Brisbane Strikers FC
Brisbane Strikers Football Club is an Australian semi-professional football club based in Brisbane, Queensland. Founded in 1994, the club competed in the National Soccer League until the 2003–04 season and was one of two clubs contending for an A-League licence during the establishment of the league in 2004. Brisbane Strikers competes in the National Premier League Queensland, with home matches played from Perry Park. Brisbane's first representation in the National Soccer League – came from Brisbane City, who still play in the Brisbane competition, Brisbane Lions. Brisbane City won the first two national knockout competitions, by defeating Marconi in 1977 and West Adelaide in 1978. Brisbane Lions won the knockout competition in 1981 defeating West Adelaide. Brisbane City left the NSL in after Brisbane Lions after the 1988 season; the next Brisbane team in the NSL was Brisbane United, which played from 1991 to 1993. From their demise came the Brisbane Strikers in the 1994 season; the Brisbane Strikers were owned by the Queensland Soccer Federation, which handed the running of the club to a Trust Management Group composed of Ian Brusasco, Dr Clem Jones and leading football official Frank Speare.
Coached by Bruce Stowell for three seasons, the Strikers improved their position in the NSL pecking order, finishing fourth in 1995/96 to qualify for their first NSL finals appearance in which they lost a semi-final playoff over two legs to Sydney United. But revenge was just around the corner in the most extraordinary of circumstances. In the 1996/97 season the Strikers were led by player-coach Frank Farina and finished second on the NSL ladder to Sydney United before going on to beat United in their semi-final to set up a home grand final – against the same team. At a time when football was struggling for mainstream acceptance and credibility in Australia, NSL Grand Finals – the pinnacle of club football in Australia – drew crowds between 12,000 and 25,000, but the 1997 Grand Final, played at Lang Park in Brisbane changed perceptions of football’s standing in Australia when it drew a capacity 40,446 spectators to watch the Brisbane Strikers beat Sydney United 2–0 with goals by Farina and Rod Brown.
This was a watershed moment for football in Australia but the Strikers struggled the next season, finishing twelfth. A significant event in the history of the club occurred in 1998 when the QSF divested itself of its ownership, which passed to the Strikers Football Club Pty Ltd. Scarcely three years after the club had played its part in Australian club football’s proudest moment it was dealt a savage blow when Soccer Australia, as part of a restructuring of the national competition, refused the Brisbane Strikers’ application for a place in the new league, citing financial reasons for doing so; this left the national league without a representative from the country’s third most populous state. Outrage ensued within Queensland and northern New South Wales, with politicians and the general public waging a vigorous campaign to have the club reinstated to the national league; this convinced Soccer Australia to reverse its decision and grant the Strikers Football Club Pty Ltd a licence for the 2000/2001 season.
Back on the field, under coach John Kosmina, the Strikers justified the efforts of those who fought for their place in the national competition by finishing fourth and qualifying for the NSL finals against all the expectations of those south of the border. While eventual premiers, South Melbourne FC, prevailed over the Strikers in their two-legged semi-final, the Strikers had flown the flag for Queensland with honour; the next season, saw the Strikers struggle again and led to the club parting ways with Kosmina. Despite a host of coaches showing interest in the vacancy, including some from overseas, the Strikers took the bold step of appointing 28-year-old club captain Stuart McLaren as head coach, assisted by Luciano Trani. Together the two formed an innovative combination, assembling a squad of unsung players from the local leagues and turning them into a team which took the club back into the 2003/04 NSL finals only to lose a memorable semi-final play-off to Adelaide United; that season was the last for the NSL.
