FFA Hopes Second-Tier Competition Leads To A-League Second Division
Victoria "has fallen into line" and Football Federation Australia "is hoping that its establishment of a national second-tier competition will eventually lead to an A-League second division," according to Michael Lynch of THE AGE. The National Premier League kicked off last season, "but it was national in name rather than reality." Political rows and squabbling between some of Victoria's best-known clubs and Football Federation Victoria "prevented the state from being part of the national picture." FFV and its clubs "have buried the hatchet." Last Friday, FFV issued a list of 30 clubs that met the criteria for entry and "will form two divisions in the state's section of the NPL." FFA CEO David Gallop said, ''One day we will want to look at the expansion of the A-League and we will be looking at these clubs to be part of that structure." But expansion of the A-League and the inception of a genuine second division, with the sort of promotion and relegation commonplace in other parts of the world, "is a long way off" (THE AGE, 2/12).
PLAYERS DISMISSED: In Sydney, Michael Carayannis wrote the players' union has criticized Sydney FC "after reports surfaced that Nick Carle and Matt Thompson had been isolated from training with their teammates." It is understood the pair "have been dismissed from regular training after they disobeyed tactical instructions from Frank Farina and Rado Vidosic when introduced as substitutes at half-time in Sydney's 3-0 loss to Adelaide on Saturday" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/11).
DIVIDED OPINIONS: In Brisbane, Marco Monteverde wrote "the decision to include a Malaysian team in this season’s National Premier Leagues Queensland competition divided opinion at Tuesday's launch of Australian Football’s second-tier competition." Former Brisbane Strikers coach John Kosmina "applauded the introduction of an Asian club to the Queensland competition but emerging coach Mark Rudan, who guided Sydney United 58 to last year’s NPL New South Wales and Australian titles, was not a fan of the concept." Rudan said, "Would I be for it if it was [in] NSW? No, I wouldn’t be because I want our young Australian players to develop" (COURIER-MAIL, 2/12).