Saturday, January 31, 2009

South Melbourne beat South Hobart

South Melbourne beat South Hobart 7-0 at Bob Jane Stadium today after leading 2-0 at half-time.

This follows South's 1-1 draw with Oakleigh Cannons on Friday.

“It was a great learning curve for us and it’s certainly improved our fitness,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“We had some injuries against Oakleigh and playing a second game in two days in the heat proved too much.

"Ricky Eaves and Matthew Brown picked up ankle injuries and we had to take Matthew off against South Melbourne and that left a soft centre after the break.

“There were some very good performances from our players, though.

"South Melbourne had twenty players and rotated them well."

Meanwhile, the Matildas drew 2-2 with Italy in their international women's match in Parramatta.

Italy is 12th in the FIFA rankings, while Australia is 14th.

The sides meet again next Saturday, this time in Canberra.

New Town Eagles beat Launceston City

New Town Eagles beat Launceston City 2-1 in a friendly at Sandown Park today.

The match conisted of three 30-minute periods and Eagles 'loaned' City three players as the northerners only had 11 players.

Jacob Kavanagh and Adam McKeown scored for Eagles.

City's scorer was one of the Eagles loan players, who played for the club's under-19s last season.

"I was happy with the result," said Eagles coach, George Krambousanos.

"We had twenty players and I gave everyone a run and we gave City three reserve players because they were short.

"We had six first-team players out because they were unavailable or injured.

"But, it was a good run and I'm pleased."

Ivan Jozeljic was the referee.

Incidentally, the draw for the southern Summer Cup will be made at FFT headquarters on Monday at 10am.

German Bundesliga:

Hamburg 1 (Petric 44') b Bayern Munich 0

Friday, January 30, 2009

South Hobart draw 1-1 with Oakleigh Cannons

South Hobart drew 1-1 with Oakleigh Cannons at North Melbourne this evening.

After a goalless opening half, South Hobart took the lead in the 55th minute with a well-worked goal.

A cross by David Abbott was fired at goal by Igor, and when the goalkeeper could only parry, Shae Hickey netted to give the Tasmanians a deserved lead.

Oakleigh equalised near the end through a penalty, awarded for a handball by Liam Scott.

"It was a good display by our team," said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

"The pitch was a bit bumpy but the temperature had dropped by game time and so conditions weren't too bad.

"Oakleigh probably had the better of the first half, but we came back well in the second and probably should have won as it was a 'home' penalty.

"Liam tried to clear and the ball bounced up and struck his hand. It wasn't deliberate.

"Now we've got to regroup for tomorrow's game against South Melbourne."

Thailand and Steve Darby are a busy combination

Australia wasn’t the only side to draw 0-0 in the Asian Cup on Wednesday.

Thailand, where former Tasmanian director of coaching, Steve Darby, is assistant coach to Peter Reid, also drew 0-0 in Bangkok with Australia’s old nemesis Iran, in their Group E match.

Iran leads the group, a point ahead of second-placed Singapore and two ahead of third-placed Thailand, which has drawn its two matches to date 0-0 - away to Jordan and at home to Iran.

“It was a great result against Iran last night,” said Darby.

“Ali Daei [the Iran coach] was not a happy man.

“We could have lost it on set-pieces, and we could have pinched it.

“Iran are an ageing side and I will be surprised if they qualify for the World Cup.

“We have two days off now and then it’s off to Japan.

“The lads and Peter and I are knackered, but the bonus was good for the draw last night.”

In their previous game, Thailand drew 0-0 away to Jordan in temperatures of minus one degree Celsius.

This is one of the attractions for Australia now that it is in the Asian Confederation - the different conditions and opponents to be faced.

I don’t know about you, but I find it far more exciting to follow our team in Asia than used to be the case when we were in the Oceania Confederation.

Thailand will play Saudi Arabia in Sendai, Japan, on Monday, in a friendly.

Saudi Arabia invited Thailand to play them in this practice match before the Saudi’s face Japan in a competitive match.

It’s a case of one nation helping another to prepare for an important match.

Perhaps Australia may receive such invitations in the future, but I doubt it.

Asian nations seem to be wary of facing Australia, and given the long distances that would be involved, and the fact that we would probably field our third-string side, it’s unlikely.

Darby said there were some great players in Thailand who would walk into the A-League.

As well as being coaching director in Tasmania, Darby coached and/or played for Devonport City, University, White Eagles and South Hobart.

Ali Daei rates Thailand as one of the best teams in South-East Asia.

