Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not about football

Just a general post about things other than football right now. I have said it before, but there are so many A-League blogs out there that actually offer a proper analysis of the game and regular posts that I don't think I really need to stick to the topic here anymore! :)

So my final results came out yesterday - I have officially finished uni. My marks are also sufficiently high that I shouldn't have any issues applying for PhD scholarships when the time comes to do so if I wish to follow that path. It's hilarious how at the start of the year I didn't have the marks to confidently get a scholarship through the Australian Government - but then you meet a few lecturers who actually care about their research and are trying to find local PhD students (there are so many international post-grads in the school, it's funny to me, but perhaps embarrassing to the uni!)

Anyway, I ended up enjoying uni this year but opted to go into the workforce instead. So I've been in my new job for two weeks now... trying to get a feel of what my commitments are there. It's really difficult to tell as I am bored out of my mind but everyone tells me, "Enjoy it while it lasts." Until Friday I was actually quite miserable due to the boredom (Monday and Tuesday were particularly low points) so I don't understand why people tell me to enjoy it.

The good thing about working as opposed to further study is that I now have my weekends back. So I'm looking forward to winter, when I can actually get to a lot more VPL (Victorian Premier League) matches than I have been able to in the past. It also means that I have time to coach again. So I have started the hunt for coaching positions.

I don't particularly want to go back to where I was in 2007, as the junior club I was at was trying to affiliate themselves with a senior club I cannot stand. Unfortunately for me, they were the most convenient club! I have an interview with a junior club next week - which I am a bit nervous about as I have not coached for over a year now and my coaching books are not in my possession. People I have spoken to about this have laughed at me so I am in a bit of a state of mind that is, "Well fuck you too." So I am planning to stick to the VPL and avoiding VS - especially a particular team due to the whole laughter thing.

So now I have to organise a half-hour coaching session for the interview... and the only book I didn't lend was my goalkeeping training guide. LOL. I don't think forcing 12-15 year old girls to do goalkeeping training will win me any points!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dear Melbourne Hearts, or whatever you're going to be called

Try and ensure that you have an iridescent playing strip. One colour needs to be whatever fits with your logo (i.e. what the FFA assigns to you) and other needs to be sky blue.

When one of your players swears at the ref, make sure your player has positioned his shirt so that it looks sky-blue to the referee and television crew. While your player will still be sent off, he will only cop a one-week ban (as per Sydney's McFlynn who was wearing white and sky-blue) as opposed to a two-week ban (as per Melbourne's Archie Thompson who did not have any sky-blue on him at the time of the incident).

Warmest regards


Monday, November 17, 2008

Melbourne's rectangular stadium

I meant to go shopping today, but after problems at the bank and having to return home early because of paperwork I decided to go on a cycle instead. The weather was pleasant so I decided to go into the city... and ended up taking a few pics of the upcoming stadium.

Click here for the photos.

P.S. I post as cestaz.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That was it.

Last night was a show of how far the A-League needs to come. It was also a show of how our Fox Sports commentators need to be more critical. With two commentators calling every game on Fox Sports, there is obviously the capacity for one person to be the play-by-play announcer and the other to offer some critical analysis of the came in progress.

Last night Andy Harper and Mike Cockerill did their usual jobs of describing the play - well, kinda. There were times last night that they would describe some of the play - or make general comments on how much better Gamba Osaka were than Adelaide. But they offer nothing to those who watch the game and want to really learn something. The sad part was that everything was easily blamed on Adelaide's smaller budget and how young the A-League is compared to the J-League. It was almost as if it wasn't Adelaide or its players' faults that they were being played off the park last week and last night.

Finally, a shining beacon of truth came along at half time. Ross Aloisi typically has me rolling my eyes - how can I take such a thug seriously in a suit and with a microphone in his hand? Well, it turns out that the thug in a suit was the only one who could either see the lack of spirit in the Adelaide boys or had the balls to actually voice his opinion. Craig Foster is another face of TV who is known for his criticism - but he tends to criticise everything possible. A lack of proper acknowledgment has worked against him and I know that many fans of football tend to switch off once he opens his mouth.

