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You are viewing the author archive for David Hards

Trials and tribulations on the Central Coast

The transfer window has created some major buzz by A-League standards, with some players using this opportunity to change clubs within the league itself. But what has created the most controversy is the decision of Central Coast to allow three of their young players (Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan and Bernie Ibini-Isei) to go out on trial during the transfer window.

All three have been key players for Graham Arnold and his coaching staff this season. Sure, the Mariners are still reeling from their fade-outs of the last two seasons, and I can …

Is football coming home?

Yesterday, the Football Federation of Australia announced a $160 million television broadcast deal over four years that will not only help stabilise the financial future of the game, but will give millions of Australians who don’t have access to pay television the opportunity to see how far our national competition has progressed over the last few years.

Before there was Bozza, Slater and Adam Peacock we received our football fix from two guys (the vault of knowledge that is Les Murray and his passionate offsider the late Johnny Warren) on the least watched channel in the land, …

Be wise, Sydney

The coaching world can be a cruel lonely place when team success is hard to come by. Just ask Ian Crook. Two months ago he had the world at his feet, the signing of Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero was announced, and the squad had limitless potential and contained names like Emerton, Antonis and Bosschaart. Many football experts had fallen underneath the magical spell that is the ‘Del Piero effect’ – including myself (although I’m hardly an expert) and had widely tipped Sydney to challenge for the 2012/13 title.

What went wrong? Who …

A-League benches still sub-standard

Crowds are up, fans are buzzing and we are finally getting the kind of attention we deserve. Football fans around the country should be enjoying this time and the positivity the A-League is experiencing, and should experience for the foreseeable future.

The coverage has been outstanding from all at Fox Sports, and I’m really enjoying the new Shootout show during Sunday night primetime. ABC Grandstand are doing a fantastic job with their always professional radio broadcast, and their other shows are providing great insight. Blogs, podcasts and twitter feeds have been full …

Preview: Sydney FC

PREDICTION: Winners. Del Piero will bring big things to Sydney, so yes, I’ve jumped on the Sydney FC bandwagon too.

BEST FINISH: Champions in 2005/06 & 2009/10.

THE SIGNING: When the twittershpere went into meltdown with the rumour that Alessandro Del Piero could join Sydney, I was like many and thought the deal would never happen. It was great A-League clubs were chasing international superstars no matter what their age. But, when the rumours became reality, it was a watershed day for the league, proving the the world Australia isn’t just a place for a holiday.


Preview: Brisbane Roar

Over the last few seasons, Brisbane Roar have taught Australian football fans that you can play the beautiful game and win. The tag ‘Roarcalona’ has been thrown around when describing the team, and it’s a justified tag.

Brisbane will be around the mark again this season. The team showed signs of being human last year with a mid-season losing streak, but then showed the football world what a champion team they were by winning back to back titles.

PREDICTION: 2nd. Expectations are high, but the Roar will fall just short of creating history. As Meatloaf said, two out …

Preview: Perth Glory

Over the winter, Perth have built their campaign on gaining revenge, and going one better than last season. Whilst a healthy attitude to adopt, one has to be careful during the long A-League season. Perth hit form at the right end of the season in 2011/12, and will need to do the same this time around. They have built an impressive squad, and one that is definitely capable of going all the way.

The team has been built from the back this season, with Michael Thwaite and Adrian Zahra handy editions. But much will be reliant …

Preview: Wellington Phoenix

A hard team to predict, a harder team to play against. Ricki Herbert has made the last three finals campaigns, and I can’t see him missing out on a fourth. The Phoenix has made the trip to Wellington one of the most daunting in the league, and has learned to grab points away from home. The Phoenix are one of those teams that just frustrate you with their uncanny knack to score at any time, no matter what the situation.

Sure, they have lost some experience in the midfield, but Herbert has covered his losses well …

Preview: Melbourne Victory

After playing the coaching merry-go-round last season, Melbourne Victory has finally got their man. Ange Postecoglou is arguably the best coach in the league, and turned Brisbane into a powerful outlet over the last two seasons. Many will expect him to work his magic at the league’s biggest club with immediate effect. It will take some time, but by the end of the season we will see a marked improvement from the boys in blue.

The recruitment of Flores and Milligan is a step in the right direction for the club, and much maligned striker Archie …

Preview: Melbourne Heart

The little brother of Victory will be once again looking to finish ahead of their cross town rivals. New coach John Aloisi will find the going very tough in this competitive league and must get positive early results to bring much needed fans through the turnstiles. Under their former manager, the club played a very attractive game, but struggled to consistently find the back of the net; will the same playing style remain at the club?

Much has been said of the club’s youth policy of selling off their young stars to break even financially, combined with …