Reid, Thailand's coach, has managed Manchester City and Sunderland in the past.

After leaving Tasmania, Darby was active in the NSL with Sydney Olympic, coached the Australian and Vietnam women's teams, and then coached in Singapore and Malaysia before recently being appointed as Reid's assistant with Thailand.

South Hobart feeling the heat

South Hobart have trained for only short periods in the heat of Melbourne as they prepare to take on Oakleigh Cannons and South Melbourne this weekend.

The Tasmanians trained for half-an-hour yesterday after arriving in Melbourne and for 45 minutes at Bob Jane Stadium this morning, both sessions being conducted in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

There will be regular drinks breaks in both matches and bottled water will be available around the touchlines for the players.

The South Hobart line-up for tonight's [Friday] match against Oakleigh Cannons at Port Melbourne at 8pm is: Mark Moncur - Greg Downes, Hugh Ludford, Matthew Brown, Liam Scott - Ricky Eaves, Bart Beecroft, Gary Upton, David Abbott - Shae Hickey, Billy Gasparinatos.

The South Hobart team for the game against South Melbourne at Bob Jane Stadium tomorrow [Saturday] at 4pm is: Sam Kruijver - Greg Downes, Hugh Ludford, Matthew Brown, Liam Scott - Ricky Eaves, Bart Beecroft, Jonathon Ladic, Julius Ross - Billy Gasparinatos, Igor.

South Melbourne officials will meet with South Hobart officials on Saturday to talk about a proposal to conduct an end-of-season tournament at South Hobart this season involving South Melbourne, Sydney Olympic, Hobart Olympic and South Hobart.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friendlies in full swing

Photos: Beachside training at Sandown, conducted by coach Nathan Robinson

Many clubs are busy playing friendlies as the pre-season tournaments approach.

Hobart Olympic have already drawn 4-4 with Beachside, while South Hobart beat Beachside 2-1 at senior level and 7-1 in the reserves.

Clarence United beat Taroona 2-0 on Thursday.

On Saturday, Launceston City head south to take on New Town Eagles at Sandown Park at noon.

Beachside will play Clarence at Wellesley Park on Sunday, the reserves kicking off at 10am and the seniors at noon.

On Sunday, Metro are up against Kingborough Lions United at South Hobart.

South Hobart are, of course, in Melbourne to play Oakleigh Cannons at North Melbourne on Friday at 8pm, and South Melbourne at Bob Jane Stadium at 6pm on Saturday.

Let's hope the temperatures ease a little bit in Melbourne.

Socceroos draw 0-0 with Indonesia

The second-string Socceroos, made up entirely of A-League players, drew 0-0 with Indonesia in Jakarta in their Asian Cup qualifying match today [Wednesday].

It was Australia's fifth clean sheet in a row and Indonesia's fifth game in which they have failed to score.

Australia, ranked 29th by FIFA, was disappointing against an Indonesia team ranked 144th in the world.

It is quite clear that the A-Leaguers are not up to it, even against such modest opponents.

The visitors had the better of possession but rarely tested the Indonesia defence, while Australia's goalkeeper was never really under any pressure.

A point is better than none and that is about all that Australia can be pleased with in regard to this game.

It was Indonesia's second 0-0 draw in the qualifying group and they are on top of a group in which a goal has yet to be scored after two games.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

State under-14 and under-15 trials are underway

The selection process for the State under-14s and under-15s has commenced, with trials conducted in Devonport, Launceston and Hobart this week.

"We commenced our trials in Devonport on Monday," said State under-14s coach, Ken Morton.

"We went all right. From the North-West squad that Micky Denton coaches up there, fourteen of the sixteen players turned up and there's some quality in there.

"Young Alexander Goggin, or 'Moo' as they call him, has been identified by Liverpool, Derby County and one other club.

"Tommy McGinn's lad, Daniel, is a smart player.

"Brady Grey, the defender, is a talent. He's a good player.

"He reads the game well, plays at the back and is a good distributor and a natural leader.

"I like the look of him.

"Out of fourteen, there were some promising players, some of whom I'd class as fighting to get into the final squad, so that was a good try-out for me."

Morton said he was disappointed with the trial in Launceston.

"The turn-out was not so strong and maybe only one or two showed the credentials that are needed to become a State player," he said.

Trials for the under-14s and under-15s, the latter coached by Chris Hey and assisted by Mark Loftus, were held at the Cornelian Bay grounds this morning.

"This morning, we had a group of 38 in the under-14s, and the under-15s had 31, making a total of 69 players trying out," Morton said.

