Sunday, July 31, 2011

Woden Valley Redbacks Under 14 Girls Win the Dana Cup in Denmark!

Sourced from the WVSC website
A truly astonishing effort by these girls. Wonderful! More to follow on the NPL when they return. Woden Valley SC has campaigned at the Dana Cup on several occassions over the years and gained a Second and Third place. Now they have won it.

Woden Valley SC reports:

After 2 years of fund-raising the team headed to Europe two weeks ago.
Last week at the Gothia Cup in Sweden (the biggest youth tournament in the world – 80 teams in U14 Girls competition!), where they experienced the thrill of Opening Ceremony walking into a stadium with 50,000 in the crowd, the girls came 3rd in their group and then progressed through the B play offs only to lose narrowly in the final.

This week, they have clicked into gear big time and have gone through to the final of the Dana Cup in Denmark and won!

 Even though Qviding was awarded a penalty five minutes before the end of normal time and an Australian defender was red carded, Qviding from Sweden was unable to equalise against Woden Valley Redbacks.

The Swedish player shot the ball over the crossbar and then the score remained which the Australians had gotten two minutes into the second half.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Timely Advice On The Laws of the Game - From the State Coach For Referees

This program is broadcast on 2xxfm (98.3mhz), across the Australian Community Radio Network on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 7:00PM.

The season is drawing to a close, we are getting closer to the finals and some games are getting pretty desperate. A few Clubs have already secured their spot in the finals, but quite a few are still in the running and dependant now on winning their matches, whilst hoping others loose and give them a comparative points advantage. When it gets to the latter position, you are no longer in control of your destiny. Winning becomes very important! Players and supporters become a bit unreasonable.

That brings us to Referees!

We speak to the Referees' State Coach - Clive Mackillop. The NPL has spoken to Clive on several occasions and its always been interesting and informative. This time around, Clive speaks to several issues around the Laws of the Game, which seem to be at the heart of commentary from the sidelines. We also cover a couple of issues that can happen from time to time in the games where the "silverware" seems at risk.

Clive speaks clearly on these matters:

  • Serious Foul Play and Violent Conduct
  • Tackling (careless, reckless and excessive force)
  • Offside
  • Setting Up a Wall - and delaying the restart of play
  • Incidents off the field that players leave the field to become involved in
  • Incidents on the field that players (on the bench) enter the field of play to become involved in
  • Respect for referees - respect by all involved
  • Talking to Referees by players during the game - does the team Captian have a formal role?

The last rounds of the competition are to hand and the finals not far away. Helps to know a little bit about the laws of the game and in particular the ones listed above. Keep your cool and respect the Referees.

Download Podcast here:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Will Capital Football Run A Men's Summer 20s in 2011?

As we are aware, our Mens Premier League Football season in the ACT is too short.

The season is too short to sustain the development of younger players, or enable teams to develop and improve their position over a competition that holds a small number of teams and schedules them to play each other only twice in a season (Fed Cup and pre season do not count).

Not every Mens PL Clubs is enthused by the prospect of a longer regular season, but the majority seem to be in favour. The argument put by CF is that the Fed Cup covers the gap. That's misleading - the Fed Cup is seen as a pre-season playing opportunity and importantly, does not count toward the Premiership.

The Womens PL competition has fewer teams but does schedule teams to play each other three times in their regular season. It works.

Our regular season is now drawing to a close. The time goes quickly.

Football, like so many other big participation sports (and Football is the biggest) demand more of players across a longer section of the calender year. This is particularly the case, if we are to talk in terms of the development of young talented players. No more so than the Under 17 to Under 20 age group.

If you follow the NPL interviews with Ron Smith,  Alfred Galustian, Jan Versliejen  to name just three the NPL has interviewed on talented player development in the last three years; one point is made by them all - the Australian regular football season is too short to provide the sort of sustained competitive development opportunities that enable young players to be as good as they can be. We marvel at the technical proficiency of the visiting Asian teams youth teams and gasp at the amount of training and games they play. The get there by addressing the game in what amounts to a whole of year basis. Ron Smith in his report to the CF Board on high performance / development of young players, made teh requirement for off season activity plain enough. So why are we faultering?

Simple first remedy for us here in the ACT - lengthen the domestic premiership competition and then provide an additional playing opportunity for Clubs to develop their emerging players in the off season

In 2009 Capital Football did something fantastic - it started the Mens Summer 20s! It was an outstanding first effort. Clearly some one had done thinking and got it right. WHy did we go backwards after sucj a good beginning? Far too many questions!

In 2010, Capital Football forgot about the Summer 20s, left the planning and consultation too late to be effective across all the PL CLubs and as a result only three PL Clubs participated (one of whom provided two teams). It was a useful experience but a shadow of the previous year.  It was damn shame and a good initiative was killed off before it took hold. Some PL CLubs had issues with CF over the Summer 20s, but that's another story and there has been plenty of time since to get them straightended out. Has anyone at CF bothered to enquire? Thos damn questions again!

At the time of writing, the PL CLubs are yet to receive any news of a Summer 20's competition for men in 2011. To this point there has been no consultation or communication with the PL Clubs. What are the Regional Reps and Mens Standing Committee doing about this issue? is this something the CF Board could get interested in? It should be, because it is a strategic planning issue, not a simple operational matter. Do the responsible Capital Football staff have sufficient instructions to engage with the PL Clubs on this matter? Will Mens Football for our best Under 17 to 20 players stop in the ACT at the end of this regular season? Looks like it at the moment. Too many questions where there should mostly be answers already in place.

Perhaps Capital Football have something else planned - but if they do, the PL Clubs have not heard about it yet and the time to have been discussing it in a steady, contemplative fashion is now behind us - Summer 20s or no Summer 20s or anything else for that matter.

This can be fixed, but we need some careful consultation with the PL Clubs. No PL Clubs should pass up an opportunity to play in the Summer 20s - if its good enough for CFC, the most successful Club in the last ten years and best current roster in the ACT, to have supported this concept from the outset, why would other PL hesitate? Perhaps they need some assistance, I don't kow for sure. So get them together and talk - Now!

Perhaps this could be seen as a development opportunity for the CF Technical Director to charge of going forward. That would make sense.

But if its off, its off, and if we can't do it well, don't try and say so now.

If CF has an alternate proposal then put it to the Clubs now and not later and in time to deal with it and participate. Some Clubs are already thinking of solving this off season matter and not relying on CF. Not sure that's a good position for CF.

Capital Football made an excellent start in 2009 - let's hope we can improve on that for 2011!

With that in mind, the NPL has sent the following questions to Capital Football. Let you know when we get a answer:

What plans are afoot for the Summer 20s in 2011:

- Who in Capital Football operational staff responsibility for a Summer 20’s competition in 2011?

- Has a 2011 Summer 20s competition been discussed at the CF Board level and if so what was the outcome?

- Has planning begun at CF (if so when?)

- Has a decision been made on the conduct of a Summer 20s competition in 2011?

