Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday results

Hyundai A-League

Sydney FC 1-1 Brisbane Roar

Central Coast Mariners 5-0 Perth Glory

English Premier League

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United

Blackburn 1-2 Chelsea

Everton 1-0 Stoke City

Fulham 2-0 Wigan Athletic

Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Manchester City


Cologne 3-2 Hamburg

FC Kaiserslautern 3-0 Borussia Moenchengladbach

Schalke 04 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen

St Pauli 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

Werder Bremen 2-3 Nuremberg

Wolfsburg 2-0 VfB Stuttgart

Bayern Munich 4-2 Freiburg

La Liga

Barcelona 5-0 Seville

Hercules 1-3 Real Madrid

Valencia 1-1 Real Zaragoza

Serie A

AC Milan 1-2 Juventus

Roma 2-0 Lecce

Genoa 0-1 Inter Milan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ken Morton delighted with the performance of Tasmanian youngsters at Manchester United Academy

Photos (Top to Bottom): Ken Morton beside the statue of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton which stands outside Old Trafford. Best, Law and Charlron have all been to Tasmania, the former two brought here by Morton; Ken Morton with Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy; Mick Halsall and Ken Morton at Wolves; Wolves players Ward, Elokobi and McCarey [Photos courtesy of Victoria Woods]

Ken Morton returned last week after taking a team of young Tasmanians for train at Manchester United’s facilities at The Cliff and Carrington.

The visit included taking in a game at Old Trafford between United and West Bromwich Albion.

Morton also forged links with other clubs including Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I thought it was a marvellous footballing experience,” said Morton.

“The players went away to learn football and to develop their skills as young men, which they did just terrifically.

“The training which we did with Manchester United was not a lot different to what we do, only better quality.

“It was better quality because of the facilities. When you are playing on what is like carpet, on grounds that are manicured to perfection, it makes their skills become better, quicker.

“When you think about top football, it’s all about technique. If you haven’t got technique, you can’t become a football player. Your technique will let you down.

“The technical work that the players did was first class.

“To see our boys play under another coach and perform so well, with their technique better than the English players, was certainly a credit to the players and to the Manchester United coaching staff.

“Our first game was a 3-0 win against Stockport Youth and the second game was 4-2 against Irlam, and it was a real physical battle.

“The last game, we won 4-1 against Denton and we really were in super form against them.

“In the Irlam game, they went back to front really quickly, pressurised high and got about us in midfield, but our lads still tried to get the ball down and pass it around them and played some good football to win the game.”

Five-a-side should always have been the way to go in junior development

Photos: The 1977 article in the Education Department of Tasmania journal "Panorama"

Following my recent article about the Sporting Lisbon Academy, there was some debate about the development of young players.

The Sporting Lisbon Academy players are trained solely in 5-a-side sessions on outside pitches.

The concept may be similar to Futsal, but the latter is, by virtue of its very name, played indoors and on hard surfaces.

Some may consider this an exercise in semantics and a case of splitting hairs because, they argue, five-a-side is five-a-side, regardless of where it is played.

That may be so, but it ignores the fact that true Futsal is played with a different and heavier ball and with its own specific rules.

Nevertheless, the overriding concept is that small-sided games are far more conducive to skill learning for youngsters than the 11-a-side game.

That is the philosophy at the Sporting Lisbon Academy, where the 11-a-side game is used only in league competition.

Barcelona have a similar philosophy at their academies, as indeed, do many clubs around the world.

In Europe and South America, it is generally the rule that 5-a-side is the norm for players under the age of 12 years.

Only when players are in their teens do they play the 11-a-side game on larger pitches. There may be a progression in some countries to the 11-a-side game via 7-a-side, 9-a-side and similar.

One person commented on the previous thread that they would like to see an article I had published in the Tasmanian Department of Education journal “Panorama” about the benefits of 5-a-side football for primary school children.

The article is reproduced above.

It was written and published in 1977, well before the current trend in Australia for small-sided games.

My ideas were met with hostility in some quarters of the junior game, but changes were made, albeit reluctantly in some cases.

Various versions of small-sided games were put in place, but gradually, the 11-a-side version crept back in for some juniors.

It seems inarguable, however, that the basic premise that small-sided games for younger players promotes greater skill development than the 11-a-side version on large pitches is true.

