Friday, July 31, 2009

Bluetongue’s carpet is back?

A POSTSCRIPT to the piece I wrote on The Roar a couple of weeks ago about the importance of quality A-League surfaces, it was great to hear these comments from Lawrie McKinna after training at Bluetongue today;

“The field (at Bluetongue) is back to its best, back to where it used to be. They’ve worked hard to get it back up, and it was fantastic today. Just training here is a big lift for the boys and great preparation going to Melbourne on Thursday.”

Let’s hope he’s right and that it’s a sign of better surfaces to come across the board.

Wouldn’t it a great, a dream even, to hear Ernie Merrick or Kevin Muscat praising the state of the Etihad surface at some point throughout the season?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Half-Time Heroes; New Australian football fanzine out in six days

WITH only a week till the start of the new season, two fresh clubs to cast an eye over, a stack of returning Roos, a European at the helm in Sydney, God looking down from up north, Bleiberg and Palmer cranking up the rhetoric, ABC Grandstand finally on board (if only in Melbourne, for now), the Socceroos qualified for South Africa, the World Cup less than a year away, a World Cup bid book to write by May, fans demanding better football and the FFA encouraging it through its new template, there's a bit of a buzz around the local round ball scene.

And soon there'll be another addition to the local landscape, with the launch of Half-Time Heroes, a monthly football fanzine from some of Australia’s most dedicated football nutters, for all you other Oz football nutters.

The brainchild of Nearpost’s tireless Eamonn Flanagan, it will combine some serious commentary with a bit of fun, and feature the likes of Mike of The Football Tragic, Bill of A Spawning Salmon, John of A Seat at the A-League, Wayne of The Fishermen’s Friend, Con of A Football Story, and many more.

Oh, and I’ll also be chipping in with my regular tactical slant.

The first issue is out on Wednesday, 5th August, a day before the Victory and Central Coast kick off the season, and it will feature a piece by Sepp Blatter’s favourite Aussie, Sports Minister Kate Ellis (throw her inside the bid book, address it to Sepp, and we’re a sure thing).

And what’s best, HTH is online and free. To get it, go to either of the following two websites and on the right hand side of the page enter your E-mail address and subscribe so you never miss an issue. or

Enjoy HTH, enjoy the season, and pass on your feedback via an email to

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fantasy Time

Long time TRBA readers will know I've long been a fan of fantasy football, and with only a week or so till the start of A-League season five, it's time to get the thinking cap on and join the TRBA A-League Fantasy League via the Foxsports website.

Will some of the youngsters who broke-through last season continue to shine, or will a new set of kids come through and capture the imagination?

Will Jason Culina get the opportunity under Bleiberg to break the European shackles, bomb forward, create and score?

Any value among the other crop of returning Aussies, the likes of Mile Sterjovski, David Williams, Chris Coyne, Joel Porter and Jacob Burns?

Or are you thinking of spending your limit on some imports, the new ones like God, Fabio Vignaroli, Karol Kisel, Chris Doig, Paul Ifil and Surat Sukha, or the established ones like Eugene Dadi, Carlos Hernandez and Cristiano?

So much to ponder, so little time, so get cracking and join the TRBA A-League private league via the following code; 495-133.

Meanwhile, the EPL isn't too far away, and for those of you who've relied on Cristiano Ronaldo over the past few years, you'll have to shift your attention.

Will it be Rooney, Gerrard, Torres or Lampard? Or are you expecting big-spending Man City to produce the goods.

Whatever your thoughts, be sure to join the TRBA EPL Fantasy League via the official site and the following private league code; 11076-3839.

Enjoy it all, and best of luck.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What type of kids should we be producing/nurturing/encouraging?

OF course, a team can't completely be made up of little fellas that are great on the ball, but we need to start encouraging the kids that can make a real difference in the front third, kids like Dimi Petratos. Check out more in my latest Roar post.