- What is the current CF planning timeline from whenever planning started (or will start) to advice to Clubs (advice it will not happen or advice of the draw and supporting details)?

- What is the minimum number of teams required to conduct the Summer 20s?

- What is the proposed format (aims and objectives of a Summer 20s etc)?

- Competition rules (where different from mens PL currently in use)?

- Have the PL clubs been formally contacted about entering a team?

- Playing location / time?

- Canteen responsibilities?

- Player registration costs and basis of calculation of these costs to Clubs?

- Is the Mens Standing Committee involved in the planning of this competition and if so what is their role and who is involved?

- When will Capital Football advise Club of the Summer 20s (go ahead or no competition) and how will the Clubs be advised?

- Will Capital Football hold a meeting of interested Clubs to discuss the Summer 20s competition in 2011?

- What financial assistance will CF give to Clubs to participate in the Summer 20s.

The Pathway For Talented Junior and Youth Players in the ACT Gets A Bit Harder

Sourced from

My colleague at the Nearpost National (Eamonn Flanagan) pointed out a breaking "player development" story in Football at the Station this evening. You can read all about it on the Nearpost Blog. Its a sensational Football story for all junior and youth players on the Central Coast of NSW. It has significant strategic implications for talented ACT junior and youth players.

The Central Coast Mariners FC have established a Football Academy.

This is noteworthy because the Mariners have made a few trips to the ACT as part of their pre-season and there has been  some hope that this connection might mean more than a few exhibition matches and visits to the nation's capitol. The Mariners Academy solution makes good sense, is a decision that works for Football among their constituency and is not unlike the Academies established by the big EPL Clubs and other big Clubs in other Premier Leagues around the world.

The important detail to note for us in the ACT is that this is a joint venture between the Central Coast Mariners and Central Coast Football. It does not include the Capital Football! That's no criticism of the Mariners - what they have done makes good A League business sense. But what a shame for the ACT.

Question - Have we missed another opportunity?

Here are some details (taken form the CCM press release) you will find very informative and leaves you in no doubt as to which Football constituency is being "developed" and "serviced" by this Academy:
"Central Coast Mariners together with Central Coast Football (CCF) have today penned an historic agreement that will help bolster the Yellow and Navy’s Hyundai A-League playing stocks for generations to come.
In an Australian football first, the Heads of Agreement signed this morning ensure that from October 1 this year, CCF’s representative Youth League programs will be integrated into and form a key component of the Mariners ambitious Academy initiatives.
Under the Central Coast Mariners brand the program will be the sole elite football Academy in the region, providing high-level training and playing opportunities to both male and female footballers.
Indeed, in its initial stages the Academy will consist of U-11 to U-18 male teams, and U-12 to senior female sides competing at the highest level permitted by Football New South Wales...."

"...Under the terms of the agreement, CCF will provide the budding Mariners with access to Pluim Park, Lisarow for all representative games. Additionally, access to Jubilee Oval, Long Jetty and Leagues Club Park, Gosford for all of the Academy’s training and playing requirements will be supplied.
In return, the agreement is underpinned by the Mariners guarantee that 80 per cent of all players in the representative programs will be Central Coast residents, ensuring that a transparent development pathway from the junior to the elite level of football in the region is created...."

There is no A League franchise in prospect for the ACT. That's been known for quite a while.

The next best and perhaps most achievable option is an A League Youth League team based in the ACT. But there seems to be little movement on the youth league front. As many observe, that leaves the Under 17 to Under 20 age groups without a viable and coherent Football development pathway. In these circumstances, entry to an A League Youth team, any A league Youth team, is more remote both by distance and opportunity that is was yesterday.

The announcement of the establishment of the Mariners Academy, with the collaboration / participation of the Central Coast Football (CCF), which guarantee's "..that 80 per cent of all players in the representative programs will be Central Coast residents..", makes it so much harder for talented young players from the ACT region. There is no mention of any percentage reserved for ACT players, but perhaps someone can work on that possibility.

The game is moving on and the further it gets along the development road, the more likely we seem to be a risk of being left stranded on this matter - options close.

The President of Capital Football made it very clear in her interview with the NPL, that the development issues for the talented Mens U17 to U20 development opportunities, is a top priority. I have no reason to doubt it. This is not a simple CF operational issue. It will require the consideration and creative thinking of the Capital Football Board. We cannot spend much more time admiring the problem. The game is moving on.

Here is the the Central Coast Mariners FC Academy Vision:

"The primary aim of the Central Coast Mariners FC Academy is to provide a clear and structured pathway towards our National Youth League and Westfield Women’s League programs. Whether or not the ‘dream’ is fulfilled, every player needs to look back fondly on life at the Academy, and feel that the experience was a positive one."

The Mariners are recruiting Coaching staff. The specifications for the positions make interesting reading

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Junior / Youth Development Issues

This program is broadcast on 2xxfm (98.3mhz) across the Australian Cummunity Radio Network, on Tuesday 19 July 2011 at 7:00PM.

This program is very much about the development of junior / youth players. Not surprising, since we have just concluded another fantastic Kanga Cup and with that has come the realisation for many young players and parents that there are lots of good players beyond the boundaries of the ACT, particularly from Asia. The Around The Grounds, grand final special edition is at

The two Korean teams (under 12 and Under 13 age groups), based as they are on Primary Schools that specialise in Football, were as ever, a delight to watch and so well disciplined and polite in all their dealing. So much to admire. The obvious visible difference is the much higher level of individual technical skill. The Head Coach of the AIS Jan Versleign spoke on this difference last week.

It was also interesting to note the difference between some interstate teams and ACT Div 1 Club teams at age. The Under 14 boys demonstrated just how advanced the top level age teams were by comparison to the best ACT club age teams in the Cup competition. This is not a criticism, just a fact and it points out how important the Kanga Cup is, because we get a chance to play these teams. It would be good if we had more of these opportunities, particularly for our representative age teams.  This is not news, but it does underscore the development gap.

We are getting better, but again, as we observed in our last program, the changes required by the FFA National Curriculum and Development plans will take several generations, not a quick fix. So, does it look like we are making progress here in the ACT? How can we make it better?
Picture beow is the ACT 2011 Under 14 Girls team (will publish the U15 team photo as soon as it arrives)

During the Kanga Cup, most of the best of our Under 14 and Under 15 Girls represented the ACT at the FFA National Junior Championships in Coffs Harbour. This is a very important Football competition where the best at age play for their State. Important conclusions are draw with regard to the implementation of the National Curriculum and Development plans. The senior womens' coaches do take note of emerging players at these competitions. In the case of the ACT girls, several made the "ALL Stars" teams for the final exhibition match. The one thing that is gleaned by coaches and parents alike, is how much "effective preparation", and I stress the word "effective", is undertaken by each State development process. All reports thus far indicate that the young ACT players gave their very best. Well done all the players and coaches and many thanks to parents of the players for their tireless support.
Were our Under 14 and Under 15 Girls squads as well prepared as they might have been is one question?
It seems unlikely and that requires some explanation.

