Tag Archives: sydneyfc

Tuesday musing – Farewell Ange and Aussies off to a bolter in the Ashes

I have been a longtime supporter of Ange Postecoglou and was especially pleased when he was appointed as Socceroos coach to replace Holger Osieck. There can be no doubt that Ange has turned the team’s fortunes around as at one stage the Socceroos had slumped to number 100 in the FIFA world rankings but he now has them back at 39 after qualifying for the World Cup. Ange also managed to win an Asian Championship along the way so he is definitely leaving the National team in a lot better shape than when he took over. Given that success I was most disappointed that he decided to pull the pin on his time as the manager of the team. A bit like David Gallup, I am puzzled as to why you would walk away after having scaled the mountain the hard way. It reminds me of David Hall, who was the original trainer of Maykbe Diva. After the first Melbourne Cup win he went overseas to pursue a training career leaving the Diva with Lee Freedman to chalk up two more wins. At least he had the first win! The search is now on for a new manager and I have heard many names mentioned including current Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold, Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi, former Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic, Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat and, in a blast from the past, Aussie Guus Hiddink. I hope the powers that be stick with a well credentialled Aussie coach. Personally I think Arnold has the ability to do the top job. He already knows the difficulties having been the Socceroos coach from 2006-2007 and he has been a success in the national competition with his A League side currently holding all three trophies.

Great to see the Ashes series has started as it is the most anticipated series in world cricket. In the recently completed First Test, the Australians gained the ascendancy after being able to scratch out a slim first innings lead then managed to take some crucial, early second innings wickets. The Aussie speed trio of Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc were wonderful and had the English on the back foot in both innings. Providing the three can stay fit, they will be more than a handful for the English over the final four tests. A special mention to the skipper too. Steve Smith’s innings was the real difference between the sides and the only reason the Aussies had a first innings lead. Without his contribution we would have been facing a sizeable deficit to make up and that would have completely turned the tables. Our top order needs to take a leaf out of Smith’s book and seek to occupy the crease rather than go after quick runs all the time. After all it is a ‘Test’ not a 20/20 game.

Weekend musing – 3rd test wrap up, AFL rookie draft, Melbourne City take the FFA Cup……

Sfan OB6The 3rd test against South Africa was a dead rubber, but it was good to see the revitalised Australian team turn around their fortunes and get a win on the board. There were three debutantes playing in the game and I was impressed with Renshaw & Hanscombe. Unfortunately, Maddinson got a very good ball early in his only hanscombinnings, so it was impossible to say if he will be any good. Renshaw resisted very well on the first night and while he only made 10 in the first innings, he showed similar application in the second innings. In the second innings the commentators were criticising his slow play which was somewhat in contrast with their lamenting in the first and second tests the lack of players that could stick around. He was in his first test, they had plenty of time, so I could not see the issue. He did seem to play and miss a lot, but I think on some of those “misses” he actually deliberately played inside the line. Hanscombe got a 50 in his first dig and then hit the winning run so a very promising debut.

The cricket now moves to a one day series against New Zealand, which seems to be a puzzling piece of scheduling .

Sticking with cricket it was great to see the Bushrangers get up against South Australia after conceding a first innings lead. Just reminding the Australian selectors that there is some quality south of the border.

Monday saw the AFL Rookie Draft and there seemed to be a clear pattern of recruiters getting in ruckmen and taller players. There filipovicwas 27 players (ound half of the draft) over 190cm and ten of those were ruckmen. It does seem clear that clubs are not willing to waste a pick on a ruckman who may take 3-5 years to develop. This is a wise strategy, but does it jeopardise the future of ruckmen picking the AFL over basketball? I really think this is something which could cause long term problems with participation and needs to be monitored by the AFL.

Great to see Melbourne City win the FFA Cup on Wednesday night in a clash of the current top two teams in the A-League. I have been a little concerned about the City defence, but holding Sydney FC to atim cahill clean sheet perhaps indicates that my concerns were misplaced. On present form these two teams will be in contention at the end of the season and a win to City does provide some psychological advantage. Also great to see Tim Cahill amongst the goals….an inspired signing for Melbourne City.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – A-League final, AFL, Mick Malthouse, NBA Playoffs, Andrew Bogut…..

