A couple of months ago I undertook to, once a month, read the Northern League Forum and it’s moderately more civilised cousin Yellow Fever, sift through the bile, and summarise the interesting stuff for your reading pleasure. It’s now time for episode four, looking back over the best (so bad they’re good perhaps) comments in the month of August!
First up this month, it’s player eligibility! Again! Only this time it’s not NZ Football in the gun, it’s Three Kings United. When a Northern League club gets stripped of all points from its first nine games and sees them awarded to its opponents, you’d expect that to be a topic of fairly lengthy discussion on the Northern League Forum, right? Yes? Well, actually for some reason it wasn’t… Bizarrely the only comment of any substance was this one from ‘Can anyone spell eligible ??’:
“Seeing decision today what’s going on out there 3Kings docked points ,did OFC tip off Waitakere as well as Vanuatu, can’t hate Milicich can they been gone for years and was United not City.
All sounds like NZ Football saga.
Amateur sport getting paperwork wrong AFF throw the book at them oh fine them as well.
Really all seems OTT yeah rules a rule and all that but intent has to be factor surely?
Did player owe fines or something would transfer have gone through if done properly?
Any Heads rolling down HIllsborough Rd??”
This one from ‘Thank you very much for your kind donation’ doesn’t really count as it probably would have been better phrased simply as “na, na, na, na, na”:
“suburbs got 3 points for losing 4 – 2
All the substantial discussion was left to the slightly more cerebral folks of Yellow Fever, such as this contribution from ‘Gordy Bennett’:
“What a mess. Here ends all interest in this year’s Northern League as most team placings are now done and dusted.
Thanks Waitakere and Three Kings, hope you enjoy second division football together next season.”
And as usual, enter ‘chopah’, with an interesting insight the likes of which you don’t get from anywhere else:
“the case against Three Kings while technically correct is pretty thin – and the ruling again while within the regulations is harsh.
The ineligible player is Tom Konusi – who is a Three Kings player and has come through their junior ranks.
The problem is around goalnet registrations – Auckland City had a record for a Thomas Konusi and Three Kings had a record for a Tom Konusi – Thomas Konusi was never transferred back to Three Kings from Auckland City until the issue was raised by Hamilton Wanderers – but some poor admin person at TKU would have looked and seen Tom Konusi still registered at TKU and didn’t bother checking for any duplicates – hence the reason it’s harsh..”
So what was occupying the wits of the Northern League Forum so much that by far the biggest local football story of the year was bumped off the radar? The answer of course was, what else, but a bit of South Auckland bashing?
‘Well done OM’ opened the floodgates by asking:
“Why does every team have bad things to say about a trip to Massey Park. I’ll be there at training on Wednesday.”
To which ‘The Rad Butcher’ replied with:
“Because you keep putting teams in the public toilets to get changed when you have a changing room inside your clubrooms. This week there were used condoms in the away changing room and last week the away team got burgled. Your chairman was constantly abusing the ref and you attempted to boss the game but took it too far. You had no bar licence and only 7 of your players came up for the aftermatch. I wouldn’t be rushing back if I were you.”
And that prompted ‘Gage’ to chip in with this:
“Seeing the postings on this thread i had to chuck my 2 cents in. Manakau has, is and will always be a minging place to go. Not because there team is hard to play but because they have a approach which is self involved. They have no interest in welcoming outsiders. I like ricky and think that he is doing his best with not much, but what i was impressed with was the atmosphere in the onehunga club after the game last week. Granted the pitch isnt wembley and the changing rooms arent big but it felt like a inviting club to play for and also to visit (granted they had just beaten us). I dont know everything but i do know that the image your club portrays goes along way to future success, easier to sign players if they dont despise your club for example. Congrats to om on your rise and look forward to visiting again next year, manakau not so much.”
‘Lost It’ seems to think he could run the club better than the current committee:
“Your first season back in the NRFL and you blew it Manukau. This season you should have been proving that you’re not the hostile dangerous team everyone thought. Unfortunately you went the totally opposite way and made it worse due to poor leadership on and off the park. I’ll be very surprised if you get promoted but wherever you are next season you’ll attract no players and fade into obscurity. Sad really, but you’re a poor advertisement to a great sport.”
If that’s what he thinks of a club that’s NOT breaking any rules, it’s probably best we don’t know what he thinks of the Three Kings situation!
But despite that strong contender, this month’s ‘Whatever Award’ for the comment that makes your eyes roll the most…
…goes to this lovely bit of casual racism in the Chatham Cup semi-final thread from someone who obviously thinks they are pretty clever – ‘Anil Bedes’:
“Please be not talking about BO on this chatting room. I am only being wanting chatting about Mangere and ESAFC.”
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Premier section, ‘Top 5’ had this suggestion:
“Let’s lighten things up a bit.”
“Who were the top players in the league this year?
I’m talking consistency, skill level, physical aspects (such as strength, speed, fitness), creativity and finesse. + the x factor – ability to change games. Anything I’m missing?
Did we see these attributes from many or any of the players this year? Who are your top 5 players?”
It’s an interesting and difficult question. Claudelands coach Alan Witt was first to weigh in:
“From the teams/games I have seen this year…….
Kate Loye (Claudelands)
Ashleigh Mc Naughton (springs)
They are all I can pick as stand outs to be fair.
Please bear in mind that I am biased…….
I threw my two cents in on this:
“It’s hard when you don’t see all the players week-in week-out (nobody does) but from the selection of games I saw my standouts are in no particular order Paige Satchell, Katie Rood, Jade Parris, Tessa Berger and Aimee Phillips.”
To which ‘Talent Pool’ replied:
“Rood is a standout.
I do think Jackie Hand from Suburbs has a huge future super quick and good feet like Paige Satchell ,and Grace also from E/S.”
