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Leroy George on the A-League, Aussie drinking culture and cats13 July 2018 | FT Editor
The 2018-19 season kick-off two weeks later than it has in recent years with a grand final re-match between Adelaide United and Sydney FC on Friday 19 October 2018. The season will end on the weekend of 18-19 May 2019. The competition will pause for international breaks in November and March, but not the Asian Cup from 5 January to 1 February.
Adelaide United says they're happy with the later start to the season (but in 250 words).
Brisbane Roar will meet Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium on 25 April and want an Anzac Day fixture to become a regular occurrence. Good to see at last. It was first recommended by Frank Farina to the then Soccer Australia Board in 2001 (and by others in 2006 and 2008).
Leroy George is another to leave Melbourne Victory and giving a "jaw-dropping interview" to Dutch media. He told them that after Victory finished fourth in the regular season he assumed that was more or less the end of their season and there were "crates of beer in the locker room ... those teammates of mine have boozed all week." He told the Dutch magazine that we're not bad at drinking with his team mates "starting at 10 o'clock in the morning", but the standard of the A-League is "not very high". Perhaps there's a relationship between the two? Nonetheless George enjoyed his season with Melbourne Victory and the 'relaxed Australian lifestyle'. He said he would only return to the A-League if there was a financial offer that was good enough to persuade him from being "so far from home".
More details on the Leroy George interview here, with George also apparently saying the A-League is a "p*##^ league" - but revealing that he is apparently still in negotiations with clubs here. Probably not now, we'd suggest?
- Leroy George's comments inspired our pic for the day. Not sure if this was taken after a hard day's drinking or a hard night's playing.
Richard Hinds writes that FFA needs to "pounce" on those who had a football fling this World Cup - and judging by viewing figures that SBS-TV triumphantly and somewhat insouciantly, considering the reason they got all the games back for free after having sold them, puts out each day. He says that "... Australian football should now be holding out its arms and cooing "Come to me baby. I've booked us a cosy table for two at the Sydney FC-Melbourne Victory game". No cats either. Hinds goes on to talk about how the World Cup has proven not to be the 'saviour' of football in Australia and notes that Judith Griggs working group will hopefully "free the A-League clubs from their shackles".
Ah yes, everyone's favourite. With a few notable exceptions (eg. France v Australia), it hasn't been too bad at the World Cup. Perhaps emboldened by how (relatively) well it has gone, FFA has been inspired to adopt the practice of the National Rugby League and put the VAR in a 'bunker' this coming season. This same AAP story is repeated here.
Southern Expansion have reportedly secured the remote services of Darren Burgess, former 'fitness guru' to the Socceroos and various AFL teams, who is now with Arsenal. If Southern Expansion is successful in their bid to join the A-League, Burgess "will provide input from afar". This is a bid franchise that is not quite sure where they'll actually base themselves, and which part of Sydney they want to represent, and now intends getting players fit 'from afar'. No reflection on Burgess who is terrific (and known to us). Southern Expansion says the appointment is so Burgess will "leverage his international networks and tap-in to the very latest, cutting-edge international sports science research."
Another expansion wannabe, South-West Sydney FC (not the Macarthur lot) has announced the appointment of "corporate identity Jason Breton" ('identity', really?) to its Board. He is touted as having a "lifelong passion for the game" (that's an advance) and is director of Major Bids for the Downer Group.
The dilemma that many people new to Canberra have pondered, especially with young families and pets: how do you keep warm on a sub-zero frosty morning? Nothing like it!
Lots more to read on this, including in our own section but one 'wrap' piece here from Marco Monteverde for News Corp on what you need to know. Monteverde tips France. Check out our tipsters here, and tell us who you think will win in our poll.
Post World Cup
In case you're not sure what to do after the World Cup is over, The Australian reproduces a network piece on possible travel destinations to 'occupy' us. They are Manchester, Buenos Aires, London (Wembley), Funchal (Portugal), Liverpool (England, not Sydney) and Buriram (Thailand). Yes! Buriram! It was an ordinary garden-variety travel piece until we saw Buriram there too.
a-league, a-league expansion, var, kanga cup, 2018 world cup