A strong reform movement within the game in Australia had seen a new Soccer Australia Board appointed under the Chairmanship of Frank Lowy and the new governing body set about creating a new national competition called the A-League. 1996–97 remained the only time the Sunshine State had won an Australian National football title, until Brisbane Roar won the 2010–11 A-League title. The Brisbane Strikers were a prime candidate for the Brisbane position in the new A-League that kicked off in mid-2005. Football Federation Australia boss Frank Lowy was quoted at the time saying that the two Brisbane bids were outstanding, but the reality was that only one team would make it; the A-League decided to go with the Lions bid, who changed their name to the Queensland Roar, whose name changed once more to the present Brisbane Roar, maintaining their local link to the Lions, ethnic links. The Strikers announced in May 2017 that the club would once again put in a bid to join the A-League, with the club making the announcement on the 20th anniversary of its NSL grand final win.
Central to the Strikers bid was the club's plans for a 15,694-seat boutique stadium at Perry Park. However, the club pulled out of the race; the debacle led to criticism from fans about the club's direction and
The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We
Central Coast Mariners FC
Central Coast Mariners Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia; the Mariners are one of the eight original A-League teams. It is the first professional sports club from the Gosford region to compete in a national competition. Despite being considered one of the smallest-market clubs in the league, the Central Coast Mariners have claimed one A-League Championship from four Grand Final appearances and topped the table to win the A-League Premiership twice; the club has appeared in the AFC Champions League four times. The club plays matches at a 20,059-seat stadium in Gosford; the facility is home to a youth team that competes in the National Youth League. The English EFL Championship team Sheffield United has invested in the Central Coast-based club, the Mariners has affiliation agreements with several international clubs; the Mariners' main supporters' group is known as the Yellow Army, for the colour of the club's home kit.
The club shares a rivalry with Newcastle Jets, known as the F3 Derby, after the previous name of the motorway that connects the cities of the teams. Matt Simon is the Mariners' all-time leading goalscorer as of December 2014, with 49 goals in all competitions; the team record for matches played is held by John Hutchinson, who has appeared in 263 games for the Mariners. Central Coast Mariners' bid for a franchise in the Football Federation Australia's new A-League competition was aimed at filling the one spot for a regional team, designated by the FFA. Media speculation prior to the announcement of the franchises in the new league suggested that the Mariners' bid may be favourable due to its new blood. Backing from former Australian international player and club technical director Alex Tobin, as well as Clean Up Australia personality Ian Kiernan—who would act as inaugural club chairman—also strengthened its proposal; as the only regional bidder, Central Coast was expected to make it into the league by default.
Following a reported signed deal with the FFA, the club signed former Northern Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna as manager and Ian Ferguson, a former Rangers and Northern Spirit player, as coach. To aid the FFA's goals of building the profile of the sport, the Mariners created formal links with local state league team Central Coast United. On 1 November 2004, after much expectation, the club was announced as one of eight teams to become part of FFA's domestic competition, the A-League; the decision made Central Coast Mariners the first Gosford-based professional sports team to play in a national competition. At the time of the formation of the new league in 2004, the club was owned by Spirits Sports and Leisure Group; the club announced its search for a star player under the league's allowance for one star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, insisting that the player should not look at the position as a retirement fund. Coach Lawrie McKinna sought interest from Australia national football team players Ante Milicic and Simon Colosimo, announced that he may sign more than the three under-20 players required by league rules.
Early concerns for the club focussed on concerns over financial stability, but after forming a partnership with technology company Toshiba and a cash injection from local businessman John Singleton, the club's financial worries were eased. McKinna was keen to sign local player Damien Brown of Bateau Bay of the Newcastle Jets. In a decision which prompted the player to declare that he was "over the moon", Brown became the first player to sign with the club. Club chairman Lyall Gorman was pleased that a local had become a "foundation player" and part of Brown's role would be to assist with selection of younger players from the local area. By early December 2004, the club had created a steady foundation of player signings and began negotiations with former Perth Glory striker Nik Mrdja, signing him in the month as its star attacker. Mrjda was one of the most prominent players in the last season of the National Soccer League, scoring the final goal to secure Perth Glory's finals win; the club's management was reluctant to sign a star player outside of the $1.5 million salary cap, stipulating that they "would have to contribute on the pitch and get people to come to the ground."
