A-League: Brisbane Strikers withdraw expansion bid amid financial concerns

  • Strikers boss Bruce Dinsdale cited issues with FFA process
  • Bidders concerned about lack of financial dividends
There are 15 consortium bidding to join the A-League but National Soccer League winners Brisbane Strikers won’t be one of them after pulling out of the expansion process. The Strikers have withdrawn from the race which will see two teams join the competition next year, citing issues with FFA’s process. Continue reading...

Western Sydney Wanderers appoint German legend Babbel as A-League coach

  • Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich legend Markus Babbel announced as new WSW head coach
  • Wanderers chairman sees signing as big statement ‘internationally’ as well as domestically
Western Sydney will undertake their A-League rebuild under former German international Markus Babbel, who it’s understood has signed a three-year contract with the club. After a month of hunting a successor for sacked Josep Gombau, the Wanderers have announced Babbel as their new coach and the man to steer the club through a period of rejuvenation. Continue reading...

World Cup Fiver | Australia’s proud and totally sacrosanct national football team

Sign up for our free weekly email featuring the latest news, intrigue, analysis and blunders from the 32 competing nations It’s been a tough week for the flamin’ bosseroos of Football Federation Australia (FFA), who’ve had to interrupt brunch at least once in order to intimate that critics can rack off. Those critics got all obstreperous on Tuesday when it was announced that Tim Cahill is part of the country’s pre-Ethics World Cup training squad. The player has been terrific in the past but he’s 78 years old now and his recent preparations for the World Cup have involved studying Steve Morison’s galumphing technique from a bleak observation post on Millwall’s bench. Which is why many fans couldn’t help wondering whether Cahill’s inclusion in their 26-man squad was in any way connected to the fact that he was revealed on Monday as the figurehead of an expensive marketing campaign run Continue reading "World Cup Fiver | Australia’s proud and totally sacrosanct national football team"

Matildas to begin Tournament of Nations defence against Brazil

  • Fixtures confirmed for four-team tournament in the US
  • Australia to defend crown against hosts, Brazil and Japan
The Matildas will open their Tournament of Nations defence against arch-rivals Brazil on 26 July in Kansas City.
US Soccer has confirmed the match dates, locations and kick-off times for the second instalment of the tournament that shot Australia’s women to prominence in its inaugural year.
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Women Onside: the group pushing for gender equity in Australian football leadership

FFA must elect a new congress, but no women have been invited onto that working group Heather Reid was the CEO of the ACT football federation (known as Capital Football) for 12 years. She was the first woman to lead an Australian state football association, and, at the time, she represented 11% of women’s involvement in senior football leadership positions. When she left the job and was replaced by a man, that figure dropped to zero. “That’s why I don’t like people talking about percentages of gendered representation,” she tells Guardian Australia. “I like to know the real numbers because they tell the true story. So I was one of nine state representatives when I was CEO, and now there’s zero out of nine women [in leadership positions] at the federation level [in Australian football].” Continue reading...

Sydney FC poised to confirm Steve Corica as new coach

  • Graham Arnold’s assistant expected to step up
  • Club opt to stick with existing philosophy and culture
Sydney FC are expected to unveil ex-Socceroos midfielder Steve Corica as Graham Arnold’s coaching successor on Wednesday afternoon. After a seven-year apprenticeship as Sky Blues assistant serving under Vitezslav Lavicka, Ian Crook, Frank Farina and then Arnold, the 45-year-old appears set to be given his first shot at a head coaching role, preferred over a number of foreign candidates. Continue reading...

FFA denies Tim Cahill included in World Cup squad for commercial reasons

  • Striker’s selection ‘absolutely not’ to do with Caltex campaign
  • Five petrol stations across Australia renamed ‘Cahilltex’
Football Federation Australia has been forced to deny the selection of Tim Cahill in Australia’s latest World Cup squad is linked to a commercial partnership after the striker was revealed as the main focus of a marketing campaign for the Socceroos’ main sponsor, Caltex, a day before coach Bert van Marwijk confirmed a list of 26 players still in contention to to to Russia. Related: In-form Jamie Maclaren axed from Socceroos World Cup squad Continue reading...

