Friday, November 1, 2019

Some off-season musings and mutterings

It’s the off-season and I must admit to feeling a bit jaded after the 2019 campaign.

Before I contemplate going round for a 42nd year of reporting on the game, I need to recharge the batteries.

As I am doing that, I feel less and less inclined to pick up the pen again (or is it tap the keyboard?).

I’ve read some interesting books, including “Quiet Genius:  Bob Paisley, British Football’s Greatest Manager”, by Ian Herbert, and Andrew Downie’s “Doctor Socrates:  Footballer, Philospher, Legend”.

Just to try and get in the writing mood, I’ll just note a few recent developments in the local game.

You probably already know all of this from other sources, but I do want to keep my own records up to date.

Rick Coghlan, as expected, left Devonport and returned to Queensland where he is now coach of Logan Lightning FC.

He has taken with him two of Devonport’s best players, forwards Max Fitzgerald and Eddie Bidwell.

The new Devonport coach is Suraj Pillai, who comes from India but who was recently coach of Manly Vale in the Manly Warringal Football Association in New South Wales.

Hobart Zebras midfielder Jordan Muller has joined NPL Tasmania rivals Glenorchy Knights.

Muller took a while to establish himself as a Zebras regular, but once he did, he was an indispensable part of their midfield and he will be missed.

Polish born goalkeeper Alex Cisak, 30, who was in the Burnley English Premier League squad six years ago, is back in Tasmania and has been appointed goalkeeping coach at NPL Tasmania outfit Kingborough Lions United.

At that age, he’d be in his prime as a goalkeeper, so don’t be surprised if you see him don the gloves at some stage for the Lions as he must surely have plenty to offer.

He was a junior for South Hobart before heading to England to pursue his dream.

He made five appearances for Australia’s Under-20s and played for a host of clubs in England, including Accrington Stanley, Oldham Athletic, York City and Leyton Orient.

For the past couple of years he has been the second-choice keeper at A-League club Sydney FC.

On a closing note, what do readers think of the VAR system?

I think it’s wrecking the game we know and love.

Referees appear to be afraid to make a decision and are relying more and more on the Video Assistant Referee.

You might as well have a robot refereeing games and dispense with humans.

I reckon goal-line technology is as far as it should go.  They don’t have this in the A-League because it would cost $250,000 per ground to add it to the VAR suite used now.

Which leads me to another topic:  The use of technology in the A-League.

I couldn’t believe it the other day when a player was ‘wired for sound’ during his team’s warm-up and he was making comments as part of the television coverage of the game.

I thought interviewing players and coaches as they came off at half-time was over the top, but really, this makes it appear a Mickey Mouse League.

There’s no way Sir Alex Ferguson would, for example, have allowed goalkeeper Mark Bosnich [one of the A-League commentary team] to be ‘wired for sound’ during a Manchester United warm-up.

These examples  -  if we, indeed, need any more examples  -  demonstrate that in Australia’s top-flight competition, as in the rest of the world, it’s the TV tail that wags the football dog.

Oh, and I think the A-League have made a huge mistake in cutting links with Football Federation Australia and going out on their own.

This means there’ll be no more bailouts of clubs experiencing financial crises by FFA.

Good luck going it alone, fellas.  You’ll need it.


Anonymous said...

Zebras must be in real trouble player wise after loosing Jordan Muller, Matty Sanders, Nicky Edwards, Riley Dillion, Sam Whatman, Ryu Yonezowa and Jan Churuza.

Anonymous said...

You have nobly done a lot for the game Walter.Just do as much as you enjoy doing and watch the games that give you the most joy.

Yes, I can't stand the video assistant referee. I'm sure this is not really what the fans or players wanted, so who is it for? But is this a missed step that can't be unwound?

Unknown said...

Love your comments Walter,and I so agree.!!..The game is losing its shine ,and the instability continuous due to really poor management and inconsistent planning..
VAR is a joke, and taking things too far..and taking the human element might as well have no referee now and run by computers...
A-League standard,in my opinion the worst in decades,and boring..`keepers can't catch the ball anymore and you need to pass 200 passes before shooting..and the new rule about not having to get ball out of box from goal kick ,really???
Yes ,Im getting despondent too in my old age ,lol..

Anonymous said...

shouldnt have any player trouble, they have a full clarence team

Anonymous said...

Zebra Clarence for the title

Unknown said...

So walter , who runs fft, is it the ffa?? because the latest decisions made by fft are irresponsible and naive at best!!No wonder the clubs in the a league are distancing themselves from incompetent fools!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, VAR is absolutely rubbish. Having a human ref in the middle making all the decisions adds to the theatre and drama of the sport, not to mention it keeps the game flowing. I don't mind VAR for goal line technology though.

Walter your blog is fantastic, the effort you put it is incredible and really appreciated by everyone that reads it.

The Phoenix said...

How did your photos turn out from yesterday Walter?

Oxford said...

I for one hope you get over your current malaise for our World Game. Your contribution is always welcomed by the masses who not only get the results through your site, but also get a real feel for what transpired during a fixture if one was unable to attend.
Whilst others valiantly contribute to the reporting of our great game it is only currently yourself who adds the much needed knowledge and experience to an article.
Please continue your coverage into the ensuing seasons Walter, I would feel naked without it.
Darren Anderton

Anonymous said...

Walter, I heard that you teed up an article six weeks ago that ended up in the Mercury.
Is that's true? there's nothing worse that someone else cutting your own lunch.

Ugh said...

Two months ago FT promised to comment on that appeal by Olympia upheld by an "independent" tribunal once that tribunal had put their findings in writing. I can find no comment on their website. Have they in fact made any comment ? This whole episode another disillusioning factor for me with soccer in this state.

Anonymous said...


Well looks like nobody cares about the 3 month old tribunal. Perhaps you should not either.

Ugh said...

There is the problem right there. No one seems to care about crap admin in Tasmania. FT should be held to account !! What is the point of having rules on the books if "independent" tribunals can overturn decisions and nothing explained. Makes the game a joke....don't you see ?

Brian Young said...

Hear, hear, Darren. Walter has eked out his niche in a diverse digital football-sphere.