Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Stay sober on Friday"

Not really an A-League related post today folks, but it didn't quite belong on my non-A-League blog!

The Football Tragic posted today on when the A-League should be played and how A-League teams should align themselves with State League teams. He also linked an article by Terry Butcher on the SMH website, from the time when Sydney couldn't fill the bench.

The last line is, "So, if you are Sydney fans and are travelling up the coast this weekend, please bring along your boots and stay sober on Friday."

It made me remember my time at a certain local soccer club (they don't play well enough to be titled a football club). I was one of the youngest in the team at this club, and come around Sunday, we'd only sometimes have enough to put 11 participants (not players) on the field. One day, against Croydon, we had 8 on the field. Why only 8? Because the older girls went out drinking the night before, and were too hungover to play. Our "captain" was also hungover. Great, eh?

Every year the club would have a fundraiser where you get a T-Shirt with all kinds of drinks on the back, and you'd spend the night drinking. Is this really the appropriate culture for a football club? While it hasn't happened at the other clubs I've played at, this local club was the only one where the girls' and guys' teams actually supported each other - perhaps because it was such a small club.

Other clubs, the girls' teams are either left to fend for themselves (including the reigning Premier League champions, and another Premier League club I've played at), or in the case of the club will I never name, completely supported by the club financially but with an awful coach who's friends with the committee. I've never been content with any club I've played at, and while my local club are still on friendly terms with me and extremely handy in terms of location - I can't stand the drinking culture there.

Sorry, just a rant on the state of women's football in Victoria... or south-east Victoria. I suppose the bottom line is that if women's football wants to grow, it needs to be well managed at "grass-roots" level. I'm sure junior teams are well managed, but once the girls are over 18 they'll play for a senior team should they choose to continue playing... and then what? To be honest, I can barely watch women's football because the quality is so poor. No wonder nearly no-one else wants to watch it...

I vaguely recall an article by Greg Baum in the sports section of The Age a while back referring to comments Liz Ellis (netball, I think) made about how not enough media focuses on women's sport. I'd link it if I could find it... it was on an even sided page, down the bottom on the right, about two columns wide. Helpful for searching the 'net, eh? The point is, I don't see the point of legislating for increased coverage on women's sport, when there's no use watching it because it's so poor. I don't think better support at club level would help anyway - would you rather watch the women's tennis or the men's?

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