Chris Barwin HillsThe biggest thing in local sport in the last week was the A-League grand final and what a comprehensive result for the Melbourne Victory. They were aggressive and positive from the start and played almost the complete game. Sydney FC only had two real shots on goal and both went straight to the keeper. Speaking of the keeper, Lawrence Thomas, in my far from expert opinion, he is better than
the injured Nathan Coe so they didn’t lose anything there. I think in Unknown-4the previous week Melbourne City put more pressure on the Victory defence for the same score line. This is perhaps the most complete side to take out the title and while they lost and drew a few games during the year that they should have won, it was evident that if they clicked no other side in the competition could beat them. Mark Milligan was a deserved winner of the Joe Marston Medal and it is surprising that he has not find greater success overseas.

In the AFL it is interesting to see the issue about the head high tackles and the tactics employed by the likes of Lindsay Thomas in drawing free kicks. I raised this issue earlier in the year and players Unknown-3that drop their knees and dip/raise their shoulders are almost impossible for the umpires to detect even though it is the equivalent of ducking the head. I think it is unfair to be critical of the likes of Thomas, the Selwoods, Shoey and Puopolo when coaches from all teams should be teaching the players the same tricks. Every supporter hates when these frees are paid against them, but delight when they go in their favour.

The heat on Mick Malthouse continues and it reminded me of when Ron Barassi went back to Melbourne. He had been successful at two clubs, but could not work his magic a third time. I think the main issue at Carlton is their atrocious disposal. They win the ball in Unknown-2contested situations and then give it straight back to the opposition. I think they could be a sneaky chance tonight against Geelong, but I am still not prepared to pick them. My upset for the round is the Saints to topple West Coast.

The NBA finals are entering the final phases and wouldn’t it be great Unknownif the Golden State Warriors played off against the Cleveland Cavaliers so we could be guaranteed an Australian was on the winning side. Andrew Bogut v Matthew Dellavadova. From a personal point of view I Unknown-1would like to see the Golden State Warriors win the title for Andrew Bogut given his constant battles with injury he deserves the reward.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – Essendon FC, James Hird, Father/Son rule……

Chris Barwin HillsThere have been a few Essendon issues popping up this week and I thought I would provide the perspective of a footy fan:

1) Should Dustin Fletcher play on? The question came up after a poor game against the Bulldogs and being left out of the team that beat Port Adelaide. I think he should play on next year, his form generally this year has been good, his game against Collingwood the previous week could not be faulted and I think you will find at the end of the year, in the previous game against the Bulldogs he will probably be in the umpire’s votes. If he plays on next year he will get to 400 games which is a significant milestone and even worth putting him on the list as a mature age rookie to try and get him over the line next year.

2) Should James Hird return to the coaches box once his suspension has been served? I think he should be able to return to the club, but he should stay away from the coaches box until the club has completed the 2014 campaign. Leave the match day coaching to Bomber and his assistants, but get involved behind closed doors as he will need to be across the list as soon as the season has been completed to prepare for the draft etc.

There has also been discussions about the Father/Son rule and the northern states academies. With regard to the Father/Son rule I think it should remain as it is as it is a great part of our game that a player has the option to play for his father’s ex-team in certain circumstances. I actually think there should be a brother/brother rule, particularly with regard to twins. I thought it was harsh when the Selwood twins ended up in Brisbane and Perth respectively, not only for them, but their parents as well. Then Joel ends up at Geelong! There is also the Brown twins, where Nathan ended up at Collingwood and Mitchell at West Coast, again harsh for them and their parents. Who do you barrack for?

With the northern states academies, I think if they have put the time and energy into preparing the players and that was the basis on which the academies were set up, then I don’t think there should be an issue. Having said that, perhaps the academies should be run by both clubs in that state, ie. Sydney and GWS and whichever team has first choice in the draft has the right of first refusal for that player.

