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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 September 2014
SPORT 30 SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2014 A 10-team A-League competi- tion is not big enough, Foot- ball Federation Australia boss David Gallop admits, but ex- pansion is still a fair way off. Gallop said the jump in rev- enue and general growth of the A-League over the last two years had brought more clubs closer to breaking even, and some to profitability. "But we're not quite there yet," the chief executive said during his annual State of the Game address in Sydney this week. "Obviously we want to be bigger than a 10-team com- petition. "There are still some pot- holes there and we need to fill those in; get ourselves to a point where we are tru- ly sustainable with that 10- team comp and then look to expand. "(But) a 10 team competition is not big enough." Gallop said more fans than ever were expected to flock to A-League games this season, with attendance set to pass two million for the first time in the competition's 10-year existence. The game was also aiming for a fourth-straight year of TV ratings growth, with new rights agreements in India and Africa blowing out the weekly reach to 300 million people. Gallop also took a veiled swipe at rival football codes, including the NRL - of which he was chief executive for 10 years - referring to soccer as a "game based primarily on skill, not based on collisions". He said the rate of pre-sale tickets bought by Western Sydney members for the up- coming Sydney derby "out- stripped two finals in anoth- er code" and that overall club membership was on course to break the 100,000 mark for the first time. "It's the fastest growing professional competition in Australia because it gives us fantastic football, star play- ers and the best atmosphere you'll experience - I can't wait for the kick off," he said. Melbourne Victory and the Wanderers open the season on October 10. A-League ‘not big enough’ Profits have surged thanks to a larger fan base. PHOTO: AAP/DEAN LEWINS. FFA CEO David Gallop says he wants to see more than 10 teams in the A-League, but expansion is still a way off The tides have changed. Ve- ria, who was a bottom dwell- er for much of the 2013/14 season, is now on top of the Super League miles ahead of even the richest and more adept clubs. Last year's champion, Olym- piakos is now third on the lad- der in comparison, not being able to boast a clean sheet. It drew in its second match of the season which cost it points and its ladder position. The two will now get a chance to test each other and see who is more worthy of the top spot when they play a blockbuster match on Sunday. Veria might have the ad- vantage, as Olympiakos had an extra match this week for the Champions League. But, considering who it beat, Veria might be shaking in its boots. Veria came from behind at home to beat Kerkyra 2-1 on Saturday and reach nine points, compared to Olympi- akos' seven after it returned back to winning ways against OFI, 3-0. Second on the ladder with equal points is PAOK, who will take on Panaitolikos on Sunday. PAOK also produced an em- phatic 3-0, over Niki Volou last week behind closed doors in Thessaloniki. Niki, still without a point, announced on Sunday the dismissal of its Dutch coach, Wiljan Vloet, with his assistant, Sven Van- denbroeck, succeeding him. Panathinaikos isn't looking as fresh as the ladder leaders, when it fell against Kalloni Lesvou 1-0 thanks to a Leoz- inho strike. It was Kalloni's first win against the Greek giants. Judging by the Green's re- sults, its pre-season wasn't enough to get it League ready, with mixed results plaguing its first three matches. A draw, a win and a loss have left fans conflicted. In other matches, PAS Gi- annina and Xanthi played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw, Panionios celebrated its 124th birthday with a 2-1 win against Asteras Tripolis, while Levadiakos and Panth- rakikos drew 1-1. Source: ekathimerini Ladder leaders to battle Olympiakos and Veria will see who’s got the right stuff to keep their ladder domination through to the whole season on Sunday If Daniel Ricciardo is going to win this year's Formula One world championship, something good needs to come of the next two races. Perhaps it is fortuitous then, according to the Australian, that Singapore and Suzuka are the two tracks which suit his Red Bull best. The 25-year-old sits third in the overall drivers' stand- ings - 72 points adrift of Mer- cedes' runaway leader Nico Rosberg and 50 behind Lewis Hamilton. While Ricciardo said he ex- pects Mercedes to be strong at every circuit for the rest of the year, the question is: can he be as quick as them? "I think Singapore and Su- zuka are our two best shots at that," he said ahead of Sun- day's Singapore Grand Prix. "Maybe we can actually get a pole and win at one of those." With double points on offer at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Ricciardo believes a differential of less than 50 points would keep him with- in reach of the championship. "But the approach is still race-by -race," he said. "I'm aware the title is dis- tant. "All it takes is a couple of wins and a couple of bad races for the championship leader, and all of a sudden everything's possible again. So let's see what happens." Ricciardo's team-mate Se- bastian Vettel has won the last three grands prix at Sin- gapore, but remains winless this season. Ricciardo, who scored vic- tories in Canada, Hungary and Belgium, is relishing the chance to navigate the "grit and grime" that comes with driving on a public road in what is the only race on the calendar run completely at night. "It means you're in for a slithery, bumpy weekend - which I love," he said. "The important thing in Sin- gapore is to not get caught chasing the set-up on a Fri- day (during practice). "The track is going to evolve - you've just got to be patient and let it happen without constantly tweaking your car, trying to hit a moving target. "It's one of those races where you're never com- pletely satisfied with the amount of preparation that you do." With double points on offer at the season finale, Ricciardo believes a differential of less than 50 points would keep him in contention Daniel Ricciardo is still hopeful of a championship win. PHOTO: A AP/JOE CASTRO. Ricciardo’s championship hopes hinge on Singapore GP Cobras seal championship and promotion The fairytale continues for the Caulfield United Cobras after the team didn't just secure promotion to the Women's Premier League, but also secured its league championship. The Cobras finished their season with an emphatic 5-0 win against Preston Lions, and in the process gained championship honours. The week before, the club managed to also secure its promotion for the third year in a row since its inception. Both coach Yanni Galanis and club president George Karagounis see the feat as nothing short of surreal. "To have lost only two games since our inception is an amazing feat and I’m not sure that this has ever been achieved in the history of women's football," Galanis says. "The girls have been amaz- ing this year as well. After gaining promotion last year by finishing on top they set the goal to do it again this year, so it was great to see all their hard work pay off for them." Now the club will focus on nurturing more girls to add to their small group of teams. President Karagounis says he's looking for ambitious girls that are serious about the sport. "I believe we have laid some great foundations to expand on the model that has proven to be success- ful," he says. "Now comes the challenge, to obtain the trust of the football community, in that we can develop girls to play the football as outlined in the National Curriculum and to produce players that will one day represent our country." The club is inviting expres- sions of interest. Email info@ cobrasfc.com.au to apply.
13 September 2014
27 September 2014