Monday, November 20, 2006

Australia 1 - 1 Ghana

A great game against the Black Stars the other week at Loftus Rd. Some of the best football we've played in a while on show in the first half, and some great saves stopped us from being well and truly on top at half time.

Here's a little compilation from aufcfan on Youtube.

Youth Crisis. Ange vs Fozzie

In an amazing year for Australian football, we have had a couple of very down moments recently.

It is no secret there are big problems with Youth development in our game. The biggest being that there really isn't any to speak of.

There's many theories, and many solutions. But as of today none are being announced or put into place. The necessity for a decent youth program, incorporating a national youth league of some sort, is fundamental to us mounting successful world cup campaigns in 2014 and 2018. And successful world cup campaigns, Asian cup campaigns, and Asian Champions League campaigns is what we need more than anything else.

FFA are saying that they are aware of the issues, and it is surely top of incoming CEO Ben Buckley's list when he starts his tenure in the job. But WHAT are they doing? We have now failed in Asia to qualify for the U17 and U20 World Cups. Is it harder in Asia? Of course. Should we have the sturctures in place to succeed? Of course. Do we have these structures? No.

Youth coach Ange Postecoglu took to India a squad that had 5 players getting semi regular first team football. Most of his squad aren't even signed with a club. Is this Ange's fault? No. Should Ange have done better? Undoubtedly. We failed partially because of the lack of experience of our young players, but also because of Ange's inability to get any sense of dominance of opposition we should have beaten.

Unfortunately, in the recent interview with SBS, Craig Foster, who seems to be trying to make himself a new Johnny Warren, went head to head with Ange over the issues, saying he should resign. Sadly, i agree with Fozzie's sentiments, if not his mechanism for getting the point across.

Ben Buckley comes from AFL, which through it's Auskick programs, has a very good youth development structure and dominates the sporting landscape through the ages 14 - 24. All his nouce will be required in creating a similar system for football.

Sooner rather than later.

Romario is a here......

The great Romario has finally arrived in Adelaide. Sadly, I couldn't see him at the airport as i live in Melbourne, But it's pretty clear what he's here to do:

Score. Score. And Probably Score a little bit more.

One of the world's greatest players, he needs only 14 more balls to hit the back of the net to equal Pele's 1000 goals record. And at 40 he's still putting them away.

He will play 4 appearances for Adelaide United, against CC at Gosford this weekend, followed by Victory, NZ and Jets at Hindmarsh. Barring injury, i'll actually get to see him on the 15th against Newcastle when i attend my first ever home game for the Reds. To make the milestone in the red shirt, he needs to score an average of 3.5 goals a game. Unlikely. Still, just imagine one of the greatest players still playing the game to score his 1000th goal in Australia. Now imagine that concept 16 months ago...

I do have concerns. I worry that his inclusion will lead to an imbalance in the team. I worry about our ability to actually service balls to his feet. I worry about other teams being overly physical.

What is obvious after our 2 - 1 loss to Sydney on Sunday, is that our guys will have to work more than twice as hard in order to stay in 2nd and get the goals we need.

Still, what a specatcle it will be....