The Mariners' inaugural season was considered a resounding success by most. Central Coast was defeated by Sydney FC 1–0 in front of a crowd of 41,689—a competition record at the time; the Mariners won the 2005 Pre-Season Cup, defeating Perth Glory in the final 1–0. Before the 2006–07 A-League season, the Mariners secured the services of then-Australian international Tony Vidmar from NAC Breda for two years; this was the club's first marquee signing, following the lead of Adelaide United. Central Coast again reached the grand final in the 2006 Pre-Season Cup, losing to Adelaide United 5–4 on penalties after the score was tied 1–1 after extra time; the Mariners participated in the 2006–07 A-League season, but was unable to gain a spot in the final series, finishing sixth after the regular season. Club captain Noel Spencer was released by the Mariners signed to participate in the Asian Champions League by Sydney FC after the 2006–07 season, Alex Wilkinson was appointed the new captain. Only 22 years of age at the time, Wilkinson had played every possible competitive match for the Mariners up to his appointment.
In February 2008, Central Coast Mariners signed an arrangem
Australia national under-23 soccer team
The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia, a member of the Asian Football Confederation and the regional ASEAN Football Federation since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation in 2006; the team's official nickname is the Olyroos. Australia's first two appearances in the Olympic Games saw the senior men's team participate, but in 1992 the eligibility was restricted to players under the age of 23, while in 1996, it was decided to allow teams to choose three over-age players in the final Olympic squads; the team has represented Australia at the Olympic Games on five occasions, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. The team represented Australia at the AFC U-22 Championship tournament in 2014 and has qualified for the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship; the Australian national under-23 team made its international debut in 1967, when it took part in a triangular tournament against New Caledonia and New Zealand in Nouméa.
Australia lost its first game 2–1 on 6 November, won its second 1–3 on 10 November, with Gary Manuel supplying goals in both games. The team would next played eighth years in 1974, in a tour of Indonesia, sponsored by the Australian Government. During the tour, coached by Eric Worthington, won all three match against the host nation, it would be another 16 years before the team competed in international competition of any kind. In August 1990, Australia played a series of friendly matches in Europe under coach Eddie Thomson; the first against Switzerland ended in a 0–0 draw. The second match was played against the League of Ireland XI, ended in a 2–2 draw, with goals from Gary Hasler and John Gibson. Australia's final match was lost 2–0 against Czechoslovakia. Arguably Australia's most successful Olympic football tournament, the squad coached by Eddie Thomson contained just two overseas based players: KV Mechelen striker Zlatko Arambasic and Club Brugge midfielder Paul Okon, as the rest of the squad hailed from NSL clubs.
The squad saw Mark Bosnich, John Filan, Tony Vidmar and Tony Popovic, most Ned Zelic, who had single-handedly gotten the Olyroos to Barcelona with a sensational double strike in the second leg play off against the much admired Dutch team, take part before commencing their successful careers in Europe. Drawn with Mexico and Ghana, the Olyroos would take on the Africans in Zaragoza in their first round fixture. An early goal on 12 minutes, a long range free kick by Mohammed Gargo set the tone for Ghana as they held onto that lead until the 83rd minute when it was extended to 2–0 by Kwame Ayew. Ayew grabbed another on 89 minutes before Tony Vidmar scored a consolation goal for Australia on 91 minutes to bring the score to 3–1. John Filan was dropped after this game after coming under heavy criticism for failing to put up a wall for Ghana's first goal, the green Mark Bosnich was brought in, cementing his spot in the side for the Olympics. Two days in Barcelona, Zlatko Arambasic opened the scoring after 20 minutes as Australia lead Mexico 1–0 until the 63rd minute when Jorge Castañeda leveled the tie at 1–1, the game would finish this way which meant that Australia would need to win their last group stage game to proceed to the knock-out stages.
