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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 04 November 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2017 27 SPORT Victory chases first win on Cup eve Western Sydney Wanderers have announced the appointment of new senior coach Josep Gombau. The Spaniard will resign as coach of the Australian U23s to take up the position. Gombau has already had success in the A-League coaching Adelaide United to an FFA Cup win. He takes over from Tony Popovic and caretaker coach Haydn Foxe. Round five of the ALeague began last night with a top of the table clash between the two Sky Blue teams Melbourne City and Sydney FC. Today's matches kick off in Newcastle. Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix, McDonald Stadium, Sat 4 November, 7.30 pm AEDT Ernie Merrick's Jets will be aiming to extend their unbeaten start to the season to five matches when the Jets host Merrick's former club the Phoenix, who are yet to win a game this season. The Phoenix went close to breaking their duck last week when they led the Roar 3-0 at one stage before a Roar comeback clinched a point for the visitors. Dimi Petratos is in good goal-scoring form for the Jets and he'll be joined in the Jets' squad this week by brother Kosta. Perth Glory v Adelaide United, nib Stadium Perth, Sat 4 November, 7.00 pm local /10.00 pm AEDT Both these teams will be determined to bounce back from last week when they lost 2-0 to the top two teams in the league Sydney FC and Melbourne City respectively. After a promis- ing start, Adelaide United missed key players to injury and are still without them. Into the squad come Kristian Konstandopoulos and Ryan Strain. The Reds face a tough trip across the Nullaboor to take on a Perth Glory outfit who will be hoping marquee Diego Castro can begin to reproduce some of the form of seasons past. Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners, Suncorp Brisbane, Sun 5 November, 4.00 pm local/5.00 pm AEDT Both these sides are desperate for a first win of the season. The 38-yearold Italian striker Massimo Maccarone has turned back the hands of time scoring four A-League goals including a brace in last week's draw against Phoenix. The Mariner's leaky defence will have to be on their guard. The Roar welcomes back the exciting Corey Gameiro after a long injury lay-off. Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Etihad Melbourne, Mon 6 November, 7.50 pm AEDT The Cup eve tie brings together two teams which each drew 1-1 last week. Victory is yet to notch up a win this season and they will have to attempt this feat against a strong Wanderers outfit. Victory's task will be all the more difficult given Berisha is suspended and his attackminded teammates, Troisi and Barbarouses will both be missing due to international duties. Victory coach Kevin Muscat may have to call on the inexperienced Pierce Waring and Kenny Athiu to play some attacking role in the game. Postecoglou names 25-player Socceroos squad for final World Cup qualifying play-offs The road is long with many a winding turn that leads to Russia. Should the Socceroos get over Honduras in the upcoming World Cup qualifying play-off, they will have played 22 games to qualify, which will be a record for any nation trying to qualify for the World Cup. Although it isn't a record the Socceroos had in mind when they set out on this campaign, coach Ange Postecoglou can see the benefit of such a long campaign. "You don't always want to take the longest route but the experiences gained along the way have been good for this group," he said. "We've travelled far and wide, we've had to deal with all sorts of conditions both on and off the pitch and for the most part the players have handled it very well and have grown every time we've gone through that sort of process. "It's felt like a really long campaign and it obviously has been but when you get to the crucial stage and the big games such as now you kind of want to know that the players already have an idea of what it's going to be like. "We've certainly experienced that through this two and a half years." Postecoglou announced a 25-player squad for the twolegged final World Cup qualifying play-offs beginning in Honduras next week. Instead of the usual 23-player squad for these World Cup qualifiers, he has included an extra two players to cover for the suspended Mark Milligan and Matthew Leckie who will miss the trip to Honduras for the first leg. Skipper Mile Jedinak and James Jeggo have been added to the squad so that Postecoglou can take the full complement of 23 players to Honduras. Norwegianbased defender Alex Gersbach also earns a recall in place of the injured Brad Smith. Media interest in Tuesday's squad announcement and the actual games in Honduras took second place to questions from a press gallery more eager for news from the coach about his future rather that the Honduras qualifiers. "No, not really" he said in response to one reporter's question of whether he knows in his own mind what he'll do. Postecoglou said he had no intention of telling the players in Honduras what his future plans were. " No, my future is not why they're there. They're there to represent Alex Gersbach earns a recall to the Socceroos squad. PHOTO: FIFA their country. All along I've said that no one's guaranteed anything. All we're guaranteed is we've got two weeks together as a group to try and get our country to another World Cup and beyond that, no one's guaranteed anything including me." SOCCEROOS SQUAD Goalkeepers: Mitchell Langerak (Levante, Spain), Mat Ryan (Brighton, England), Danny Vukovic (Genk, Belgium). Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos, Japan), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg, Norway), Matthew Jurman (Suwon, South Korea), Ryan McGowan (Al Sharjah, UAE), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning, China), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, England). Midfielders: Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Jackson Irvine (Hull City, England), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz, Austria), Massimo Luongo (QPR, England), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory)*, Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory) Forwards: Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern, Switzerland), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin, Germany)*, Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa, Israel). * Milligan and Leckie are suspended for the away leg. Game one (away): Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Fri 10 November, 4.00 pm local (Saturday 11 November, 9.00 am AEDT) Game two (home): ANZ Stadium, Sydney. Wed 15 November, 8.00 pm local/ AEDT FFA Congress crisis lurches towards FIFA deadline Konstandopoulos brothers Kristin (L) and Nathan and have been named in the Adelaide United squad for the game against Perth Glory. PHOTO: ADELAIDE UNITED.COM After an eventful week, things look increasingly like they are coming to a head at the top of the football tree in Australia, with all eyes fixed on those in high places. Not only does uncertainty surround Socceroos' coach Ange Postecoglou's future after the Honduras qualifiers, but there is also uncertainty about the future of FFA Chairman Steven Lowy and FFA CEO David Gallop. The uncertainty increased another notch early this week following the 11th-hour postponement of last Wednesday's scheduled EGM by the FFA. The FFA was hoping to push through its preferred expanded model of the FFA Congress, (the so-called 9-41-1 model), but abandoned this bid when FFV President Kimon Taliadoros wrote to FFA chairman Steven Lowy to say the FFV would not be supporting the FFA's preferred model. The FFV, Taliodoros informed Lowy, was supportive of the 9-5-1-1 model preferred by the ALeague club bosses. And so the impasse between the FFA and the A-League clubs over the expanded FFA Congress persists. With the threat of FIFA intervention looming at the end of the month, the FFA has rescheduled another EGM for 27 November, three days before the FIFA deadline. If the congress issue is not resolved by then, FIFA is threatening to install its own normalising committee to take over from the FFA. It's unsure how this will play out in the coming days and whether or not the FFA will attempt to persuade the FFV to reconsider its position prior to the next meeting. The impasse between the FFA and A-League clubs over the FFA Congress coincides with the Socceroos' crucial World Cup qualifying playoffs. At the very least, it's an unwanted distraction for the Socceroos, but there is a possibility it may have also affected Postecgoglou's decision not to commit himself to the Socceroos' coaching position beyond the matches against Honduras due to an uncertainty at FFA board level. There's no doubt a lot is at stake. For example, the composition of the congress will go a long way in determining what the new model for the A-League looks like and how much control the A-League clubs have over the league and its revenue streams. The FFA appears to be at odds with a number of stakeholders at present, not just the A-League clubs. Last Friday week, the Australian Association of Football Clubs (AAFC) released its blueprint for a national second tier competition (The Championship). The FFA's initial response appeared to pour cold water on the AAFC proposal. However the FFA followed up with another statement some days later which appeared more conciliatory and open to dialogue with the AAFC. Gallop said on Monday "We responded to their media release on Friday, and they have now written to us. We have responded to that by telling them we are happy to meet, and we would be happy to do so within the next month or as soon as is convenient for all parties." This prompted AAFC chairman Rabieh Krayem to comment, "I think the [initial] response from the FFA was very disappointing but it wasn't unpredictable. What has been lacking is, there is no engagement with us [a major stakeholder, representing community football]. There is no doubt the FFA needs to endorse and approve it [a second-tier competition]. They are the governing body of the game. And there is no way that any organisation would try and make a competition that is a breakaway. That is just terrible for the game. That was disappointing on Friday. I wrote to David Gallop over the weekend and I did receive a letter [last Monday] from David opening the dialogue. I take that as a positive that we will now have a dialogue and set up meeting to discuss this." "The AAFC is part of the landscape of football. We are a major stakeholder. At the moment you've got three stakeholders defined for the congress: the PFA, the ALeague clubs and member federations." "There is no doubt the AAFC, representing the 30,000 players, 128 clubs and over 5000 volunteers who contribute $50 million, can't be ignored," commented Krayem.
28 October 2017
11 November 2017