The other question is how we can improve for 2012?
Our preparations / forward planing should have already commenced. It would be a good thing for CF to hold a parents forum for the parents of players in these teams and glean as much information as possible for 2012, a survey would assist, but holding a parents forum would be best. Parents like to know that what they have expereienced can be of use to others, and perhaps their own children if they are in representative teams again. And do it quickly because parents are already on to the next thing with their children.

The tensions that surround the talented junior players can be oppressive for the player and confusing / frustrating for parents. Every parent wants the best for their child and so it is in Football. But it s an expensive business for a family with a talented player and much more so when there is more than one child to provide opportunities for off a tight budget. Then of course, what is the best development opportunity for the child, in the context of every other little thing that goes on at school and so one. Not simple. How much is too much training, and what is the best training at age and how and who can or will provide it and at what cost. The preparation of ACT teams for the Nationals is swept into these considerations and often not reported on well by parents (or young players). This is the landscape travelled by the parents of emerging athletes in all disciplines and Football is no exception.

With these questions in mind, I have selected excepts from two interviews the NPL has conducted with two very authoritative sources – Aflred Galustian and Shinji Ishubashi of Coerver, and George Huitker the Director of Co-Curricular of Radford College. They speak on aspects of the development of the young Football player. The starting points are different, but their points of intersection and agreement are many. They  give pause for thought among all parents of players. Draw your own conclusions.

Once again, well done to all that played in the Kanga Cup 2011 and the U14 and U15 Girls ACT rep teams at the FFA National Junior Championships.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The High Cost of Playing the Game We Love

Sourced from the SBS World Game -

It costs money to play Football. A bit too much of it.
For families, the costs associated with supporting thier children to play and more so for parents with a talented young player(s), the costs have become formidable. Say what you like, its now costing too much, even here in the ACT.
This Post on Craig Foster's Blog for the SBS World Game will make very, very interesting reading for those that have not caught up with it.
The cost of registration alone in the NSW Youth Premier League is outrageous - how do families support this?
The costs for many families in the ACT is big enough now (though not to the extent mentioned by Foster in this Post) and then its on to Futsal (or not, depending how much is left of a family's disposable income). Parents with children who they wish to see, become as good as they can be, must shell out a lot more money than the registration fee within the CF development processes.
Couple this with the leakage of valuable Club funds and sponsors' dollars to player payments for some in our Premier League and its no wonder the cost of playing Football continues to increase. It is also the reason that some big Junior Clubs are hesitant when it comes to joining and underwriting a senior club with a Premier League licence or aspirations of doing so - and with good reason!.
For Capital Football, registration fees and fees charged for the delvery of development programs constitute a primary source of revenue.

There is a lot to this subject and it affects Football in the ACT region.

I'm with Foster on this one.

The high cost of playing the game we love
07 Jun 2011
00:00-Craig Foster

Having spent a few nights at football presentations in the past week with St George FC, the famous former home of Johnny Warren, as well as St Joseph’s College in Brisbane, which is devoting great time and effort to developing a football program, there are many messages I was reminded of by those at the grass roots.

One stands out above all else. The punitive cost of playing football in Australia.

Speaking with NSW Minister of Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Graham Annesley MP, at the St George dinner, I made the point that football is such a magnificent game that has grown consistently at a participation level over the last few decades. Yet clubs continue to drastically overcharge for the privilege.

When the day comes that football is cheap or free for everyone, we will quadruple our numbers.

More participants mean more potential A-League fans, building a cycle of support for the game’s longterm success.

The excessive cost of playing must be a primary strategic area for Football Federation Australia to tackle, for both the recreational player and the elite youngster.

In some areas of the country, kids are paying registration fees of up to $400, which is ridiculous for a game that should always be available to all. Over 35 fees, by comparison, can be upwards of $350.

A family of four, who all want to play, are asked fork out upwards of $1,000 in registration fees, let alone the added costs of uniforms and boots. This simply has to stop. It’s counterproductive to football’s progress, as well as being far in excess of other codes and a huge ask for many who love the game, such as new migrants and refugees.

The irony of forking out big dollars for a game that is, by nature, accessible to all, is not lost on anybody.
A national study into the football economy is required to track where the registration fees go, assess how to streamline the system and cut the significant duplication of resources that perpetuates the current system.
We are still waiting for any progress in this regard from FFA.

While the cost of having a kick every weekend for your local club is growing, it is the charging of several thousand dollars for elite youth players that is particularly disgraceful and a common gripe among parents with a talented child.

In Sydney, a Premier Youth League player will pay anything from $1800 to more $2000, with some clubs mandating extra sessions with an external academy, so throw in a thousand on top for good measure.

Add to that the cost of trips and tournaments and the families of our brightest future stars are paying up to $5,000 per season.

The main reason for the fees is that Premier and State League clubs are paying their first team players hundreds of dollars a week and passing the cost onto the parents of their youth teams.

This is a disgraceful practice and must stop. The question is, how?

One way is to legislate a national salary cap of the senior teams. Alternatively, we could cap the amount payable by youth players, an option I favour.

Any cap on payments to senior players would be cumbersome to administer at State Federation level, with scope for a black economy in player payments without necessarily lifting the burden on parents below.
Whereas a national cap on registration fees would change the economic distribution of funds overnight.
The immediate effect would be that clubs would be financially unable to maintain current payments and the entire Premier and State League economies would collapse.

They should. It is no longer acceptable for first teams to be paid in excess of a hundred thousand dollars in player payments and for thie cost of this to simply be passed onto parents of the youth team.

Long term, the hundreds of thousands of dollars finding its way into the pockets of senior players would be redirected to training junior players, inverting the current system.

Australian football, in the medium term, cannot sustain payments to players at levels under the A-League, so those playing at lower levels must do so for love until the game grows commercially to the point where it can feed money down from the top level.

It would be preferable to legislate an age quota at Premier League level to ensure 50 percent of squads are aged 23 and below to create a talent nursery rather than leagues with aging players earning their last dollar from the game.

Of course, those State Federations charging exorbitant fees for a Premier League license should be called to account by FFA to reduce the burden on clubs and further negate the need to overcharge.

For the foreseeable future, the whole football economy below the A-League is completely unsustainable and reliant on the parents of young hopefuls forking out exorbitant amounts for the privilege of giving their child a chance to develop a football career.

It’s time to give the parents a break.

Cap the fees payable by parents at every level across the nation, and the game will be forced to restructure to accommodate a more sustainable reality.

No youth player, whether recreational or elite, should ever have to pay more than a few hundred dollars for the right to play.

The disgraceful gouging of parents must come to an end.

National Junior Championships - Girls Under 14 and Under 15 - Can We Do More For Our Talented Players?

The following is sourced from the Northern NSW Football Facebook website.

The "Nationals" are over for our ACT representative teams. They did as well as may be expected. But can we do more for our young talented female players?

The Under 14 Girls held their position in Group A for 2012 and the Under 15 Girls finished second in Group B and will remain in Group B for the 2012. Clearly the players and coaches have done well to hold the line, as it were. What will next year hold, given the steady progress in other states?

