In A League of Its Own – Issue 2

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

The brand new season kicks off on Thursday in Melbourne and I can’t help but look ahead to what should be one very competitive year. Here are my predictions for most of the big topics, and I’m sure there will be plenty of debate over them.

Champions

Straight to the top, I think that Wellington Phoenix will be the club cheering by next April. After a thrilling finals campaign earlier this year, where they got through a dramatic penalty shootout against Newcastle, I think that the Kiwis can go all the way this time round. Top scorer for Wellington from last season Paul Ifill can again score and set up plenty of goals this season. With quite a few players going to South Africa in the All-Whites squad, they will gain the experience that they lacked when it came to the business end of the season in March this year.

Wooden Spooners

To the bottom, and North Queensland Fury will be making up the numbers this time around. Their marquee signing Robbie Fowler has departed for Perth and the Fury really lack A-League standard players. David Williams was a shining light for them last season, but he isn’t a star and won’t haul his club to anything but failure.

Biggest Improvers

To shoot up the table from last, will be Adelaide United. They really did have a horror domestic campaign whilst still managing to make it into the last 16 of the Asian Champions League. The Reds have found a forward which they were so dearly missing last season, with Serge van Dijk coming over from Brisbane.

On the slide

From a top four finish to bottom three, Newcastle Jets will perform to roughly where they should have been last season. To be honest, Newcastle performed well above their ability last campaign to finish fourth and will slide back down this year to come eighth.

Golden Boot

To top the goals will be Gold Coast’s Shane Smeltz. Smeltz is too good for the A-league and always scores plenty. He also played in that ball to Winston Reid to hand the Kiwis their first world cup point.

Johnny Warren Medal (Season MVP)

Wellington’s Paul Ifill will take out this award after he guides a New Zealand team to an Australian league title.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.

Comments

  1. Martin Reeves says:

    Hard to argue with any of that Tom. Will be interesting to watch the Phoenix this season to see if they can maintain their crowds from last year.

  2. Biggest mistake?
    Letting Muscat go around one more time.

  3. Ian Syson says:

    Crio,

    I thought that at the beginning of last year and yet he had a decent season. You may be right.

    It may be unfashionable to say it but I didn’t rate NZ’s performance all that highly in the WC. Good results — incredibly negative play at times (albeit playing to their limitations). Phoenix looked good last year and will be thereabouts but I’d be willing to do a betfair lay if the odds were right.

  4. Its almost as though the first 8 or 9 rounds will be kept “in camera” as footy dominates media attention. Then there is a window for coverage pre-Cup time.
    It must be harrowing for sports bosses – tmorrow night’s Victory game will rate a blimp, up against the MCG Blockbuster. Keep up the insights Tom and Ian and our knowledge and interest can grow.

  5. Ian, Phoenix are 9.8 to win and 14.5 to lay.Pool is tiny, value(130%/75%)dreadful.

  6. Ian Syson says:

    What’s on at the MCG Crio?

  7. Whatever the AFL want or else they’ll take their metaphorical bat and ball!

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