Tag Archives: ffa

Weekend musing – UFC & Ronda Rousey hit Melbourne

Chris Barwin HillsNot much has grabbed my imagination this week.  It’s been business as usual on the Aussie sports scene

The Australian cricket team won as expected and the Socceroos also won as expected. Melbourne United in the NBL had been winning unitedbefore last night with one of their wins with a bit of help from the match officials. Melbourne Victory won the FFA cup as expected. Nothing in horse racing was as near as interesting as the Melbourne Cup, save for the racing being a bit more interesting due to a less biased track.

One thing which has created a bit of discussion around the traps is the UFC event featuring Ronda Rousey at Etihad Stadium this weekend. I am not a big fan of UFC, but I don’t mind it and it is certainly more interesting than main stream boxing these days. I rouseydo not subscribe to the view that it is too brutal as I think the sport is well governed and there are probably less injuries in the UFC than there are in boxing. I think one of the reasons why the UFC has somewhat supplanted boxing as the preferred “blood sport” is that it does not appear to be controlled by the likes of Don King and other entrepreneurs and it doesn’t have the multiple factions and associations that have split world boxing. If boxing wants to reclaim lost ground they need to win back the public and have one unified governing body to control the sport world wide.

Have a great weekend!

3 thoughts on Thursday

Coors lightWith the Easter weekend looming, sport is definitely in the headlines!

Sitting in fourth spot on the A League table, Perth Heat are facing allegations that they have ‘significantly’ exceeded the salary cap due to the Club paying $150,000.00 into a bank account held by a family Unknownmember for striker Andy Keogh. The payment was found after a forensic examination of the Heat’s accounts by Football Federation Australia. At present the Club is one point off the lead and if it loses points because of this that will be the end of thoughts of playing in the finals.

There is nothing to gain and everything to lose by not complying with the rules.

ASADA indicate there is a possibility it will appeal the decision by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal in the Essendon supplements scandal. They have twenty-one days to make that decision and until it is 1427929273480decided, one way or the other, the whole of the football world will continue to be fixated on the topic. Regrettably, it has shifted the spotlight off the AFL’s opening round.

If ASADA proceed with an appeal, I hope Ben McDevitt has more evidence than was produced to the Tribunal.

The incoming Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board is looking at reducing the number of days in a Test match from five to four with play starting at 10.30am on each day and the bowling side Unknown-1being required to bowl 105 overs per day. The rationale is to save on costs. What is left unsaid is that today’s society doesn’t have the concentration span to grapple with a five day event. Reducing the time of play by only one day won’t cure that.

Another example of less is more this week (see also AFL players looking at a 17 game season). Where can I get a job where I get paid the same or more for less work?

Mark Fiorenti on the search for the Socceroos coach

Jan 23 2011 Studio Picturies 040Whilst it was a good result for the Socceroos against Canada, I am not sure we can read too much into this result for the following reasons:

1. The players were always going to be fired up after Holger Osieck was sacked and the shellacking’s the media has served up to the them in the last few days.

2. Canada haven’t qualified for the World Cup so are they a worthy opponent?  Would the Canadians have taken this game as seriously as the Socceroos given the events of the last few days?

3. Canada is nowhere near the calibre of football team that Brazil and France are.  In hindsight, I Holgerconsider Osieck shot himself in the foot opting to play friendlies against these two nations, especially considering: (a) Brazil never take friendlies easy, especially ones they play at home (their fans expect to win all the time!) and moreover, they don’t have to qualify for the World Cup as they are hosts and (b) France were shooting blanks up until last week so the Aussie game would have given them and their strikers, particularly Karim Benzema (who hadn’t scored for the French national team in over 1,000 minutes) some good shooting practice.

I still believe and moreover, am concerned that our national team is in danger of embarrassing itself next year.  Luckily, we have eight months to try and steady the ship and get the broom out to clear some old wood. Lucas Neill and Brett Holman immediately come to mind – they could still be handy squad players, but not starting players in my opinion. The new regime should blood some youngsters like Rogic, Davidson, Lowry and Williams and take a serious look at the problem left back position. McKay is a midfielder and not an option whilst Carney is a shambles.  Lowry and/or Davidson are good options.

Finally, the coach, whoever it is, can start to bring back the competitive spirit and self belief our players have been lacking in recent months.

