Friday, 27 March 2015

I'm Not A Racist, But....

During the week an item on the FFA Cup website heralded the arrival of a new club called Shamrock Rovers Darwin. Quite how this club formed by Irish backpackers conforms within the FFA's National Club Identity Policy (NCIP) rules is quite bewildering. Unless you accept that the FFA is selective in how it applies it own rules, that is.

Is incorporating the entire name of a club from overseas a loophole which other clubs can utilise? Is it possible to see the return of South Melbourne Hellas Verona, St Albans Dinamo Zagreb or Richmond Alemannia Aachen?

It comes just a week after the controversial NCIP was again called into question during the A-League's "Erase Racism" round, as covered in this piece by Anthony Colangelo on The New Daily. So does the FFA merely pay lip service to eradicating racism? Does it perpetuate racism with the NCIP? If the NCIP is not racist, is the selective manner in which it is enforced racist?

How do you defend something like the NCIP and the whitewashing of Australian football?

I'm not racist, but for the game to appeal to all we can't have ethnically-aligned clubs.

I'm not racist, but British and Irish cultures are part of Australia's culture, not like these other ethnic groups.

I'm not racist, but ethnic football clubs held the game back for years and need to be eradicated.

I'm not racist, but names like O'Neill, Buckley and Gallop can take the game further than people with names who sound like they run fish and chip shops and milk bars..

I'm not racist, I loved the diverse fan groups at the Asian Cup. But they need to assimilate properly to be a part of Australian football.

Is it racist?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The 1935 Dockerty Cup Final

Whilst listening to some items that Radio Sport National posted on Soundcloud to mark the 90th anniversary of their original incarnation 3UZ, I recalled coming across mentions of radio football broadcasts whilst searching the Trove archives.

A search soon revealed that radio station 3AR covered the 1935 Dockerty Cup Final from Olympic Park. Commentary came in between coverage of races at Moonee Valley that were called by Jim Carroll.

That year's Cup Final was one of the all-time classics, and a re-match of a titanic struggle from the previous year. In 1934 the Final saw Caledonians and Hakoah draw 4-4, before the Scots took the trophy with a 3-2 victory in the Replay. This denied Hakaoh a League and Cup double.

The states preeminent sides would meet in the Final again a year later. Once again Hakoah were the League Champions, with Caledonians having finished Runner's-Up. Caledonians has preceded Hakoah as League Champions in taking the 1933 title. As usual there would be no shortage of goals, with Hakoah claiming the double with a thrilling 4-3 triumph (as covered here in The Argus).

Despite taking an early lead, Hakoah had to come from 2-1 down at the interval. They fell further behind after the resumption, before a burst of three goals in twenty minutes capped a remarkable comeback in front of a crowd estimated as 2,000 people.

The Hakoah team was one of the strongest sides seen in Victoria to that point in history. Aku Roth, Frank McIver, Alec Forrest, Alf Mackey and Johnnie Orr would all represent Australia at some stage.

The 1935 season saw Frank McIver top the goalscoring charts for the third year in succession, with a whopping 45 goals. Ten of those came in a 17-1 crushing of Melbourne Thistle in June. He was still a prolific scorer ten years later, netting five goals in a game at Como Park for Prahran A as they defeated R.A.A.F. Laverton 12-0 in April 1945. With records sketchy at best during World War II, it still appears certain he was leading scorer again in 1942 and 1943. He would become Secretary of the Latrobe Valley Association, and when coaching at Moorabbin City in the early 1950's would still turn out for the reserve team if they were short of players.

Club captain Aku Roth was also still going strong a decade later, playing for the Hakoah-Moreland combine which came into being during World War II. P.Lewis had emerged to prominence in the great Naval Depot side of the late 1920's. Alec Forrest had been the league's top goalscorer in 1930 for St Kilda before his move to Hakoah. Forrest, McIver and Alf Mackey all played in the Victorian team which defeated India 4-2 at the M.C.G. in 1938, McIver notching a brace and Forrest also getting on the scoresheet.

