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A-League confusion

By jenny green 22 February 2008 17

This born and bred Canberran still can’t work out what team to support.  Should I pick one or just hold out till we get our own team??? 

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A-League confusion
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astrojax 8:49 am 23 Feb 08

a-league rocks. for a nascent competition it has done remarkably well. crowd figures have been on a steady incline and the quality of football is slowly improving as the requirments for a result demand it. the nz phoenix side was the story of the season, and to have the national competition grandfinal (should be a cracker!) comprise two teams outside a capital city is filip the football boffins ought to pounce on.

a canberra team would be well supported if the groundwork was in place. i’d be a season holder, too, stan. the demises of other teams cited in the thread are due to lack of appropriate investment. as stan notes, an attractive product well-managed here would be sure to draw consistent crowds. sure, we’d not get near melbourne or sydney no.s, but i rekkun a couple of consitent seasons would see the canberra koalas or whatever we’d be see near-full houses most weeks, especially as the opposition sides would comprise, more and more, players of the stature of kalac, kewell, viduka, etc coming back and, hopefully, scott mcdonalds or tim cahills not going off o/s so soon if the domestic product quality – and money – increases. the public exposure also has to grow, but it will as pay-tv becomes more ubiquitous. in ten years time people without it will be like people without a mobile phone (think back to 1998 and tell me how many people’s mothers had one…)

and we need the a-league to grow to encompass mebbe an indonesian and malaysian team (would inject a huge amount of foreign investment), with the bolstering of state leagues to maybe eventually have a genuine two-tier comp with relegation… dreams…

stan_bowles 4:10 pm 22 Feb 08

Canberra does seem to be home to fickle fans, but it would be interesting what kind of crowd a well run, community connected club, playing in a fully professional league (ie. the antithesis of the Cosmos and the NSL) could pull. The fact that an A-League friendly at Bruce pulled a bigger crowd then the Cosmos ever did points to the fact that the A-League is a far more attractive product.

There are more registered football players in the ACT than AFL, league and union combined. That’s not a bad starting point. The problem of course is money, namely (bad pun warning) the lack of capital in the ACT.

bunnycoat 3:59 pm 22 Feb 08


paperboy 3:49 pm 22 Feb 08

Ah yes. Canberra’s support of teams. Remember the Canberra Cannons, Canberra Bushrangers (baseball) and Canberra Arrows(soccer/football! And if the Brumbies and Raiders don’t perform this year, there’ll be even fewer spectators affected by the smoking ban at Canberra stadium

biogaz78 1:27 pm 22 Feb 08

I am a huge A-League fan and avidly support Adelaide United (as this is where I grew up and went to all but one of their last NSL season games).

Sadly the FFA has overlooked the nations capital to give first dibs to 2 Queensland sides. I realise this is probably entirely due to the fact there are no major commercial backers available in the ACT.

If a team was created in Canberra I would definitely buy season tickets. But as already mentioned the number of people turning up week in week out would suffer if they didnt do too well.

Canberra has the population base to warrant a team, but I think the lack of financial support is the killer …

hingo 1:00 pm 22 Feb 08

True RAGD. When I saw the Raiders vs Sea Eagles match last year, the Eagles fans outnumbered the Raiders fans. As much as I want the Raiders to do well, I was very happy to see the Sea Eagles give them a good thrashing in the second half.

RAGD 12:00 pm 22 Feb 08

The problem with Canberra is the crowd/fans. They are so fickle with their teams. A Canberra team would have to be fairly succesful to keep Canberrans interested enough. It has happened before with the Cannons, Raiders and more recently the Brumbies.. It is not like europe where you alligiance to a team is based on historical fans.(Your great grandpa, grandpa, dad followed the team) You will always have your true die hard fans that will support their team no matter what, but unfortunately in a place as small as Canberra they are not enough.

So even if they did manage to get a team here they would have to be always up for contention in the finals.. otherwise their first year that they didn’t make it, would signal the beginnig of the end.

MWest 11:10 am 22 Feb 08

I couldn’t agree more with stan_bowles. The Mariners are a great example of how to build a grassroots following among the community, which would be essential for a Canberra team. We have enough registered footballers in the ACT and the population to be successful, now we just need the organisation and the money.

When I head to Sydney I try and go to a Mariners home game. It’s great watching football at Gosford Stadium where one end of the stadium is open and you look through palm trees out over Brisbane Waters. Pure magic!

Growling Ferret 10:44 am 22 Feb 08


The standard is always going to be lower due to the best Australian players being cherry picked to play OS – guys like Carney have shone in the A-League before getting picked up to play professionally.

It will never be a Serie A, but when guys like Aloisi, Vidmar, Zelic, Moore etc come back at the end of successful overseas careers, it will help develop the future players for Australian football.

Betting on the A-League – go the home side!

Crikey 10:44 am 22 Feb 08

Interesting that Gold Coast and Townsville consortia have now been accepted – while Canberra still dribble the ball around.

Ralph 10:19 am 22 Feb 08

I’ve stopped betting on A-League, too inconsistent. That’s why you get faves opening at $1.80+

The standard is appalling as well. Pim Verbeek didn’t look impressed at all when he was forced to look like he was considering picking A League players for Australia.

Crikey 10:08 am 22 Feb 08

Yep go Mariners. They are helping to cultivate football here in Canberra. Sydney FC are up themselves and do little to promote the code.

Sadly, I wouldn’t hold your breath for a team in Canberra. Mind you Canberrans didn’t support the last effort.

Danny Moulis and his outfit who run the Cosmos in the end didn’t help either.

barking toad 10:04 am 22 Feb 08

Forget A-League – it’s the ghey.

Support Collingwood!

stan_bowles 9:38 am 22 Feb 08

The Mariners probably have the most Canberra connections of any of the A-League teams; formal relationship with Capital Football, annual friendly against Belconnen, and have three ex-Cosmos players(Andrew Clarke, Damian Brown & Nick Mrdja) in their lineup.

In the bigger picture their qualification for Asia and average crowds of 13,000 plus is good for Canberra, as it shows a well-run, community based regional club can be succesful.

There’s definitely the interest for an A-League team in Canberra, the issue is the money or lack of it. Any football loving riotacters got a spare 5 mill laying around?

Growling Ferret 9:29 am 22 Feb 08

Go the Marinators.

A team will never happen in Canberra – unless the Brumbies relocate to Melbourne…

hingo 8:29 am 22 Feb 08

I say hold out. I have a (very) small interest in the A League but a Canberra team would grab my attention.

ramblingted 8:10 am 22 Feb 08


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