Last week Robbie Cornthwaite was a disappointment, whenever he was beaten or needed to back-track, he'd just jog along behind the play. No desperation. No hunger. Did he really want to be there? Last night, the same thing happened. But it took the half-time break for someone to point it out. Aloisi also criticised the rest of the defence. Unfortunately being an ex-player does not mean that you are able to be a good critic or offer that extra piece of information to fans about the tactics that are working, or conversely not working. Andy Harper anyone?

If a team was "built from the back," as Harper would say of Adelaide (or something like that), you would expect a team that had a rock-solid defence that would play the ball out. Instead Adelaide have a brainless defence - any time there was trouble, they would play hoof-ball forward. That was how the poor Birighitti ended up being put under pressure due to Valkanis, and how Gamba scored their first goal due to Ognenovski.

Unfortunately, it's a style of play that is deeply embedded in our football psyche - perhaps an artefact of so many youngsters being saturated with AFL. So until our youngsters stop playing Route 1, perhaps more hoof-ball is what we should not be suprised at seeing. We need to ensure our coaches at all levels readily criticise the style - after all making contact, whacking the ball with some strength, getting it in the right direction AND getting it to a team-mate is a lot to muster in one move. It is a risky move. That is not to say that players should not play that way if they can - but in all seriousness, first touch is something that is lacking in many of our A-League players. If such a basic skill is missing, how could we possibly expect success in more difficult skills?

Last night was not about Adelaide "choking" as some have said. It was a reflection of Australian club football. To lose 5-0 on aggregate would not only be a disappointment to Adelaide fans, but it should be a disappointment to all Australian football fans - regardless of which team you follow in the A-League, if any.


In other news, best wishes to Craig Moore and may he have a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Are 'keepers crazy?

I think not. We just get thrown into some deep shit at times.

You've been watching your team play Mickey Mouse passes for the past 90 minutes. You've only seen fleeting moments of hunger, but there's no denying that of the two teams - the other has been more desperate.

You're already three goals down, and you've lost the one player with the best ability to read the game. But he too, has only been a shadow of his former self. He's been getting you out of trouble sometimes, but he's just as casual as the rest of the team.

Then it happens. A break. From about half-way. Keeper's instinct is to go up and close the player down. Reduce the amount of goal available for the shot. But the run for the player with the ball is too far.

And you run out of box.


Is this it?

Where's the hunger Adelaide? "Loved" that sight of Robbie Cornthwaite jogging down the right flank in such dire desperation to stop Recoba/Endo.

Handy that they're more or less wearing the same shirt.

In other devastating news - Leeds are finally on the telly... but of course I have to be in Brisbane at the time. As a Melbourne Victory forumite put Brisbane as being five years behind Melbourne, I think I'm more or less screwed in watching the boys. I think we're going to try the casino, but if anyone has any bright ideas on how to get my eyes on a TV screen showing a football match that kicks off at 5.45am I'm all ears. Or eyes if you choose to comment.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A special double post for the weekend

Stuart Musialik: CLICK HERE. (You'll need sound.)

Oh there's nothing quite like being back on top of the league after Sydney had a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately I'll be missing the Central Coast boys when they're down in Melbourne next as I'll be at my final year dinner. Shame as I do like watching them play - I suppose I'll have to make sure we end up somewhere with Fox Sport... oh hold on... I am helping organise the night...

On a more serious note, McKinna, please sort out the defence. The first two Sydney goals came from mirrored mistakes. Yes, the marking was goal-side, but the defender in both instances was not inside the attacker, so it wasn't that heard to go around. Doesn't help that Vuko was off his line... and could some team PLEASE realise that the lay-the-ball-off-for-someone-to-run-on-and-slam-it-in is becoming a Sydney trademark? Sure, it wasn't Santalab this week, but that McFlynn did it means... CLOSE THE BALL DOWN!

And Matt Simon - gush, gush, gush. He'll never make it on the swoon list, but gush, gush, gush.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just keep coming back again... and again.

And I'm not just referring to Melbourne... though there is no better feeling than being screwed over by a referee and diving twice, falling behind twice, and then leaving with all the points.

I've (almost*) finished uni now, so Girl's Guide is back.

