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Nobody likes a snitch

Waitakere United 4, Wellington Phoenix 1
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, January 17 2016

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I did a lot of umming and ahing about whether or not to attend this particular fixture.

It seemed like a great idea in my head when I was thinking “Fred Taylor Park – five minute drive” but then you do that crazy amateur bozo thing where you check the… The whatchamacallit… Ummmmmm… What’s it called again? Ah yes, the schedule thingee, and then you realise that the game is actually over at North Harbour Stadium!

The cons of attending were that it promised to be a lower mid-table affair between two sides I have a little bit but not a great deal of affinity with.

I like the idea of Waitakere, but as a WaiBOP loyalist I am honour bound to think of them as my sworn enemy. And I like the Phoenix as an A-League team, but from a fan’s perspective I’m still not sure about their youth side being in the ASB Premiership – I mean, I understand and support why they are there, I just don’t see a reason to be excited about it.

On the other hand, the pros were the fact that it’s a game of football… And… Well… Do there ever need to be any other pros?

In the end though, it came down to one critical factor – I’m a sad bastard and I really had nothing better to do. So over to the Shore I trotted!

It paid off though! The light was nice for photography so I got a few nice shots, I caught up with some cool football people, there were some great moments and some funny moments to observe from up close, (cue mysterious background music) I received a stonking good invitation that I’ll reveal all about in a later post… (cut mysterious background music), and this being a televised game I also got Facebook DMed an embarrassing picture of myself looking bored on TV! What more could you ask for from a day at the footy?

What’s that you say? You could ask for good game of footy?? Oh, I suppose you could.

So what were these great and funny moments? Well, the great moments you can watch on the highlights video so there’s little value in me wasting time on them here so I’ll concentrate on the funny moments. These were largely brought about by banter between the players that you might only overhear when you are standing up close. In light of Tracey’s post yesterday about players swearing, I was keeping a special ear out to see how much I could pick up. It’s one of those things I must admit I don’t really notice unless I’m listening out for it which is probably a sad indictment on me and how much swearing is part of my everyday life!

And it was one of those games where there were a lot of tanties. Goalkeepers having tanties at defenders. Defenders having tanties at goalkeepers. Attackers having tanties at officials… A lot of them brought a smile to my face as they were more comical than anything. Nothing worth repeating. Just grown men losing their rag. And we all know that toy throws can be amusing! But that last category of abuse, the stuff directed at officials, is never funny. And that is where I am wondering if I should start doing a bit of naming and shaming as a way of taking a bit of a stand against abuse in the game…

What do you think? Should I start posting quotes of the abuse I hear directed at officials and naming the players responsible? I can see some downsides. It could make me some enemies. It might lead to players not wanting me at their games. But maybe it would dissuade some of the worst behaviour in our beautiful game, and maybe that would be worth it…

Categories: NZ Men's National League

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

6 replies

  1. Interesting idea! I’m just afraid that might create , shall we say, dissatisfaction on all sorts of corners. I have never (!) abused a red as a spectator – however – I was prone to express my disbelief about ” erratic ” decisions via a low pitch ” booooo”. I stopped doing that quite some time ago at the suggestion of fellow supporters who felt that any noise ( also chants of encouragement or blowing a small horn) would detract from their tranquil afternoon entertainment ( we are talking Waitakere territory here)! Anyhow, I feel that there is quite a lot of erratic ( and I mean random/ unpredictable/ nonsensical) officiating going on that invites commentary of any kind. If seems refs are completely above (self-) criticism? So – abuse? Definitely not on! Criticism – why not? As long as it does not contain swear words of worse!

  2. Yes. You should do it. But it shouldn’t JUST be you. We should ALL start calling out offenders. On Twitter, Facebook, forums, blogs. We need to collectively make it unacceptable

  3. Nah, don’t name names. But I reckon you could name the player’s position and their team, so that’s they and their team-mates will know who they are. I have refereed many a junior game myself, and I really don’t want to hear players swearing at referees. It’s already a hard enough job!

  4. I can guess who the culprits would have been for this game 🙂 but it will be great if you can start adding crowd attendance for matches you visit so that we can measure the state of our domestic game (NZ Football Revolution 2016 continues) …by the way congratulations to Chris M for a great win.

    I also wonder what value Phoenix adds to this comp. I mean where else in the football world can ONE club be allowed to play in two elite national competitions with national association support and still not be able to beat Waitakere?

    1. Mohammed I agree with you on the Phoenix B team, but maybe NZF should wait to see the outcome of the AFF discussions with the club. In the worst-case scenario the Phoenix senior team could be forced to play in the ASB Premiership.

      Otherwise your point is quite a good one in my opinion. A second-string team from another league should not take priority over a premier team, and I would sooner see that place go to populated areas where it is really needed. One option could be to develop the previous bid from either Auckland United or North Shore, or maybe even both of them and expand the league by one. Their bids were compelling enough to merit further development rather than just being cast aside and forgotten.

      1. Hello Dave,

        In my opinion, it will be cast aside and forgotten, that is my experience from all my bids starting from East Auckland days !!

        I feel its not worth my time unless someone can convince me otherwise that spending quality time in football will provide a fair return to anyone. But because of my passion for the game, having spent more than half my life in it here in NZ, my individual crusade will continue about the state of the game in NZ. Yes, we can initiate change for the good, make a difference that will last, ask the questions no one likes to. We must if we are sincere to our passion.

        As for the Phoenix, I assume you meant FFA not AFF? If the rational I was given holds true, that Auckland United is not good enough to be in the ASB Premiership, than I question why anyone thinks that the Phoenix B is good enough or Phoenix A in the A-League? I mean, are we building an elite competition for all our stakeholders or are we just doing it for the sake of having a national competition for show?

        FFA would be better served to include another club from the Asian Federation, perhaps that’s the thinking they have now and NZF to focus on a new domestic structure that will “resonate with all of NZ”. Seriously, what has the Phoenix given back to FFA or us? Hardly the interest that should have been be generated say when you compare to the Breakers??

        Anyway, I shall plod along, NRFL season starts soon, player “parking fees” is already draining clubs and the vicious cycle will continue, much to the detriment of the game, maybe that’s where our first problem lies?

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