"The next step, now that we've had a look at them in the regions, is to ask them if they feel confident of going forward.

"If they do, then they should attend the next training session, which will be at Churchill Park in Launceston on Sunday, 8 February.

"That'll be for players from all the regions.

"From there, we'll start to cut the numbers down and get to a better working level of maybe 25, 26 or 27 players, or something like that."

* * * * *

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Institute of Sport men’s team has returned after competing in the Institute Challenge in Canberra and finishing joint fifth with the Victorian Institute of Sport and the ACT Institute.

“On a count-back, Tasmania was placed seventh because we missed out on a play-off with Northern NSW, which was unable to field a side on the final day because of injuries,” said TIS head coach, Dean May.

“Overall, it was a good performance by the TIS and allowed us to truly gauge where we are nationally.”

South Hobart off to Melbourne

State premiers, South Hobart, are off to Melbourne on Thursday morning to play friendlies against top Victorian Foxtel Cup sides Oakleigh Cannons and South Melbourne.

The match against Oakleigh Cannons is at Port Melbourne on Friday at 8pm, while the spar with South Melbourne is at Bob Jane Stadium on Saturday at 6pm.

"We're heading off with a group of 15 players," said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

"The purpose, obviously, is to get us playing at a higher level and to try and focus the players into playing with much more intensity and concentration for 90 minutes.

"And, obviously, it's to get us match fit and a little bit quicker than what we would naturally be if we just played games here in Tasmania.

"It's really to help us acquire our way of playing, our pattern of play, and to develop our fitness at the same time."

The trip signifies a new level of professional at South Hobart, which has not been noted for such intense pre-season preparation in the past, apart from competing in the northern Steve Hudson Cup pre-season competition, of course.

"I think it was something the players wanted to do after our challenge last year against Gladesville in Launceston City's fiftieth anniversary tournament," said Morton.

"When they weren't coming back this year, we had no interstate opposition, so this was just a way of providing it.

"Through my connections in Melbourne, we were able to arrange these two games.

"Oakleigh Cannons are a strong side and they were high up in the league last year, something like fifth or sixth.

"South Melbourne Hellas? Well, they're South Melbourne Hellas.

"They have a great tradition and are a great club with a fantastic stadium and some bright and gifted young players.

"So, we're looking forward to both of these games to extend us and to see if we are progressing along the right lines."

Morton said he was taking his strongest possible team.

"We're taking 15 of our 18 first-team players," he said. "David Cooper can't come because he has a wedding to attend, while Josh Heerey has only recently returned to Tasmania from Melbourne and has a new job and cannot take the time off.

"All the rest of our top players are there and I'm very happy to be taking such a strong squad.

"They'll include Ricky Eaves, Igor, Jonathon Ladic, Bart Beecroft, Garry Upton, goalkeepers Mark Moncur and Sam Kruijver, Liam Scott and Greg Downes.

"Yes, we're at full strength."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tasmania deserves an Asian Cup match

It's about time Tasmania was given a competitive Socceroos international match.

The Socceroos have only played here once, and that was a friendly against Tasmania in the early 1980s.

We recently gained kudos for the performance of our under-21s against A-League youth teams, and attendances at the pre-season A-League cup matches in Launceston have always been respectable.

Well, guess what? The venues for Australia's Asian Cup qualifiers against Oman on 14 November this year, and the return leg against Indonesia scheduled for 3 March next year, have not yet been decided.

Canberra will host the Australia versus Kuwait match on 5 March this year. Darwin and northern Queensland have often been touted as future venues for Socceroos matches.

I think Football Federation Tasmania should be lobbying hard for Football Federation Australia to stage the match against Oman, or the one against Indonesia, in either Launceston or Hobart.

It would be a marvellous reward for Tasmania's efforts to promote soccer, and appropriate recognition of our current standing in the game nationally.

I don't think it would cost FFT anything as these are national team games and are the responsibility of FFA.

The time to lobby is now, while there is still time.

* * * * * *

While on the subject of the Socceroos, tomorrow night's (Wednesday) game against Indonesia at the Gelong Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta should be a fascinating showdown.

Australia will be fielding a second-string eleven, made up entirely of home-based players from the A-League.

Let's hope we don't come unstuck and that some of our inexperienced representatives don't wilt before an expected vociferous home crowd of 90,000.

With the day not being a scheduled FIFA match day, Australia did not have its overseas players available, so there was little choice but to blood the best of the A-League crop.

