30 May 2012

Driving Ellyse Perry out of Canberra. A good move? [With poll]

| johnboy
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The Roar is mulling over the efforts of Canberra United to drive away their star player Ellyse Perry by making her choose between cricket and soccer.

Perry is by far the highest profile woman in Australian football and cricket. But her club have decided she can only play one.

“Ellyse needs to choose whether she wants to be a full-time Canberra United player and commit to training every day like everyone else does,” Canberra United chief executive Heather Reid said in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Or if she still wants to try and mix her cricket commitment with football, then perhaps she will need to find another club.”

For mine I’m a firm believer that a winning team makes stars not the other way around. Also that nurturing prima donna’s is corrosive to any team.

On the other hand it’s hard to let the stars go…

With Ellyse Perry Canberra United should...

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c_c said :

All the comments I’ve heard have not questioned her ability on the field to do both sports, instead saying it “harms the morale” or the team if she isn’t a proper part of training.

A total croc.

Women’s sport is still comparatively weak in Australia, never a ratings winner, not a great deal of high profile household names. Why try and hold her back when she can do so much good?

Perhaps you didn’t know but she’s playing two team sports. The operative word being “team”.

All the comments I’ve heard have not questioned her ability on the field to do both sports, instead saying it “harms the morale” or the team if she isn’t a proper part of training.

A total croc.

Women’s sport is still comparatively weak in Australia, never a ratings winner, not a great deal of high profile household names. Why try and hold her back when she can do so much good?

I’m torn. All the other examples of elite sports personalities who had to choose between sports are men. And like it or not, men’s competitions are regarded higher than women’s. Also, men are more likely to be able to make a career from competing in one sport. It’s much harder for women to do that (does she get paid to play on either team?).

However, the professionalism being aimed for by the coach may do wonders in having women’s sport taken more seriously. Big may though.

See, torn. Good on her for doing so well in two sports though, and uni, and commuting… god it makes me tired thinking about it.

mattapalooza11:16 am 31 May 12

Two things:
1. The Sonny Bill Williams discussion. Regardless of your expertise and knowledge of pugelism denouncing the oppononts of SBW, it should be reasonably recognised that he still contributes large amounts of time to training for the fights.
Yes, his opposition may be lacklustre, but he is in fact a NOVICE boxer, and therefore should not be fighting experienced boxers. Much the same way as you would not expect a boxer to step into a first grade match of league or union….the sad impression that people have that because he is a proven athlete and the media right about him that he should be subjected to a beating by fulltime boxing professionals is absurd.
If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.
For the record – i don’t see the point in a footy player boxing, so I don’t watch it.

As for Ms Perry.
What we have here is an athlete who excels in two sports.
Regardless of where she lives, she has managed to combine these two sports for quite some time and has obviously suffered no downfall in form given her constant selections in both National teams.

She should be commended and praised, an athlete that is remaining in Australia to continue her trade, and who will continue to receive more exposure than a large number of her counterparts.
It is an incredibly short sighted decision by Canberra to force her to choose, and i would suggest they review this decision before its too late.

I thought the issue is more to do with being in Canberra. Ellyse lives and studies in Sydney. If she went to UC or ANU and could play cricket here, maybe CU would have a different view. But Elysse has clearly indicated a preference for cricket over football. I don’t think the comparisons with Lauren Jackson are fair. Lauren is clearly the world’s best player at the moment and brings in the crowds. Unlikely that Ellyse is at that level.

Maybe this “choice” concept should be tried with some of the Raiders?
Either turn up and play or don’t turn up at all.

Heather Reid- talk about giving yourself an uppercut. I hope that whoever she ends up playing with next year kicks you ass..

It was going to happen one day no matter who she played for, Ellyse has even said it herself that at some point she will need to make a choice between the two.

I can see CU’s point when they need to know that they will have a player for that week’s match and one that work well with the rest of the team. Most professiona teams would also have a problem when you have a player who lives in Sydney, can’t train with the team and whose availability is determined on a week by week basis to only play a handful of games, choosing cricket over the grand final. While the sport isn’t fully professional, it’s not social park football either and the players should commit to pretty much the entire season.

Holden Caulfield4:14 pm 30 May 12

My opinion could be changing, or at least I’m becoming more understanding of the coach’s objective:


Although, I still think it would be a shame not to make an exception for Perry.

Firstly, Ellyse is no prima donna. Secondly, this is actually fair enough by the club. The simple fact is the seasons overlap – that is the main issue. She’s rightly going to choose playing for cricket for Australia over soccer for Canberra – at the business end of the soccer season. Ellyse is a great talent and seems like a great person but she is going to have this problem as long as she continues to pursue both.

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

He fights in the offseason against blokes most people could beat with a celery stick, and trains in a block leading into an individual fight.