And I was looking forward to Archie telling Breeze that he was a c#$t... after all, as a spectator what could the FFA really do?

*One more thing to go, but in a few weeks, so I'm quite finished.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Random commentary

I actually missed my first home match of the A-League ever on the weekend - that's right, of all the matches to miss it was against Sydney! Anyway, I am due to get my life back on Thursday once I hand in an assignment that I haven't even started (I have a good excuse, y'know). Of course I did waste two whole days last week celebrating the end of a subject... that it was the same subject that was being celebrated is irrelevant.

Anyway, so the W-League kicked off on the weekend... aside from the poor quality of the game (one of the reasons why I cannot easily watch the women's game) I major gripe is the shorts. Seriously, I would hardly consider them football shorts! Very much reminds me of one of my first posts!

Note that while I get my life back on Thursday I may not start writing immediately. Could take me a while to get my sarcastic writing style back... meanwhile here's another piece of FFA gold.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A return to the VPL

I had my final exam of the semester (and of my course!!!) on Wednesday, so I had this weekend pencilled in a while ago as one when I would go to a VPL match. Richmond played on Friday night, but I was feeling a bit under the weather so I missed it. Partly because I was heading out to Heidelberg vs. Melbourne today anyway.

I'm now back home, still wearing my overcoat, scarf and hoodie (not in that order) despite the heater being on at home! Gotta love football in the winter - I always wonder how many A-League "fans" would come to the football if we played in winter instead of summer. And today wasn't even raining!

I watched the second half of the reserves (under-21s) and then the seniors. I have to say, that I much prefer to watch the youngsters. I think it's because I don't expect as much from them as the seniors, and there's a lot of talent on display. There's also a lack of thinking on display... but the kids are young and they'll learn. Hence why I forgive them for silly mistakes but not the seniors.

The seniors match wasn't great, but it wasn't woeful either. Somewhere in between. Melbourne was all over Heidelberg, and even though Heidelberg had chances they lacked a striker who could do something with those chances. Considering the financial woes Heidelberg have been in, perhaps they just can't afford one?

Not much else to say, but I have another few weeks of fun up my sleeve before my final semester. I'm thinking about training with my local club for a bit and get a few more VPL matches up my sleeve. Apparently Melbourne Victory have some friendlies - I've been so into uni and exams (and Holland's run in Euro) that I have no idea what Melbourne are up to these days.

Though I was aware about the Home End Membership fiasco. I know I said I was going to downgrade to GA this season, but I've ended up renewing my Gold membership.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Half-time: Iraq 1, Australia 0

While Schwarzer was off his line it's not just his fault that we're currently down 1-0. As a team game, the blame must be shared - why was Mohamed allowed to shoot with so much time?

Unfortunately Slater and Hill are so focused on Schwarzer being off his line that the TV audience who have no idea about football will go on to not realise the importance of applying pressure - i.e. reducing the amount of space and time an opponent has such that they cannot perform.

Mohamed's shot was perfect, but a little bit of pressure could have been enough for it to sail over the cross-bar or for it to be hit short and safely into Schwarzer's arms.

P.S. Could someone please give that crowd member wearing an MV top a yellow shirt? Kthnxbai.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

General musings

I submitted my final assignment of the semester so I have a few spare moments where I can reflect on recent goings-on in the football world.

  1. I miss coaching. I really do. I was teaching microbiology this semester at uni, which was enjoyable and made me realise that I like the teaching/coaching opportunities that I've had so far. I swear that I will be back next season!

  2. Australia's defence. Ouch. Painful. Lucky. We are the lucky country with a very lucky national team.

    That being said, what on earth is Beauchamp doing in the middle of our defence line? I'm sure he's asleep. He's also struck me as being very awkward - he's not fluid in his motions and when combined with his 'slow' head makes for very painful viewing. I cannot wait for Neill to come back, and not for the purpose of swooning. This World Cup stuff is very serious, and I simply cannot relax to the point of trying to find eye-candy on the field. Until Neill gets back, could we PLEASE have Vargas? Please Pim, put Roddy on for Beauchamp.