Only six of the squad have previously been capped, so it will be a huge learning curve for some of the players and one which will stand them in good stead in the years to come.

The squad is: Danny Allsopp (Melbourne Victory), Billy Celeski (Melbourne Victory), Shannon Cole (Sydney FC), Robert Cornthwaite (Adelaide United), Tarek Elrich (Newcastle Jets), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Dean Heffernan (Central Coast Mariners), Scott Jamieson (Adelaide United), Dylan McCallister (Central Coast Mariners), Matthew McKay (Queensland Roar), Craig Moore (Queensland Roar), Tom Pondeljak (Melbourne Victory), Paul Reid (Adelaide United), Matt Simon (Central Coast Mariners), Michael Theoklitos (Melbourne Victory), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Matthew Thompson (Newcastle Jets), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), Rodrigo Vargas (Melbourne Victory), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Michael Zullo (Queensland Roar)

But, some of the squad have also played for their clubs in Asian Champions League matches and should know what to expect.

I think the squad is good enough to win, providing the players don't underestimate the opponents and the conditions.

Moore has 40 caps for Australia and has played in Europe, of course, while Archie Thompson has 30 caps.

The other internationals are Allsopp (2 caps), McKay (1 cap), Pondeljak (4 caps) and Topor-Stanley (3 caps).

* * * * *

Let's not forget the Matildas.

The Australian women's team will play Italy in Parramatta on Saturday, 31 January, and again in Canberra on Saturday, 7 February.

The Matildas squad is: Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne Victory), Danielle Brogan (Sydney FC), Ellie Brush (Canberra United), Tameka Butt (Queensland Roar), Lauren Colthorpe (Queensland Roar), Lisa de Vanna (Perth Glory), Heather Garriock (Sydney FC), Katie Gill (Newcastle Jets), Lana Harch (Queensland Roar), Elsie Kellond-Knight (Queensland Roar), Collette McCallum (Perth GLory), Kate McShea (Queensland Roar), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra United), Amber Neilson (Newcastle Jets), Jo Peters (Newcastle Jets), Clare Polkinghorne (Queensland Roar), Karla Reuter (Queensland Roar), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle Jets), Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), Sarah Walsh (Sydney FC), Lydia Williams (Canberra United).

* * * * *

FFA have appointed Gary Power as the National Elite Referees Instructor.

He will report to Mario van der Ende, the National Referee Technical Director.

Power has been the Referees' Expert for the Qatar Football Association for the past three years.

Power's achievements and previous position is another example of the career paths available for Australian referees now that we are part of the Asian Confederation.

It should serve as an inspiration to our young up-and-coming Tasmanian referees who literally have Asia, and indeed the world, at their feet.

They need to be recognised nationally, however, and this is an area that FFT must address. Our most promising referees must get the chance to referee interstate so that they can catch the eye.

Tasmania has had one FIFA referee in the past - Jack Johnston.

It's high time we had another.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Steve Hudson Cup groups

The Steve Hudson Cup pre-season competition in Launceston begins on 7 February and there will be two groups of four teams.

South Hobart, Taroona and the Tasmanian Institute of Sport are the southern representatives in this year's competition, which is organised by Launceston United and named after their late goalkeeper.

Group A: TIS, Launceston City, Riverside Olympic, South Hobart

Group B: Prospect Knights, Taroona, Northern Rangers, Launceston United

South Hobart, the holders, complete their preparations next weekend with a trip to Melbourne where they will play Oakleigh Cannons on Friday, 30 January, at Port Melbourne, and South Melbourne the following day at the Bob Jane Stadium.

It is a credit to Taroona that they are participating. They were demoted to Division One at the end of last season and their entry in this northern competition speaks volumes about their commitment and desire to regain Premier League status.

Nominations for the southern Summer Cup do not close until Friday.

Fred Joughin honoured with Australia Day honour

Fred Joughin, 82, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for his services to soccer.

Joughin OAM is an institution at the University Soccer Club, which is 60 years old this year.

Joughin has been president and chairman of the club since 1959 and served on southern and state administrative bodies during the 1960s.

He has served on the board of the now defunct Southern Tasmanian Soccer Association and also on various committees, where he played leading roles.

He played regularly for University until he was 51, and after that, as often as he could, until he was 58.

“I played intermittently for the Grads team whenever I could persuade the coach to give me a run,” said Joughin, a lawyer by profession, but now retired.

Joughin has seen many changes and many fine players at the club over the past 60 years.

