I moved to Australian from China when I was about five and grew up in sports mad Melbourne. I followed AFL and I thought that football was boring and unbearable to watch due to the lack of scoring compared to AFL. I moved to Sydney during high school and only became interested in the game through playing the old Championship Manager series. I’ve been obsessed every since.
Living in Sydney, I get down to several A-league games every season and I’ve been to all the Australian games played here for the last few years. I’m also West Ham Til I Die!
This blog is about Australian football which is very much experiencing a revolution. Although many put in countless hours prior to this event to try and bring the game out of the doldrums of the old NSL, the pivotal moment that catalysed the revolution occurred on November 16 2005 with John Aloisi’s famous penalty kick that ended Australia’s 32 year exile from the world’s biggest sporting tournament.
I was there, it was amazing.From there, Australia football took off. The Socceroos, under the legendary Hiddink, performed admirably, pushing the eventual champions Italy all the way in their second-round exit. Domestically, the A-league inaugural season was a success with the crowd average of just over 12,000 per game exceeding the target of 10,000. The second season provided even more highlights with Melbourne Victory dominating their league with their flowing football and average attendance further increasing, highlighted by the 55,000 plus crowd that watched Melbourne cruise to the championship in the finale.
Despite the above successes, Australian football has not flourished in all departments. Despite crowds that dwarf the old NSL, increasing media coverage and access to the Asian Champions League, the quality of football played in the A-league has not increased. The Socceroos were disastrous during the Asian Cup and the recent appointment of Pim Verbeek indicates that Australian coaches are simply not good enough to guide the National team.