Team   W
 D   L   PL
1   Melbourne Victory FC    7   2   3   12    23
  Adelaide United FC    6   2   4   12    20
3   Queensland Roar FC    5   3   4   12    18
4   Central Coast Mariners FC    4   5   3   12    17
5   Sydney FC    4   4   4   12    16
6   Wellington Phoenix FC    4   3   5   12    15
7   Newcastle Jets FC    2   5   5   12    11
8   Perth Glory FC    3   2
  7   12    11

 Spagnuolo quits Adelaide.

By Bernie Adam.  25/11/2008

According to, Adelaide United midfielder Jason Spagnuolo has decided to quit the club in what seems to be a shock decision. His contract had him staying at the club until the 2009/2010 season, but a lack in first team football is the reason for his departure.

"It was a very hard decision. I love this place but for me personally, I want to play and maybe I need to move away to get some more game time," Spagnuolo said.

"I'm not getting younger, no one is, and I just want to play football and that's the main reason. I just want to go somewhere where I can play a bit more.

"Everyone at Adelaide United has been great. It's a real family club, it's a credit to what they've established here, and I will definitely miss it but that's the way it goes sometimes.

"I love the club. They've been great to me, they gave me the opportunity to play at this level and I'm grateful for that but now it's time to move on."

After making three appearances this season, Spagnuolo is looking to move onto greener pastures. FootballNonStop will be keeping an ear to the ground about his future.


Former Socceroos hail Sydney FC youth team of “Tremendous Talent”

By Liam Pender. 23/11/2008

Sydney's youth team sits atop the National Youth League undefeated in 7 matches, having won every game so far this year their success is beginning to turn heads.
Former Socceroo and coach of Adelaide’s youth Joe Mullen describes Sydney as benchmark of the national youth league.
“In the opening third of the season they (Sydney FC) have been the benchmark and they have set a really good standard.”
Whilst another former Socceroo and youth coach of the Central Coast Mariners, Alex Tobin echoed a similar view after his sides defeat to the sky blues a few weeks ago.
“Credit to Sydney FC, they’re a very strong side and showed today why they’ve been so successful in this competition."
The final comments from the trio of former Socceroo’s comes from Sydney FC’s very own youth assistant coach Steve Corica.

“There are some good boys there,” Corica said. “I’m sure a few of them will get their chance in the first team soon.”


Indeed, club Chairman Andrew Kemeny believes that the team has genuine star quality and that many of these players will be playing in the A-league after just one season at youth level.

"Next year, we'll probably have the youngest (A-league) team of any in the league," Kemeny said.
"We have some tremendous young talent in our youth team, and in Steve O'Connor we have the best youth coach in Australia, if not in the southern hemisphere. This is our strategy for going forward."

The “best youth coach in the Southern hemisphere” Steve O’Conner was more cautious with his praise however, outlining that there is still a long way to go.


“The boys have been playing some good football but there’s still plenty of room for improvement and we’ve got to make sure we stay focused if we’re going to stay ahead of the competition,” O’Connor said.

 Football for the future: A 2nd Division.

By Bernie Adam. 22/11/2008

By looking at most leagues around the world we can see that they have implemented a relegation/promotion system. For those of you who have no idea what this is, it simply means the teams that perform the worst (last and 2nd last) are dropped down to the 2nd division. Whilst those teams which perform the best (finishing 1st and 2nd) gain automatic promotion and are given a chance to compete with the best in the nation at the highest level.

This is what is needed in Australia. My argument is that by selecting the very best from the top divisions in the nation, adding these teams to a 2nd division and give them a shot at making the top flight, interest in football in Australia will sky rocket and will eliminate the need for more badly named franchises.

