If you had to buy ten items at your local supermarket to represent each A-League club, what would you choose?

Luckily for you The Football Sack is here to guide you through the comprehensive shopping list you can’t go without if you wish to uncover the answer to this very important question.

Adelaide United – Unopened Smith’s chips packet

In the 2015/16 A-League grand final Adelaide romped Western Sydney in front of 50,000 home fans. At that stage, like hungry kids in the chips aisle, Adelaide fans were licking their lips at all the possibilities ahead of them in the seasons to come.

But, like the disappointment of opening a packet of Smith’s chips and finding it’s half-filled with air, the Adelaide faithful were soon to realise their A-League championship was a false-dawn; an empty promise. Since then, Adelaide have finished 9th, 5th and 4th, failing to capitalise on their 2015/16 premiership/championship double.

Like a freshly opened packed of Smith’s chips, that’s reason enough for Adelaide fans to feel a little deflated.

Brisbane Roar – The trolley 

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Robbie Fowler is walking through Woolies with a trolley full of players. He gets to the checkout and starts to weigh up what he actually needs, and what he considers a waste of money.

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So out of the trolley go Matt McKay, Henrique, Thomas Kristensen, Ruon Tongyik, Brendan White, Luke DeVere, Brett Holman, Joe Caletti, Tobias Mikkelsen, Eli Babalj, Charles Lokoli-Ngoy, Stefan Nigro, Eric Bautheac, and Alex Lopez.

Much like any trip to the shops, Brisbane Roar’s trolley was filled to the brim in the 2018/19 season but is coming out of the shop practically empty.

Central Coast Mariners – Weet-Bix

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How do you market a brick of unappetising bland cardboard-like “food” that is undeniably wholesome but not at all attractive? Sanitarium’s Weet-Bix marketing strategy is to throw any sporting icon they can get the image rights of onto the front of the box and then chuck those boxes onto the shelves.

And they’ve got the nation fooled. For some reason people actually buy these blocks of unidentified sustenance, perhaps in the hope that shovelling one down with a gallon of milk will turn them into whichever sports star is on the front of the box.

At the start of the 2018/19 season Mike Mulvey consulted with Sanitarium’s media department and decided to slap Olympian Usain Bolt onto the front of his Mariners outfit.

This limited-edition product flew off the shelves, but when people realised the Mariners had the taste of Weet-Bix but lacked substance and the nutritional value, they stopped buying into it. Bolt was out the door and all Mulvey was left with was a box full of cardboard bricks which weighed his side down to the bottom of the A-League table.

Melbourne City – The NEW Arnott’s BBQ Shapes

It’s the change nobody asked for, but got anyway. The original Arnott’s BBQ shapes are loved by the nation but much like when City Football Group took control of Melbourne Heart, Arnott’s shoved the original recipe out of the way in favour of a “new and improved” version nobody wanted.

When Melbourne Heart became Melbourne City the soul of the club evaporated. There’s no way to get it back unless the original makes a comeback. Arnott’s eventually reintroduced the original BBQ Shapes to the shelves in what was an ultimate marketing ploy, but the same will not be occurring at Melbourne City any time soon.

Perth Glory – Canned Baked Beans

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They’re delicious, they’re nutritious, they’re an absolute treat – but they’ve been sitting at the back of your pantry for the last 15 years. At last you’ve done a cleanout and pulled them out of the darkness, cracked open the lid and chucked them in the microwave.

This is where the magic happens. All of a sudden Glory are back – they’re sizzling, they’re red hot and ready to remind you just how good they are. And much like any good can of baked beans, they’re destined for the toilet seat.

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Melbourne Victory – Kombucha  

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Kombucha drinkers think they’re better than you – and they’ve got a point. It’s a drink which beats most of its competitors in nutritional value, it’s new-age, hip and trendy. It’s more than a drink, it’s a lifestyle.

Much like Melbourne Victory, the benchmark of attendance, popularity and style in the A-League, kombucha is the drink everyone loves to hate, but you can’t question its popularity. Drinking kombucha is also like supporting Melbourne Victory in the sense that I’d rather die than take a sip.

Newcastle Jets – Coles “Stikeez”

There was a time not so long ago when the Coles “Stikeez” campaign was the talk of the nation. Flocks of insane shoppers fought tooth and nail to complete the set, causing mass-hysteria and a whole lot of headlines.

Newcastle fans will be looking back at the 2017/18 season in a similar way to how I look back at the Stikeez craze, wondering how it got so far and why it went away so fast. The Jets differ from the Stikeez campaign in one important way, however: they weren’t a pointless joke and a waste of time. The 2017/18 Jets were glorious, and unlike Stikeez I hope they make a triumphant return next season.

Sydney FC – Froot Loops

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You walk down the cereal aisle and pick out a box of All Bran and a carton of quick oats sachets. That’s your club. As you walk away the Froot Loops catch your eye. Damn, they’re good. You hate that they’re so good, because you know they’re not your club.

Like any wise human being however, you know that if you stick with your old trusty oats, it will be better for you in the long run. And much like choosing not to support Sydney FC, choosing not to eat Froot Loops is a decision your Mum approves of.

Wellington Phoenix – Foreign food section

Turn on the TV when the Nix are playing and you’re in for a treat. It’s an assault on the senses similar to a journey to the foreign food section of your supermarket. They play in a cake tin, the commentators have strange accents and the local population of pale men gather to simultaneously remove their shirts.

When you explore the foreign foods section of your local supermarket you’re surrounded by foods originating from different cuisines and different cultures, much like the Nix who have Polish ‘keeper Filip Kurto in goal behind British defender Steven Taylor, with Amando Sosa Pena (Mandi) feeding balls to Sarpreet Singh, a New Zealander of Indian descent, Aussie David Williams and Fijian superstar Roy Krishna. The Phoenix are the cultural hotpot which adds real flavour to the league.

Western Sydney Wanderers – iSnack 2.0

Remember the iSnack saga? When Kraft allowed the public to name their new cheese-infused Vegemite, iSnack 2.0 was the winning suggestion. Cue the nation losing their marbles.

iSnack 2.0 is infamous. It generated a mass of publicity and uproar, divided opinion and is now considered a collectors item, literally – you can buy jars of the stuff for inflated prices on eBay.

This is how I remember the good days of the short history of Western Sydney Wanderers: in your face, aggressive, divisive, insanely popular, insanely good and, unfortunately for them, also a collectors item.

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Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.