One of the first questions I always ask of other Soccer Dads is which A-league team do you support?
The answer receive quite often is ” I don’t, I prefer EPL”. I don’t follow A-league because the standard is not as good. My response to their statement is “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” and what I mean by asking this question. Without your support, the A-League will never grow stronger so you will never follow the A-League.
So this post is about my take on supporting the A-League.
The reality facts
- A-League will always be smaller than EPL. Australia has a population of 25Million, compared to England’s 53Million
- Australia is an isolated country, our closest soccer playing neighbour (excluding NZ) is Japan – a 9 hour flight and then Korea, China (relative “newcomers” to Soccer). The closest playing soccer nation for England is France catch the eurotunnel and be there in 35minutes and then there is Spain, Italy, Holland and other soccer giants
- England is a major World Financial Hub in Europe and the EPL attracts foreign sponsors like – Changs Beer (Thailand), Samsung (Korean electronics), Emirates (Dubai based airline). Compare this to the A-League sponsors are predominantly local companies like Harvey Norman, NRMA, ME-Bank.
- The EPL have plenty of international supporters outside of the UK , where the A-league strives for local support.
This is why you must support the A-League
- You get to watch the game live. Do you think by being a couch potato eating junk food in front of the box is best way to watch “inspiring” football (i think not) OR is watching the game live hearing the chants of the Red Black Block of the Western Sydney Wanderers vibrating passion in a stadium of 20,000 crazy fans or watching the Melbourne derby with 40,000 fan will get you child more excited about football.
- Better A-League means better football in Australia. The coaching will get better, funding will increase, media coverage will get better, stringer FFA – all these factors will be better for your child.
- Give our best and brightest a better future – A great A-Leagues can help launch some careers. For Example Mile Jedinak (yes an Aussie kid), is the Captain for Crystal Palace (an EPL team) started off in the A-League. Matt Ryan playing in Germany for Club Brugge (Central Coast Mariners (CCM)), Tom Rogic (CCM) playing for Celtic.
- We need to make Soccer a major sport in Australia to stay in the world cup and be a contender. We are are one of only 32 countries in the world cup, that is huge!!. Remember the world cup 2006 – Australia Vs Italy we came so so close – Bresicano was unfairly being sent off and then the “dive” which resulted in a penalty in overtime for Australia to lose. The next step would the Quarter final to be one of the best 8 teams in the world – what a dream.
- We get to see some of the worlds best players join A-League and splendor at their skills – Who can forget Shinji Ono’s goals, Del Piero’s shooting and moves. World Class magic !! (BTW We watch these match live!! – Our mouths were opened for 5 minutes with disbelief with Shinji’s skill).
I hope I have convinced you. If you are a skeptic – go to a match. Be part of a solution called A-League do it for your Kids future, don’t be a naysayer (it’s un-Australian).