Football law-making body deems global VAR ‘back up’ needed

  • ‘Software crash’ blamed for A-League grand final debacle
  • A-League to take lead from rugby league’s ‘bunker’
Football’s law-making body concedes the A-League grand final has exposed a flaw in the global protocols for video reviews and underlined the glaring need for a “back-up system” in case of technological glitches. Saturday’s video assistant referee (VAR) failure in Newcastle has reverberated around the world, with the German Bundesliga among the competitions which have contacted Football Federation Australia seeking information as to what went so wrong. Continue reading...

New Socceroos faces identify Bert Van Marwijk’s anxieties | Richard Parkin

Australia’s coach has laid bare his concerns in his preliminary World Cup squad but the selections also offer optimism When a squad is named ahead of a World Cup attention rightly rushes to the new faces, in this case Daniel Arzani and Fran Karačić. But what is most telling about these inclusions are the concerns or anxieties they betray in Bert van Marwijk, most pointedly in the case of Karačić and the Socceroos’ ongoing weakness at right-back.
Related: Game-changer Daniel Arzani called into Socceroos' preliminary World Cup squad Continue reading...

Lawrence Thomas’ medal reward for Victory’s superior A-League defence | Ante Jukic

Keeper’s performance allowed Muscat’s side to play their tactical game: sit deep and react It was the 17th minute. Melbourne Victory had already gone 1-0 up, and James Troisi suddenly hacked the ball into nothingness. Likely to the displeasure of his coach, Kosta Barbarouses then had his mind caught between a trap under pressure from Dimitri Petratos and a pass to Stefan Nigro, who didn’t see a pass coming. Petratos then claimed the ball for Newcastle. After a deft back-heel into space, Petratos released Johnny Koutroumbis, who passed Nigro with minimum fuss and crossed in to Roy O’Donovan. Considering the awkward height on Koutroumbis’s delivery, O’Donovan did very well to put the ball on target, his attempt headed for the far corner. Continue reading...

Game-changer Daniel Arzani called into Socceroos’ preliminary World Cup squad

  • Arzani ‘can make a difference’, says Bert van Marwijk
  • Squad will be trimmed to 23 before tournament begins
Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk opted for a mix of youth and experience when he announced his preliminary World Cup squad on Monday, with youngsters Daniel Arzani and Fran Karačić called up for the first time and veteran Tim Cahill retaining his place. Related: Socceroos to face Syria, Palestine, Jordan in Asian Cup group stage Continue reading...

From jeers to cheers: A-League title brings redemption for Kevin Muscat | Jonathan Howcroft

Three months after enduring catcalls the Melbourne Victory coach is now one of Australia’s most successful coaches Redemption, thy name is Kevin. As recently as February some Melbourne Victory fans booed the image of their coach Kevin Muscat. “I reckon they’re pretty happy now,” the 44-year old remarked, gesturing towards hordes of travelling Victory supporters dancing in the aisles of McDonald Jones Stadium in celebration of a record fourth A-League championship. Muscat has been involved in some way in all four of Victory’s title successes but none have been more unlikely than this. Yet by overcoming long spells of poor form and upstaging his club’s three biggest rivals in successive weeks it may well be the most satisfying. Continue reading...

FFA review finds VAR technology failed during A-League grand final

  • VAR did not have access to angles required to adjudge goal offside
  • Barbarouses’s strike was the decisive blow in Victory’s win
A “technical failure” with the video assistant referee (VAR) stopped the controversial technology from disallowing the goal that decided Saturday night’s A-League grand final.
A review by Football Federation Australia has found the VAR on duty, Craig Zetter, did not have access to the camera angles required to catch a blatant offside in the process of Kosta Barbarouses’s ninth-minute goal that gave Melbourne Victory their 1-0 win over Newcastle to claim the championship.
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‘It’s a bit throbby’: grand final hero Lawrence Thomas shrugs off head injuries

  • ‘I tried to do what I do best – get in the way,’ says Victory keeper
  • Marston medal winner heavily bandaged after knocks
As Lawrence Thomas answered questions beneath Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium, deflecting praise as he had goal-bound shots, he had the air of a man on his way to a Halloween party. Related: Ernie Merrick hits out at Melbourne Victory's grand final tactics Continue reading...

Ernie Merrick hits out at Melbourne Victory’s grand final tactics

Frustrated Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick has accused newly crowned A-League champions Melbourne Victory of using negative football to win the grand final and denounced the video assistant referee’s role in the result. Related: Melbourne Victory claim record fourth A-League title with win over Newcastle Jets Continue reading...