Sunday, February 05, 2006

Queensland Roar Wrap

The end of the A-League season was pretty much as you'd expect from a new league with a salary cap. Perth beat Newcastle 3-1 to move into fifth place, so the Qld Roar ended in sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle but only two points above seventh-placed Melbourne.

In fact, six points was the difference between third and seventh; and four people shared the 'golden boot' award for most goals in the regular season, with eight. (Qld's Alex Brosque was one of them.) All of which serves to refine my impressions of the first year of the A-League: there are two top teams, then Central Coast and Perth, then the rest, and New Zealand. I'm not currently impressed with Newcastle at all, they look like the Roar did in December.

But the crowds were good, and excellent if you exclude New Zealand. We got 13,000 at Suncorp for the dead-rubber and almost 10K at Newcastle. You'd hope the ground is full next Friday night in Newcastle, but whoo... the part-time fans might not like what they've seen recently.

And apparently, the merchandising sold well for the Qld Roar, at least, so things are looking good for the future, especially if coaches get to settle in and learn how to cope with the particular constraints of the league.

So, my tips: Central Coast and Sydney. Adelaide over Central Coast and then... what did I say last time? I'll just do it with my eyes closed... Adelaide.


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