Fans should be at the heart of conversation on football governance | Jonathan Howcroft

In Australia, sound and movement in the stands is what differentiates football as a sporting experience Engaging with supporters and treating them as stakeholders should be a priority of the FFA working group when it convenes to map out the revised governance model for Australian football. Fans deserve a say in this vital conversation. Supporters should always be viewed as active participants in football, not passive onlookers or exploitable consumers. A vociferous home crowd can spur its team to victory, influence the referee and cow the opposition. In Australia’s crowded marketplace the sound and movement in the stands is what differentiates football as a sporting experience, be it live or on TV. Fans are significant contributors to a delicate ecosystem and their perspectives are valid. Continue reading...

Socceroos to play Colombia in London as part of World Cup preparations

  • New coach to run rule over players on 27 March
  • Game comes four days after friendly against Norway in Oslo
The Socceroos’ preparations for the 2018 World Cup will take in a friendly match in the familiar surrounds of Craven Cottage against Colombia on 27 March, four days after they play Norway in Oslo in what is expected to be the still-to-be-appointed national team coach’s first game in charge. Related: Mathew Ryan: ‘English pundits tend to be critical of goalkeepers’ Continue reading...

FFA settles on shortlist for new Socceroos coach

  • Small number of local and international names in frame
  • Formal interviews with candidates to begin soon
The next Socceroos coach will be appointed in mid-February after Football Federation Australia confirmed it was in the final stages of its selection process. FFA chief executive David Gallop said a final shortlist of candidates has been drawn up with formal interviews to begin imminently. Names on the shortlist have not been released but the likes of Graham Arnold, Marcelo Bielsa, Slaven Bilic, Bert van Marwick have been previously linked with the job. Continue reading...

Alen Stajcic: Matildas ready to tackle weight of expectation in 2018

Results are no longer a ‘bonus’ for a team who have gone from prototypical Australian ‘underdogs’ to Asian Cup favourites Australian teams and sportspeople have always thrived on the tag of the “plucky underdog”, and since the foundation of the Matildas, that battler mentality – fighting against the odds – has been a part of the team identity. However, in 2018 the Matildas will find themselves in unchartered territory – with the weight of public expectation on them after an unprecedentedly successful year. Continue reading...

Perth Glory’s static ball movement shows lack of identifiable game plan

Glory still sit only three points off A-League finals, but the pressure is coming for Kenny Lowe after four consecutive defeats Football, it is often said, is a results business. Most recently in the Australian game, results have provided the foundation for Graham Arnold’s growing support to take on the role of Socceroos coach. However, despite the vindication results can bring, they can also create false equivalencies in the estimation of players, teams and coaches. Continue reading...

Ten-man Melbourne City draw with Mariners after VAR awards equaliser

  • Central Coast Mariners 2-2 Melbourne City in Gosford
  • Marcin Budzinski’s goal in the 86th minute was first given offside
Melbourne City played an hour with 10 men but still managed to snare an A-League point from Central Coast on Sunday. The eighth-placed Mariners were twice in front in Gosford but likewise let their depleted visitors back into the game twice, punished in the 86th minute by a Marcin Budzinski goal for a 2-2 draw. Continue reading...