Friday, October 31, 2014

Interview with Socceroo and Sydney FC star Bernie Ibini

Even though Sydney FC attacker Bernie Ibini won't celebrate if he scores against the Central Coast Mariners this Sunday I know I will. 

Here is an interview I did with him leading up to Sunday's game.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Part Two of Interview with Perth Glory Coach Kenny Lowe

Ahead of tonight's Perth GloryFC & Melbourne Victory FFA Cup tie read my yarn with Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe
Love this quote he gave me. “It’s all right being a character
but you don’t want to be a caricature"

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Sydney Clasico blog: Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Here is a link to my latest Sydney FC blog. Published on the 442 site featuring The Sydney Clasico blog: Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers
The Sydney Clasico is its own unique showcase. Sure the onfield action may not always rival the tactical and technical purity of some of world football’s bigger league derbies but off field we more than match them.
It’s Australiana on display. It’s where the banter of well-educated football multiculturalistas and ancestral convicts, pissed-three-sheets-to-the-wind, unite.


Also check out this footage:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Part Two of Interview with former Socceroos great Peter Katholos

This is the second part of the interview with former Socceroos great Peter Katholos. 

The “Kat” talks about the FFA Cup, the Socceroos performance at the World Cup in Brazil, and he looked back at his playing career.

(Picture right Peter Katholos wins Player of teh Year in 1982)

Why did you think of the FFA Cup a lot of the old NSL teams are involved?
Fantastic! It’s Brilliant! It should have been done ages ago. You can’t forget about your roots. Your roots are your ethnic clubs that kept this country going. Who kept the Soccer going? Your Sydney Olympic’s, Marconi’s, the Apia’s, South Melbourne’s and Heidelberg’s,

“You can’t forget about these clubs. You need to embrace them and not forget your history and I think now (the FFA) they’re embracing their history. It’s great to see! Because no football code, Aussie Rules, Rugby Union, forgets about their history.

(Picture above FFA CUP between Sydney United 58 and Sydney FC)
Because if you have no history you have no substance, you’ve have nothing.

There are people that have worked tirelessly for years to keep the game going. We the players that played in the 80’s, we were never recognised properly. You know what I mean? But now there’s a little bit of recognition coming and that’s the way it should be. 

We offered so much! We inspired the current generations! 

What did you think about how the Socceroos at the World Cup in Brazil?
I think they were very competitive. Lots of new faces and refreshing but at the same time some naïve defending that I’m sure will be sorted. The team played great football though. I was very happy for Ange (Postecoglou) getting the job. He deserved it. His concept of playing football is right.

Do you think Ange Postecglou got the best out of the squad of players that he had?
Yes and no. Looking at the team there was a lot of young players. I think he needed a bit of experience, especially in the defence. In saying that, they did well.

If we had a little more experience and leadership at the back someone to talk to the young guys I think they could have done a lot better. Naïve defending cost us five goals in the World Cup . We could have progressed!

Up front we needed a striker! We need finishers. We need someone to put the ball away. (Mathew) Leckie and (Tommy) Oar although busy need to improve is my opinion.

They were raving on about Leckie, his speed whatever ok great, but what was the end result? Let’s analyse, How many shots on goal did he have? How many goals did he score? How many goals did he create? Lucky we had Timmy (Cahill), he can put a few goals away.

This young boy Tom Juric, I like him, he should be involved in the squad sooner than later and Terry Antonis can develop into a good playmaker and can play with both feet, he has vision and work rate.

Tell us about your time playing in the NSL?
It was beautiful mate, I loved it. I love football, football is my life. I played, I trained the house down, I wanted to be a footballer, and I achieved my goal. I did. I was Australian player of the year. It was the biggest day of my life. I wanted to be the best. I was. 

When you get accolades from top people acknowledging that and saying it, that’s satisfaction.

What about your time playing for the Socceroos?
Yeah, Fantastic, Fantastic. I loved it! I’ll never forget it. I’m always thinking I can still play. I’m still playing. I’m playing 45’s. The mind’s there, but the body’s not there. 

The passion is still there but the body’s not there.

What can you tell us about the big games you played?
It was good unfortunately I didn’t go to a World Cup. That’s why this year I went to Brazil and watched the World Cup. I went this year for the first time. 

I didn’t make it as a player that’s why I went as a spectator.

