You remember in the summer at 5 o’clock when Grandstand did the Final Score.
Even though there weren’t any, or so you thought, they still read out the results.

They first went through all the racing from Chepstow, from Haydock and from Redcar. Then at the very end the football results from Australia.

Why. You were asking yourself. Why did they do this ? Why are they bothering ?
It was because even though there wasn’t any proper footie being played, Littlewoods and Vernons had to keep the revenue coming in somehow.

There was little or no point in researching. With the Aussie matches it was pure pot luck.

But who really cared. The only people who kept doing their coupons in the summer time were the old blokes in the pub.

That was then and this is now…

As we saw in the last World Cup and amongst some EPL teams that Australia have some decent players. They have raised their game and now everybody knows of them.

But their football leagues back in Oz are still not taken seriously. If any Aussie player wants to play competitive football and get into the national team they have to play abroad. The Aussie soccer federation have seen and have addressed this though:

They’ve been taking notes from their American counterparts and the structure of the Aussie A-League is similar to that of the MLS.

These similarities include a wage cap and the signing of a big name player who the Aus Soccer Federation allow to break this cap in order to attract more attention to their league.

Major League Soccer has Derek and the A-League got that little dynamo who played for Middlesboro – Juninho.

The boy wonder

You remember him. He was a loyal player to the Middlesbore… when they were in the Prem.

He’s a little lad who could have run through Crouchy’s legs, but one who played with his heart on his sleeve. Who can forget the first time ‘Boro were relegated and the boy wonder collapsed on his knees and cried. After they went down there were discussions on whether they could keep him whilst they played in the old 2nd Division, but with the wage demand and Juninho wanting to make sure that he was still competing for a place in the Brazilian team, he left to play for Atletico Madrid.

He did come back and play in Teeside, three times. The last one was when he helped Middlesboro win the Mickey Mouse League Cup (their first and only cup to date) – and this single win convinced Barwick and his cronies to hire their Manager to coach the current England team, so thanks for that Juninho.

After the Middlesboro/Athletico period he went to Celtic but didn’t settle there. Eventually he went home to play in Brazil.

Now he is back playing in another foreign league and as that league’s featured player. This one didn’t get as much press coverage as Derek’s did, probably to the annoyance of the Aussie Federation.
Junhinio is a is a Marquee player along side other “big” names such as Stan Lazaridis and Craig Moore. As mentioned these players have broken the wage cap to get more bums on seats.

A previous Marquee player and well known to you is Dwight Yorke. He was playing for Sydney FC at the time. – I bet you’ve seen Sydney FC’s name crop up a few time on the BBC footie news. They’ve always been trying to sign a well known player. Last one they tried to get before Juninho was Robbie Fowler. But he decided that Cardiff was better.

Sydney FC as you can tell from those reports have big ambitions and see themselves as the Australian equivalent of the LA Galaxy. In fact there’s a friendly match arrange between them for November 27th which will be cancelled if the original Goldenballed one is injured.

The club has a loyal bunch of supporters nicknamed “The Cove”. Before the beginning of last season they sang backup on a single recorded by Jimmy Barnes about Sydney FC:

Jimmy Barnes and the Cove - Sydney FC For Me

» Jimmy Barnes – Sydney FC For Me

This is another one that nearly has that footie/musical perfect storm… Match commentary and some fans chanting. – There is a video for the single too.

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