A question - Can we do better in 2012? And another - Why do we keep asking ourselves this question?

There was disquiet among some parents for the lack of effective preparation prior to (and I don't mean a few short weeks out from the championships) the commencement of the championships in both age groups, as there was concern for a continuing lack of depth in playing strength in the Under 15 age group ( a deficiency identified last year in the Under 14 age group but not remedied) and, the inability to get all the players to training sessions due to competing Club competition, Club tours and development opportunities (leaving aside the ordinary illness and other family matters that always arise).

There are a lot of competing demands on these young players and where does ACT representation sit in that hierarchy of opportunities?  Perhaps the most surprising complaint / concern expressed was the lack of preparation games / fixtures  for the squads prior to the Nationals. If true, it must have placed our representative teams and their coaches in a position of significant disadvantage, given the extensive preparation undertaken by the big junior football performers such as NSW Metro, Victoria and Queensland.

I can recall one notable exception to this pathology in recent times in junior girls football - The ACT Under 13 Girls of 2010, coached by Colin Johnston. Colin has extensive experience in junior player development, he develops good football habits among his young players, he was the coach that made all the difference at Woden Valley SC as "technical director", the very earliest practitioner of small sided games in the ACT that I can recall in community based club football, he trained lots of junior community based coaches in his methods (which were much of what is the national curriculumum is today in these age groups) and set standards that are copied by other Clubs. In this area of football, his knowledge and experience dwarfed anything resident at Capital Football in its time. The results of lengthy and well directed preparation, which included in excess of thirty matches (and they traveled to get them - all supported by parents of the players) resulted in a superb performance at the Nationals last year, high technical points assessment, several players in the All Stars and one of them subsequently selected for the inaugural Australian Under 13 Girls team, while he was awarded the task of coaching the All Stars team in the final fixture (take that to mean a big thumbs up from those that know Football). This was the standard for all our future efforts! Nothing less is required in order to be competitive among the girls and boys age groups at a National competitive level. So it can be done.

However, back to that question(s) - Can we do better in 2012? And another - Why do we keep asking ourselves this question?

The NPL Local will ask these and related questions of the CF Technical Director when he gives his promised second interview. Royston is smart football fellow - he will have answers. What is it we are not seeing or do not know on this subject? If there is a better way ahead, what is the plan and how long before it gets going? We need to know.

Here are the final table results for the Championships:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Final Report - From The Girls Under 14 and Under 15 National Junior Championships

Two parents (Eddie Senatore and Simon Kravis) of players in both teams have kindly forwarded the NPL progress reports from Day 3 of competition.

Day 5  - Competition Summary

Simon Kravis, the NPL roving reporter of previous NJC reports sent this report on both games

  • ACT Under 14 Girls - third in Pool A
  • ACT Under 15 Girls - second in Pool B

Fri 15 July Report

On the final day of the Championship, the ACT Under 15s met WA in an evenly matched contest that ended a 1-1 draw, placing ACT second in Pool B, behind Victoria. WA opened the scoring after 7 minutes when Leigha Bullock floated a free kick from the side into the top corner of the net. ACT strikers Olivia Gurney worked well together and individually to create chances in the next 5 minutes, but it was Natalie de Marco who levelled the score for the ACT with a well-read run into a defensive gap and a full-stretch tap from close range. Play moved from end to end with neither side containing the other for long. Sophia Stewart delivered a good strike for WA from a very tight position that went just wide and a few minutes later Leanne Pompeani did the same for the ACT.
The ACT opened the second half well, with Olivia Gurney and Thalia Backhouse rattling the WA goalposts from quick counter-attacks and poorly cleared corners, whilst at the other end a cross from Jessica Darmago was sent just wide by Laitysha Wyatt, who a few minutes later drew a good save from ACT keeper Phoebe Worth. WA continued to threaten from set pieces, but as fatigue set in, both sides offered the other long periods of possession, but neither were able to capitalise on the opportunities.

The Under 14s played NSW Country from Pool B as their final match on Friday afternoon, in a game which did not affect the ladder positions of either team. ACT made a tentative start on a damp pitch, and NSW Country were dominant from the kickoff, winning almost all of the contested balls and placing four shots on goal in the first 15 minutes, with the ball seldom in their half. As in the NSW Metropolitan game, ACT seemed most likely to spend the game in pursuit of equalisers, but the situation changed abruptly at 25 minutes when Hayley Armstrong tapped in a cross from Julia de Angelis in the first ACT shot on goal. Five minutes later Julia de Angelis extended the lead to 2-0 after a free kick from Brigette Calabria was poorly cleared, and the ball remained in the NSW Country half until the half-time whistle.
In the second half NSW Country pushed hard on the right and the ACT defence were not able to move the ball foward. Amanda Stevenson was finally successful in driving the ball home for NSW Country from a goalmouth melee after 10 minutes to take the score to 2-1. ACT keeper Georgina Worth saved well over the next 15 minutes as wet and cold conditions reminiscent of the Kanga Cup set in and all but the hardiest spectators retreated to the covered area. NSW Country had two excellent chances when Alexandra Scobie outpaced the ACT defence but she sprayed her shots wide. The game slowed as players tired and came to a scrappy end without a change to the scoreline of 2-1 to the ACT.

Competition Summary

The ACT Under 14 and Under 15 teams performed well overall, with the Under 14s coming third in Pool A, behind winners NSW Metropolitan and Victoria in second place, and the Under 15s coming second in Pool B, behind Victoria. Under 15 Pool A winners were also NSW Metropolitan. The first team in Pool B each year moves up to Pool A and the last team in Pool A moves down to Pool B. As the ACT Under 14s were not last in their pool, they will compete in the Under 15 Pool A against NSW Metropolitan, Victoria, Northern NSW and Queensland. The Under 14 Pool A for next year will most likely comprise NSW Metropolitan, Victoria, South Australia, Northern NSW and Queensland next year, based on the results of the National Youth Championship for Girls Under 13 held in Canberra in April.
In the Under 14 age group, goalkeeper Georgina Worth, striker Caitlin Cantrill and utility player Emma Bestek were selected for the All Stars team. In the Under 15 age group, strikers Thalia Backhouse and Olivia Gurney were selected. The All Stars teams were picked by a technical assessment team led by NSW Institute of Sport coach Alen Stajic. The All Stars teams played the Pool A winners in each age group in a 40 minute exhibition match at the end of the tournament.
Under 14s coach Pat Mills commented: "The team played exceptionally well, with pace and passion. The standout game was against NSW Metropolitan, where we though we might scrape a draw, but we nearly got a win. I'd love to have been able to prepare for the championships for 12 months as they do in NSW." Under 15s coach Michelle Aurousseau said: "We exceeded expectations with the girls we had. They all stepped up to the mark and played really well as a team. Only the game against Victoria didn't go their way."