Watching Australia play at the World Cup what were your feelings?
I wish I was there! I wish I was there playing. Those moments are gold. These boys are so lucky playing at such an elite level and they are in the shopping window of the world. 

If I played for Australia now I’m pretty sure when Bobby Robson the ex Barcelona & ex England coach says” he’s an incredible player” on Television, I’m pretty sure they’d take notice and I’m pretty sure all these clubs would be waiting to sign me up.

So these are the things you think of that could have happened but that’s the way it goes it’s a different era. 

 The money is ridiculous!  But No regrets! Life goes on! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Part One of Interview with former Socceroos great Peter Katholos

I ventured to the Football Depot shop in Belmore, Sydney to interview former Socceroos great Peter Katholos otherwise known as the “Kat". 

Katholos is a legend of Australian football, he played 25 games for Australia, he won Australian player of the year in 1982 and if you’ve never heard of him and you’re a football fan you should be ashamed of yourself.

So below is my conversation with Kat. No editing just the raw Q and A from my real conversation with one of Australia’s greatest ever midfielders. 

Here is Part One we talk about his time with Football NSW, the state of youth football in Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport program. 

A portion of this interview was featured in the English version of the Neos Kosmos Newspaper. Link here

Are you still working at the NSW skill acquisition program SAP?
No I finished about a year ago now.

What coaching are you doing now?
Just consulting work, individual players making them better

How long were you at SAP for?
For a year at Football NSW

What was your experience like coaching the under 9's through under-12’s?

I coached eastern zone which covers Canterbury District,, St George district and Eastern Suburbs I had all that area, it’s probably one of the main talent pool areas of Sydney.

We had so many players that trialled that year because so many players want to be involved with elite programs, which they call it an “elite” program, but that’s another story and we’ll talk about that later and it’s one of the reasons why I’m not involved anymore with the program because I don’t agree with its structure.

The whole thing needs revamping if we are going to a force in world football, this should be our aim.

Why do you put quotation marks around the word “elite”?

When you call it “elite” it means the best, a skill acquisition program that means you need to get best coaches that are able to coach skill. So Peter Katholos is involved great but who else with skill and technical know how?

So who else was involved?
No disrespect to the guys but what I’m saying to you is the leading program in football NSW for all those age groups and they engaged inappropriate coaches to teach skill. But the same scenario exists around Australia.

I read on the Football NSW website that they were trying to get qualified coaches.
It’s not about qualifications only. Listen to me here, it’s not about the qualifications.

They make it so it’s about the qualifications. This is not being a school teacher,it's demonstrating skill . And on those certificates every other country in the world, if you are a former player you would get exemptions for your coaching certificates, they would also encourage you , they would also put you through programs and you would not do the same as everybody else because you have played the game at the highest level.

No respect!

In this country we do the opposite. For instance I had to do a B License I paid $4000. No other country would do that except Australia for former international footballers.

Also there was no Curriculum. A skills acquisition program had no Curriculum and the program was endorsed by FFA .

So parents are paying for a skills acquisition program with no curriculum?
Ask this question! Where is the 40 week program that every coach in Australia follows? Where is the manual so everyone is uniformed to do everything the same in skill teaching?

It does not exist so everyone does their own thing. Is this an elite program?

So it was at the coach’s whim what they would teach those kids?
Yes. You got guidelines, they give you some four page info pack but that’s not the key. When I contacted Mr Han Berger Technical director of FFA at the time, I requested the curriculum for the forty week program that every coach follows in this country. I haven’t got a reply, it never existed.

Coerver coaching did have a program but they refused to purchase the licence. Incredible!!!!!

(Just  quick point here from me Con Stamocostas the interviewer. After this interview  I contacted Football NSW Technical Director Alex Tobin and asked him if he wanted to make a comment about what Katholos said regarding his  comments that Football NSW SAP had no curriculum but Tobin declined to comment. But he did say it was an important issue)

 What was the talk among the fellow coaches/players?
The same thing. One bloke tried to create his own 40 week SAP program to sell to the coaching department because it did not exist.

Well I was going ask you about the FFA curriculum and youth football. FFA's Head of National Performance Luke Casserly was quoted in the media saying: 

“We had a national competition where every club in the comp had a junior development system. Now the clubs don't have that.” 

