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About echidna

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  1. echidna

    Team Name

    Flytox said 500 sold tickets for the Macarthur FC launch. In the end there were 600 at $150 a head, which is pretty impressive. Apart from a 20min delay in getting the official video sound to work and the incorrect spelling of Ante Milicic's name as 'Milic' on the big screen when he was introduced as the inaugural coach (must have been why he left early) it was a very positive start for the new franchise. Hopefully many of the businesses represented will stay with the club for the ride. The Indigenous Academy is a nice touch and Lang Walker told me that work on Campbelltown Stadium will start soon - though how much can be achieved by an Oct 2020-21 kickoff is questionable. Irrespective it is all good competition and rivalry for WSW and boosts football in Sydney's west.
  2. In response to LeeMarvin, my copy of 'The Prime Ministers of Australia' is the Parliament House produced version (green and yellow cover with drawn images). I must correct what I wrote in that Hewson's autograph to me on Fightback was dated 29.11.91 (not Dec). Just another comment: as all of you past your 20s might appreciate... time, nearly, heals all wounds. This applies to one's mistakes in life (financial, emotional) and incidents generally etc. I was a great supporter of Malcolm Turnbull due to his leadership of the republican cause, though sadly he never lived up to the leader we hoped: one who was articulate and definitive. Labor's repeated reference to 'chaos' may have been well-received at the time of the Wentworth by-election, but many months had passed since then and Morrison had clearly taken control - appearing to do so singlehandedly (deliberately) during the election campaign. Turnbull's lack of support and perceived undermining, did nothing but undermine Turnbull's own legacy, so Labor reference to Turnbull's ousting 'fell on deaf ears'. Morrison, in any case, had not started any move against Malcolm. In part due to Turnbull's undermining, people had moved on - time had healed most wounds and Shorten's repeated reference to it appeared almost irrelevant. We must remember that there are smart and very decent people on almost every side of politics - just a pity we cannot pick our own XI!
  3. I don't believe football and politics should mix or divide us, but I offer the following story and insight: I'm someone who has followed the ebb and flow of politics pretty closely for nearly 50 years. I was there in the front row at the Light A Candle for Democracy rally in Canberra in December 1975, appalled (as a life-long republican and patriot) that the representative of 'our' English queen should dismiss a popularly elected Australian Prime Minister in Gough Whitlam (irrespective of the government's failings). That night I shook Whitlam's hand and got a number of minister's autographs. On Australia Day in 1978, I attended the Albert Hall in Canberra for Gough's Farewell from Politics. Immediately after he had finished speaking and sat down, I headed to him. I thought I had a piece of paper in my coat pocket (along with my pen) but found I had only a $20 and $1 note. I asked him to sign them to commemorate breaking 21 years of Coalition government. He looked at me for a few moments (no doubt thinking "young fool", as it was 23 years, and defacing the currency is illegal), but signed both in any case. I had my house broken into in 1985 by a drug addict, who stole the $20 one, but thankfully he left my favourite behind - Whitlam's signature on the Queen side of a $1 note. On Sat March 5, 1983, I headed to the National Tally Room in Canberra with a copy of Blanche d'Alpuget's biography of Hawke, intent on getting his autograph. As the packed room waited for him to arrive, I got Paul Hogan, Don Chipp, Alan Reid, Ros Kelly, Paul Keating and Burnum Burnum, to sign it. The latter offered to take it to Bob when he arrived, but the throng was so thick, that he returned, apologetic, saying he couldn't even get close. I had been talking to ABC TV's Ken Begg, and he kindly offered to put it on his table, the last in the line of tv stations to interview Bob. Soon after he and Hazel sat down with Ken Begg, and the interview had started, Ken said they would have to interrupt things for a cross to Melbourne's Southern Cross Club, as (a tearful) Malcom Fraser would concede defeat. Ken said to Bob: "The young man behind us would like you to sign this copy of your biography." At 1.05am on Sunday March 6, as Fraser conceded defeat, Bob Hawke signed my copy of the book - his first signature as Prime Minister-elect. Subsequently I also got Liberal leader John Hewson's personalised signature on a copy of 'Fightback' on 29 Dec 1991. When rumours started swirling that Keating was going to roll Hawke, I contacted Keating's Office and asked them if he could sign a copy of his biography to me on the day he becomes Prime Minister. They apologised that they did not have a spare copy (adding they expected Hawke to be rolled any day), so I said I would drop in my copy of 'The Prime Ministers of Australia'. Three days later they rang me to say that Keating had successfully made his move, become Prime Minister and signed the book personally to me. They had added a slip 'With the Compliments of the Prime Minister of Australia'. You should not infer my current political views from my unique political autograph collection. My view on the election result is that Labor targeted too many people negatively with its agenda for change. Its association with the more radical Greens, and preparedness to make Climate Change an issue, but not spell out the cost of action, worried what has always been a largely small 'c' conservative Australian electorate. ['Climate Change' was 'Global Warming' but the dire predictions of even 25 years ago have not yet materialised - though it has provided jobs for academics. The world's climate has always been changing as we have been through Ice Ages, and back. We have always had fires and floods etc. Yes, we should all be concerned by pollution from vehicles and plastics in the ocean and should ideally move to renewables, but that shift should be done in a way that preserves our power supplies.] On personalities, Bill Shorten's goose was cooked with Hawke's death. His attempt to link himself closely (in image and presumably character) with Hawke, would not have gone down well, with an electorate that, at least in part (see comment to Arnold S. about him being the next Australian Prime Minister) saw him as arrogant. Shorten had also tried to summon up the spirit of Whitlam and the mood for change by his appearance at Bankstown, where Whitlam had held his famous 'It's Time' 1972 rally. Sadly, Bill Shorten is no Edward Gough Whitlam or Bob Hawke. The electorate had known this long ago, and I think Hawke's death had the opposite effect to what many had hoped and expected. As to where Labour should go now, I tend to agree with Wendybr (and not for the first time). While Albo is popular with the rank and file and the large Labor left, Jim Chalmers or someone from the right to centre may be a better choice, when the generally conservative nature of the Australian electorate is recognised. Otherwise, please remember that the election is over and we are all in this together, and should be united, ideally loving football and our country.
  4. Krishna would be my pick, if I had to choose between he and Barbar. Barbar has had his travels! :-) I love Krishna's pace, finishing, commitment etc. Another sidelight is that he would help lure in more Wanderers support from the Indian and Fijian communities in the Parramatta and Western Sydney region.
  5. echidna