I’m interested in the thoughts of other people on this. Feel free to comment below or add to the discussion over on the forum.
But the mother of all debates this month was undoubtedly on the Yellow Fever Forum, where the Capital Premier thread went white hot debating… drumroll please… a rescheduled fixture! Cue menacing music…
‘Bubbles’ was first to articulate the issue:
“Really hard on Wellington United with the last round been moved to the 22nd. How many players will they have unavailable due to the NZA v Phoenix game in New Plymouth.
Hope Capital Football and Wharfies have some common sense and move the game to another date, it would be cruel to have the season decided on this!”
The background to this, if you’re not aware, is that Wellington United have had their first team ‘taken over’ by the Wellington Phoenix so that they can field a development side. As you can imagine, this has ruffled a few feathers to begin with, particularly from strong teams like Waterside Karori (Wharfies) who would have had a much easier run to the Venus Shield if not for this arrangement. Anyway, we pick up the story again upon the news that the kick-off time of the game in question has been moved to 10:30am in order to accommodate the Nix…
‘NiceToMichu’ was not well pleased:
“What a joke from Capital football, change the playing field in a way to make sure Diamonds go up!”
But ‘Smithy’ had a different view:
“Not sure Wharf have much room to complain here. Moving the game a few hours earlier seems to be a win-win. Wgtn United get to field their best team and those players still get to play for the Pheonix/NZ A.
From a neutral’s stand point it seems fair that both teams have all their players available rather than Wharf get an advantage from the timetabling.”
‘RetiredLefty’ was firmly in the anti-Phoenix camp:
“Really clever change by Cap footy. Wharf coach and several players unavailable at that 10.30AM time – genuinely. How many senior games are played in that time slot. Clearly a one way communication with United and Cap footy to orchestrate this change. Wharf were not consulted ! The integrity or fairness of the competition has been diminished by one team (United) being granted special dispensation to avoid a necessary consequence already experienced by all teams throughout the season. Player availability throughout the season affects all clubs which is routinely managed among their own club resources. Why should United gain any special treatment. CF should avoid bias and apply the existing format to all teams in the division equally.”
‘Smithy’ was having none of it though:
“Integrity and fairness of the comp? Really?
The integrity and fairness of the comp is surely served by both teams putting their best team out for what is effectively is a final.
I think Wharf’s eyes lit up at the prospect of playing a depleted United and now that’s been taken away they’re biffing toys all over the playroom.
But they shouldn’t be. They have a team more than capable of beating United’s kids.”
‘patrick478’ weighed in at this point, quoting the competition regulations:
And this is the point when the debate came to a lot of people’s attention, because it spilled over onto Twitter! This tweet is from a Waterside Karori stalwart:
Attention then turned to a forensic examination of what transport options were available for Phoenix players to travel to the game from New Plymouth on the day. ‘patrick478’:
“I just checked and there aren’t 8 seats available on that 5.30pm flight to New Plymouth for the players. So thats not an option at all.”
Which again, saw Mike take to Twitter…
I’m going to hand out the ‘Best Bite Back’ award here…
– to be shared between Mike and Patrick in the spirit of reconciliation!
Eventually the game was moved to 1pm. Wellington United won the game, the league, and the promotion play-off spot. Things quietened down and the discussion moved to a general lamenting of the Phoenix takeover of the Wellington United first team, a discussion which I personally found much more interesting. I’ll leave you with two good pro-Phoenix comments on that topic (balance schmalance) that I think end on quite a nice note…
“How is the arrangement with Wellington Phoenix any different or worse than a club buying semi pro journeymen with pokie money-players who win honours for the club then move on with zero qualms? I would think United are getting quite a bit out of the deal. Access to quality coaching, administration
First team costs partly covered by Wpx allowing club funds to be redistributed to women’s or juniors.
At the very least Wgtn United benefit by having a competitive first team and in turn allow WPX youth players a regular winter outing. I don’t know the details of the deal however. I will add that Wgtn United club members have had a link to the administration of WPX from day one of the Nix-this seems like a natural extension of the relationship”
“I moved to Wellington in 2009. Since then, I’ve never had a football club (at least not here in Wellington) that I have had any affinity to, except for the Phoenix. One of the things until the last two years, that I felt frustrated about was that the Phoenix were NOT a football club – to me they were a franchise, being called a football club, and that’s it.
That has changed in the last two years, as the Wellington Phoenix has become more of an actual football club. They still are not really a football club in my mind, but they’re getting closer and closer all the time. For me, that is a good thing. And it has got me interested in the local football scene.
Firstly the WeeNix playing in the ASB Premiership got me along to local football grounds. I don’t think I am alone as a Phoenix fan whose attendance at ASB Premiership games (including Team Wellington home games) has increased as a result of the inclusion of the WeeNix in the competition.
… and then the Phoenix/Wellington United merger happened.
I get the views expressed here, and elsewhere, about the negative sides of this. I am not dismissing them.
BUT, for me, it has finally given me a local club that I feel connected to – Wellington United.
Despite the claims (and/or realities, depending on who you believe) of displacement and hi-jacking, and a club fabric destroyed or forever changed etc, there is this other upside to the whole thing. For me, at least, it has drawn someone into the local football scene, where previously I didn’t feel a part of it. I might get even more involved next year, and might even contribute to the club, if I can.
I think we should spend more of our energy getting people involved, and attending football, than complaining and backbiting and highlighting and dwelling on the things we don’t agree with or see as flaws. Negativity, in any form, is counter-productive. Focus on the positives.”
Focus on the positives? New Zealand football fans? On an online forum? Now you’re leaving me with no choice but to bust out Supertramp again…
Categories: Around The Forums
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: http://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/