What  are your thoughts on that?
Look it’s frustrating for me that I played the game at the highest level and I know what needs to be done. There are people that are running the coaching and the structure and they have no idea what is required to produce skillful footballers that this country needs.

We have so many talented kids in this country it’s not funny.

I coached kids in my SAP that I believed if I coached for three/four years they would definitely play for Australia they could also play overseas. But those players having seen them play recently they have not progressed as continuity with the same coaching method does not exist.

What would you recommend to parents? Should they go through private academies? That’s what a lot players are doing now, going through those systems.
That’s why these people with academies exist because there is no alternative offered by our football bodies.

There’s a gap in the market?
“Fozzie” (Craig Foster) turned around the other day wrote an article saying private academies are ripping parents off, although I agree some do, but wait a minute what is football NSW offering as an alternative?

What is FFA offering as an alternative? Where is the accreditation system for such academies? There should be excellence training centres around the country funded by the federations with top coaches coaching our best footballers. They don’t exist. I know, I have been on both sides of the fence.”

Wasn’t the curriculum that Han Berger made supposed to filter down to these programs?

Who is going to coach the coaches about the curriculum? The 4-3-3 or the 4-4-2? It’s okay bringing it out and saying this is what we are going to do.

But let’s analyse what did he (Han Berger) really actually bring out? He brought something out that we already knew. I had one from 1979 from Jimmy Shoulder the technical director at the time. It was a curriculum saying we need to concentrate on ball work and we need to be more skillful. 

He said that in 1979. So what’s happened since 1979 till today? Nothing has changed.

What I’m saying is its all talk it’s all talk. It has never being put properly into action.

No Execution !!!

It upsets me to see the things that are happening. This is the problem. In Australia we have so much talented players. Yet they don’t nurture this talent properly. Australia needs to produce technical footballers.

So what needs to be done?
I’ll give you an example. When I played football my former coach Tommy Docherty (former Scottish international & Manchester United) said:  
“Peter Katholos is the best young player I ever had”. 

Ference Puskas said: “He’s the best technical player in this country.” 

Rale Rasic said: “The best technical player Australia has produced in the last 25 years.”

Not bad accolades hey? How do they utilise Peter Katholos’s expertise or gift as a coach to teach kids at national level how to be better? Or any other footballer that stood out in our era?

I’m helping kids to make national teams but no-one is aware, I’m helping kids to progress. I’m proud of that.

It’s frustrating because I have expertise that the national team setup doesn’t want to utilise. I’m available.

I want people to be creative. People are asking how we can make it better.
I believe Australia can win the World Cup. We have every nationality in the country and we have a multitude of talented players. I’ve been exposed to these kids. I comment: “How good are these kids?”

Why have the Socceroos dropped in numbers coming out of the AIS? Why have the youth results gone down?
You have to question that program too. Because they have not the appropriate development coaches there, they think they have the right people , but they are allocating their mates , jobs for the boys . 

So ask who is allocating such positions ?? Questions need to be asked . The national coach should have an input into the selection process in the future .

Raul Blanco and Les Scheinflug used to coach the youth.
Those coaches were a class act. Raul was one of my first coaches. He’s brilliant, a fantastic coach developing players . At that time they could both see talent, they could see what they were looking for and develop and nurture talent . That’s the school I came from.

How can you have Steve O'Connor and you can quote me on this. He played for Sydney City and can only knee and elbow. How can he be in charge of a program to produce and nurture our best young players?

No disrespect to Rocky. They’ve been encouraging hard boys instead of skillful boys. That’s the attitude. No-one will want admit to that. No-one won’t admit to the English “get stuck in their son” mentality.

I thought those attitude’s were being changed?
At the end of the day if you want technical players you have to nurture technical players. Australian Soccer needs technical players. We don’t need the kickers and strength and run only players. Where has England got with such players?

They also have realised and overhauling their system . This mentality is the dinosaur era ! We need to produce complete players with physical qualities but emphasis on skill and technique .

What has changed? The SAP? SAP means “skill acquisition program”, who is going to teach you the skill ? The textbook coach? I don’t think so! It’s limited . They are misleading the parents 

They’re selling a dream. It’s cashing in on a dream. 

Appoint the correct coaches pay them good money that is investing in your youth . Clubs collect $1,500 per kid and you pay the coach $3,000- $5,000 per year.