Competition Overview

The ACT teams’ performance maintained their age group rankings from last year’s tournament and whilst NSW Metropolitan won both age groups, this year’s Under 14 team were narrow winners in a very even competition, with winning margins of a single goal in most games. With draws against the ACT and Pool B winners Queensland, they are no longer as far ahead of their competitors as they once were, although they are very well-endowed with talent, most notably through midfielder Alycia Macqueen, who was named Player of the Tournament. Victoria improved its ranking from fourth to second place and their 5-0 loss to NSW Metropolitan was mainly through a single defensive flaw in the first half. Midfielder Beatrice Goad and striker Marianna Anthony were always threatening. In the second half Victoria did not concede any more goals and were dominant for much of the period. Queensland will be returning to Pool A with two very fast strikers (Talitha Doro and Sunny Franco) and a strong defence. The ACT Under 14 team owes much of its success to the general athleticism of the team, which allowed it to break quickly, exploit defensive errors and disrupt attacks. The Under 14s also had very solid goalkeeping and an industrious midfield. Northern NSW remain the most intimidating team in the age group, through their size and physicality. Their powerful forwards Tulia Palozzi and Kally Ann Lewis can deliver winning strikes from anywhere in the forward third, but they did not always receive the service to make the best of their talents.

In the Under 15 Pool B, the pace of the ACT strikers Thalia Backhouse and Olivia Gurney delivered most of the goals, but often their support was too far behind and whilst generally solid, the defence was vulnerable to set-piece attacks.
The schedule of five 80-minute games over the week for each team gave good value in terms of game time, but took a toll on the players, with most teams looking in need of a rest on Friday. The pitches and facilities were very good, and the officiating was generally firm, with little rough play. The loudest cheer of the competition was for Northern Territory Under 15s when they scored their first goal. The closing ceremony was held in cold and wet conditions, with most of the non-winning teams leaving after their members had received individual recognition. It was also marked by the winning NSW Metropolitan teams helping themselves to the two trophies for photographs rather than waiting to have them presented. This detracted from the atmosphere of the occasion.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 4 Update From The Girls Under 14 and Under 15 National Junior Championships

Things are drawing to a close at the NJC for our Under 14 and Under 15 Girls teams. They have both performed well according to reports from up North. More on this with their return to Canberra. Final positioning will be confirmed today and while neither team will win its age group, we all hope that some of the ACT girls makes the "All Stars" teams for the final exhibition game. More to follow as soon as we get it.

Two parents (Eddie Senatore and Simon Kravis) of players in both teams have kindly forwarded the NPL progress reports from Day 3 of competition.

Day 4 Results

  • ACT Under 14s - Draw 1-1 (ACT v NSW Metro)
  • ACT Under 15 - Win 5-1 (ACT v Tasmania)
Simon Kravis, the NPL roving reporter of previous NJC reports sent this report on both games

Westfield Football Federation Australia National Youth Championship for Girls BCU Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Thu 14 July 2011

The ACT Under 14s drew 1-1 with NSW Metropolitan this morning in a fast, open game with strong competition for every loose ball. The ACT defended resolutely, with midfielder Julia de Angelis providing the defensive linchpin with tireless running and concentration and striker Caitlin Cantrill harrying the NSW defence with her speed and footwork.

The game opened with a period of complete dominance by NSW, who had yet to concede a single goal in ladder games in the Championship. Despite this impressive record, their performance had been inconsistent with the team failing to extend a massive 5-0 first half lead against Victoria in the second half. In the first 10 minutes NSW had four shots on goal, two from free kicks conceded in sometimes desperate defence, with NSW midfielder Alycia Macqueen orchestrating attack after attack. ACT at this stage looked as though they would be chasing the remainder of the game, but an innocuous seeming pass from Ruth Kravis near the half way line initiated a twisting run from Caitlin Cantrill that finished with a narrow-angle shot slipping past the NSW goalkeeper to give the ACT a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. NSW pressed hard in response and sent a shot over tha bar after 30 minutes, but the short-passing ACT game allowed them to retain the initiative.

The second half opened dramatically with a clumsy tackle from the ACT resulting in a penalty after 3 minutes, but ACT keeper Georgina Worth parried the kick from Hayley Evans. ACT striker Caitlin Cantrill collected a yellow card soon afterwards, and NSW drove a free kick into the ACT net but the goal was ruled offside. NSW piled on the pressure with a stab from Ruby Mosca at a well-placed cross just missing the ACT goal, but the ACT defence worked well. A fine high save from Georgina Worth kept NSW from equalising at 15 minutes, but but a few minutes later a short pass found Rhianna Pollicina unmarked in front of the ACT goal and she slammed home an equaliser. The period after this saw both teams and many spectators throw all their efforts into clinching the game, but the 1-1 score remained at the final whistle.

The ACT Under 14s will be placed 3rd or 4th in the Group A ladder, depending on the results of games played on Friday.

The ACT Under 15s faced Tasmania later in the day. The Tasmanian team this year came exclusively from Hobart, with a population of just over 200,000 people.The team had played together in the Southern Premier League in Tasmania this season, and this cohesion helped them to deflect the ACT for the first half, assisted by poor finishing from the ACT strikers, and give them a 1-0 lead at half-time when Bella Young tapped home a well-delivered cross from speedy striker Stacia Hutchinson. The second half saw ACT assert themselves with an equaliser from Eloise O'Brien from a Thalia backhouse cross after 2 minutes. This was followed by a strong solo run and finish from Olivia Gurney to take the score to 2-1, with a further two goals from Thalia Backhouse and another from Olivia Gurney. The ACT defence faced little challenge in the second half, but Emma Kirk and Siena Senatore were effective in stopping Tasmanian attacks and the game closed with a final scoreline of 5-1 to the ACT.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kanga Cup Communication Is A Football Lesson For Us All

Among the many things to admire and enjoy about the Kanaga Cup, is the quality of timely and  informative communication across a big and dispersed competition.

There are a mountain of volunteers supporting the conduct of the competition. They are present at all the grounds where games are being played and quick to help. And you could say that every year.

But the thing that has caught my eye this year is clever and timely use of the web. The solution is as simple as it is elegant and very effective. For example:

Kanga Cup Website

It starts with the Kanga Cup website -

The Kanga Cooee

Content that links off the Kanga Cup site (also published links from the Capital Football Website )

Content that is relevant to the Kanga Cup. The Official Daily Newsletter of the Kanga Cup. Issued electronically on a daily basis. A facility to submit an electronic comment on the Kanaga Cup website page that displays the link to the content.

Around The Grounds 
 Content that is relevant to the Kanga Cup. Contributed by "roving reporters" at the grounds - picture and detailed stories of interest about the teams. Different tot he Kanga Cooee. Terrific. Just go to the Day 3 issue  for an entertaining and informative read. Gives you a really good "heads Up" on the sort of teams that are competing and a chance to get to games with teams at age you would never otherwise see play -

Important Draw News

This is a very important part of the competition communication. And the competition draws can be complicated. The link to content on the Kanga Cup website is easy to read and the link to the Sporting Pulse content also useful. I have found it very easy to follow a lot of competitions this year and that's the feedback I havehad from a lot of parents and team managers I have spoken to during the competition.