    2018/19 A-league Semi-Finals

    It was a truly remarkable match. Adelaide can be very proud of the effort they put in and the way they fought back. Great to see Castro commiserating with the Adelaide players. It really could have gone either way at the end. Not sure Perth will be favourites in the GF given (either of) their potential opponents, the pressure of a huge home crowd and massive hope and expectation - though it would be nice to see them triumph. Some of the football they serve up - invariably via the beautiful touches of Castro - has been a joy to behold. Who said all the best football entertainment is provided by British and European teams? Last night proved that 'Colonial' fare can match it with the best for drama and 'edge-of-your-seat' suspense.
  6. I highly suspect, Wanderboy, that 'they' are one and the same! He was joking - a bit - but I got the sense it wasn't the first time he had used that line.
  7. Was breath-tested by police at Mittagong this morning. The officer, aged about 30, looked inside my car and noticed the mini Wanderers scarf attached to the left hand side of the front window, then said: "I have to warn you that you are displaying the colours of a trash team in the Wanderers!" He said this straight-faced and then smiled. I just laughed and said: "I would have to agree, but just hope we improve by the time we play at Bankwest Stadium." He agreed, then wished my wife and I a happy Easter break.
  8. echidna

    Western Sydney Stadium Open!

    Was at the 12:30 session and loved the stadium, width of the concourse, the number of food outlets (with plenty of staff selling very little today for the surprisingly small total crowd of 20,000 over the 4 sessions) and number of toilets. Stands certainly are steep and seating close - atmosphere at WSW v Leeds will be amazing. Paded seats in the corporate area are very nice. Great to have a chance to catch up with the wonderful Wendybr - sorry can't reply to your text message but I am truely old school and have the most basic of phones. Just hope our team can do justice to this fantastic facility!
  9. We get a ground Section and Seat Number when booking, not a stand name. If names of players from various codes are applied to stands, why not make the stand name match-dependant? So, when the Eels play it can be Price (or whoever) but when a football game is on it changes to Covic (for example). This can easily be done by installing a small electronic board under the middle of the stand's roof. When the ground is being set up, the name relevant to that event is typed in. That way, every code is happy!
  10. echidna