    Though Harry does make it easy when he gets up to his old tricks. *Sigh* I used to have the biggest crush on him in high school. Was completely mute when I had a chance to meet him, we played a one-on-one and he nutmegged me. Oh the shame! I was also taller than him and that was weird in itself. Meeting your football idol and he's shorter than you. But that was a long time ago and I know I've grown.

    I don't remember if I had a chance to rave about Carney when the Socceroos played in Melbourne. I was probably swooning over the cool and calm of Moore... but he's transformed from one of the better soccer players in the A-League into a footballer. It's really nice to see that Australia can still produce some talent.

  3. There are no Melbourne Victory matches in the pre-season cup that are in Victoria. >.<

  4. Home end membership. My plans to downgrade from Gold to GA so I can randomly bump into people and hang out with a new mob each week were foiled. So now I'm back to the Prawn Sandwich Area.

    I am/was considering Platinum, but I wonder why the middle bay of seats in the Platinum area is not reserved for members. What a joke! I'd lobby, but I suspect that if the masses can't get their way in the GA area, no-one's going to care what some delusional female in her mid-twenties has to say. Actually, perhaps if I say that I am going to sit perhaps they will give me 5 seconds of consideration...

  5. I miss playing. My knee doesn't hurt this winter, so I'm trying to get fit again. It's difficult. Mentally more than physically.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A momentary renewal of reason

So I took a break from the madness that is my life at the moment (I completely acknowledge that I've been working too much, such that I have time to study but not much free time) to return to my true love - football. I went into the city to watch the Doncaster vs. Leeds League 1 play-off with... gasp... other people!

To be honest, I'd forgotten how much I cared about Leeds. Despite having only picked them many years ago because of Harry Kewell, I haven't jumped onto any other team. No matter how swoony or awesome a player may be (my heart broke when van der Sar joined his current club), I've stuck by Leeds. I'll admit that I didn't keep up with their matches in the lower leagues... and then I found out about Leeds United Victoria. And slowly got back into it.

Anyway, I'm still sulking after last night. Arrived at work this morning blood-shot, hoarse, and in a foul mood. It was 7.30am, so you may figure out that I had very little sleep (it takes me about an hour to get to work). But despite that deflated feeling that currently occupies me, I think I had a good night. Despite me being nervy most of the time. Anyway... I just miss football.

But I only have a few months of uni left, and then I can be free to do everything again.

And I will quit the Saturday job (the optometrist) by the next semester, leaving my weekends free to watch football study.

P.S. Looking forward to the new A-League season kicking off! Particularly the National Youth League... hee hee. Must keep my mouth shut, but I am very proud of someone! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Excuses, excuses...

Well, for those that don't know, I'm in my seventh and final year of uni. FINALLY! Last year I did really well marks-wise, not that I intended to try and ace my course, but I more-or-less did. I got a P (for pass) in one subject - transport engineering, yuck! I liked how my academic transcript looked with all those high marks and I've decided that I'm going to work my arse off this year. Also, I reckon B. Eng/B. Sci with double Honours would look good on a resume. Hahaha.

I will also working a substantial amount of hours in a job that I actually like (even though I do get stressed at times) and is related to my uni course.

So I set some priorities...
1. Uni
2. Work
3. Me time
4. Coaching

I decided that I couldn't commit to coaching. So this season I'm not. As a result, I don't think I'll have much to write about during the off-season. There are VPL matches (I follow Richmond) and other matches too... but who knows how much time I'll have.

So consider this post as my temporary farewell.

May Melbourne progress in the Asian Champions League!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Well, there's not point repeating what's already been said. My opinion is over on Eamonn's blog, so go check it out there.

I had an excellent night at Telstra Dome, with hilarity of the security guard at the bag check and the St John's first aid people helping me out all before the match even kicked off setting an excellent tone for the night.

Throughout the day I was not all that excited. I was a bit worried - would the boys be able to come together and play as a team? How will Verbeek make them play? After all, the most recent kickabout the Socceroos had was behind closed doors, and the media reports weren't all that helpful. There was a lot of uncertainty, not necessarily doubt, but just a general fear of the unknown.

