Friday, April 23, 2021

Six things we learned in the past week or two

1.. The Tasmanian youth and senior women’s teams did well against Calder United given that our girls rarely play representative games.

The Tassie Under-19s lost 5-1, while the seniors side went down 3-0.

The representative teams, both men’s and women’s, youth and seniors, should be playing more often as it bonds the State’s football fans and players and overcomes parochialism.

2..The week-long visit to Tasmania by A-League club Western United was a success.

The community was involved and Western United were excellent ambassadors for the game.

I am told it was the government’s decision to play both games in Launceston in order to increase our chances of obtaining a 2023 Women’s World Cup game in Tasmania.

Well, that backfired big time, and I am led to believe that the knowledge about Tasmania missing out was known before the decision was made to play both games in Launceston.

Western United, I have been reliably told, were quite happy to play a game in Launceston and one in Hobart, but the decision to play both in Launceston was forced upon them.

They have agreed to come here next year and one game will then be in Hobart and the other in Launceston, which is how it should be.

The Western United players were pleased with the attendances and some said there were more people than in some of their games interstate, so Tasmania must have made a good impression on them.

3..The pitch at UTAS Stadium was excellent and everyone involved, from ground staff to administrators, can take a bow.

The surface was as good as any interstate, and it should also be remembered that both A-League games were preceded by two representative games, which did not negatively affect the pitch in any way.

Okay, UTAS Stadium is not a rectangular venue and the action may be a little far away, but it’ll do until we get a rectangular stadium, if, in fact, we ever do.

There are big grounds overseas which are not rectangular and which have running tracks around them, so if it’s good enough for those places, it should be good enough for us in Tasmania.

To use the excuse that there are no suitable rectangular stadiums in Tasmania so no games should be played here is just a red herring.

4..The football community is in mourning at the death of Somerset Sharks captain, Kieren Whitehouse.

The 23-year-old was tragically killed in a single-vehicle accident in the north of the State.

He contributed immensely to the Somerset Sharks both as a player and youth coach and he will be missed immensely.

I am sure all football fans will join with me in extending condolences to Kieran’s wife and family.

5.  The idea of a European Super League is finished, for the time being at least.

The idea was floated by billionaire American owners of some of Europe’s biggest and wealthiest clubs, including six from the English Premier League.

It was going to be a closed shop, a wealthy cartel of clubs designed to make them even richer.

There would be no promotion and relegation and the clubs would play in midweek.

Fortunately, FIFA, UEFA and other controlling bodies vetoed the plan.

What else could they do, given the hostile reaction from fans.

Penalties were proposed, such as barring the clubs from their domestic competitions and banning their players from playing in the World Cup, or indeed, for their countries.

COVID has had a huge impact on the earnings of clubs and this ESL was probably seen as a way of making money to compensate for losses.

They forgot about the fact that promotion and relegation are the lifeblood of football and closed shops are anathema to the game and fans.

When Western United skipper Alessandro Diamanti was interviewed recently, he was asked what he thought of the A-League.

He replied that it was okay but spoiled by the absence of promotion and relegation.  He said there was no real incentive to play better because there were no consequences for finishing last.

How true.

6.  David Clarkson, who cut his footballing teeth in Tasmania as a youngster before heading interstate and overseas to pursue his football career, did a good job as Western United’s Tasmanian Ambassador for Football during the A-League’s stay in Tasmania.

David is keen to forge pathways for Tasmanian youngsters and he hopes that future visits by Western United will create those opportunities.

It was good to see a locally produced player take on that role for an A-League club and do it well.

David’s parents, who now reside in Cairns, also visited the State a couple of weeks before Western United came here.

David’s Dad, Brian, was a leading referee in the 80s and 90s and was in charge of some big matches here in his time.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why are governments deciding where games are played ? They have never seriously
supported our game and they never will. If what you say is true Walter that they already knew
that Tassie was not allocated any games for the World Cup, all the footage we see of governments officials
and FT representatives smiling and hanging off each other’s coat tails is hypocritical to say the least.
Football is treated as second class . It always has and always will.