The Kanga Cup always evidences lots of good work during the competition, but just as important as the in-competition activity is good forward planning. The uncomplicated, relevant and timely use of the web this year is a feature. Perhaps next year its on to some "social networking" for the teams - image how many texts and emails the players and parents are churning out this week. Something for the future. But what's happening today, particularly the "Arounds the Grounds" element is fiirst rate. Well done to all concerned.

Day 3 Update From The Girls Under 14 and Under 15 National Junior Championships

Two parents (Eddie Senatore and Simon Kravis) of players in both teams have kindly forwarded the NPL progress reports from Day 3 of competition.

Day 3 Results

For the ACT it was all hard work:

ACT Under 14s - Draw 3-3 (ACT v Northern NSW)

ACT Under 15 - Loss 3-1 (ACT v Queensland) - this was a cross over game with a very strong Group A team. ACT reported to have played well.

Simon Kravis, the NPL roving reporter of previous NJC reports sent this report on both games

Westfield Football Federation Australia National Youth Championship for Girls BCU Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Wed 13 July 2011

Both the ACT Under 15 and Under 14 teams played Victoria this morning. The Under 15 game was disappointing for the ACT team. Despite having the better of the play for much of the first half, they were unable to keep possession or mount coherent attacks for the remainder of the match and went down 4-0.

The Under 15 game started on a dew-soaked pitch under cloudy skies, and players from both sides found it hard to keep their footing. ACT started strongly, with Olivia Gurney pressing hard from the outset, with a shot from her going just wide after a few minutes, but it was Victoria who opened the scoring against the run of play after 20 minutes, when Candela Ferrerya Bas struck from a well-delivered corner.ACT responded with long-range shots from Thalia Backhouse and Olivia Gurney, but without any follow-up to collect spills or rebounds. Victoria extended their lead to 2-0 after 30 minutes when a cross found the feet of Claudis Dimosi in front of goal for a simple tap-in that seemed to surprise even her. Just before the break, Thalia Backhouse netted for the ACT from what looked like a goalkeeper spill, but the goal was disallowed.
Victoria asserted themselves more after the break, with Candela Ferrerya Bas directing a header just wide from a free kick, and Natalie Laboska looping a free kick over the defensive wall and past ACT goalkeeper Rebecca Luttrell to take the score to 3-0.ACT pushed forward sporadically but were unable to retain possession against an increasingly confident Victorian midfield, despite a nimble performance from ACT's Monica Cerro. Victoria added a further goal from Elaina Vatcky just before the end to take them to solid 4-0 victory.

The Under 14 game was very close-run, with both teams moving the ball around well, but the Victorian defence proved more solid to give them the game 3-2, with the deciding goal only coming in the last minutes.
ACT found themselves under immediate pressure from the start, with three shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, which were well handled by goalkeeper Jessica Giovinazzo. The ACT then rallied and their tenacious forward line of Maddie Whittall, Samantha Roff and Caitlin Cantrell harried the Victorian defence and netted the ball after 15 minutes, but the goal was narrowly ruled offside. Further chances from Hiwot Johnstone and Caitlin Cantrell followed, and with the ACT defence largely successful in closing down Victorian strikers Marianna Anthony and Beatrice Goad, the ACT seemed well placed to take the lead in the second half.

However, this did not transpire. ACT narrowly escaped conceding two goals in the first 5 minutes through defensive errors and then conceded a penalty after 15 minutes which was calmly converted by Jessica Pitts. ACT equalised a few minutes later when Hayley Armstrong drove home a cross from Bridget Calabria, but almost went behind again when a loose ball trickled outside rather than inside the ACT goal. A poor Victorian goal clearance was pounced on and slotted home by Caitlin Cantrell to give the ACT a 2-1 lead, but ACT were again saved from losing this lead by defender Hollie Massey sweeping the ball off the goal line after the goalkeeper was beaten. The relief for the ACT was short-lived, as Jessica Pitts struck again from a goalmouth melee to bring the score to 2-2 with 7 minutes remaining. With the tension drawing shouts of encouragement and advice from all around the pitch, Victorian substitute Lani Murdoch struck 2 minutes later to give Victoria a 3-2 lead which they maintained despite valiant efforts from the ACT.

Tomorrow, the Under 14s face up to NSW Metropolitan, who currently top the Under 14 Group A ladder, while the Under 15s meet Tasmania.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

President Capital Football and Head Coach of the AIS Talk to the NPL

This program was broadcast on 2xxfm (98.3mhz) across the Australian Community Radio Network, on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 7:00pm.

"Goals Soccer Center Chooses California Ultimate Turf to Install 80,000 Sq Feet of TigerTurf for 11 Fields at First U.S. Facility. Goals Soccer Centres is the United Kingdom’s largest five-a-side soccer program. The Los Angeles facility will be accessible to people of all skill levels and ages who want to play five-a-side soccer. The new U.S. Goals Soccer Center complex is situated on 3.5 acres and also includes a player-guest lounge, locker rooms, batting cages, and parking lot."

How do we get some of this for our game in the ACT? It was pointed out to me by a very astute person in Football that the O'Connor Playing Fields (including O'Connor Enclosed) is an excellent spot to set up a Football / Futsal hub for the game. Move Capital Football there too. Great idea. Maybe something like that picture above.

We need more than Hawker Enclosed right now! Our grounds are falling apart. Here is a before and after shot from Epping, Victoria. Multiple field developments are they way ahead, no more one field builds - that's the lesson from Hawker Enclosed!

President of Capital Football, Rachel Harrigan, speaks on two critical resource issues that are plaguing our game in the ACT - Grounds Facilities (playing surfaces) and Referees (recruitment and retention). Progress is slow on grounds facilities, funding required is signficant and apparently dependent on ACT Government involvement. Makes that $26m to the AFL look very exspensive for Football in the ACT in the years going forward. Is there another way ahead? President Capital Football is looking for ideas.

The Head Coach of the AIS, Jan Versleijen talks the NPL on player development, following a tour last year by a sensational Japanese High School team (12th ranked in Japan). Versleijen has come under some harsh criticism since the the Joeys were eliminated from the U17 World Cup, much of which fails to take sufficient account of the points Jan makes int his interview. We are on a change in Football (via the national curriculum and development plans) that will take generation to take effect and require some "cultural" adjustment in the game in our society. For those that have taken the trouble to observe the AIS training sessions or indeed, played the AIS (and my Club has done exactly that), there can be no doubt that these young men are as well prepared as can be done at this point in the evolution of Football in Australia. What Versleeijen can't do much about is the lost time in the many years before he gets the best we have at age. A lot has to change before the AIS gets hold of our best at age. It takes patience, time and persistence to get to the top of the Football tree at this age group. Our progress thus far is commensurate with our progress in reforming Football according to the national curriculum and development plans. Versliejen provides the answers in this interview. Patience and persistence is required. Play the possession game on the field and the long game off the park!
Download Podcast here:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 2 Update From The Girls Under 14 and Under 15 National Junior Championships

Two parents (Eddie Senatore and Simon Kravis) of players in both teams have kindly forwarded the NPL progress reports from Day 1 of competition.