The Olyroos put in a performance worthy of note as the entire team began to fire on all cylinders, winning 3–0 against Denmark to book a spot in the quarter-finals. The game saw one first half goal by John Markovski and two second half goals thanks to Damian Mori and Tony Vidmar. Australia and Ghana progressed to the knock-out stages where Australia were tied to play against Sweden in Barcelona. In front of 30, 000 spectators at the Camp Nou, John Markovski put Australia ahead after 30 minutes. A 53rd-minute strike by Shaun Murphy put the Olyroos 2–0 up until Patrik Andersson scored one back for Sweden on 62 minutes; the game stayed at 2–1 and the result sent the Olyroos to the semi-finals where they would face Poland. At the Camp Nou in front of 45,000 spectators, Poland struck on 27 minutes, taking the lead after a goal from Wojciech Kowalczyk. Australia, hit back on 35 minutes when Adelaide City striker Carl Veart equalised. Just before half time though, Mark Viduka lashed out at a Polish defender, earning himself a straight red card, leaving the Australian's a man down against a Polish side who were technically gifted all over the park.
Poland came to life in the second period, putting on a dazzling display of soccer and scoring five goals in the process, which saw a hat-trick from Andrzej Juskowiak and an own goal from Shaun Murphy, to take out the game at 6–1. In the Bronze Medal game, Australia would meet up with group stage outfit Ghana, who took the lead when Isaac Asare scored after 19 minutes and winning the game 1–0, the result left the Olyroos to claim fourth spot at the tournament, as Spain would finish in first place after beating Poland 3–2. Eddie Thomson took a young squad to the United States, which included Aurelio Vidmar and Steve Horvat as the overaged players, the squad was combined of 7 overseas players out of the 18 men squad. A young Mark Viduka was in his second year at Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Kevin Muscat had just signed with English Premier League club Crystal Palace. Drawn into Group B with European heavy weights Spain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, the Olyroos would lose 2–0 to France in their opening clash thanks to goals from Robert Pires and Florian Maurice, as Australia's Danny Tiatto saw a red card just after 24 minutes.
A 2–1 win over Saudi Arabia earnt the Olyroos their first 3 points of the campaign. Peter Tsekenis scored a
Gladesville Hornsby Football Association Spirit FC
Gladesville Hornsby Football Association Spirit FC is an Australian football club. It was the successor of the defunct Northern Spirit FC, a semi professional soccer club based in North Sydney, New South Wales. Northern Spirit entered the National Soccer League in the 1998–99 season, its founding was inspired in part by the success Perth Glory was enjoying as a mainstream club, as well as an opportunity to tap into the unrepresented northern suburbs of Sydney. On the field, the club had early success in the National Soccer League, reaching the finals in its first attempt, but the next two seasons were not nearly as successful, the club finishing 13th in both of them; the club recovered somewhat to finish mid-table in its last 3 seasons, but only managed to make the finals once more, in 2002/03. During Northern Spirit's first season Crystal Palace owner Mark Goldberg bought a 31 per cent stake in the club and secured an option for a further 35 per cent. Beset by Palace's financial problems, he relinquished his option to a group of players and coaches including Graham Arnold, Robbie Slater and Ian Crook.
The club was owned by Rangers for a small period of time. Rangers temporarily changed the club's home colours to their own royal blue. Northern Spirit's home games were played at North Sydney Oval and their first league home game attracted a Australian club football record crowd of 18,985 a record which stood until 2005 when it was broken by Queensland Roar crowd of 20,725. In the club's final season, Chairman Antonio Gelonesi decided to move the club to Pittwater Park, on Sydney's Northern Beaches; the decision was motivated by money, with North Sydney Oval not drawing enough people to make a profit. The 23,000 capacity Brookvale Oval, a rectangular rugby league venue, located halfway between North Sydney Oval and Pittwater Park, was considered as a possibility for the new home but was overlooked by the Spirit. After enduring financial problems for much of its existence, the club folded after the 2003/2004 NSL season; the former youth teams of Northern Spirit were assembled into the new Gladesville-Hornsby Football Association, nicknamed Spirit FC, in 2004.