Now I know full well that people are adamant about not needing nor wanting teams like Adelaide City, Melbourne Knights etc in the new setup and that the NSL was dissolved for a reason. But with the new administration in place, financial irregularities of a club can be punished by massive fines and/or rebuking of club licenses or automatic relegation. The nepotism that took place in the old days would remain in the past if the FFA regulates ALL teams. South Melbourne still have a rather large fanbase as do Adelaide City. People will argue the fact that ethnic rivalry was the reason they did not attend NSL games, once again this could be an issue that can be easily resolved if the FFA takes the right approach. Violent fans could see themselves severly punished, however that would not be all if it is a serious enough offense, then the club can also be expected to recieve some form of punishment.

Although there are those who claim that ethnic divisions (politics etc) is someting that still runs rampant in the sport today, I have yet to witness any such events as I have attended more than a few State Premier League games here in Adelaide.

Dear reader, I would like to ask you a simple question: Could it be that the issues of the past have remained in the past where they belong? Is the violence in the old NSL gone?

As I had suggested earlier, by regulating each and every club. A 2nd division would be the way to go. Youth players who find themselves frozen out of their A-League team could be given a chance to further their develop their skills at a professional level. Supporters who have distanced themselves from the franchises of the A-League could find themselves cheering on their old team to promotion. Interest in the game would increase and finally EVERY football fan in the nation would unite and get behind OUR game and help it grow into what Johnny Warren would of wanted: A national league that can prodouce a squad good enough to not only compete with the giants of world football, but to beat them.

I love this game, and so do you.

 Melbourne March On - 21/11/2008

The battle for top spot was set to be a goal fest, an attacking match with plenty of chances and it didn’t disappoint. A number of chances were created by both sides in an eventful first half, but it was a set piece that brought the Victory unstuck in the 34th minute. Hutchinson’s free kick missed everybody, and most importantly the keeper, to give the Mariners the lead.  Central Coast had bombarded the Melbourne defence with many corners and free kicks, and were unlucky not to have scored more.

It was against the run of play that saw Tommy Pondeljak play a gorgeous one-two with Thompson to smash home the equaliser against his former club, just three minutes later.

The momentum stayed with the Mariners however, who earned many more corners in a tense finish to the half.

The second half started just as they ended the first, with the Central Coast unlucky to be given what seemed a clear goal to Macallister, only to be given offside just 5 minutes in.

It was Archie Thompson, however, who continued his excellent form, when he chased down a Celeski through ball to slot it past Mariner’s keeper Danny Vukovic.

Hernandez made his return to the Victory, coming on for a woeful Allsopp, playing out the last 20 minutes.

The scores remained the same til the final whistle, and the win was highly approved by the Victory faithful. The players showed how much it meant when a number of players went over to thank the fans. Ney Fabiano, who has only provided one goal this season, patted the badge on his shirt, giving the possible implication of his long-term dedication to the club.


Melbourne 2 - (37” Pondeljak, 60” Thompson)
Central Coast - 1 (34” Hutchinson)

Crowd - 21,455 at Telstra Dome



 Expectation: Goals Galore -21/11/2008

A strong crowd of 25,000 is expected to witness a top of the table clash that promises to herald a lot of goals. Melbourne Victory are arguably the best attacking side in the competition currently, while the Central Coast are in red hot form, with more than 20 goals for the season thus far.

Tonight’s match sees the return of Carlos Hernandez from injury, giving a starting eleven that is downright scary, on paper at least. Andre Gumprecht returns for the Mariners also.

With both sides likely to field an attacking line up, it’s a matter of who will score more. The question is, will it be Archie, Allsopp and Fabiano, or will it be Simon, Petrovski and Macallister?

The last time these two sides met, it ended in a crazy 2-2 draw at Bluetongue. With some farcical refereeing making its mark on that match, Melbourne was lucky to get a point, thanks to some last minute heroics from Archie Thompson.
The mind wanders back when Melbourne managed to salvage a 3-3 draw at the Telstra Dome with only nine men on the pitch. No doubt both sides will draw upon this epic match as inspiration. For the Mariners, it’s a matter of not letting it happen again. For the Victory, as is the case for many games this season, a matter of what they can achieve with a full squad on the pitch.