Anyhow we have an interesting season panning out with five or six clubs vying for three or four spots in the final eight which should maintain the interest for those positions right until the end of the season.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – World Cup, Suarez, AFL & more

Chris Barwin HillsWell the biggest sporting event in the world continues to throw up great games, great drama and now teeth grating! Well we all like a little Italian, being one of the world’s great cuisines, but Luis Suarez clearly likes his Italian fresh. What is it that makes him want to bite opponents? In a sporting sense the only comparisons I can remember are Peter Filandia biting an opponent in the nether regions and My Brown Jug biting Manikato when he realised he was going to get beaten by the champ one day at Sandown. The Suarez suspension has now been handed down and in some ways given he is a repeat offender, is quite lenient.

Continuing the World Cup theme it is interesting to note that England, Spain and Italy who represent three of the four biggest leagues in the world have all been eliminated. Is this just bad luck or is it a symptom of the leagues not promoting local talent in deference to established players from other countries? I would certainly think that is the case with the EPL, but I am not familiar enough with the Italian and Spanish leagues to know if the same problem exists. Germany has made it through and my feeling is that the Bundesliga retains a high German content, but again that is speculation not based on facts. English cricket suffered a similar fate to the EPL and County Cricket reduced the number of overseas players eligible for each team to improve their national team. Is it time for the EPL to place a restriction on the number of eligible overseas players?

I was a little disappointed with the Aussies last game against Spain. It probably went to script and the Socceroos without Cahill and Bresciano were undermanned, but a 1-0 or a 2-0 result would have been a little more satisfying given the performances earlier in the tournament.

The Bombers face the Cats tonight and the Cats are coming off their fourth loss of the season from their fourth interstate trip. Not only have they been beaten interstate, they have been comfortably beaten. That being said, they have not lost a game in Victoria and as a result I will be going against my team and picking the Cats, but barracking hard for the Bombers.

On the never ending supplements saga, it was interesting to hear Tim Watson make a comment on Talking Footy on Monday night. Given his position he has been very circumspect with his comments regarding the whole affair. In a obvious support for his son he finally made a comment about the use of AOD9604 and the lack of retraction or apology from the accusers, which was obviously directed at the time to Jobe.

I was interested to see Daniel Giansiracusa get 2 weeks for his late bump on Polec over the weekend and I ask the question, what was the difference between that bump and Adam Goodes bump on Joel Selwood? Not much, the ball had just left the area, he jumped in the air and hit him high and dazed him. I am not saying that Giansiracusa should have got off, but why wasn’t Goodes charged?

I omitted to make a comment last week about the State of Origin game. What a contrast with the first game which was one of the best rugby league games I have seen. Last Wednesday’s game was probably one of the most boring I have ever watched. The only constant was Queensland’s handling errors which again cost them the game.

Speaking of boring games, what about the Tigers and the Swans last Friday night! I think that is the stye of game that Mick Malthouse was referring to when he commented on the state of the game yesterday. That was the modern game at its worst and contrast that with the Bombers and Crows on Saturday night which was one of the best games I have watched all year.

Have a great weekend!

Sportzfan Radio show #234.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!12 February 2012 234.2 – The Panel discuss the test series between Australia and India with the question being whether Australia has improved that much or was India that bad. Paul Dalligan feels it has a lot to do with new bowling coach, Craig McDermott. Even Sportzfan Stan gave the Aussies the thumbs up with a nine out of ten. Tennis is also on the agenda with a look at Australia playing China in a Davis Cup qualifier being played in Geelong this week. The Panel agree that Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic have the advantage over Ze Zhang and Di Wu. The Professor raises the question whether Australia will get back into the Davis Cup top 16. Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer, beginning with Sydney’s coach, Vitezslav Lavicka ‘resignation’ this week. Names rumored to replace him include Italian great, Gianfranco Zola, former Sydney FC player Dwight Yorke and Graham Arnold. There will be other coaching vacancies at the end of ther season and these are also discussed. Paul Dalligan looks at the pros and cons of Harry Kewell’s signing by Victory and whether it was a good thing. Internationally, England’s coach, Italian Fabio Capello, announced his resignation after the F.A’s decision to strip Chelsea’s John Terry of the England captaincy over racism charges during a Premier League match. In rugby league, Paul Dalligan was pleased that the independent commission is off the ground after four years in the making and he discusses the future of the ARL with the coming media rights negotiation.

