It's Fairfax's and AAP's turn to beat the traditional media drum today with one journalist source saying that 2 Holt Street (HQ of News Limited in Sydney) is a “ghost town”, with apparently all tabloid News Corp football journos on holiday or having a RDO, while The Australian's Ray Gatt has gone fishin'. 


There was a lot of consternation and cynicism on social media yesterday once news of the Socceroos squad for the training camp in Turkey, followed shortly by Caltex's unveiling of their somewhat twee 'Cahilltex' service stations, complete with service stations adorned with Socceroos imagery. It fuelled claims (how can anyone resist using that word?), especially from those in the 'Tim Cahill shouldn't be picked' brigade and in light of Jamie Maclaren's omission, that Cahill was only in the squad for commercial reasons as there is no way FFA and its naming rights sponsor, Caltex, could afford for him not to be.

FFA CEO David Gallop echoed the view of others - not least Bert van Marwijk one week ago - that Cahill was picked on his merits, deserves to be there, and is a big-game player who 'adds so much to the squad'. Jackson Irvine and Josh Brillante are pictured - looking what, exactly?* - at the announcement of 'Cahilltex' yesterday. 

Dominic Bossi reports that the reason Maclaren was not included is because van Marwijk is of the view that he isn't as versatile as alternative players, such as Andrew Nabbout who is able to play wide in an attacking role or as a centre forward. 

Archie Thompson told AAP he was “a bit disappointed” for Maclaren in light of his form this season but says the 24-year-old striker also has time on his side, with the Asian Cup in January and - hopefully - another World Cup in 2022. 

And, from midday yesterday, AAP's wrap of the squad, the omission of Maclaren and Bailey Wright, and 'Cahilltex'. 

For those who thought the 'Cahilltex' was unwelcome commercial intrusion into the Socceroos, nothing - absolutely nothing - is as cringeworthy as this. What was the person who thought of this smoking? 


*  Perhaps Irvine and Brillante had just seen the fansies and were hoping they didn't have to dress-up in one. 

A-League expansion

Now it's Canberra's turn to be in the news, with a report that the Canberra bid team is “throwing their weight” behind a proposed $350 million indoor stadium in Civic (that's the sort-of CBD of Canbera), and they're exploring relationships with clubs in Scotland, England and Spain. The Canberra bid is led by a team known as 'On The Go' who, to show their football credentials, get themselves photographed with a cyclist. 

Meanwhile, the mooted transfer of ownership between the south-west Sydney consortium and Wellington Phoenix is “set to be rejected” on the grounds of the “integrity of its current expansion process”. Sources state that it's not proceeding because FFA sought another $10 million entry fee for the new consortium, in addition to the money being paid by the consortium to Wellington Phoenix's owners, which was a deal-breaker. The consortium intends to proceed with their bid and reportedly has support for a new 15,000-seat stadium at Liverpool. 

FFA CEO David Gallop would also be aware that another south-western Sydney bid, based in Campbelltown, is also in the mix and bankrolled by yet another (Australian) billionaire property developer. 


Roy O'Donovan must wait a bit longer to hear his fate after the grand final challenge on Lawrence Thomas. 

socceroos, a-league, a-league expansion