We’ve always prided ourselves here at AllSportsDiscussion, if you are an aspiring sportswriter and have something to write about we’ll post it. I received an piece on the Australian A-League. For you soccer fans, enjoy it!
Could the presence of Alessandro Del Piero at Sydney FC have the same positive effect on the Australian A-League as did that of Dwight Yorke during his one season at the same club?
At the time, Yorke who had been a member of Manchester United’s famous treble winning team of 1999 chose Sydney FC over more lucrative offers from the Middle East. His impact in the A-League was instantaneous, helping his team to win the inaugural A-League Grand Final; but as important was the considerable commercial benefit he brought to the competition.
Average attendances at A-League games are up slightly in the past couple of seasons, but remain well down on those of the first four years of the competition, so an influx of marquee players from European leagues may well be a trigger to boost interest in the league and help it to compete with other sports in Australia; indeed there are those who place the arrival of Del Piero in a list of top 10 game changers in the Australia sports business.
After 19 years and more than 700 games playing for Juventus, the decision of one of the greats of Italian football to move to Sydney FC is indeed a remarkable coup for Football Federation Australia (FFA) and for Sydney FC in particular, beating off competition for the player from clubs in England, Scotland and Switzerland.
After finishing 9th and 5th in the past couple of seasons; supporters of Sydney FC will be hoping that the arrival of Del Piero will bring back the glory days.
Following hard on the heels of Del Piero was confirmation that the Newcastle Jets had completed the signing of former England international Emile Heskey, from English Premier League club Aston Villa, on a one year deal.
Heskey, who collected major honours, including the FA Cup, Football League Cup and UEFA Cup, as well as 62 caps and seven goals for England, expressed his wish to help the growth of football at grassroots level in Australia and to provide advice to young players at the Jets.
According to Jets CEO Robbie Middleby, Heskey’s relationship with former English Premier League players Michael Bridges and Robbie Fowler helped persuade Heskey in understanding what the A-League has to offer.
Bridges acknowledges that off the field Del Piero is a priceless marketing commodity, however he believes that on the field Heskey will actually have the greater impact.
While his lack of goals is often criticized, there can be no coincidence that former striking partners, such as Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, were the beneficiaries of Heskey’s unselfish hold up play.
If agreement can be reached with the FFA, a third top European player may well join the A-League, with the news that Western Sydney Wanderers are in talks to sign former German international captain and midfielder Michael Ballack.
Ballack, who is a free agent, has reportedly turned down offers to play in the MLS and the Middle East, expressing a preference to play in the A-League; however it is believed that the FFA have rejected Ballack’s demands for a $1.6 million one year deal.
It is believed that the German’s Australian representatives are still trying to persuade the FFA of the value in bringing the former Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Chelsea player into the A-League; however should this prove to be unsuccessful; the Wanderers are likely to sign former Japanese international Shinji Ono as their marquee signing.
Adam Robinson is an Aussie who blogs about all the great sporting achievements of his country. When he is not watching or playing sport Rugby or soccer he can be found either surfing or, in the winter, gambling at Lucky Nugget online.