“We’ve had a lot of good, hard tackling, hard playing sides, including a very good side in the early 1960s with players such as Raja Ram, Aslam Buksh, Robert Surrendra, and a Swiss player, Fritz Hadorn," Joughin said.

“We were often known as Uno rather than Uni because we had players from many countries.

“We had a Sikh, who wore the special turban they use for playing sport, and a Fijian winger who discarded his boots after 20 minutes of his first game because he preferred to play in bare feet.

“The other teams complained because they were frightened of breaking his toes, but no-one ever did him any damage because he was too quick on his feet.”

Andy Galbraith, a centre-back, Jack Atkinson, an old-fashioned centre-half who never missed a ball in the air in three seasons, and goalkeeper Eddie Klassen were other great players to play for University, according to Joughin.

University is noted for the number of players who just seem to go on for ever, gradually dropping down through the ranks but remaining active as players.

Graham Smith, Tom Ballantyne, John Nicholson, Les Jackson, and Michael Thompson are just some who spring to mind.

“It’s a club with a great camaraderie and loyalty amongst the old players, and we have 30 life members,” said Joughin.

“There have been so many changes, from our first year when we struggled to put eleven players on the field, to now when we have more than half a dozen senior men’s and women’s team.

“The girl’s teams are very loyal and they do everything possible to help.

“When the club started, we played at Bell Street in New Town, where there was one tap in the middle of a paddock to wash the mud off ourselves, and the changing shed was as big as four telephone boxes, with a wooden partition down the middle to separate the opposing teams.

“I remember one team would always hit the booze for refreshment at half-time and we could hear them through the partition and, even if we were behind at that stage, we knew we’d beat them in the second half.”

And how long will Joughin stay as president?

“Until the boys decide they’re sick of me,” he said.

Liverpool held yet again by Everton

Liverpool and Everton drew 1-1 in their FA Cup fourth-round clash at Anfield on Sunday in a repeat of their league draw last week.

It was the 210th derby meeting between the red and blue halves of Merseyside.

Australia's Tim Cahill again showed his prowess in the air by setting up Everton's goal for Joleon Lescott after a corner in the 27th minute, but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard equalised with a low, powerful left-foot shot in the 54th minute that beat Everton keeper Tim Howard at his near post.

Fernando Torres's skill in controlling the ball and then flicking it into the path of Gerrard with his heel set up the goal.

In Sunday's earlier fourth-round tie, Cardiff City drew 0-0 with Arsenal at home at Ninian Park.

Cardiff had numerous chances to win but were unable to score, while Arsenal gradually came back into the game during the second half and squandered some chances of their own.

The replays are in ten days' time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Melbourne Victory clinch minor premiership in A-League

Melbourne Victory are the minor premiers in the A-League, but it was a tight finish.

Adelaide United managed only a 1-0 away win over Central Coast Mariners at the Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Sunday, which left them in second place but equal on points and goal-difference with Victory.

Victory finished on top because they have scored 8 more goals than Adelaide.

A goal 9 minutes from the end by Brazilian import Christiano, who came on as a substitute, gave Adelaide their win, but they should have scored at least another goal, which would have given them the minor premiership.

In the first half, Lucas Pantelis smashed a superb free-kick against the Mariners' post, the ball then rebounding off goalkeeper Danny Vukovic's face and to safety.

The Mariners finished fourth on the ladder and will now meet third-placed Queensland Roar in the elimination semi-final.

In Sunday's other game, Sydney FC finally came good and beat the outgoing champions Newcastle Jets 4-0 at the Sydney Football Stadium to finish fifth on the ladder.

Two first-half goals by Alex Brosque put Sydney 2-0 up at the interval, while an own-goal by former Sydney player Mark Milligan and a strike by Mark Bridge completed the scoring.

FA Cup Matches

The magic of the FA Cup was illustrated with the first of the 14 fourth-round ties, which pitted two famous neighbours against each other.

Derby County drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest at County's Pride Park on Friday night.

The two clubs are now in The Championship, the second tier of English football.

Both goals came from low right-wing crosses, dummies and clinical finishes.

Rob Hulse put Derby ahead in the 35th minute and Robert Earnshaw equalised in the 64th.

Nigel Clough was the new manager in charge of Derby County, the club his father, Brian, took to the First Division title in 1972.

Brian then moved on to manage Nottingham Forest in 1975, where he won promotion to the First Division in his first season in charge and immediately won the First Division title. He also won two European Cups with Forest, beating Malmo in 1978-79 and Hamburg in 1979-80.