Adelaide face a tough assignment at home to Sydney this week, so it gives Melbourne the opportunity to go four points clear at the top of the table, should results go their way.

Whatever the outcome, it promises to be a vital match for both sides, with hopefully plenty of goals for the fans.

Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Time: Kick-off at 8pm



Sydney Down Flat Perth 

 By Liam Pender.

Sydney have continued their unbeaten run easily overcoming a depleted Perth Glory 3-0 at

Seymour Shaw Park.


Sean Rooney scored a brace with a goal in each half and defender Antony Golec capped off Sydney’s comfortable afternoon with a driven goal in injury time.


The game was off with a flying start and barely five minutes in Chris Payne began an excellent move with a weaving run down the left wing passing three defenders and putting the ball through to Brendan Gan.


Gan intelligently slotted the ball square onto an incoming Rooney who took a touch before coolly slotting the ball home from the penalty spot.


In the 72nd minute Nick Tsattalios gained his first assist since his return from the Young Socceroos when he cut the ball to Rooney from the corner flag.


Rooney pushed through the Perth defence and then curled the ball around a hapless Dejan Aleksic.


As the final whistle drew near Sydney closed down the play and it the game seemed to be petering out.


However deep into injury time Sam Munro burst through the midfield and passed the ball off to Golec who drove it home from 18 yards.


Plaudits must be given to Chris Triantis for 70 minutes before he was subbed off prevented Perth from ever getting comfortable with his constant harassment and awareness.


The comfortable 3-0 victory for Sydney leaves them with a perfect record for the season so far.


Perth Glory’s flat performance notched up their second loss against Sydney the season and left them within striking distance of Newcastle for the top four.




Sydney FC 3 (Sean Rooney 5’/74’, Anthony Golec 94’)
Perth Glory 0
Seymour Shaw, Sydney
Saturday 15 November 2008
Referee: Brett Hookham
Assistant Referees: Brett Woodford, Scott Edeling
Fourth Official: Adam Weir

Sydney FC line-up: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Rhyan GRANT, 4.Chris TRIANTIS (7.Robbie MILESKI 62’), 5.Matthew JURMAN, 6.Chris PAYNE (16.Nik TSATTALIOS 60’), 8.Anthony GOLEC, 9.Sean ROONEY, 11.Kofi DANNING, 12.Ibrahim HAYDAR (10.Zach CAIRNCROSS 11’), 13.Sam MUNRO, 14.Brendan GAN,

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1.Dejan ALEKSIC (gk), 4.Mark LEE (OA), 5.Scott NEVILLE, 6.Steven HESKETH (15.Lewis HALL 57’), 7.Hayden DOYLE, 8.Howard FONDYKE, 9.Anthony SKORICH, 12.Reece VITTIGLIA, 13.Andrija JUKIC, 14.Marc ANTHONY (11.Ludovic BOI 45’), 22.Ryan PEARSON

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Anthony Skorich 75’

Red Cards: Nil

 Classy Gamba Too Hot for Reds 12/11/2008

It took Gamba Osaka only four minutes to kill off Adelaide United’s flickering hopes of an AFC Champions League miracle.

The Japanese stylists went on to record a 2-0 victory on the night at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium that gave them the coveted trophy for the first time.

Gamba’s 5-0 aggregate triumph was comprehensive and unequivocal and showed the glaring disparity in technique and style between the two sides.

Whereas Adelaide generally huffed and puffed and resorted to long balls into the penalty box, Gamba gave an ample demonstration of modern, all-purpose football that at times was a delight to watch.

Clearly Asia has a worthy club champion, probably more entertaining if not more accomplished than last year’s winners Urawa Reds.

"Gamba are a very good and classy side. They were technically, tactically and physically superior to us," Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar conceded later.

"It was a real dagger to the heart to concede after four minutes and it was absolutely impossible after that.

