That Friday feeling: A-League and W-League
Johnny Koutroumbis is back for Newcastle Jets, while Southern Expansion considering Dharawal FC as the name of their club if successful with A-League bid30 November 2018 | FT Editor
In News Corp's A-League Confidential this week, they write that FOX Sports isn't too keen on a 33-round competition as they don't want to fork-out another $2.5 million in production costs for the additional games at $80,000/game (we get $2.9m for six additional games at $80,000 over six rounds). Instead, FOX Sports would prefer a 22-round competition with finals. Other items included are:
- Terry McFlynn needing to “provide his credentials” at McFlynn's Pub at Jubilee Stadium (with Markus Babbel and JP de Marigny also in attendance);
- Western Sydney Wanderers' commendable initiative in collecting non-perishable food for Foodbank;
- new FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou, attending the Football Writers' Festival in March (an initiative of Fair Play Publishing and the Johnny Warren Football Foundation);
- NSW Sports Minister, Stuart Ayres, referring to Leeds United as a Premier League club;
- a Julie Dolan joke about lack of moving pictures when she was inducted into the NSW Sport Hall of Fame; and
- Ange Postecoglou being back in town for the launch of Trevor Thompson's new book, Playing for Australia: The First Socceroos, Asia and World Football on 12 December. (Register here).
In the Fairfax version, known as the Hairdryer, the main item concerns the possible name of Southern Expansion if selected to be part of the A-League: Dharawal FC, the local Indigenous name for the area - which, by the way, we think would be brilliant so we hope the market research thinks the same way. Southern Expansion is just a title for the bid, not for the club. Other items include:
- Sydney FC is apparently now sharing details of the distribution of ticket sales south of Jubilee Stadium in their latest attempt to emphasise that Sutherland Shire is 'their' part of the city;
- FFA executives drawing up a short list of possible marquee players in the January transfer window;
- Greg Griffin staying on in an advisory capacity with the A-League clubs' association, APFCA; and
- the same issue re Ayres (above).
John Aloisi talks about his confidence in Adam Taggart following-on from his two goals last weekend. Aloisi says there is more to come from Taggart who is currently leading goalscorer with Adam Le Fondre of Sydney FC.
Left right out. Warren Joyce has “upped the ante” in what is termed as a “selection stand-off with Bruno Fornaroli”, leaving him out of the squad altogether for Sunday's match. Joyce says the players had given commitments in pre-season to being “the best they could be” every day at training with the clear implication that Fornaroli is not doing so. Joyce says Fornaroli is not being forced out of the club, but there is a line of players that have had a similar stand-off with Joyce and who find themselves out the door.
Joyce told Michael Lynch that he will not address the “speculation and gossip” and will not repeat the private conversations he has with players. Joyce says and Fornaroli have talked and Fornaroli knows what he needs to do to get back in favour.
David Davutovic writes that the reason behind Fornaroli's axing is “skinfolds” with Joyce saying that Fornaroli is treated the same way as every other player in the squad, and “you can't be winners” without the same commitment from everyone.
The enormity of Riley McGree's individual brilliance in scoring from that scorpion kick goal in last season's semi-final against Melbourne City, did not hit him until well after the game when he turned on his mobile phone to be greeted with messages from around the world. McGree says he doesn't want the goal to define him.
Melbourne Victory's Ola Toivonen says he's not interested in goal-scoring records ($), or even setting goals about the number of goals for the season. The “man of few words” says he's just as interested in assists and creating space and opportunities for his teammates.
Toivonen also comments on what a shock it is to train in a public park - we guess that's why it's called Gosch's Paddock - but even weirder to play at a ground last weekend which was only a couple of grades better than a suburban park and had no stands. Toivonen says “It's a new experience ... you put it in the bag.”
Johnny Koutroumbis (pictured) “can't thank the club enough” for the support given by way of Lawrie McKinna visiting him in hospital during recent thyroid cancer treatment, offering him a new contract, and talking at length with his parents over lunch. Koutroumbis says it's been a short period of time since the diagnosis, but a long journey. He is named in the squad to meet Melbourne City on Sunday.
Western Sydney Wanderers
For Markus Babbel, any goal would be a good goal, with his Western Sydney Wanderers squandering many opportunities in front of goal so far this season. The Wanderers are on five points after five rounds, and have scored just six goals so far this season.
They have a plan to keep Keisuke Honda quiet, and it will require being more aggressive. “If we are not aggressive, if we are not compact, then we have no chance against [Melbourne Victory]” said Babbel.
As Western Sydney Wanderers' returned to training earlier this week following their loss to Newcastle Jets, they were confronted with a guru of fitness training, Marcelo Martins, from Brazil via Bayern Munich whom Babbel has coaxed to the club. Martins spent five seasons at Bayern Munich working with the players such as Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery and Philip Lahm.
Siem de Jong looks set to make a cameo appearance in Sydney FC's next home game at Jubilee Stadium.
In last night's W-League match between Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar, the visitors scored the only goal in the 56th minute via England striker, Chioma Ubogagu, before 1,405 people at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The weekend's matches (W-League in italics)
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar, Coopers Stadium, 7.20pm local, 7.50pm AEDT
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC, Central Coast Stadium, 5.35pm local & AEDT
Melbourne City v Adelaide United, CB Smith Reserve, 7.30pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm local & AEDT
Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, LaTrobe City Stadium, 4pm AEDT
Canberra United v Sydney FC, McKellar Park, 4pm AEDT
Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory, Westpac Stadium, 7pm local, 5pm AEDT
Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park, 7pm local & AEDT
a-league, a-league expansion, w-league, football writers' festival, johnny koutroumbis