Incidentally, Nottingham Forest beat Derby County 3-1 in the FA Cup Final of 1898, played at Crystal Palace.

The replay of this fourth-round tie will be at Forest's City Ground on 4th February. Nigel Clough will take his team along Brian Clough Way, the road leading to the stadium.

At lunch time on Saturday, Division One side Hartlepool United lost 2-0 at home at Victoria Park to Premier League side West Ham United.

The goals came just before half-time, the first through Velon Behrami and the second from a controversial penalty by Mark Noble. The handling offence was clearly outside the box.

Other Results:

Doncaster 0-0 Aston Villa
Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Kettering Town 2-4 Fulham
Portsmouth 0-2 Swansea
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Burnley
Chelsea 3-1 Ipswich Town
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Middlesbrough
Sheffield United 2-1 Charlton Athletic
Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn Rovers
Hull City 2-0 Milwall
Torquay United 0-1 Coventry City
Watford 4-3 Crystal Palace

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Queensland Roar move into second place

Queensland Roar produced an excellent attacking display to beat Perth Glory 4-2 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night to move into second place on the A-League ladder,

The pressure is now on Adelaide United, who dropped to third. But, they can still finish as the minor premiers if they beat Central Coast Mariners away at the Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Sunday by at least two goals.

Poor defending cost Queensland two goals, but their attacking flair led to all four goals which gave them victory.

The Roar's Danny Tiatto scored his first goal in the A-League with a magnificent left-footed strike from all of 25 metres after a short corner.

Mitch Nichols finished off a splendid move down the left with a goal after Tiatto's cross was headed against a post by Sergio Van Dijk.

Van Dijk also got on the score sheet, as did Josh McLoughan.

Nikita Rukavytsya, who is off to Holland on a professional contract, and Anthony Skorich netted for the Glory.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Melbourne Victory have one hand on the minor premiership

Melbourne Victory took a huge step towards claiming the A-League minor premiership with a 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix at Telstra Dome on Friday night.

Victory have now completed their 21-match program and are 3 points ahead of second-placed Adelaide United, who play fourth-placed Central Coast Mariners away at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.

Victory have a goal-difference of +12, while Adelaide go in to Sunday's game three points adrift of Victory and with a goal-difference of +11. Adelaide must, therefore, win by two goals to pip Victory for the minor premiership.

* * * * * *

How lucky is Melbourne Victory striker Daniel Allsopp?

He collected a yellow card against Wellington for kicking out at Manny Muscat.

But, he could easily have been sent off for the offence.

Similarly, when he shoulder-charged Sydney FC coach John Kosmina recently, he escaped punishment completely.

Allsopp has only received a couple of yellow cards in the past three seasons, but he was mighty lucky not to receive red cards for the two incidents mentioned above.

* * * * *

The decision by AC Milan's Brazilian superstar Kaka to turn down a move to Manchester City was a refreshing development in a game that seems to be ruled by money these days.

Kaka earns $10 million a season in Italy and is that country's highest-paid player.

Manchester City offered $150 million dollars to AC Milan for his services and a considerable wage increase to the player, but Kaka was content to stay in Milan and demonstrate commendable loyalty to the shirt.

How refreshing in this day and age of fleeting loyalty and million-dollar wages for mediocre players.

TIS results improve

The Tasmanian Institute of Sport men's team had better results later in this week at the Football Federation of Australia's Institute Challenge series in Canberra.

Sam McIntyre excelled and netted two goals.

TIS beat the highly rated Western Australia Institute 1-0 through a McIntyre penalty.

TIS were then trounced 6-0 by the Queensland Institute before bouncing back with a 1-1 draw against the ACT Institute.

McIntyre scored against the ACT with a brilliant header from a free-kick by Will Abbott.

TIS have a chance of playing off for fifth and sixth places if other results go their way.

TIS has limited success at nationals

The Tasmanian Institute of Sport men's team, coached by Dean May (left), has won one game and lost three of its opening four games at the Football Federation of Australia's Institute Challenge series in Canberra this week.

Tasmania's sole victory was against Northern New South Wales, coached by Gary Phillips.

Tasmania won 2-1 through a penalty by Sam Abbott and a goal by Andy Brennan.

Inthe opening game, TIS went down 3-1 to the South Australian Institute, with Hugo Bladel netting for the Tasmanians.

Tasmanian then lost 2-0 to the Victorian Institute and 2-1 to New South Wales. In the latter game, TIS led 1-0 at the interval through a strike by Jeremy Walker.