be good. What happened to the simple Home and Away fixture? (Yes, yes, yes the Neighbours’ chicks are hotter).
I’m very confused at the scheduling.
Sydney FC will have played the Mariners twice and the Fury twice before they have even played Melbourne Victoryonce.
8. I have to say that there are teams that are putting me to sleep. Perth Glory, Central Coast Mariners Wellington Phoenix, are some examples. I could go on, but I would probably name all the ten teams. To me, the tempo is too slow and the intensity only lasts for short sporadic moments.
9. A-League coaches are too nice to each other and have the same tactics or anti-tactic. More Branko and Miron type outbursts are needed (don’t say sorry afterwards).
How many sessions does it take to learn the one striker and nine defensive midfielder tactic? Isn’t a tactic used to get some sort of result?
10. Finally, I blame all the short-comings of season five of the A-League on the youth. They are a expect everything and pay for nothing generation. Kids can already download movies, games and music for free.
Why should they pay to watch a game with their parent’s hard earned money when they can stay at home and watch a high intensity Rugby League or AFL end of season game?


  1. AFL is the best managed league is Aust. They have to be. But the have the basics right. The clubs are owned and controlled by members and the do what they are told. The ticketing, player drafting and strategy is controlled centrally and it is about maximising the overall dollars in the long term. Markets with more potential - Sydney, Brisbane and now Gold Coast are given better players because their winning is the best overall outcome.

    The game is not managed to please Fox Sports. Fox is at last profitable on the back of soccer and union - but both soccer and union have paid the price for taking the upfront money.

    Kids don't know or care about A-League players. They don't get to see them unless their parents are middle class and have fox sports.

    It isn't the former AFL interests in the FFA that are the problem - it is the former soccer players...

    The AFL doesn't have to worry about a national team that kills off interest at the local level - ask state cricket teams what life was like before the national team played every week...

  2. Hey John,

    Some interesting comments. One of the things that surprised me was the muted response to the returning Socceroos and how they are not adding bums to seats.

    John Aloisi, Jason Culina, Mile Sterjovski all played at the World Cup. But they haven't brought people to the game like I thought they would.
    John when you say "it is the former soccer players....." what do you mean.

    I agree about the foxsports comments. that is 7 years almost half a generation of kids that will have no idea or ever seen the a league save for snippets on the news and sbs.