The Moot Point

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We’re finally back!
After what has seemed an eternity it’s great to be back with the Hyundai A-League kicking off in a few days time. The longest ever offseason is finally over and the anticipation is akin to season one when the A-League was about to get into full swing for the very first time.

Brett Emerton versus Harry Kewell is simply the icing on the cake, as the countdown to the Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC clash at Etihad Stadium is definitely under way. With the AFL and NRL Grand Finals soon to be out of the way the A-League is finally set to debut when the other major football codes have laid down their tools for 2011.

Hopefully without sounding like a sycophant, I can’t wait. It promises to be the season when the Hyundai A-League finally is able to hold its head as high as the other football codes do.

Good luck to the Young Matildas
The Young Matildas head to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Saturday to compete in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship 2011 after a training camp in Brisbane. The tournament acts as the qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 in Uzbekistan with the top three teams qualifying.

The Young Matildas will face the likes of China, South Korea, North Korea, Japan and Vietnam. All the best to all involved.

Congrats to Nick Stavroulakis
Midfielder Nick Stavroulakis of the Sutherland Sharks was named as the 2011 ‘Player of the Year’ at their annual presentation held recently. It was the second time in successive seasons that Stavroulakis was honoured with this award.

“It’s of course an honour to have been nominated for this award, but I have to thank the team and Robbie Stanton [the coach] who have all made this year an enjoyable one, both on and off the pitch,” he said.

Several years ago the former Young Socceroo signed a contract to play in Italy’s Serie A with Empoli. At the time he played with some of Italy’s best known footballers for two years before returning home to Sydney.

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During a very short Christmas break from Empoli he visited our radio studio when I co-hosted Sunday Night Soccer on 98.5FM, and spent the best part of an hour with us all.

As a 19 year old he was mature, polite and humble.

He is still the same today and, of course, he is still a mighty fine footballer. Congratulations on a great season.

Don’t forget the W-League
The Westfield W-League 2011/12 season draw was released this week with Adelaide United to open proceedings when they take on a Canberra United at Hindmarsh Stadium. The opening weekend of fixtures will also see Champions Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC in a 2011 Grand Final re-match at picturesque Leichhardt Oval.

The W-League is of course a seven team competition over 12 weeks. However, in what is surely one of the great ironies in Australian football, ABC TV will again cover the match of the round live at 3pm every Saturday.

This is a tremendous achievement for the Westfield W-League, but the irony is that the A-League will not experience one nanosecond of live match time on free-to-air television which is the oxygen of all sports. The W-League itself certainly deserves the exposure and our best wishes go to all players.

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