    West Coast Collapse

    Did you notice anything unusual about the Wanderers lineup during this game – and certainly from the 61stminute when Mahazi replaced Fitzgerald? In what I am sure is an A-League and Australian National League record – well my dear old friend, stats guru Andrew Howe, can interrogate his legendary databases to try to prove otherwise – but we had seven players of black/mixed race background on the field. They were: Baccus (South African), Bonevacia (Curacoan), Kamau (Kenyan), Mahazi (Kenyan), Majok (South Sudanese) Russell (Aboriginal) and Yeboah (Ghanaian). That it is an international melting pot of a truly Western Sydney kind, though one that would have been almost unthinkable even a couple of decades ago. Ok, we did not win the game, and I appreciate that many are upset that we again lost in the final minutes. I like Babbel, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that one of Europe’s greatest defenders, could eventually teach his side how to close up shop, or at least minimise opportunities, when needed. Still, I was really proud of the effort, skill and pace shown by this pretty young team. They gave us a glimpse of what should be a positive, exciting, and, yes, colourful future.
  11. I don't think it is a good look that WSW (or any team) opposed expansion of the A-League. This is the sort of thing we have got used to from Syd FC: They opposed WSW in the first place, and we gave them their biggest crowds, numerous derby wins and some creditability. I appreciate that we are in a transition phase to BankWest Stadium, but think we could have coped with an early entry from MSWS. However, the extra year gives MSWS time to make significant progress on training facilities (and importantly for fans) around a year and a half worth of improvements to Campbelltown Stadium. Then there is more time to establish fan base, ticketing and marketing arrangements, establish a team etc. In the end, I don't think MSWS will be too worried. I think they will be very successful, as should WSW out of BankWest. It should end up being a win for football and definitely will create a memorable derby.
  12. This was one of the best away performances I can recall - and under very difficult conditions with the constant wind and rain. There was unrelenting commitment and pressure throughout, but the quality of passing was generally superb, even if the 'Nix did not contribute much in that regard. Baumjohann was the fulcrum for much of the good and great that happened, but none of the first 11 had an even mediocre day. Well done lads! Did I predict it? No! Just another good reason why, even after many decades of watching Oz football, I never bet a cent on any result! However, I bet that if we keep committing and playing like that, we will finish nearer the top rather than the bottom of the table!
  13. It is interesting to compare our 30,000 capacity with what is happening with the MLS in the US. Overwhelmingly, they have gone with 'soccer-specific' stadiums, with the newer ones at least part-owned by the club owners. This is a medium to long-term benefit as they maximise their income - an aspect we can not yet afford. As a consequence, most new and planned MLS stadiums have lower capacities: LAFC's 2018 Banc of California Stadium: 22,000 Opened April 18, 2018. Has 34deg stands (steepest in MLS - how will we compare?) and Safe Standing Rails in the North End for the '3252' Supporter Group. DC Utd's Audi Field: 20,000 First game: July 14, 2018. Has 'bleachers' for 1,500 supporters. Minnesota Utd's Allianz Field: 19,400 (future expansion to 24,474). To open Feb/Mar 2019. FC Cincinnati have a 25,000 stadium set to open when they enter the MLS in 2019; FC Nashville plan the closest to our capacity with a 27,500-30,000 one for their entry in 2020, along with Beckham's Miami. Of course none of these can match the rip-roaring success of Atlanta Utd's 51,000 plus current average at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a ground they can only open up to its full 72,000 capacity (currently) 5 times a year. Each time so far, they have broken the 70,000 mark. Check out the Atlanta Utd website for all the colour and sound of this other red and black sensation. Also, see si.com (Sports Illustrated) Potential future soccer stadiums in America, for plenty of photos and information. Ok, we will not be able to match the Atlanta crowds in size, nor have a football-specific venue, but Western Sydney Stadium is shaping up as one of football's better homes.
  14. I am hoping for a Tues 24 July or next day game in Darwin, as I will be there (with wife) on those evenings at the end of an already booked holiday that starts at Uluru - if I am lucky, it could all work out. Will have to pack my Wanderers shirt!
  15. Markus Babbel! Wow, very interesting! 😁