How are you going to attract the best coaches? Many ex -players that are good educators want to get involved but the money they are offered is rubbish! 

 Wake up Australia!

“It’s lipstick on a pig“ as a now famous parent called it!

Would you like to be involved in the National Team set up in some form?
I’d like to be involved in the national team set up. I’m going to offer my services to (Socceroos coach) Ange Postecglou to try and work with midfielders as a specific position. Because midfield is a specialised position and I have a lot to offer to make good players better.

Interview with Perth Glory Coach Kenny Lowe

Here is an Interview with Perth Glory Coach Kenny Lowe. Before the season started I thought Glory would do well. They've started off with two great wins.

Interview was published on the Aus 442 website. Click line link below:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sydney FC vs Melbourne City Blog

My Cove adventures @ the Sydney FC v Melbourne City game. Lesson 1 save your booing for the  Western Sydney Wanderers not David Villa!

Featured on the 442 Website

Ahead of sold-out Sydney Derby interview with Terry Antonis

Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis says they have the edge in Sydney Derby with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Click the link below for the interview on the Fox Sports website.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview with Aussie Abroad Theo Markelis of Veria FC in the Greek Super League

Here is an interview I did  with Aussie Abroad Theo Markelis who this season signed with Veria FC in the Greek Super League.

Formerly of Valencia in Spain and Vicenza in Italy were he spent time in their youth systems, hopefully Markelis can restart his career in Greece after previously spending  a year in Spain were he didn't get much playing time.

Interview with Soceroos and Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis

Here is an interview that I did with Socceroos and Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis that was published on the Australian 442 Website.

Terry is one of my favourite young players coming through. If he stays fit he can do anything. I really enjoyed interviewing him.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Full Interview with World Cup Socceroo Tommy Oar

Here is the full interview with Tommy Oar that appeared on the Fox Sports Website on September 04 2014

1) Hey Tommy, it’s been a while since we last spoke, a lot has happened since then, the first question is obviously about the World Cup, what was the overall  the experience like?

The  World Cup was an amazing experience. It is the highest level a player can reach in there career, so to get the opportunity to play three games was fantastic.

photo above Charles Aranguiz of Chile challenges Tommy Oar of Australia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil. June 12, 2014 - Source: Stu Forster/Getty Images South America)

2) The first time you stepped on the pitch to play Chile it would have been one of your boyhood dreams come true; what were the emotions?

A combination of nerves and excitement. The occasion probably got the better of me in this game, but I felt that as the tournament went on I performed better.

3) What was going through your mind when the Socceroos were down 2-0 against Chile? What was the feeling like when Tim Cahill scored against Chile? 

The Socceroos fought back in second half it must have been frustrating experience not to equalise and then conceding a third goal late?

Obviously disappointing to start our world cup in such a way. Put us completely on the back foot. I thought we showed great character to come back, and were unlucky in the end not to get a result.

4) For many Socceroos fans the Holland game was unforgettable, many fans felt like it was a win rather than a loss, bit I suspect for the players it was heartbreaking.

Tell us your feeling about playing Holland? You were up against many players that you come up against in the Dutch Eredivisie? 

The Holland game was the one I was most eagerly anticipating. Obviously playing against a lot of the players from there was strange, and I knew exactly what to expect from their play.

 I thought we performed really well and put them under a lot of pressure.

I think on a different day, we would have won the game.

5) Talk us through the Holland game key moments. From Tim Cahill’s spectacular goal that brought the  equaliser to Mile Jedinak’s goal to go ahead if only for a brief moment and your cross to Mathew Leckie. 

Many felt you should have taken a shot instead of crossing, looking back now how do you feel about that moment? What was it like out there on the pitch?

I think the difference between the two teams on the day was taking chances. Van Persie, Robben and Depay had one chance all game and all took it. 

Timmy scored an amazing goal, and I think we had a few moments in the game where we perhaps could have scored, mine obviously a major one. 

If I had shot and missed, people would be criticising saying I should have squared it so it’s a tough one. 

There is no doubt I should have done better, however, If I had my time again, I think I would've taken an extra touch and given Leckie a more friendly pass.

6) How do you feel about your performance at the World Cup?

Mixed feelings. Obviously playing at the highest level, coming up against the best defenders in the world is always going to be tough. 

