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Author Topic: A-League 2007/2008
Willie1Foot
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I'd say you wouldn't have touched any of them with a bargepole MA. Maybe Sunshine George Cross? I have always found the Maltese-backed clubs to be the most cosmopolitan and tolerant of the ethnic clubs (if that isn't a contradiction in terms). I supported Sydney City way back because the were not an obviously ethnic team (they were actually Jewish-backed a la Sydney FC). The amount of overt violence we were subjected to by the other clubs, particularly Sydney Olympic, was unbelievable, although I think that was due to the fact that we won things rather than any anti-semitism on their part.In my limited experience Greek footballers hate winners even more than they hate losing.
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Phormic
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Does everybody forget Carlton? Melbourne's token non-ethnically based NSL club? I'm not surprised you didn't as their crowds were miserable (granted, not an uncommon thing in the NSL).

They made the 1998 Grand Final and had Archie Thompson, Simon Colosimo and Robbie Middleby pass through their ranks.

I remember reading somewhere they were only given unpaid wages a year or two back, something like six years after the club went bankrupt.

Ah, the good old days.

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Melbourne Arab
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Just to satisfy my curiosity, I had a look at the Victorian clubs who were in the NSL:

Brunswick Juventus
Carlton
Collingwood
Eastern Pride (a team in Gippsland!!!)
Footscray JUST
Green Gully
Heidelberg
Melbourne Croatia/Knights
Mooroolbark
Preston Macedonia/Lions
South Melbourne
Sunshine George Cross
Western Suburbs

A large bias towards the northern and western suburbs. No clubs around here so South Melbourne would have been the closest. The Victorian League as it currently stands has 3 Kingston clubs, all very ethnic - Oakleigh Cannons, Bentleigh Greens, Kingston City. Frankston Pines are down the road and don't seem to have any obvious national affiliation.

[ 22.02.2008, 09:19: Message edited by: Melbourne Arab ]

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Trimster
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Western Suburbs was a Sydney club, MA... played in the NSL in 1977-78. I think they were absorbed by APIA.

I followed Adelaide City from day one (1977) right up to the end (2004). In the early years of the NSL they almost had a broad based feel to them (they topped the NSL crowd averages in 1977- with 7,400!). By the end, the D'Ottavi regime had reduced them to a small time Italian social club with crowd averages of 2,750.

Somewhere along the way, they picked up three titles. But Adelaide United couldn't come along soon enough.....

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Melbourne Arab
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Is this one of the famous Wikipedia gets it wrong things? They say that Western Suburbs were based in Sunshine in Melbourne but merged with APIA in Sydney.

I'm surprised Carlton were non-ethnic given that suburb's famous Italian connections. What about Collingwood - surely there was no ethnic link there?

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Trimster
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Collingwood inherited a lot of Heidelberg players and had Zoran Matic as coach... but they were definitely connected with the AFL club- who couldn't wait to pull the plug on them when things started to go wrong.
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Melbourne Arab
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All season, those of us who watch the A League on a regular basis have bemoaned the truly awful standard of refereeing. Appropriately, then, the 2008 Grand Final finished in farcical circumstances thanks to "Australia's top referee" Mark Shield. With Newcastle deservedly leading a dreary game 1-0, Central Coast got a corner in the 94th minute. The ball was swung towards the 6 yard box where Newcastle's James Holland clearly, and deliberately, handled it. The officials didn't see it. CCM's goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic, who was forward for the corner was red carded, presumably for telling Shield the truth about his lack of refereeing ability. John Aloisi, who had spent the latter part of the match in a foul temper disputing every decision, was yellow carded.

Mark Shield should never referee again.

The crowd was 36,354. They were colourful and noisy but this is a disappointing attendance.

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Melbourne Arab
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quote:
CCM's goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic, who was forward for the corner was red carded, presumably for telling Shield the truth about his lack of refereeing ability
The cameras didn't pick it up but it looks like it was a lot more interesting than that:

http://news.theage.com.au/mariners-vukovic-faces-likely-life-ban/20080224-1uet.html

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Rory Bunk
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The referees just can't seem to have a quiet one.
I missed the game due to a wedding, but from the highlights it looked like a good atmosphere. Poor old Tony Vidmar with that balls-up to end his career on. Still, he's won his share of medals so I'm sure he'll get over it.

I don't think 36k was a disappointing crowd for a neutral venue. I'm not sure whether they put members' tickets on sale but they were never going to get many of these members in, considering they would have all been at the cricket next door. If you'd have told me 3 years ago that Newcastle and the Central Coast would play a GF in Sydney and get 36 thousand fans I'd have laughed in your face. I remember back in the Breakers days we'd average around 5000. Though it didn't help that we were generally shite.

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Rory Bunk
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Oh, and that Vukovic thing will be interesting. He's certainly not going to get life but I'd expect he'll miss a lot of next season plus the Olympics. Maybe he should have just given the ref a love tap in the groin instead of hitting his arm and he might have been luckier, Joel Griffiths style.

[ 25.02.2008, 00:42: Message edited by: Rory Bunk ]

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Phormic
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So Rory, have the old Breakers fans broken their boycott of watching any Newcastle team run by Constantine? I hear many of the Rowdies switched to supporting the Central Coast.
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Melbourne Arab
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quote:
Even if the Mariners were playing the Roar, I'd expect 20K from the coast, 10K from Brissie (plus Sydney based Queenslanders) and around 10K neutrals, leaving a respectable 40K. Sadly, it won't include me as I have a wedding. FFS
I'm blaming you, Rory, for raising expectations!
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Rory Bunk
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Phormic, I don't live there anymore so I'm not sure. A bunch went over to the Mariners, a few stayed with Newcastle United. A few probably have just not followed anyone, but maybe drifted back towards a less active support for their home-town team. I think the realization would always be there that once something of the scale of the A-League happened, the Breakers weren't going to be big enough. I think the Rowdies are now irrelevant anyway, there is now a huge following made up of teenagers, not us old farts any more. But it's nice that a few old hymns look to have remained.

MA, I think the 20K from the coast was a bit optimistic, particularly with the big family following. I was expecting around 35-40 on the day, though I expected it to be closer to 40 than it was. How are things tracking for the Champs league? It'll be nice for you to see someone different to the same old 7 opponents over and over again.

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Trimster
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Good to see Newcastle at last win a national soccer title, after all those failed franchises of the previous 30 years (KB, Rosebuds, Breakers, United etc).

So, Tony Vidmar bows out with a stuff up, but what a career his has been.

As for John Aloisi, I've got a feeling that this was virtually his last chance to win any club honours.... every club he has played for seems to have been unsuccessful- relegated with Coventry, both his Spanish clubs always flirting with relegation, did nothing with Portsmouth, same with Antwerp and Cremonese...it is very possible that his only claim to club honours was a single appearance for Adelaide City in their 91-92 championship season!

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Uncle Ethan
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What a dire game. Shields should get a medal for creating some interest with his non-decision at the end.

Commentators kept going on about how great Korean international Song was. This was a man who could not get a single corner kick past the first defender, except for when he hit it straight to the keeper or out of play for a throw in on the far side.

Neither keeper made a single save, as far as I can recall. Poor old Pim was there, again looking throroughly pissed off. Hardly surprising as he appeared to chucked out with the riff-raff instead being near Frank Lowy.

Vukovic didn't strike anyone - it was shown on the news that he grabbed at Shields arm to pull him back. he made lss contact with Sheidls than Holland did with the ball.

Not anywhere near as serious as Griffiths' incident with the assistant ref months ago.

Dealt with on the field so if the precedent holds it should be two weeks and that's it.

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