It’s hard not being in the cool kids’ club.
Our Aussie neighbours took their toys out of the Oceania sandpit, joined the big kids of Asia, and we jelly (young-person speak for ‘we are green with envy’).
Don’t you just hate it when one of your friends decides they are too good for you and goes and finds better friends? ‘You’ll be back’, you think to yourself. But as it turns out, they really are much cooler than us and we are left all alone with nobody cool to play with.
We’re stuck as the poor cousins, doing our bit to help develop football in the Pacific all on our lonesome. The Aussies have left us at home clutching the baby, and what’s more single life appears to be treating them well. We watched them lift the Asian Cup in recent weeks with our noses pressed up against the glass and an ever increasing sense of “why can’t that be us?”
This has inevitably led to a lot of fans, in a rush of blood to the head, crying out for us to up and follow Australia into Asia.
It’s an understandable reaction, but is it realistic to expect Asia to simply take us in with no strings attached? Most people in the know seem to be saying no. It’s impossible.
But don’t be too dejected! The Asian Football Confederation is not the only game in town! There are plenty of other cool kids’ clubs in the world. Just off the top of my head, here are a few, slightly more realistic, options our fans might aspire for New Zealand Football to join:
The Galactic Empire
The Last Supper
The Flight of the Conchords
The Death Eaters
There is of course another option being bandied about. A sort of halfway house where we get the best of both worlds. The easy ride to all the world cups from Oceania and the stiff competition from Asia. It might even see us come up against our old mates across the ditch more often!
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/