As for the coach, it looks like it will be a local appointment and moreover, over a five year period.  It graham-arnoldappears the FFA has learned the lessons of the past and the new appointment will incorporate next year’s World Cup, the Asian Cup in 2015, qualification rounds for the 2018 World Cup and the 2018 World Cup, assuming we make it!.

The most likely candidates are Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic.

tony-popovicPoppa had a great year at the Wanderers last year, especially considering their limited budget and experience and it was in their first season!  Nevertheless, I feel he is still a little too raw.

I don’t warm very well to Arnold, but in his defence he has done wonders at the Mariners considering their limited funds and constant sales. This has forced him to regularly re-invent the team.

I like Ange.  When he joined the Roar they were a shambles – they allegedly had a culture unsuited to top level sport and a number of egos ruled the roost.  He eradicated the culture and cleared out the dead wood in his first season, remembering he was appointed mid way through that season. He then won the minor premiership and Grand Final in his second season and the Grand Final in his thirdange-postecoglou season.  A fine effort!  He then joined Victory and implemented his plan and did very well considering his ideas were quite foreign to the team. Victory are now favourites for this season’s A-League flag.  I also like the style of play his teams adopt.

For me, it should be Ange but I wouldn’t lose sleep if Graham Arnold was appointed.

Professor’s rant – Osieck over and out!

HolgerOn a recent Sportzfan Radio show we discussed at length with our soccer expert, Mark Fiorenti, the notion that the Socceroos coach should be appointed for a period well beyond the next World Cup. The rationale behind such an appointment was to encourage the coach to rejuvenate the playing squad at regular intervals with younger players so as to not be left with what we have now……a lot of players that are past their use by date.  The average age of the team that lost 6-0 to Brazil several weeks ago was 32.7 years. The average age of the Brazilian team was 26.3.

In fact, the Sportzfan Radio panel has been discussing the average age of the Socceroos players since the qualifying rounds for the last World Cup and said way back then that youth needed to be infused. This didn’t happen and now we are left with the sad reality that, whilst Australia is going to the World Cup, we look like we are simply making up the numbers.

Who then to appoint to replace Osieck? This will depend on whether the FFA has learnt anythingschwarzer from the current situation. I have heard calls to bring back Guus Hiddink or to insert a credentialed coach from Europe. Both suggestions are not the answer. Guus at 66 years of age (67 when next year’s World Cup is on) is yesterday’s man and also past his use by date. He will only be thinking about achieving something in the World Cup (like Osieck) that will not take care of the Socceroo’s future. Same could be said for any profiled European coach.

I am all for giving one of the current Australian A League coaches a shot with the mandate to coach for the future of the Socceroos and not be blinkered to think the future only extends as far as next year’s World Cup. As an example, look at the great building job Tony Popovic has achieved at Western Sydney Wanderers in one season.

The FFA needs to insert KPI’s into the contract that reflect the need for identification of young talent and the need for youth to be injected into the squad. Only then, will the national team be capable of approaching the past glories that the Australian public has become accustomed to!

Sportzfan Radio show #237.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!4 March 2012 237.1 – After weeks of calling in his report, the Gelding was back behind the microphone and the Panel enjoyed some light hearted banter, introducing music and movie trivia on top of sport this week.  Mark Fiorenti led off the show responding to Sportzfan Stan’s rant which  pointed at news this week in soccer that Frank Lowy’s assessment was Clive Palmer & Gold Coast United were a failure in the A League.  Fiorenti also awarded the FFA and A League an “F” for trying to expand the league at any cost and allowing a non-lover of the sport to purchase a licence. The Professor discussed the judge’s decision for not granting an injunction to Palmer and thought Palmer’s allegations against the FFA should give the FFA cause for concern. Daniel voiced the confusion of many over whether Palmer’s Football Australia was being formed as a rival to the A League or only as a watchdog to the league. The Gelding looked at racing and his big tip of the week was on how to make a small fortune in racing….start with a large fortune. He also gave an update on Danish Rock’s progress or lack thereof.  He said the races at Flemington on Saturday were a soggy affair with “wet track form” and awarded an s-hit ride awarded to Jake Noonan.

