Tuesday, 11 March 2008

South of the Border has an impact in the 'legitimate press'.

In yesterday's Neos Kosmos English Weekly (you know, the free supplement that is about 7.3 times better than the Greek content), there's meant to be a debut article by one of the rising stars of Australian sports journalism, talking about the new Summer League the FFV has pulled out of its arse to seem as if they're actually doing something. Haven't bought a copy myself to see if it's in there, but let's take it for granted that it is. Anyway, unlike that editorial vandal Ian "I don't get what you're trying to say in the 2nd last para'" Syson, NKEW Sports Editor James Belias has a far lighter and more appropriate touch. What can I say, the bloke seems to know how to appreciate good work. And when he eventually learns that short sentences suck, and that I should be allowed to ramble as I wish, then he'll rise even higher in my esteem. For those who don't have the courage to steal a copy from their local newsagent, here is the unadulterated piece, which had its genesis here, because this way I can save drafts and not forget to take them to school.

The Football Federation of Victoria have launched an ambitious plan to reinvigorate football in the state, with the goal of quadrupling participation numbers across the board by the end of 2011.

The cornerstone of their new plan is to create a zone-based summer competition going all the way from the seniors down to under 12s, including the women's game. This is in line with the FFA and national technical director Rob Baan's goal of having the country's best players playing 35-40 games a year. At present, most players at the Victorian state level will play at most a total of 30 competitive games a year.

Eight of the zones will be located within metropolitan Melbourne, with the remaining four to come from regional areas, in an attempt to promote top level football in country areas. The zone system could also be a handy mechanism in promoting senior football in metropolitan areas in which it is struggling, particularly in the eastern suburbs, who haven't had a serious contender in the Victorian Premier League since the late 1980s in the form of Croydon City.

The 12 sides to participate will all be new franchises, though so far there is no indication of who will fund these new operations. The FFV hopes to use the state's premium football stadiums, such as Lakeside, Knights and Epping stadiums, as well as its own headquarters at Northcote, to also use it as a launching pad to source funding from councils and government to upgrade facilities across the state.

Players for the senior men's competition will be sourced from the various VPL clubs, as well as recruiting from regional areas and interstate. It is expected that players who participate will still be the nominal property of their 'winter' clubs, so that in the event of them being transferred to the A-League or overseas compensation would be paid to those clubs.

While the changes have been warmly received in some quarters, principally from those in regional areas and those who believe the Melbourne Victory model of broadbased franchises can work at a state level, many supporters of VPL clubs are sceptical about the changes.

Their concerns range from the practical, in terms of players lacking pre-seasons and the possibility of injuries to their players, to the more ideological, with some seeing it as a further attempt to marginalise the traditional ‘ethnic’ clubs by adding another tier in between the VPL and the A-League.

Their doubts also take into account the previous mooted and never actedon reforms of recent times, principally the so-called V-League, which was supposed to be introduced for the 2008 season. That plan which was also meant to overhaul the way clubs operate, essentially by compelling them to produce women’s and junior teams, as well as upgrade their facilities in order to participate at the highest level, was eventually delayed and then shelved.


  1. that'd be "the FFV has" (ie singular) . . .

    Don't they teach you anything in that fkn editing course

  2. This article went to print prior to the lesson on how to properly assign plural and singular verbs to collective nouns. Please therefore assign all blame to Mr. James Belias, sports editor of Neos Kosmos English Weekly.

  3. i believe the NKEE and that really awesome editor James fixed certain very minor minor errors. but hey, its the content that counts lads!!! great piece Paul!


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