We needed to win last night - not just because we were the home team, but because it was our first match in the qualification run. At 1-0 I was still a little quiet. It was too early in the game, perhaps Qatar hadn't gotten into the swing of thing yet. At 2-0 I wasn't as nervous, but a lot of use know that 2-0 isn't that much of a lead. By the time it was 3-0 I had settled down, though it should have easily been 5-0 by that point. 3-0 was fine by me, we could settle down and steady the boat. After all, if Qatar got one back and obtained the momentum to get another (as happened in that upsetting 2-0 situation that not many of us are likely to forget) at least we still had a buffer.

In the end, it didn't matter. Those times when we were exposed in the second half, Qatar just couldn't finish it off. Can't wait until China.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Club Hunting

So I spent my Thursday night with 11 U/14 girls and 4 similarly aged boys. This was at a different club to where I was last year. I had so much fun, that it really confirmed my coaching intentions.

The girls at training this evening at this club (let's call it Club 1) are younger than the ones I coached last year, but have been playing for longer. It's weird. I started playing at 14 and these girls have been playing for at least a few years and are going to turn 14!

The best thing to see about these girls was their skill level. They're not Ronaldos and Maradonas, but they are still at that sponge stage - where they can learn turns and touches easily. As their minds aren't yet set with tactics, they will then use these skills at any stage of the game. It's great to see this 'free' football.

Such a change from the girls I had last year - older at U/16, and a number were beginners who decided to join a football club for the sake of doing a sport. "Heck, my friends go there, so why not?," rather than the "I want to play football" attitude.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't join a football club just to be social - even I acknowledge that I found football easier to deal with than hammer throwing (my other love, it's a strange mix and now I compete neither of them...) because I had all my teammates to support me. You weren't out there on your own and even the occasional, "Head-up!" when you're feeling a bit blue from an error makes a massive impact on the spirit. Part of the fun about football is that social element, it's just a matter of finding somewhere that has the right competition/social mix.

I suppose the way to define is that you can see the difference between girls who play football because their friends do and girls who play football and become friends with their teammates.

Anyway, I enjoyed my night with Club 1 but I also have another few clubs to look at. Club 1 has me in mind for the U/16 girls who I am yet to meet, but doesn't matter how great the girls are I need to be happy with the club itself. I can't see myself at the club I was at last year because of their association with a senior club I once played at (well, twice or thrice) and I know fairly well.

Club 2 is probably not going to happen due to location (Club 1 is on my way home from work and/or uni, Club 2 is beyond home and Club 3 is on my way home from work and close to uni).

We'll see what happens. After all, for some reason I am yet to respond to an enquiry from last year's club about my coaching future...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No wonder Muscat's in the Oz squad...

...who else can take penalties?

Meanwhile, that assistant referee needs to be wearing a cap. The sun must've obstructed his view...

And I think Breeze left his yellow cards at home - it's sheer thuggery out there today. I know it's a derby and it's the major semi, but it's no reason for the players to be as rough as they currently are.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Half-time at Hindmarsh

Sorry Hamish and John, but I'm finding myself going for the Reds here. I did want Qld to take the premiership and have a chance of hosting the HAL final... but then Ognenovski fouled Galekovic. And the ref... did nothing.

Later, Tiatto fouls Djite, and the ref... did nothing.

Later again, Tiatto slaps (it wasn't that hard) Dodd, and the ref... sends him off.

To some, this may seem 'fair', but it's really not. It's inconsistent and the whole thing could have been avoided if the ref had the balls to give Oggy a yellow in the first foul at 4 minutes. Delovski had a chance to set himself in control of the match - instead he chickened out and gave the players the indication that they could have free-reign.

And so along came Tiatto's first foul - which it could be argued was none of Djite's business, but that's another matter. Delovski again did nothing, we all know it should have been a yellow. So when Tiatto slaps Dodd - while we all know that would have effectively been his second yellow... the ref gives him a straight red.

Perhaps what I'm arguing makes no sense - in short, the ref is being inconsistent and has no control of the match. Dodd should have been given a yellow for trying to get to Tiatto post-red card, and given one to Djite too for the same reason. Only to put those players back in their place and send a message to the rest that no more utter rubbish was going to be taken.

But it really should have been dealt with in that first unnecessary foul by Oggy.