This young lady is being asked to choose between elite sports. SBW is leagues away from being considered an elite fighter. There’s only 1 heavyweight in the Asia Pacific who could be considered elite, and you won’t see SBW anywhere near him.

Being NZ Heavyweight champ is like being the Gungahlin HW champ

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

Sonny Bill isn’t making a serious go at having a boxing career. If he was he would be in the US chasing fights with real boxers. Also, he hasn’t let his boxing interfere with his rugby commitments.

As a coach of a teenage rugby team I am always reminding my boys of the need to be committed to the teams goals in order for them to achieve what we want to achieve.

Ellyse Perry wasn’t able to play in the Canberra United grand final last year as she was off playing cricket. I would rather have my team roster filled by someone I knew I could rely on to turn up.

I’d hardly call her a prima donna. Seems pretty modest, down-to-earth and focussed on what she is good at, from the interviews I’ve seen and read. If CU can find a replacement as good as Ellyse Perry is even as a less than full time presence, for what they’ll be able to pay, then good luck to them. But I doubt they will.

johnboy said :

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

Not really. He’s had what one or two fights against complete nobodies in the off season?

I dare say that they wouldn’t be willing to give him anywhere near the leeway that Perry requires.

Kerryhemsley10:28 am 30 May 12

CU have suddenly decided they are MU. Good luck with that without big money to pay athletes.

Holden Caulfield10:19 am 30 May 12


You make some reasonable points.

For me, I see it more as making an exception for Perry because, well, she is an exception. How many other W-League players are capable of playing another sport at the highest level available? Really, it’s not like every W-League club is battling with the same issue is it.

Surely the benefits of having a player of Perry’s stature makes it worthwhile to bend club structure.

As a pretty loose analogy, the Capitals seem willing to get partial seasons out of Lauren Jackson. Sure Jackson can only manage to be good at one sport, but the commitment factor to her team, if that is the real issue here, still applies.

Would the Caps make such concessions for any other player, or is it about doing what you can to have one of the sport’s best players here to boost profile? And make a sizable contribution to a few wins, of course.

I get the whole commitment angle, I just think there will be plenty of other W-League clubs willing to sign up Perry, who is arguably the country’s highest profile player. I doubt it will be Perry’s loss if she continues her W-League career elsewhere.

CU – disgraceful.

Rarely do we celebrate multi-talented, elite athletes – rarely do they come along.

I hope Ellyse finds a new club much more accommodating to her talent, ambitions and goals.

There’s obviously some thought been put into this by Canberra United. They were without one of their best players for their finals run last season, as she was playing cricket, and that has to be annoying enough to want to make a key player decide.

If there was more money involved in women’s sports, it would be a whole different picture. Could you imagine Melbourne Victory or its fans being happy at Harry Kewell missing half a season to play international cricket? It may be that she has to look further afield for soccer – WPS in the US plays April-August, which fits around cricket seasons?

We have enjoyed Ellyse’s dual success for a good few years now, and we should congratulate her on her achievements, but if she wants to help the professional image of either of her chosen sports she either needs to chose one, or find a way of making both work evenly without impairment…

Sonny Bill Williams has been able to continue his boxing career while playing top flight rugby in New Zealand.

Personally I’d follow the money and become a plumber.

I can see both sides of it.
If Canberra are trying to build a professional structure and treat women’s football as a serious sport, they might feel that giving preferential treatment to one player is going to encourage a non-professional culture and not do much to further the sport’s credentials….which is the only way it’s going to attract funding in future.
The argument that females should be paid more money so they don’t need two careers is invalidated if they can’t give total commitment to one of them…thus showing their own lack of total commitment to either?
I read that Ellyse has already chosen cricket over football in a previous tournament clash…so football might be right in thinking that they need to concentrate on giving the career opportunity to a “totally” committed player?
Is it a business, or is it a game?
They have every right to insist that Ellyse has to make the choice that she obviously hasn’t been able to make of her own volition up to now.
There’s nothing to stop anybody playing multiple sports but if you want to be a full time professional sportsperson you need to choose the one that you’re best at….or are they saying that women’s sport isn’t important enough to treat with the same level of professionalism as the men’s?

Was it Don Bradman who seriously thought about playing both tennis and cricket, only to realise that he had to make a choice ? And just being a cricket player seriously impacted on his health…..so what kind of potential would he have wasted if he’d have split his loyalties?
All i think they’re asking Ellyse to do is make a professional career choice on her priority desire, and there’s nothing wrong in that.
If she can find another club who will let her do both….then good luck to her as well.

It’s also important to state that as an international cricketer or footballer….she can have a full-time career playing abroad in the off season.

Holden Caulfield9:18 am 30 May 12

Unfortunately, the only prima donna here seems to be C United boss and I think she’ll probably find there will be another club willing to sign up Perry.

On the surface, it appears to be a pretty dumb move.

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