Day 2 Results

For the ACT its good news:

  • ACT Under 14s - Draw 3-3 (ACT v Northern NSW)
  • ACT Under 15 - Loss 3-1 (ACT v Queensland) - this was a cross over game with a very strong Group A team. ACT reported to have played well. 

Simon Kravis, the NPL roving reporter of previous NJC reports sent this report on both games:

Westfield Football Federation Australia National Youth Championship for Girls BCU Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Tue 12 July 2011
The second day of the National Youth Championship for Girls saw the ACT Under 14 team play host team Northern NSW in the early afternoon in a gritty game that was more a contest of individual skills than strategic play. The game ended in a 3-3 draw in which the speed and determination of the ACT team matched the greater power and physicality of NNSW, whose players mainly towered over their ACT counterparts. Julia de Angelis and Bridget Calabria were able to maintain the momentum of the ACT team under sometimes daunting pressure.
ACT started strongly and quickly went ahead through Hayley Armstrong striking from the middle of the defensive line. Maddie Whittall followed up with a near-miss after the ball escaped from a crowded midfield, but NNSW responded with a powerful strike from Kally Ann Lewis that was just over the bar. Tulia Palozzi tucked away a rebound a few minutes to equalise, but ACT took the lead again when Hayley Armstrong took a very slim opportunity to slam home a short pass into the bottom corner of the net. ACT had the better of the next period of play, with the threatening NNSW strikers receiving little service from their midfield.A poorly timed ACT tackle in their penalty area escaped penalisation but resulted in a marked increase in the roughness of play. Tulia Palozzi brought the score level again at 2-2 when she netted for NNSW from a penalty area melee and striker Kally Ann Lewis received a yellow card soon afterwards.
This did not prevent her from picking up a loose ball and driving it home to put NNSW into the lead 3-2, and she would have extended their lead further but for an excellent save from ACT keeper Jessica Giovinazzo. ACT substitute Caitlin Cantrell's speed allowed to intercept a poor goal clearance and equalise the score at 3-3. The last 15 minutes saw missed opportunities at both ends, with Jessica Giovinazzo making some dramatic last-ditch saves from the feet of oncoming strikers, but with neither side able to grasp victory.

The ACT Under 15s played Queensland, widely regarded as the powerhouse of women's football in Australia. Queensland prevailed 3-1, with the ACT strugling for cohesion in the later part of the game after a good start, with three shots on goal narrowly missing their mark in the first 20 minutes before Thalia Backhouse slipped the ball over the Queensland goalkeeper to give ACT a 1-0 lead. This advantage slipped away a few minutes later when Queensland's Kate Archibald converted an angled free kick unnecessarily conceded by the ACT on the right wing just outside the penalty area to bring the score to 1-1. The ACT played strongly, with defender Siena Senatore managing to thwart the Queensland attack through the centre and Natalie de Marco sending the ball just wide of the Queensland goal after an excellent build-up just before the break.
However, after the break Queensland asserted themselves more, and only excellent goalkeeping from Phoebe Worth stopped Queensland from going ahead in the first 10 minutes, but Amber Maxwell eventually sent the ball past her to give Queensland a 2-1 lead. A tiring ACT team were not able to maintain pressure when they they were able to get the ball forward, despite having a number of chances, and Lucy Iannou sealed the match for Queensland with 5 minutes to go with a 3-1 final scoreline.
Despite the loss, the ACT Under 15s can take credit for holding a team drawn from a much larger pool of potential players for the majority of the game.

Both the Under 14s and Under 15s take on Victoria tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Capital Football Proposes An ACT Under 17 Boys Tour of Fiji

Sourced from Capital Football.

Capital Football plans to conduct trials for a proposed tour of Fiji for an ACT Representative Under 17 team. Now that's good news. The planning details for parents seem a bit sketchy at this point, but we do know the cost per player ($2,200), the time 26 Sep to 3 Oct 2011 and the date of the trial (20 July 2011).

The NPL asked Capital Football for details of the proposed tour, in response to several questions by parents of boys playing Premier League Football and who may be interested /eligible.  Specifically:

What are the details of a proposed Under 17 tour to Fiji by an ACT team?
  • Timings
  • Selection / trial process
  • Coach / support staff
  • Trial games
  • Opponents
  • Cost
  • Any other relevant details

 Advice from Capital Football at this time is as follows:

"At the moment this is all that has been organised. "

 The Capital Football website notice contains the following information (please not the trial date - 20 July 2011):

 "Capital Football is currently seeking nominations from players to participate in trials for its Under 17 Boys Representative team to participate in the 2011 Elite Under 17 Tournament featuring the Fiji Under 17 youth team, New Caledonia Under 17 Youth team and two select teams from the Football NSW Youth Premier League to be held in Fiji from the 26th of September to the 3rd of October. The squad will be open to male players registered with a Capital Football club born in 1996, 1995 or 1994. Players selected in the final squad of 16 for the tournament will be required to pay a fee of approximately $2200, which will include all costs including flights, meals and accommodation.Trials will be held for the squad on Wednesday the 20th of July at the Hawker Football Centre from 6:30pm to 8pm. Registrations for the trials are essential, to register to trial please click here."
For an questions about the squad or the tournament please contact the High Performance Manager by clicking here.

More to follow on this when the NPL interviews the Technical Director, Royston Thomas on return from the NJC.

Day 1 Update From The Girls Under 14 and Under 15 National Junior Championships

While there is festival of Junior Football in the ACT at the moment with the Kanga Cup, let's not forget that our ACT girls are campaigning at the National Junior Championships being held in Coffs Harbour.

Two parents (Eddie Senatore and Simon Kravis) of players  in both teams have kindly forwarded the NPL progress reports from Day 1 of competition.