If it ain't broke... Uncle Ernie will fix it!

Of course, in his own Uncle Ernie way.

Last week we all saw what Melbourne Victory could be - what it was last year and what it was going to be leading into the Asian Champions League. With only one of the Allsopp/Thompson partnership playing last week, the team looked and felt different. Fresh, eager to play and they looked free.

This week Uncle Ernie has decided that he wants Allsopp back. We were fine without him, so let's put him in! So someone had to go... Muscat had to stay in the starting eleven - not even Uncle Ernie is immune to Kev's wrath. But there's no room in the midfield... so let's put our old slow leader in the back four! Yes, that makes a lot of sense! Defenders need to be quick to chase down players who break through - Muscat, with his current speed of a snail, is an excellent candidate!

So who to drop? Well, he couldn't drop poor little Matty Kemp - not now. After all, Kemp kept playing throughout all his poor matches - not even being subbed! Ryall's been doing well, although he strikes me as lazy - more on that at a later time. So Seb can stay, he's young too, and Ernie likes to give youth (and the aged - see Muscat) a change. And you'd be mad to remove Vargas from the starting eleven (although it wouldn't surprise me if Uncle Ernie stoops to this at some point, because, let's all face it - a coach who doesn't feel the joy of goals and brilliant saves MUST be mad!)

So Vasilevski was dropped. Out of the starting eleven... and out of the squad altogether!

Let's move onto the midfield - unfortunately, Broxham is there on his own. Ward's been losing balls throughout the whole half and Hernandez isn't really doing much in winning the ball. Caceres has always been lacking in defensive abilities.

I know Broxham's good, but he's not that good to be able to hold out the entire Sydney midfield!

And so Sydney won the ball in their defence, got through our absent midfield, and Sydney's speedy old man Corica completely out-runs Melbourne's slow old man Muscat. Muscat is a liability in the defense line, and it's a shame that Uncle Ernie persists with playing him there.

By all means, if you want to remain injury-free Ernie, keep Muscat on the park - but not in the defense. In fact, why play Allsopp at all and avoid the whole fiasco? We played brilliantly last week... why change?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to get more girls to go to the football.

A while ago I was discussing pet dogs with Au (a girl at work). With Facebook blocked at work, I couldn't find any photos of my pup on Photobucket. Yesterday morning I remembered that I did have a photo... so I emailed the link to her.

From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:20 AM
To: Au

I did have a photo of my puppy on photobucket!
From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:32 AM
To: Au
Subject: FW:

Actually, try this one:

From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:51 AM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

Hahaha… what’s his name?

From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:53 AM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

Gnaw so cute!!

But the other email/pic combination made me LOL! hahaha

From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:56 AM
To: Au
Subject: RE:

HER name is P####. Google it to find out where the name was inspired from – it’s a bit of a laugh… well, to me anyway.

That being said, P#### suits her and I couldn’t imagine her to have any other name.

P.S. Yeah, trust me to f@%k it up with a footballer, and a goalkeeper no less! He’s quite hot though . LOL.
From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 11:06 AM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

“open area on the outskirts of a town “??? I’m not sure this reference is right, cos I had presumed it would be football related!

And yes he is quite hot!
From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 11:08 AM
To: Au
Subject: RE:

It’s pretty much the open prairie area in central Argentina. LOL

I’m imagining someone going, “Here’s my cat. I called it Werribee.” LOL

Yes, VERY hot. Olyroos goalkeeper too – I’m looking forward to the Beijing Olympics. ;) He’s a lot of fun to watch from a goalkeeping point of view. That’s how my semi-obsession with the young boy started anyway…
From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 11:17 AM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

“Here’s my cat. I called it Werribee.” …. When you put it like that!! Or, here’s my cat, I called it poo farm – since that’s what Werribee is referred to as.

I’d even watch it for that!! Just how young is this boy?? (coming from the person who has been to four 21st birthdays in the past 2 weeks…)
From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 11:21 AM
To: Au
Subject: RE:

Hmm… I’m surprised I don’t know this off the top of my head… about 10 years ago I would’ve been able to tell you his star sign and what-not.

