Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

January 29, 2009

the a-league player talent drain …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:42 am

the smh has started with angsty pieces about the talent drain to asia. and goal has an editorial on it.  by the much more creditable mike tuckerman. 

simon colossimo, of all players (not a bad player but he missed HOW MANY games this season?) is potentially moving on to the k-league.  others are following.  korea and china so far.

my take?  short term pain (MAYBE, a big maybe), but longer term gain.

aussie players moving to richer leagues expands the pool of professional players.  good thing.  simon collossimo moves to korea – gets a chance to earn more cash and experience asian football, another player gets to take the spot he had in the a-league. 

just think, roddy vargas is now a full time professional player, and was in last night`s national team squad – if melbourne hadn`t given him his chance, he would have been still playing amateur football at state league level.  now that is a waste.  matt simon, evan berger, fabian barbiero, shannon cole … others have similar stories.  there is more untapped talent in the amateur state leagues.  waiting for their chance. 

and a lot of the youngsters from the youth league have not disappointed when given opportunities in the a-league. 

i am picturing, eventually, some guy working a job while playing state league goes to play as a full time professional in indonesia, or singapore, or hell, india?  why not?  its a chance to play the game you love as a professional.  not everyone will want to go globetrotting, but for those that want the opportunity, more opportunity will be there.

if there is a problem, it is that our scouting and development aren`t good enough yet.  to really rock the world, you need a bigger pool of players than Australia currently has.  that is the problem, not players moving to richer leagues.

asian player drain = more opportunity for more players.  win win. 

OK, some back of the envelope number crunching.  asia is an opportunity to increase the pool of professional footballer “vacancies” available.  there are 800 ish professional AFL playing vacancies / opportunities in the world … 16 teams, soon to be 17.  about 40 paid players per team.  rugby league is about the same.  the opportunity to play the sport you love as a profession is a very special opportunity.  even if you aren`t a millionaire, playing the sport you love full time is living the dream.  soccer?  there are about 200 professional positions in the a-league, and maybe another 100 professionals currently overseas. 

the eventual goal for soccer in australia?  having the same pool of professional players as AFL and rugby league.  why shouldn`t soccer players have the same level of opportunity to live the dream as those who love the other codes?  this will occur through increases in the size of the a-league (eventually 14?  16? teams), and through having more players in europe and asia. 

we`ll know we`ve made it when richer leagues start poaching our coaches.  will viddy be the first?????


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