Given our relatively primitive training facilities at senior level (in terms of adequate lighting, quality playing surfaces and size of training areas) I would also argue that incorporating 5-a-side at a club’s night training sessions would do more good than harm.

Few clubs here have the facilities at senior level where one can adequately play 11 v 11 on a full-size pitch in order to work on things such as shape, tactics, pressing and formations.

At least 5-a-side training sessions would result in some skill development, and it would be easy to organise a series of round-robin competitions at training between 5-a-side teams made up of seniors, reserves and under-19s to maintain interest at all times.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Melbourne Victory 2-1 Adelaide United: Melbourne set new record and Adelaide end record run

Photos (Top to Bottom): Surat Sukha put Adelaide's Mathew Leckie out of the game with a tackle; Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick with a happy fan; Adelaide badly missed their injured captain Travis Dodd; Melbourne's Roddy Vargas fought hard in defence for the home side; Simon Hill was one of the match commentators on Fox Sports [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory 2-1 Adelaide United


Melbourne Victory ended Adelaide United’s unbeaten run of 12 matches in the A-League when they beat their fierce rivals 2-1 before 16,269 fans at Etihad Stadium tonight.

As well as ending Adelaide’s A-League record, Melbourne set one of their own. This was their 10th consecutive victory over Adelaide United, a team in the same league. Melbourne have not been beaten by Adelaide since December 2007. And, Adelaide’s last victory at Etihad Stadium was in 2006.

Melbourne captain Kevin Muscat might wear red boots, but he’s certainly not ‘Goody Goody Two Shoes’. It was his blatant foul on Mathew Leckie less than a minute into the match that led to Adelaide’s goal. His blatant body-check on the Adelaide speedster should have earned him a yellow card, but Mr Williams kept the card in his pocket.

But, justice was done when Paul Reid floated his free-kick over from wide on the left and Iain Fyfe outjumped Surat Sukha and nodded the ball past Michael Petkovic and into the net.

Melbourne’s first chance fell to Robbie Kruse in the 13th minute, but his curling shot was turned wide for a corner by the diving Eugene Galekovic.

Adelaide went close in the 18th minute when Adam Hughes headed wide from a corner.

Muscat had body-checked Leckie just before that, and again he escaped unscathed. Ironically, the Melbourne captain finally did receive a yellow card in the 33rd minute, but it was for dissent.

Adelaide suffered a huge blow when a reckless challenge by Sukha put Leckie out of the game in the 21st minute. Sukha got nowhere near the ball but hacked Leckie down and the Adelaide player damaged his left knee. That knee was already strapped and had caused Leckie to miss last week’s game. He was taken to hospital for an examination and I just hope this does not affect Leckie’s chances of moving to the Bundesliga next year.

Melbourne drew level in the 22nd minute when Kruse cut in from the left and beat Galekovic at his near post with a low drive from 25 metres.

Melbourne squandered a good chance in the 35th minute when Adrian Leijer fed Sukha down the inside-left channel. But, instead of shooting, the Thailand international chose to square the ball to Ricardinho, who was too slow and had the ball taken off his foot by a defender before he could shoot.

In the 38th minute, Tom Pondeljak’s tame shot from a good opening was easily dealt with by Galekovic.

Seconds later, Petkovic produced a great tip over the bar from Fabian Barbieri’s angled shot from the right. He had been put clear when Marcos Flores showed superb control in bringing down Roddy Vargas’s poor clearing header.

Mate Dugandzic replaced Ricardinho at the interval after the Brazilian injured his knee.

Kruse should have done better than shoot wide in the 59th minute after a good pass from Hernandez.

Melbourne took the lead in the 68th minute after an excellent move out of defence. Pondeljak gained possession and broke free on the right before squaring the ball across the penalty area for Hernandez to stroke home from the edge of the box.

It was all Melbourne in the second half and they should have increased their lead several times.

In the 83rd minute, Kruse’s cut-back from the left found the unmarked Hernandez, who prodded his shot wide.

Seconds later, Pondeljak went on a devastating run through the Adelaide defence but finished with a weak shot.

Pondeljak’s brilliant run in the 86th minute, during which he beat several defenders, deserved a goal, but the ball came back into play off the far left-hand post with Galekovic well beaten. The ball came back to Pondeljak, but his second shot was tame and directed straight at a grateful Adelaide keeper.

Adelaide were not down and out, however, and Petkovic produced a marvellous save when he turned substitute Inseob Shin’s fierce shot against his left-hand post.