The Caledonian side was nearly as illustrious, many of whom would form the nucleus of the mighty Nobels team of 1939-40. The Weirs, Youngs and Grays were all prominent in representative games, along with H.Beats and J.Paulsen.

The 1935 Dockerty Cup Final was certainly the pinnacle in the battle between two dominant and highly decorated club teams that had taken Victorian football to a new level.

Friday, 13 March 2015

A Quick Look at the 2015 FFV Board Elections

FFV Board Elections are upon us, and I thought it would be interesting to have a look at those nominated and their candidate statements as found on the FFV website.

Now it is very easy to say the right thing, a different thing altogether to identify problems and propose solutions. Throw in enough buzzwords , make sure everyone knows you are thinking of the women and children, and you can say a lot without making any sort of statement at all.

One of the things I would hope not to see is delving into New Football/Old Soccer rhetoric. Issues within the game need to be looked at on their own merits.

I would like to see an improvement in the relationship between the FFV and clubs. It always pains me when people claim clubs put their interests ahead of the game. There can be no doubt that the biggest self-interest group in football are junior parents. The numbers do not lie.

Before I make a few comments on the various statements, I will state what I know about the candidates.

There are two candidates for the position of President.

The first is Jeff Doyle.

I know the name from his playing days in the 1980's though I wouldn't be able to point him out in a team photo.

He's obviously proven to be very successful in business, and not being overly involved in the game since his playing career ended makes him a "cleanskin". Following some turbulent times, that can be seen as desirable. Countering that is that he was nominated by the current board, so there may be a link there to say he may be as much about maintaining the status quo than providing any revolutionary change in direction.

I would like to hear more about the issues he sees with the game in regional and country Victoria. Was he happy with the process in how NPL teams for those areas were implemented or would he have done things differently.

The second candidate for President is Kimon Taliadoros.

I watched Kimon as a player in the NSL and for the Socceroos, and know of his previous involvement on the FFV Board. I follow him on Twitter, he does not follow me.

There are things in his statement that appeal strongly to me. He talks about the game's lifeblood being the goodwill of what can be summarised as "stakeholders" and realises that this goodwill has been tested and needs attention. He appears to have involved himself in many facets of the game.

Jason Charles is the first of four candidates on the ballot for a position on the board.

Cannot say I knew anything about him until reading his statement.

I was interested in his views on the effectiveness of the Junior Standing Committee. I share his concerns about the cost of junior participation and the FFV's wage bill. Questioning if the FFV is really in tune with who it services and represents also resonates with me.

Nicholas Tsiaras is another candidate for the board.

I follow Nicholas on Twitter, and he follows me. We are familiar with each others as posters on and I have met him two or three times at games.

Expresses many of the same concerns raised by Jason Charles, only a little more vigorously. Nominated by Zone Representatives, not the current Board, there is no doubt he is strong candidate for those advocating a change in the way the game is run.

The third candidate for the board is Tal Karp.

I know her name as a player and as previously having had roles at the FFV.

Her statement reveals broad football experience and very solid credentials. I would like to know more about the "particular concerns of stakeholders" she refers to as part of the greater understanding of the FFV's legal issues she gained in her previous roles and how she would address those concerns.

The final candidate on the ballot is Tony Ising.

I follow Tony on Twitter, and he follows me. We are familiar with each other as posters on three or four internet football forums. We have played in around half a dozen social kickabouts together, and I dined with him in a large group at the 2009 A-League Grand Final.

An important point in Tony's statement is:
Our game’s development is as much about attracting referees, assistant referees, club marshalls, coaches, club administrators and armies of volunteers as it is about developing elite players.
I would like to hear his ideas on how to go about addressing this issue and a bit more detail in how he would implement his vision.

Below are past posts relating to FFV issues: