In A League Of Its Own – Round 4

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Well, who would have thought that after round two, the three most successful teams and the one new team would make up the bottom four? Sydney FC, Adelaide United, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart are in an unfamiliar position at the beginning of this season. None of these four teams have registered a victory and find themselves in a heap which won’t do their confidence any good for the rest of their respective campaigns.

The round kicked off on Friday night at the “Cake Tin” in Wellington with a thrilling 3-3 draw. Paul Ifill opened his and Wellington’s season account with a goal in the fifth minute in the mud, there due to horrid weather, so bad that they nearly had to postpone the game. Gold Coast got back on level terms at the start of an eventful end to the first half through Smeltz. His goal was quickly cancelled out by Chris Greenacre a minute after who also scored to make it 3-1 ten minutes after the break. Shane Smeltz gave the Queenslanders a glimmer of hope in the 74th minute with a messy goal at the goalmouth. Gold Coast completed a brilliant comeback with Captain Jason Culina flicking on a beautiful ball in with his head from 15 yards out.

On the same night, a completely different game unfolded at EnergyAustralia Stadium, where the Jets battled out a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Heart. The awful first half looked to have rubbed off on the second, until Jeremy Brockie scored from close range to put the dominant Jets in front. But things turned ugly for the Jets (and funny for everyone else) when Ben Kantarovski sent a perfectly curling lob over helpless keeper Ben Kennedy when trying to clear the ball from a counter-attacking Heart cross. It was truly one of the funniest Own Goals I’ve ever seen (I’m sure you could come up with better) and it levelled up the score for a 1-1 finish.

Saturday saw the two Grand Finalists from the previous season lose their matches in what was a disaster for both. Sydney went down to North Queensland (Who are looking okay, unfortunately) after they realised they need a stable defensive defence. But Melbourne Victory’s problem is mainly at the other end of the park. Perth Glory came to AAMI Park glad to see the back of Etihad Stadium, as they lost 6-2 to the Victory last time they went. The Glory spoilt the party for Melbourne, winning a comfortable 2-0 in a dominant outing. Jamie Harnwell opened and Mile Sterjovski finished a very easy night for Perth. Melbourne Victory have just lost central midfielder Billy Celeski for the season, who has to undergo a second knee reconstruction in as many seasons, sad news for him and awful news for Melbourne, whose players now make up most of the Alfred Hospital.

Central Coast and Adelaide played out a very physical 1-1 draw to conclude the round that saw Iain Fyfe score and Adam Hughes get two yellows to head off for an early bath. This weekend, AAMI Park’s game is on Sunday at 3pm, and has Melbourne Victory taking on an in form North Queensland Fury. The Fury will be looking to continue their terrific start to season 2010-11 while Melbourne will be searching for their first win and some goals. If you can make sure you get down there for what should be a great crowd and atmosphere on Sunday at AAMI Park.

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.


  1. Martin Reeves says

    Tom – were you at the game against Perth? Interested to hear your thoughts on the new stadium re – view and atmosphere. I’m stuck in Perth and wont get to access my seat until Christmas.

    Celeski is a blow. He was playing some good football before he did his knee last year. He may struggle to come back from this one.

    Victory may struggle to come back from this also. Gary Cole needs to make some signings pronto.

  2. Can’t come up with funny own goals… you’re way a-header me ;)

  3. Martin,
    We’ve not yet been to the “rectangular stadium” but hope to get there this Sunday. Have you been to the Perth ground? Good buzz with a big crowd?

  4. Martin Reeves says

    Crio – we recently purchased a house just a 50m long-throw from nib Stadium. Atmosphere is great, both in my lounge room and at the ground.

    The stadium is sorely outdated, but a good place to watch a game, particularly with a big crowd. General admission was sold out last match due to the Robbie Fowler factor and I would expect another big crowd this weekend.

    If they string a few wins together, and once the AFL season finishes, Glory could become the hottest ticket in town this summer.

  5. AFL season has meaningfully finished out West so they might get a head start on Melbourne sides who will have to push for media space in the few seconds between AFL GF and Spring Carnival…then The Ashes and Australian Open. Tough market place!

  6. Martin,

    The Victory have apparently signed Ricardo Weslei de Campelo, aka Ricardinho
    and could play as soon as this weekend. Hopefully he’s as good as Fred, who graced the pitch in our first champioship winning season.

  7. I was at AAMI for the Heart opener. Great stadium to watch footy but it has some serious flaws.

    1. There’s no TAB. Nowhere to be seen.
    2. Exiting the stadium is tight at the Southern end. Think the SCG and you have your answer. Nobody is going anywhere quickly.
    3. The Men’s room I visited lacked a cubicle which particularly upset the gentleman who followed me in.
    4. Sibon looks to be about 45 and Worm looks overrated. But I can’t blame that on the stadium!

  8. Is the basic public seating OK?

  9. Yes it’s excellent. If it’s going to be wet I recommend sitting directly behind the goal or in the corners at the city end as you are sheltered from the rain. It’s great for watching Soccer/Football, you’re very close to the action.

  10. great article tc,u go boy!!!

  11. Tim,
    The toilets are a joke. Tiny, barely any around the ground, massive queues.

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