Matildas | A-League | A-League expansion
Matildas and La Roja in camp ahead of the friendly internationals, while A-League expansion one of the first items on the agenda for the new Board06 November 2018 | FT Editor
Goalkeeper Lydia Williams, says it's the Matildas “time to shine” and their World Cup campaign starts with the two game series v Chile. Currently number 6 in the FIFA rankings behind USA, Germany, England, France and Canada, Australia will learn their group opponents for the World Cup on 8 December. The matches against Chile will take place in Penrith on Saturday and in Newcastle on Tuesday next week (13 November). While it has not yet been announced, Football Today understands Williams is one of the three PFA-nominated Women's Council members.
Players in the Matilda camp hope that 15-year-old Mary Fowler is not lost to Australia, with Chloe Logarzo saying she hopes Fowler “comes to her senses”, while Lisa De Vanna says that Fowler does have an 'x-factor' but there are other good, young players coming through.
De Vanna may be 34 next week, but she is not about to hang up her boots, saying that her “body and mind (are) in perfect sync”. De Vanna is nine games off Cheryl Salisbury's record 151 appearances, and is already the leading goalscorer with 45 goals, and says she hopes to play on to the 2020 Olympics if she is in good shape physically and “in the right headspace”.
La Roja arrived in Sydney this morning (picture).
The votes for FOX Sports' Alex Tobin Award from last weekend's round.
It may have been a winning week with not one, but two wins including the FFA Cup, but Marco Kurz says he still wants more! He says the performance on Sunday v Central Coast Mariners was commanding but he wasn't happy that the players took their foot off the pedal towards the end of the match.
Could Craig Goodwin's success be Kurz's curse? If Goodwin is selected for the Asian Cup squad in January, he will miss one-third of the season with an Asian Cup pre-tournament camp and assuming Australia makes it through to the end of the tournament in early February. Ben Halloran is another player Kurz might miss if his form keeps on improving.
Nope, we're not panicking say Newcastle Jets, even though they are “six competition points, nine spots and seven goals worse off than at the same stage last year”, and bottom of the ladder. Both coach, Ernie Merrick and assistant, Clayton Zane are confident, and believe they're not far off the form they were in same time last season and it's only a matter of time until the goals - and wins - come.
Chris Ikonomidis is seeing the benefit of returning to Australia with a bright start to the season, and his name already being mentioned for a possible return to the Socceroos squad. However, both Ikonomidis and coach Tony Popovic, are talking down reports of that happening imminently.
Rhyan Grant is pleased to have bounced back so well from the ACL injury that put him out for the entire 2017-18 season, with a man-of-the-match performance against Melbourne City on Friday night. Grant says he's happy to be playing again and back amongst his team mates, old and new.
Former Wellington Phoenix coach, Merrick (whose team lost to the Phoenix in round 1), says he “foresaw” that Phoenix would lose the way they did against Western Sydney Wanderers, because of their 5-2-3 formation. He says that formation works if you're already a goal up, but not if you're chasing a goal.
Western Sydney Wanderers
So near, but yet so far. Mark Bridge is 50 metres away from coach Markus Babbel but he has hardly had anything to do with him. Bridge was injured on the sixth day of pre-season, and faces more time on the sidelines because of a recurring tendon injury. Bridge says retirement has crossed him mind, but he wants to “salvage” something from the season and aims to be fit and playing in the second half of the season.
The new FFA Board will have until the end of January to decide on the successful expansion bidders. If a decision is not taken by then, the lead time to October 2019 “would be too short a run-up” according to current A-League head, Greg O'Rourke.
Whoever is on the Board, their first item on the agenda will be A-League expansion writes Vince Rugari (it could be 'recruitment of new CEO'). FFA and Deloittes are currently meeting with the shortlisted bidders to address issues with each bid. An AAP report on the same matter appears in Fairfax also.
matildas, a-league, a-league expansion