I’m disappointed I couldn't have a more positive impact, however I am grateful for the experience. 

It has highlighted for me the things which I need to work on and what I need to improve.

7) Your World Cup experience gave you the opportunity to play against Croatia, Chile, Holland and Spain these are world class teams what did you learn from the experience?

When you get to such a level, I think the differences are the small details. Looking at how the Dutch, and the Chileans, took advantage of the chances they had in the game, they had the killer instinct which is something I lacked in the tournament. 

Having said that, I think we had a brilliant preparation and left no stone unturned. 

The coaches gave us all the tools we needed to be successful, and this allowed us to take the game to world class opposition for periods of each game.

photo Marcelo Diaz of Chile and Tommy Oar of Australia battle for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil.Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images South America)

8) Can you tell us what the feeling was like in camp after each game? For example getting so close against Chile, getting so close against Holland and the learning experience the team got from playing against Spain?

I think after the first game it was mixed feelings. We fought back and performed so well, but couldn’t help but wonder how it might have turned out if we didn’t have such a nervous start. 

The second game was obviously the hardest to swallow, as it was the game that ultimately knocked us out of the tournament.

9) Holger Osieck was sacked after poor results against Brazil and France what was the feeling like it must have been hard to go through that?

Of course It was a difficult and uncertain period for all of the players. No player likes being on the back of such heavy defeats, but I think all the players were still surprised. 

Ultimately I think it had a good effect on the team, and nobody took there place for granted in the squad.

10) What can you tell us about Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou? He seemed to turn around the Socceroos mentality it showed against Costa Rica and Ecuador what style he wanted to play tell us about the influence he had on the team leading up to The World Cup?

He has a very positive effect on the group and has the ability to get the best out of his players. 

He demands for the whole team to maintain their highest standards which creates a healthy competitive atmosphere.

As I mentioned, he always manages to get the best out of his players, not only tactically, but also psychologically.

11) We saw that the Aussies had a good bond during the World Cup can you tell us any stories that occurred in camp? Who were you closest to in the squad?

I think it’s a very healthy team atmosphere in the team, and there are no real divides. 

Everyone gets along well with everyone. However, there are some players who I have known for a long time, such as Matt Mckay and Ben Halloran.

12) You got injured in Brazil during the World Cup how is that injury going? Was your knee a problem before you injured it? Were you fully fit during the World Cup?

Obviously was disappointing to end the world cup with an injury. I was fully fit the entire tournament but it was one moment where I tweeked my knee. After 10 weeks of rehab, I made my first appearance since the World Cup yesterday against Feyenoord.

13) What are your thoughts on the Asian Cup in January you must be looking to build on the World Cup performance do you have ambitions to win the Asian Cup on home soil?

There is a lot of football between now and then. Of course it is in the back of everyone's mind, and it is something which all players will want to be involved in. 

With another six months preparation between the world cup and then, I think everyone is confident we can take our game to a new level, and be a serious contender to win.

14) Your Eredivisie career has seen you play over 80 games for Utrecht FC you must feel like you belong in Europe now?

I think the one major difference between the Eredivisie and the A-League is the depth of the teams. It is difficult to get that feeling of ‘belonging’. 

You know that if you don’t perform for a few weeks in succession that you will lose your place. 

I am fortunate to be gaining more experience in a fantastic league, but it’s important to never get complacent.

16) Looking back on your time with Utrecht FC what moments stand out?

In my first season here we played in the Europa League, playing the likes of Celtic, Liverpool, Napoli etc which was an amazing experience. Also in my third season here, we had a great year and finished with the most ever points in a season for Utrecht.
17) Last season Utrecht finished 10th and the season before it was fifth. Was it a case of Utrecht overachieving when it came fifth? What are your thoughts on how the team did and your own performance last season?

I think everyone involved in the club was disappointed with how it went last year. Looking at the quality of our squad, we are a side nobody likes to play against.

 Last year was a case of dropping to many points, particularly away from home. This year we have started very positively and are playing with a renewed confidence.

18)  Any truth about any recent transfer rumours linking you with clubs like Udinese? Do you have ambitions to play anywhere else in Europe? The English Premier League for example?

I am a very ambitious person and want the best for my career. However the Eredivisie is a fantastic League and I am very happy at FC Utrecht. 