Sportzfan Radio show #233.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!22 January 2012 233.2 – Daniel believes that signing Patty Mills was detrimental and had they not, the Tigers would have had more wins for the season and retained Darryl Corletto. James Upfill, a local baseball player for the Cheltenham Rustlers, joins the Panel to talk baseball and believes the future of the ABL mainly rests with the media coverage of baseball in Australia. Sportzfan Stan feels baseball in Australia is doomed  because of the lack of grounds, players and supporters (a position he has maintiend since Day 1 of the ABL). Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and says his soccer predictions remain unfulfilled with the Melbourne Heart losing to Perth 2-1. Questions were raised about Besart Berisha being allowed to play after receiving a one game suspension against SydneyFC for challenging a player to a post game fight during last week’s game. Berisha scored the equaliser against Heart. Mark and the Professor have differing opinions regarding the Heart’s ability to survive with low attendance at games this year. The Panel look at the week’s Australian Open results and believe they were disappointing as only two men and no women remain in the tournament. With no Panel member predicting accurately the outcome of the past week, Daniel’s knowledge of the remaining players was tested while Stan decided to barrack for the home stars.  The Professor predicts Tomic to win the men’s singles with Kim Clijsters ultimately beating Serena Williams for the women’s title. Paul Dalligan begins by endorsing the local baseball as the best sporting entertainment for the dollar before taking a whack at the Luxbet practices regarding a forfeited tennis match. He was pleased that the NRL’s Independent Commission is likely to start on the 10th of February.

Sportzfan Radio #208.1 3 July 2011

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!3 July 2011 208.1 – The Panel are back after a mid year break.  Daniel talks about the swamp soccer grand final and his appointment as public relations officer for the Australian Ice Hockey League. The Panel talk to Brian Bales from the Newcastle North Stars about his ‘almost’ first ever short handed hat trick in Australia. The Professor asks the Gelding if Nathan Tinkler has any plans to purchase the North Stars. The Gelding talks horse racing and discusses the results from Moonee Valley and Rosehill. Daniel gives the Gelding a ‘B’ for his selections. Sportzfan Stan asks Daniel when he is going to tip against the Gelding. Daniel agrees he’ll do this but he will go on what the jockeys are wearing and horses names rather than the form guide. Sportzfan Stan raises the problems of current AFL clubs trying to resist offers for their uncontracted players from Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney which leads the Panel to a discussion on what compensation clubs should get for losing those players. Mark Fiorenti talks soccer and admits he didn’t foresee Russia beating Scotland 6-0 in the Swamp Soccer final. He also talks about the crowd behaviour at the Sydney v Celtic match.

Sportzfan Radio #199.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!24 April 2011 199.2 – Mark Fiorenti also looks at the mathematical possibilities of Melbourne Victory and Sydney in making the knockout round of the Asians Champions League. He says Arsenal’s mediocre recent form with two draws seems to have finished its Premier League run. Sportzfan Stan believes Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger should be sacked. The Panel talk with Southern Football League CEO, Wayne Holdsworth about Jason Akermanis playing as a ‘gun for hire’ in local leagues and whether it is a good thing for football at grass roots level. Drugs in sport also raises its head again with Alberto Contador still cycling notwithstanding he has been found guilty of returning a positive test to clenbutrenol. He has lodged an appeal with the Courts of Arbitration for Sport and can ride pending the appeal. Sportzfan Stan says it is an outrage. Paul Dalligan comes on the show to talk rugby league and this week’s round of matches. He goes out on a limb and selects the Roosters to beat the Dragons 16-12. He discusses the off field trouble that Todd Carney and Anthony Watts have found themselves in and says it is a massive blow for the Roosters. Sean Callanan talks sports digital and Essendonfc will use a fan cam tomorrow to take a panoramic digital picture of the crowd at tomorrow’s Anzac Day game. He also discusses new teams strategies to draw in fans especially for the new 20/20 franchises, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder. Don’t forget next week is the 200th Sportzfan Radio show.