He’s 22, and a month older than my brother… and older than those people who have recently turned 21.

Hurrah! He’s not illegal!

And he’s an Aries. LOL
From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 1:23 PM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

Well that fact that he is legal is the main thing… really though, 22 isn’t that young. How old are you anyway?

Hmm so is Aries compatible with your star sign? haha
From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 1:30 PM
To: Au
Subject: RE:

23 – but I’ll be 24 before he turns 23. :’( LOL

Oooh… “hot air” when I tried a compatibility test online.

your time together will fan the flames of the Arian fire and elevate your relationship to one of passion


This combination can sometimes be very wacky


You might be able to prod Aries’ interest in self-improvement and become a teacher to them

Oooh… wonder what I can teach him, ey? ;)

The best group of Aries for you is the group born between 31 March and 10 April.

Damn, he’s a 22nd Mar.

I am clearly procrastinating.
From: Au
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 1:33 PM
To: Cecilia
Subject: RE:

Yes, but you are doing it really well!

Pfft, that’s not much age difference at all… sound very compatible too!

Actually, I found out an interesting fact about my family the other day. Of all the relos that are married, the women are older in pretty much all of the relationships… I’m destined to be with a younger man! haha
From: Cecilia
Sent: Monday, 14 January 2008 1:40 PM
To: Au
Subject: RE:

Oh, and you really have to see this kid in the flesh. Drool-worthy.

I was watching him warm up (I like to observe how each of them warm up you see) and I started talking about his physical finer points and now have a friend completely hooked on his stature.

Later discussions revealed that Au has a friend who wanted to take her to a Victory game. Now she wants to make sure it's against the Mariners. Hopefully Vukovic won't be on national duty or suspended when the time comes...

For the record, I did know Vuko was of legal age, but it's one of my favourite things to say when the time comes.

And Wayne, I directed her to your blog for reasons that should be clear.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Losing my virginity

I've been struggling to write this season. Perhaps it's the poor form of the A-League in general. Maybe all the blame goes to Melbourne, particularly the home performances where I end up having to endure a train ride home in a a foul mood.

Last night I had a change in my game watching actions... I forfeited my reserved seat to my brother's friend and purchased a GA pass - at $12 with my uni student card being displayed, I was trying to figure out how much I would save dropping to GA next year in a season ticket...

I ended up spending most of the match at "North End" on level 1. Initially I was scoping level 3 - where I found that there were TWO touchlines! Telstra Dome is not very steep, so you tend to be far from the action with no elevation to see things. When in my usual Gold spot, I can't see the near touchline and I estimate the far one.

Eventually I found the vaguely familiar (but mostly unfamiliar) face that I was looking for (hi Watt!) and joined the Northern Terrace on level 1 for the remainder of the match. I haven't left a Melbourne Victory match in a happier, content and at-ease state since last season. I'm not sure if it was the result, but I think that even if we had've lost I would have felt the wholeness that I left Telstra Dome with.

I may have spent most of the past three seasons on the wings, but I think my heart does belong in the terrace. After spending time at South End, I think I've finally found my home. It really was a good way to (in hindsight) end the season for me.

I'm still trying to figure out why I enjoyed the Northern Terrace amongst mostly strangers so much more than my few times in the South End amongst people who I know a bit.

I think it's because it doesn't really matter if you knew anyone - as long as you were in the NT and singing for the team you felt like part of the group. Whereas I don't know if I would feel that in the South End unless I already knew someone.

At one point the terrace prepared itself to jump. Everyone in the row links arms and off we go jumping about. Whoever it was that was standing next to me included me in the action - and it's this general comradeship that created a buzz about the place that I hadn't experienced since walking about the stadium at half time during the Grand Final.

We all felt something special was happening then - but we didn't yet know what. Something special was also happening again last night with (mostly) everyone back on level 1, singing in unison and generally spreading the love.

On the field, Melbourne was finally getting it's act together - perhaps the supporters and the team really do share a connection and all we need is positive energy. We just have to make sure we carry it through the Asian Champions League campaign. Until then, well, now I can say that I am no longer an NT virgin.

I still have to lose my away trip virginity. ;)

Saturday, January 12, 2008