I have one year remaining on my current contract and am fortunate enough to be getting regular game time. If something came up I would see if it was the right step for my career.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A-League Season 10 Preview

So the longest off season in any sport in any world is over. My sentiments exactly.... pretending to care about the other codes is done. Let the real football begin. Bring on Season 10 of the A League. 

Here are some musings and rantings of what I expect from Season 10 of the A League.

O Marquee, Marquee wherefore art thou Marquee?

Alessandro Del Piero is in India drinking Mango Lassi and collecting Rupees, Emile Heskey is in England doing the pundit thing and Shinji Ono’s is in Japan’s second division the question is wherefore art thou A-League’s Marquees?

There will be pundits on TV and in print rolling out the line “The biggest Marquee in Season 10 of the A League is the number 10” or something like that. The A-League was spoilt the last two seasons with Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono

The Top Marquee this A-League season is the number 10. Why would you want a washed up number 10 when their is the Tenth Season of the A-League to celebrate. 

Judging by the memberships sales figures the lack of big name Marquees is not affecting the fan numbers. Nice work number 10! It’s taken you ten years but you’ve proved round numbers are very sexy.

David “who needs a pre season?” Villa

Word is David Villa with a hard soft L only arrived a week before the start of A League season because he wanted to see as many Enrique Iglesias concerts as he could. Check out Villa’s Instagram account it’s very true!

Will the World Cup, Euro, La Liga, Champions League winner even bother to play the 10 guest games for Melbourne Heart (Excuse me I forgot it’s Melbourne City now isn’t it) before he heads over to New York to catch up with his superstar mate Frank Lampard?

Or will Villa with the hard soft L love Melbourne so much that he decides to stick around for the whole season?

Probably not. Melbourne City isn’t New York City.

Perhaps if Enrique Englesias does a 28 week tour of Melbourne he’d stay longer. Twenty thousand Euro snobs will be pissed off if he doesn’t play in the opening game of the season against Sydney FC?

Melbourne “Lipstick on a Pig” City

Continuing on with the Melbourne City theme without Damien Duff, Robert Koren and David Villa and a changed home strip and changed name this eerily still feels like Melbourne Heart. Sure it’s ok to change things around with new owners coming in but what will all those Melbourne Westpac workers do now? Only support Melbourne City when they play in their away strips?

Also Robert Koren as the marquee? The richest club in this dimension and the club have chosen a Slovenian Midfielder who used to play for Hull?

Sydney FC

Now that Alessandro Del Piero has left what will all those Euro Snobs do with their summers and their Sydney FC Del Piero named shirts?

I surely thought Sydney FC’s membership numbers would drop due to the Euro Snob factor but they’ve actually increased this season. At the Sydney FC fan day ex Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold said that it was always his dream to coach his home town club of Sydney FC. Nicely said Mr Arnold the Mariners fans must love hearing that.

Are Sydney FC doing a Manchester United and lining up the attack with quality, but not bothering to improve the defence?  With Alex Brosque, Shane Smeltz, Marc Janko, Corey Gamiero and Bernie Ibinie, Sydney FC probably have the best attack in the A League. It will be back four that that will be the Sky Blues problem this season.

Brisbane Roar

My new Albanian - Mensur Kurtishi is better than my old Albanian -  Bersart Bereshia. That's what Brisbane Roar will be hoping.

The off season was so long I forget that the Roar are the current A-League champions. Is the reason I’m forgetting because of the A-League has world’s biggest offseason in sports? Or just the fact that because of the vast news and information going through our modern brains as each moment occurs we are simultaneously experiencing and forgetting them.

Western Sydney Wanderers

Can they repeat last two season’s success and lose the grand final three seasons in a row? 

Can they lose the Asian Champions League Final in between and lose four finals in a row? 

Everyone knows the real star of the team is The Red and Black Bloc. Perhaps they should try a new way of supporting their team. Perhaps they could try the reverse of turning your back on your team, and actively watch them from the front of their heads.

And what’s with the silent protesting and the I’m not coming to the game anymore because my mate lit a flare and they banned him for life protest!

Tony Popovic must be an autistic genius at the art of suffocating the opposition and the grinding out a result with Mark Bridge and Labinot Haliti and Brendan Santalab in attack. He could have been Crystal Palace Manager by now instructing Mile Jedinak to break legs and shave off that beard.

