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About echidna

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. echidna

    Coach and Staff Thread 2018/19

    Markus Babbel! Wow, very interesting! 😁
  9. Maybe not Mack, but he is certainly one hell of a player! There surely would be at least one Marquee spot we should make available to have a chance of signing him. Of the four possible signings that Gremio mentioned, I have most doubt about Kamau. Fitzgerald will always give 110%, but has been given very little opportunity by the coach, who would vie with Arnold for coming up with the most predictable selections and substitutions. It is as if he has a closed mind when it comes to players changing/improving. No wonder some want to leave. My biggest concern is for my (traditionally) all-time favourite WSW player. Sadly, I do not think Mark Bridge is anywhere near the player and influence he was a couple of seasons ago. Unfortunately, past a certain point, players (and probably human beings too) do not keep getting better.
  10. Great to see you are, as wendybr suggested, getting out there and 'smelling the roses', Goat. There are a lot of positive and beautiful things in our world - we just have to recognise and then focus upon them - and they will pull us through the darker times all people experience on occasions.
  11. I think Tongyik is a great signing. He has strength, height, skill and vision (as evidenced last season, and with the Olyroos). I think it is ridiculous that he has not even been given one minute in 17/18. There must surely be more to it than just playing ability - perhaps a personality clash with Joyce and significant difference in expectations. From what I have seen so far, he is a more accurate passer of the ball than Thwaite - though such a challenge would not be difficult!
  12. echidna

    Nix Played Off The Park

    Ikonomidis was very good and he is also a charming and personable character. For me, Roly had his best game in our colours, tackling, mopping up and distributing superbly, with an energy and vigour I cannot recall seeing before. Agree that the Nix were surprisingly poor, but when we control a game so comprehensively with barely a Baccus in sight, we have to be heading in a reasonable direction. ...Now if only a certain central defender could bring a smile to my face by demonstrating he can regularly pass a ball accurately, I would surely have nix about which to complain!...
  13. echidna

    Dropped Points In Wellington

    I am sure that I have never seen a Wanderers side play the ball back so often - as they did, particularly in the first half against Wellington. This possession for possession's sake and 'patience' is killing football in this country. This was never more evident than in the game I have just finished watching in which our Under 23s lost 1-0 to Vietnam. Here is a team of realisably experienced and talented players who were psychically stronger and almost universally taller than their opponents (Baby Baccus was like a giant by comparison), one that held 75% or more of possession and repeatedly played the ball back, playing 'patient' football. Surprise, surprise, the Vietnamese played it tight and smart and we did not play to our strengths of height, power and speed. We need to teach players in this country to push forward and only turn the ball back when it is impossible to do otherwise. Players must learn the skills of turning sharply, accelerating, laying the ball off, moving quickly off the ball and playing passes that bypass a defensive line - such as a well-weighed through ball. The way we are going, this negative and patient approach to playing football will kill club and national team performance and retard the prospects of any number of potentially talented players we seek to produce. I would love to think we could play a different style, but I doubt it. Interesting to see that the two most attacking teams are at the top of the A-League ladder!
  14. echidna

    Strikers Fire In Brisbane

    Popa would never have played both Santa and Riera - effectively as a dual strikeforce - but I think it worked really well. You could see the joy they themselves felt in combining with the first goal, rather than having one on the field and the other on the bench. In fact, I think they are a great combination: both can lay off a high ball, but it is rare for a lone striker to have someone with the strength, determination and ball control who can take advantage of such a lay-off. Each can feed off the other. Scott was certainly excellent when he came on in what was effectively a 4-3-3 and this too put Brisbane under pressure. If we are going to play this way under Gombau, I will take it any day. Sure, there was some sloppy passing out from the back - and Herd was lucky to not be sent off - but overall, it was pleasing. I think the VAR did not dare review the Italian noodle's challenge on Santa, for it would have been a penalty and a send-off, with the result that the most combustible coaching combination in the A-League would have needed urgent medical attention! [I think it was ignored to try to make up for the Gamiero 'offside' in the first half. This is not the way things should be done...]
  15. echidna

    Jets Tear Wanderers To Shreds

    This performance put the win of the previous week into context - it was a merely a minor improvement that has proved to be a one-off. We cannot and will not improve significantly until we become more aggressive, forward-playing and fast in our passing. Right now it looks like the players don't believe in whatever philosophy Josep espouses. At this rate things are only heading one way, and fast!