Day 1 Results

For the ACT its good news:
  • ACT Under 14s - Won 4-2 (ACT v SA)
  • ACT Under 15 - Won 14-0 (ACT v NT)
Simon Kravis, the NPL roving reporter of previous NJC reports sent this report on both games:

Westfield Football Federation Australia National Youth Championship for Girls BCU Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Monday 11 July 2011

Both the ACT Under 15 and Under 14 teams made a good start to the championship today. The Under 15s outclassed the Northern Territory to win 14-0 with goals from Talia Backhouse(4), Eloise O'Brien(4), Monica Cerro(2), Olivia Gurney(2) and Leanne Pompeani(2). The NT team laboured under the handicaps of a small and dispersed population base and had only played together as a team for two days prior to the start of the Championship, but despite these difficulties they did not stop trying.
 The Under 14s played South Australia, the most comparable team in terms of population and metropolitan concentration, and won 4-2 in an engrossing game. ACT started strongly, with Hayley Armstrong threatening in front of the SA goal. After 10 minutes she connected with a well-placed chip from Ruth Kravis to open the scoring for the ACT. SA responded quickly to take advantage of a defensive error that left an open goal for Lauren Steer to tap the ball into and even up the score. SA dominated the remainder of the first half, applying sustained pressure to the ACT defence, with a free kick from Roxanne Dodd striking the woodwork, but ACT managed a counter-attack which exposed weakness in the defence, allowing Melissa Leary to take the score to 2-1 at half time.
 SA had another narrow miss from a free kick outside the penalty area after the break, but the speed of the ACT strikers allowed  Samantha Roff to take the score to 3-1, when she latched onto a loose SA goal kick and Caitlin Cantrell extended the lead to 4-1 after dribbling past two defenders and finishing well. SA continued to attack, but less consistently and ACT held their lead through some excellent goal-keeping from Georgia Worth, who tipped two powerful strikes over the bar, and diligent defensive work from Emma Bestek, whose speed managed to contain the dangerous SA attack. SA were finally rewarded with an angled goal from Venetia Rogers to bring the final scoreline to 4-2.
 Both ACT teams face a tough day tomorrow with the Under 14s taking on hosts Northern NSW, and the Under 15s meeting Queensland.
 As well as two teams, the ACT is also supplying two referees for the Championship. Georgia Ghirardello and Mia Southwell are officiating for both age groups.

Good Use of Social Media

Northern NSW Football have a very good Facebook site.  They know how to use social media. Results for the NJC are available online at

Some Useful Information Provided to the NPL by the FFA Concerning the NJC Under 14 and Under 15 Girls
In response to several parents of players asking the NPL about "technical assessment" and selection of representative teams, the FFA very promptly provided this information:

To answer your questions:

1) There is no additional points allocated at this particular tournament as that trial has occurred and following review not continued.

2) There is a Technical Study Group that will be watching all matches at the Westfield FFA National Youth Championships for Girls 2011 which will be headed by the Westfield Young Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic. The TSG will also select an All Star team that will play the National champions in each respective age group on the last day of the tournament.
3) There is no representative team, per se, selected at the end of the tournament, but talented players will be identified for future selection in the Australian U-17 Women’s Football squad when appropriate.

Friday, July 8, 2011

National Junior Championships - ACT Under 14 and Under 15 Girls To Glory!

Sourced from Capital Football website.

The ACT Girls at under-14 and under-15 representative are competing in the  annual FFA National Junior Championships at Coff Harbour next week.

The Coahes are Women’s Premier League coahes, Michelle Aurousseau (Weston Creek) Under 15 Girls and Pat Mills (Belwest Foxes) the Under-14 Girls.
The NJC culminates in the winning team competing against an All Star selection from the remiaing teams. The ACT teams will play to win, but if they don't lets hope we see a few of them in the All Star teams.

ACT Under-15 Girls

Talia Backhouse, Daniella Cecere, Monia Cerro, Alexandra Cook, Natalie De Marco, Olivia Gurney, Kristy Helmers, Lauren Keir, Rebecca Luttrell, Eloise O’Brien, Leanne Pompeani, Lizzie Read, Sienna Senatore, Georgia Stewart, Brianna Warden, Emma Smalley (stand-by player)


Monday 11th July – v Northern Territory (09:00)

Tuesday 12th July – v Queensland (16:00)

Wednesday 13th July – v Victoria (09:00)

Thursday 14th July – v Tasmania (14:15)

Friday 15th July – v Football West (09:45)

ACT Under-14 Girls

Hayley Armstrong, Freya Bent, Brigette Calabria, Caitlin Cantrill, Julia De Angelis, Jessica Giovinazzo, Hiwot Johnstone, Ruth Kravis, Melissa Leary, Milli Mallinson, Hollie Massey, Clea Porteous-Borthwick, Samantha Roff, Madelyn Whittall, Georgina Worth


Monday 11th July – v South Australia (10:45)

Tuesday 12th July – v Northern NSW (14:15)

Wednesday 13th July – v Victoria (10:45)

Thursday 14th July – v NSW Metro (12:30)

2xxfm Covers Football In The ACT Region - When Too Much Football Is Never Likely To Be Enough!

2xxfm (98.3mhz) is a Canberra based Community Radio Station and is part of the Australian Community radio network.

2xxfm has a comprehensive Football coverage for ACT region Football supporters:
Listen to the program on the radio, stream it or download the Podcast. Then join the social networking and folow the Blogs and Facebook. 2xxfm has the lot for Football in the ACT - we talk to all the people in Football - on and off the air. A lot of people are now engaged with the Nearpost and Farpost programs - all around the world.

And here is the icing on the 2xxfm Football cake this week - Farpost will be broadcasting *live coverage* of the Canberra FC v Canberra City match live from Deakin Stadium, this Saturday 3PM. Tune in 98.3FM or internet stream from

  Become a 2xxfm Subscriber, support Community Radio and be part of the fantastic community Football coverage, every week, every month, every year, no holidays. Essential listening, reading and particpation by ACT region Football fans.

Go to the 2xxfm website for community radio information - you may want to be part of community radio, not just Football. 2xxfm is an incredibly welcoming place, where a good idea can come form anyone - "Dynamic - Diverse - Alternative" is the way they describe it.

Give the Station Manager a ring, we are a community organisation:
  • Office: 6230 0100 – Office hours Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm
  • General Enquiries: info(at)
  • Manager: manager(at)
 2xxfm website -
The number of people who pick up our Podcasts and read the Blogs is just astonishing - there are a lot of Canberrans around the world! No one else is doing what 2xxfm is doing for Football in the ACT. That's why the people who run the game listen, download the Podcasts and follow the program Blogs and Facebook. Don't let them tell you they don't!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Stats: FC Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United May 2011 - Fascinating Analysis

Sourced from

This is terrific piece of game analysis. The diagrams drawn from the on field movement plotted from the game are a revelation and go a long way past simple passing statistics, powerful as they are in attesting to Barcelona's superiority. The movement patterns and where on the field they occurr are pivotal to deconstructing the Barca system of play. These are players who are trained to work as hard off the ball as with it and then win it back quickly if it lost and start all over again. Relentless. Wonderful stuff.

You don’t need me to tell you that Barcelona utterly dominated their English counterparts in Saturday’s Champions League final. So I won’t tell you: I’ll show you some charts and diagrams instead! The passing, shooting and assist numbers for this match go a long way in showing just how Pep’s crew dismantled Manchester United. The stats for the game also reveal some subtle changes in the way Barcelona played this match that help explain the team’s ultimate victory.

Barcelona Passing Dominance

Only a fool would have failed to predict that Barcelona would hog possession in this contest, but the extent to which they imposed their passing game on the match is incredible. The team completed 719 out of 813 passes, with all three central midfielders in sparkling form. In fact, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets completed more passes between the three of them than the entire United squad combined. Xavi’s total, 142 out of 150 sets a new record for the Champions League this season. In contrast, Ferguson’s team completed only 110 passes in the attacking half, its fewest in any Champions League match this year.