Beware Victor Saba your Ned Kelly is numbered!

 The "Mutiny” on the Perth Glory

Last season “ The Mutiny” on the Perth Glory “ was led by their captain Jacob Burns, against Lieutenant Alister “Curriculum “ Edwards.

According to accounts, the players were not happy with the "idyllic" life and the opportunities that Lieutenant Edwards afforded to his two sons Cameron and Ryan.

It has also been argued that the Mutineers were motivated by Edwards’s allegedly harsh treatment of them when asked they were asked to play out from the back.

The Mutineers look foolish now as one of the sons Ryan Edwards had amde a decent impact at Reading since he set sail for the Royals in the English Championship.

Newcastle “for sale” Jets

When will the suited and booted folk at Football Federation Australia realise that having billionaires like Nathan 
 “I want to buy the club, no sorry I want to sell the club”  Tinkler  who use A-League clubs as their playthings is not a good idea?

The Jets haven’t made the finals for years and this year will be just as tough as they have more injuries in their squad than the aftermath of a Friday Night out in Kings Cross and an NRL grand Final.

Adelaide “Mini Me Barcelona” United

So the coach of Adelaide United Josep Gombau was at FC Barcelona for seven years.

The Technical director of Adelaide United former Barca and Spanish International Gillermo Amor after his playing days was responsible for the youth categories at FC Barcelona for four years and most recently he was the director of football training while Messi, Iniesta and Xavi were there.

A slow start to the season led to Gombau being told to harden by a local journalist. The Reds could make a big impact this season they have best technical football knowledge. Will their 3-4-3 make an impact?

Central ”I’m moving to North Sydney maybe” Coast Mariners

One week they are staying on the Central Coast, the next they are moving to North Sydney, another week they can’t pay their players, another week they are opening a 10 million dollar Centre of Excellence, another week goes by and they announce a team of football scouts, the next week, they are being bought by South Melbourne.

It’s never dull up the Coast.

Wellington “does anyone care besides us Wellingtonians?” Phoenix

No Disrespect to the sheep botherers but I’d rather watch a team from Wollongong or Canberra.

Melbourne Victory

For the team that is the biggest club in World Football, it Feels like Melbourne Victory have flown under the radar during this pre-season. Usually the Central Coast Mariners fly under the radar. The Victory took the Bipolar Albanian Besta Berisha from Brisbane Roar so they should be challenging.

Will some Melbourne Victory fans rush to buy memberships because they have mistaken Allesandro Del Piero for Matthieu Delpierre ? Thinking that it’s a typo and the Blue Tongued Maestro is now playing for the Victory?

Who is Del Pierre anyway and what is the Victory's fascination with Marquee defenders Paulo Contreas ?

A League Before of Season Awards

Best Name that almost has a swear word in it: Devante Clut (Brisbane Roar)

Best use of alliteration in a name: Jimmy Jeggo (Melbourne Victory

Best misspelt marquee name: Matthieu Delpierre

Best if it worked with one Albanian let’s try another: Brisbane Roar

The Tom Rogic Groin Injury award: Tom Juric just like the RBB his groin is involved in a rather loud active protest.

The award for best use of useless A-League knowledge: being able to name the Wellington Phoenix squad besides Paul Ifill who doesn’t even play with them anymore. Just joking Phoenix........

Best Hipster Ned Kelly Beard: Victor Saba

Australian Football Podcast A League 2014/15 Season Preview


What do you get when you combine a football writer with a comedy genius? 

You probably get the funniest Australian Football Podcast maybe in pod-casting history perhaps!

Featuring the 2014/2015 A League Season Preview. Quirky Music interludes, The Les Murray Football Hotline

Every A-League Team is covered, even Wellington Phoenix! We talk David Villa, Preview the chances of Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, Wellington Phoenix and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Click the link below to listen to Rob Toddler and Stama's A League Podcast:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interview with Former Socceroos great Peter Katholos

Here is an important interview I did with ex-Socceroo great Peter Katholos. The former Football NSW Skills Acquisition Program coach says the State's elite coaching program for kids aged 9-12 had no Curriculum.

The Interview was in the English version of the Greek Newspaper Neos Kosmos. Click below for the link.