The GHFA has its homeground at Christie Park in New South Wales. In 2007, won the NSW State League Division 1 premiership, but were not selected to be promoted. In 2008, they again won the State League Division 1 and this time were promoted to the Super League for 2009. In 2013, Football NSW incorporated the National Premier Leagues structure to their competition. GHFA Spirit FC were selected along with 11 other teams to join the new second division of football in NSW; the 2015 season saw Spirit FC crowned premiers of the NPL NSW 2, however due to NSW's promotion criteria, were not eligible. Lawrie McKinna Graham Arnold OZ Football club profile
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards score more goals on behalf of their team than other players. Modern team formations include one to three forwards. Unconventional formations may include none; the traditional role of a centre-forward is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. The player may be used to win long balls or receive passes and retain possession of the ball with their back to goal as teammates advance, in order to provide depth for their team or help teammates score by providing a pass. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the second strikers or central attacking midfielders, do the majority of the ball handling outside the box; the present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder in the 4–3–1–2 or 4–1–2–1–2 formations.
The term "target man" is used to describe a particular type of striker whose main role is to win high balls in the air and create chances for other members of the team. These players are tall and physically strong, being adept at heading the ball; the term centre-forward is taken from the early football playing formation in which there were five forward players: two outside forwards, two inside forwards, one centre-forward. When numbers were introduced in the 1933 English FA Cup final, one of the two centre-forwards that day wore the number nine – Everton's Dixie Dean a strong, powerful forward who had set the record for the most goals scored in a season in English football during the 1927–28 season; the number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. The role of a striker is rather different from that of a traditional centre-forward, although the terms centre-forward and striker are used interchangeably at times, as both play further up the field than other players, while tall and technical players, like Zlatan Ibrahimović, have qualities which are suited to both positions.
Like the centre-forward, the traditional role of a striker is to score goals. They are fast players with good ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short bursts of speed. A good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, have the ability to link-up with teammates and pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. While many strikers wear the number 9 shirt, the position, to a lesser degree, is associated with the number 10, worn by more creative deep-lying forwards such as Pelé, with numbers 7 and 11, which are associated with wingers. Deep-lying forwards have a long history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years; such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards. More two more variations of this old type of player have developed: the second, or shadow, or support, or auxiliary striker and, in what is in fact a distinct position unto its own, the number 10, exemplified by Dennis Bergkamp.
Other number 10s who play further back, such as Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane, are described as an attacking midfielder or the playmaker. The second striker position is a loosely defined and most misapplied description of a player positioned somewhere between the out-and-out striker, whether he is a "target-man" or more of a "poacher", the Number 10 or attacking midfielder, while showing some of the characteristics of both. In fact, a term coined by French advanced playmaker Michel Platini, the "nine-and-a-half", which he used to describe Roberto Baggio's playing role, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. Conceivably, a Number 10 can alternate as a second-striker provided that he is a prolific goalscorer. Second or support strikers do not tend to get as involved in the orchestration of attacks as the Number 10, nor do they bring as many other players into play, since they do not share the burden of responsibility, functioning predominantly as assist providers.
In Italy, this role is known as a "rifinitore" or "seconda punta", whereas in Brazil, it is known as "segundo atacante" or "ponta-de-lança". The position of inside forward was popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries; the inside forwards would support the centre-forward and making space in the opposition defence, and, as the passing game developed, supporting him or her with passes. The role is broadly analogous to the "hole" or second striker position in the modern game, although here there were two such players, known as inside right and inside left. In early 2–3–5 formations the inside-forwards would flank the centre-forward on both sides. With the advent of