The game had 5 minutes of stoppage time, but Adelaide were unable to salvage a point and save their record.

It was the home side who, instead, set a new Australian record of their own.


Melbourne Victory (3-4-3): Petkovic - Leijer, Muscat, Vargas - Pondeljak, Celeski, Brebner, Sukha (Broxham 69) - Ricardinho (Dugandzic 46), Hernandez, Kruse (Angulo 84) [Substitute not used: Mattei]

Booked: Muscat 33, Broxham 84

Goals: Kruse 22, Hernandez 68

Adelaide United (4-2-3-1): Galekovic - Watson (Shin 79), Fyfe, Cornthwaite, Cassio - Reid, Hughes - Leckie [(Barbieri 21) Ramsay 55], Flores, Pantelis - Van Dijk [Substitute not used: Birighitti]

Booked: Barbieri 36, Reid 75, Hughes 91, Pantelis 93

Goals: Fyfe 2

Att: 16,269

Ref: B Williams

Wayne Rooney meets Tassie youngsters at Old Trafford

Photos (Top to Bottom): Max Clarkem Jackson Nugent and Nick Morton with Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney; Some of the Tasmanian youngsters with Wayne Rooney outside Old Trafford; Wayne Rooney and Nick Morton [Photos courtesy of Victoria Woods]; Seven of the players who went on the tour (L-R), Max Clarke, Charlie Wilkes, Jackson Nugent, Josh Quigley, Sam Ross, Nick Morton and Nick Becker at South Hobart after their return; Ken Morton and seven of the players who went on tour at a South Hobart pitch that certainly does not resemble the Carrington training pitches of Manchester United [PlessPix]

Ken Morton and his academy boys have returned home after a very successful trip to Manchester.

The boys played three matches against local youth sides and won all three.

They beat Stockport Youth 3-0, Irlam 4-2 and Denton 4-1.

They also trained at The Cliff and at Carrington, which are Manchester United’s training grounds.

The youngsters attended Manchester United’s home game against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

One of the highlights for the boys was meeting Wayne Rooney and having a chat to the England international.

“The trip was good and it was a great learning experience,” said Max Clarke.

“There were lots of highlights, including our training at Carrington, watching the game at Old Trafford and meeting Wayne Rooney.”

Twelve-year-old Charlie Wilkes said the trip was a learning experience and it was also a lot of fun.

“Watching the game against West Brom and seeing Wayne Rooney were the highlights for me,” Wilkes said.

“The academy was pretty good, too. I liked the good grounds, which were good to play on, and the coach we had [Paul Gray] was good, too.”

Centre-back Jackson Nugent, 14, was also impressed with what he learned on the trip.

“Meeting Wayne Rooney was a highlight for me, and also training at Carrington,” Nugent said.

“I didn’t ask Wayne Rooney any questions as I was too scared, but he seemed friendly enough and looked very fit, but small.

“He was much smaller than I expected him to be. He was smaller than me.”

Josh Quigley, 15, who plays as a central defensive midfielder, said the game at Old Trafford was one of the highlights of his trip.

“Just being there for such a high-intensity game and the crowd was great,” said Quigley. “It was pretty cool, and so different to South Hobart.”

Sam Ross said it was a wonderful trip and it was great to train at Carrington.

“There were many pitches at Carrington for different age groups and the surfaces were good,” said Ross.

“The coaching was good, too, and I enjoyed it. I learned lots of new stuff.

“It was very different in how we put things into one v one and two v two situations, and the coaches were very experienced.”

Nick Morton, 14, thought the trip was very good and he said he had learned a great deal.

“It was a good experience,” Morton said. “The pitches were so much better than we have here.

“It would be magnificent to try and get to play at a professional level.

“The coach, Paul Gray, was really nice and helped us a lot.

“We worked on passing, finishing, heading, fitness and lots of other basic stuff.”

Goalkeeper Nick Becker, 14, said the trip was very good.

“I enjoyed it and one of the highlights for me was the game,” Becker said. “But, everything was good, really.

“I didn’t get to meet Edwin van der Sar.

“When we did shooting, I got a lot out of that.”

This exercise by Morton Soccer Schools seems like becoming an annual event, but other links have also been established with the likes of Newcastle United.

It can only get bigger and better for some Tasmanian youngsters.