Sportzfan Radio #183.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 December 2010 183.1 – Sean makes a rare appearance in studio and Daniel starts with an apology as it took him five days to read Mark Fiorenti’s blog so he knows nothing about what happened in the sports world for the week. He also adds his favourite Qatar player after some research is Eric Clapton and Sean adds that FIFA’s new game Qatar hero. Stan gets into Daniel again about basketball asking him how he thinks the Melbourne Tigers will go against Perth. Sean thinks as it is Al Westover’s 200th game it may get the Tigers across the line. Their is also a discussion about the the test cricket side and Stan is for sacking all the player sand the selectors. Dan Butterly talks US sport and commences with his view on the Heisman trophy and who will win it. He thinks Cam Newton from Auburn will win it, even with all the cloud of suspicion over him regarding the behaviour of his father. Dan also talks about the Bowl matches coming up with 35 being played over three weeks. He likes Oregon to beat Auburn in the Championship game and TCU to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. There are moves afoot within the Conferences and Hawaii has now decided to leave the WAC and join the MWC in 2012. The Professor asks whether the MWC will play a game in Australia given Hawaii is halfway here. Dan agrees that it would raise the MWC profile. Sean says AAMI stadium would be perfect to host such a game. Dan feels Brett Favre’s streak will end at 297 as he will not recover in time to play in tomorrow’s game.

The Professor thinks there may have been a first last week when the Gelding was not on the show at all. The Gelding talks cricket first discussing the problems with Victorians trying to get into the Test side. He then moves on to racing and reviews his selections for the Flemington meeting. Although he got off to a great start tipping Aloha to win, it was all downhill from there with his other three selections failing to even be placed. The Gelding’s favourite Qatar player is Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin.

The Panel discusses Gary Ablett’s revelations during the week where he hadn’t spoken to his coach, Bomber Thompson since March this year. Sean talks about a rumor that James Hird and Thompson had been talking about getting together for 2012 but because Essendon’s coterie groups wanted Matthew Knights out, everything got moved forward twelve months. Daniel starts talking about Bob Costas (NBC sportscaster) but he really means the Geelong president, Frank Costa. Stan is swinging the axe again and Sean observes he is going to put Centrelink out of business as everyone is getting the knife.

Mark Fiorenti talks up the local Melbourne derby between the Heart and the Victory with over 23,000 at AAMi stadium. Sean went to his first game during the week to see Heart play but they went down in front of around 2,000 people. Mark says it was the lowest ever at an A League game in Melbourne. He says the FFA must address this as mid week games don’t work.

Sportzfan Radio #178.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!7 November 2010 178.2 – The Panel welcome the return of John O’Callaghan and reveals he is a Green Bay Packer fan. The Panel talk about athletes who keep on getting into the news for all the wrong reasons – Favre, Fevola, Warne, Newman. Nicole thinks it is “younger man approaching middle age trying to hold on to youth”. John discusses the AFL Grand Final and thinks it now should be an extra time game and not a replay. The Panel again take Mark Fiorenti to task again about the FFA bidding for the 2022 World Cup and the money that looks like it is wasted on a probable failed bid. Nicole thinks Ricky Ponting needs to get some emotion back into his captaincy of the Australian cricket side as he is too full of management speak. The Panel aren’t excited about the coming Ashes series. The Panel ask Paul Dalligan what Joel Monaghan’s scene is… Paul is enraged about the response and believes people shouldn’t be blaming social media. Paul breaks that Greg Inglis may be going to the Rabbitohs instead of the Broncos. Sean Callanan comes on to talk social media who thinks it was apt that his lead in was the theme from Minder as some pro athletes need minders. He says social media is ubiquitous.

Sportzfan Radio 159.1

Soccer ball21 June 2010 159.1 – Stan, the world’s oldest radio apprentice gives the AFL a rest in his rant this week and has the FFA fair and square in his sights at the thought of paying our next soccer coach up to $6 million.  Dan Butterly talks US sport particularly the musical chairs of NCAA conference realignment, NBA Championship game 7 and whether Kobe Bryant would have been the MVP of the finals series even if the Celtics had won, whether Tiger Woods can win the US Open from 4 shots back and his thought that the World Cup will end in a draw.  The Gelding calls in from the track at Bendigo where he has a runner, Queen Asa, going around.  He had a great day at the races on Saturday tipping 3 winners and a second.  In the ‘F’ word Mark Fiorenti muses on the problems of parking the “bus” with flat tyres and Sean informs listeners that parking the ‘bus’ is a real soccer tactic.