Keisuke Honda | A-League expansion | Socceroos in Scotland | Roy O’Donovan
Keisuke Honda to help light-up the A-League this season, while A-League expansion with a welcome development in NSW06 August 2018 | FT Editor
The reports appearing in the newspaper via The Australian might have Keisuke Honda as being "coy" about signing with Melbourne Victory, but the notice from Melbourne Victory this morning about a "significant announcement" with Victory President, Anthony Di Pietro, coach Kevin Muscat, and A-League head Greg O'Rourke in tow can mean only one thing.
YAY! What a terrific signing! The best marquee signing since the good ol' days of 2013-14 when we had Alessandro del Piero, Shinji Ono, David Villa (briefly) and Emile Heskey. Well done Melbourne Victory.
Over at News Corp, they have been more nimble and have the story of Honda's signature with news of the media conference later this morning. They point out that the 32-year-old attacking midfielder retired from international football after the World Cup, but he has also indicated that he wants to play a part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
But one word of warning for #sokkahtwitter people who used to get stuck in to our Timmy Cahill about his capacity to use his role and social media for 'brand-building', both personal and otherwise. Tim is nothing on Honda who even has his own App. He also is into social activism through his Change the World foundation. Check out his website and Instagram feed for a start - and prepare to be dazzled, Honda-style. And, as we wrote last week, just how Hyundai will cope with this ambush marketing, should be fun.
The other NSW/ACT bids have just been effectively gazumped in the A-League expansion race with the two south-west Sydney bids doing the sensible and logical thing and becoming one bid. It makes the south-west Sydney bid extraordinarily strong with a combination of serious financial backing from billionaire Lang Walker, local government support via Campbelltown City Council, a home ground at Campbelltown, and people with football love and knowledge involved in the bid.
Football Today's understanding is that the parties came to an agreement last week, with just the paperwork to be completed before formal announcement.
Socceroos in Scotland
No, the Socceroos are not to play Scotland, but two Socceroos players will be playing there this season.
- Jamie Maclaren has signed with Hibernian on loan for another 12 months from SV Darmstadt 98; and
- Daniel Arzani looks set to join Celtic on an "extended loan" from Manchester City.
Roy O'Donovan has given his first interview since the 10-match ban, saying that if FFA thought he would walk away from the A-League, they got the wrong man. O'Donovan says the way he has been characterised is "hysterical and ridiculous", he has slammed the FFA's judicial processes (and he's not the first to do that, is he?), and maintains that while he admits he made the challenge, it was not with malice or intent.
a-league, keisuke honda, a-league expansion, melbourne victory, jamie maclaren, daniel arzani, roy o'donovan