Almanac Soccer: Five Things I am looking forward to in the A-League season

 

 

(Photo courtesy Heath Wild)

 

So now as Australia is coming out of its 2-year Covid slumber, we get to enjoy things that we treated as normal.  Activities such as going to work, meeting with friends or going to a restaurant/pub have been things most Australians have not been able to experience very often in the last 2 years.  However, the biggest thing we have missed is watching or going to sporting events.  So the new A-league season coming up on November 19th could not have been better timed for sport-starved supporters in this country.  It seems Australian football have quietly been making all the right moves over the last 6 months and starting the new A-League season just as Australia comes out of it’s Covid slumber might be one of the shrewdest moves the game has made in years.  I can’t wait for the season to start and I have compiled the 5 things I am looking forward to for the upcoming A-League season.

 

5.  Paramount Plus/Channel 10 broadcasting the A-League/W-League

 

This is the first season Paramount Plus/Channel 10 will be broadcasting the A-League as part of the of their 5-year commitment to broadcast the game.  As well as seeing regular faces such as Simon Hill, Tara Rushton and Andy Harper come across from Fox Sports, we shall see some new faces such as Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan, Georgia Yeoman-Dale and Amy Chapman join the team.  While the majority of the games will be shown on the Paramount Plus streaming service, Channel 10 will have a live A-League game every Saturday evening and W-League game on Sunday afternoons.  These games will have top drawcard teams to bring in the biggest audience possible.  So far, the signs seems promising.  The Socceroos and Matildas games on 10 have gone off without a hitch and it seems Channel 10 is promoting both the A-League and W-League across its many shows and formats.  Paramount/Channel have invested a lot of money into football in this country and want to get bang for its buck.

 

4. New Stars

 

Of course having ex Liverpool superstar Daniel Sturridge strutting his stuff for Perth Glory will be an exciting addition for the A-League, but I am also looking forward to seeing the next generation of superstars make their names in the A-League.  One of the big plusses of the Covid-19 epidemic is that it has forced A-League clubs to play their young players and has unearthed some potential superstars for not only the League but hopefully for the Socceroos as well.  I’m looking forward to seeing the progression of Melbourne City defender Nathaniel Atkinson, Phoenix winger Reno Piscopo, the Toure brothers at both Adelaide Utd and MacArthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers Midfielder Keanu Bacchus.

 

3. Socceroos and Matildas

 

We now have the opportunity to watch our National Teams on home soil regularly with Covid-19 restrictions lifting.  The Socceroos are in a tight tussle to qualify for Qatar 2022 and, with recent results, it is going to be a tough ask. The home game against Japan looks to be a do-or-die fixture.  The Matildas, on the other hand, are preparing to host the 2023 World Cup along with New Zealand, so expect a lot of home games in the next 18 months as the Matildas are a huge chance to win the tournament which, of course, would be a first for any Australian team, male or female.

 

2. Full effect of A-League/W-League breakaway from FFA

 

This is the first full season we have the official breakaway of the A- and W-League from the FFA.  Already we have seen the benefits thanks to the media rights deal with Channel 10 and Paramount +.  However, it is from the FFA side that I hope to see more positive changes.  Do we see more focus on player development and participation?  Will better relationships be formed with business and Government to further enhance the game?  Can the biggest issue, registration fees, be finally tackled?

 

1. Can Melbourne Victory reclaim its former glory?

 

Being a bit self-indulgent here, I am a mad Melbourne Victory supporter and it has broken my heart to see the decline of this club over the last few years.  However, with the appointment of Tony Popovic, it looks like the tide might be turning on the club’s fortunes.  The players arriving at the club look promising with signings such as Jason Geria, Jason Davidson, Josh Brillante and Chris Ikonomidis.  We will also see Matthew Spiranovic come out of retirement and Spanish midfielder Rai Marchen arrive to play for the Blue and White army.  Now that Melbourne Victory has moved fulltime to AAMI Park we (hopefully) will see the return of the glory days.

 

MY TIPS

 

Melbourne City to win both Champion Shield and Grand Final

Newcastle to get the Wooden Spoon

 

Top 6

 

Melbourne City

Sydney FC

Macarthur FC

Melbourne Victory

Adelaide Utd

Wellington Phoenix

 

To see the A-League season draw click here.

 

To see the W-League season draw click here.

 

We’ll do our best to publish two books in the lead-up to Christmas 2021. The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020  and the 2021 edition to celebrate the Dees’ magnificent premiership season(title is up for discussion at the moment!). These books will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers and Demons season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from these two Covid winters. Enquiries HERE

 

To return to the www.footyalmanac.com.au  home page click HERE

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

 

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

 

About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Co host of It's Not Called Soccer podcast

Comments

  1. Brian The Ruminator says

    it will be fascinating to see whether fans embrace Paramount +. It took a while for rugby fans (inc yours truly) to do it with Stan. Interestingly, the pinnacle of Champions League is on the latter, so I’ve been getting those games as part of my Stan subscription.

    Victory’s rise from the ashes seems to be the main fixation with pundits at the moment. Got my doubts about Sturridge. Glory already have the best striker in my opinion. Fornaroli’s ripsnorter last night was a classic “how don’;t forget about me”. The poor turnout for the opening game wasn’t a good look but hopefully momentum will build. The A League has become a summer institution. Let the sunshine in!

Leave a Comment

*