"But full credit to our boys especially in the second half. Down and out, they still played with a lot of pride and passion and I think that is extremely important."

Captain Travis Dodd admitted it was going to be hard for the team to pick itself up in the A-League after such a deflating experience in the two-legged final.

"We play again in three days (against Central Coast) and it will be a good test," Dodd said.

"It has been a long and demanding journey and to lose a final like that was disappointing but we have to get on with it. We don't have a choice."

Dodd said facing such a skilful side as Osaka felt like "playing against 15 men".

"Their movement off the ball was unbelievable," he said. "They are easily the best team we have played in the competition."

Big Brazilian striker Lucas set his seal on the night when he pounced on a rebound after rookie goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, deputising for suspended Eugene Galekovic, had parried a stinging shot from Hayato Sasaki.

The goal silenced most of the sellout 17,000 crowd except for a few hundred Gamba fans but it got worse 11 minutes later when Gamba scored again.

Midfielder Takahiro Futugawa found Lucas with a superb through ball into space and the big boy from Brazil waited for Birighitti to commit himself before sliding the ball home with ease.

It was not the start Adelaide, their fans or the game itself needed.

The Reds were clearly shellshocked but they picked themselves up commendably and for a while strung a few decent passes together.

Lone striker Cristiano actually managed to find the net with a firm header for the biggest cheer of the night but the fans were denied even this little satisfaction because the goal was disallowed for offside.

There was only pride left for Adelaide to play for in the second half and they could have halved the deficit on the night when Kristian Sarkies narrowly failed to get on the end of a low cross across the face of goal from captain Travis Dodd, who ran himself into the ground on a thankless and frustrating night.

Adelaide sought desperately to reward their loyal fans with a consolation goal but try as they might they could not break down a Gamba defence well marshalled by central defenders Sota Nakazawa and Satoshi Yamaguchi.

After weathering Adelaide’s spirited if disjointed storm, Gamba regathered their hold on the proceedings and were able to coast home in comfort.

Gamba coach Akira Nishino said he thought his side had made a strong claim for the trophy after the first leg in Osaka that yielded a commanding 3-0 lead.

"The first leg certainly gave us a lot of confidence," Nishino said.

"But we were never 100 per cent sure of victory."

-Philip Micallef

 Van Egmond handed four match suspension 12/11/08

Newcastle Jets coach Gary Van Egmond has received a 4 match suspension today, being a 2 match ban, and a 2 match suspended sentence.

More to follow.


Townsville Fury defend name 12/11/2008


THERE'S fury over the Fury but North Queensland FC maintain their name and logo is the right combination as the club inches closer to its A-League debut.

NQFC last week unveiled the club's name, logo and colours of green and white, while officially signing the licence to join the national football competition from 2009/10.

But while it was well received on the day, the logo and name, in particular, have come in for some stinging criticism in online blogs and website forums.

Accusations of failing to embrace the traditionalism of the sport have typified the gripes of football fans unhappy with the direction NQFC took.

Fury chairman Don Matheson has been flooded with calls from southern media looking for a comment on the unfavourable reaction.

But he remained firm the club had made the right call.

"Whatever club has come into the competition I'm sure it won't always please everyone," Matheson said yesterday.

"We realise it's not a traditional name, but really not all the A-League clubs maintain a traditional name _ Sydney FC and Adelaide United are the only ones to do that.

"If you look internationally as the game is evolving, a lot of the clubs are moving away from the traditionalist names to something that is more appropriate for them to build a brand around that people will get behind and I think that is more important."

Matheson said it was worth noting that most of the negative comments were not coming out of the Townsville region where the club will be based.

The Fury was also originally a name chosen by the people.

"I don't think I have really picked up any negative vibes from up here at all," he said.

"On the day it was all well received . . . we went out into the community to get their opinion and this particular name was the most common recommendation."

Further proof NQFC had made the right decision was how quickly Football Federation Australia approved the logo, colours and name, Matheson said.

A process that can take up to a month was passed in just a few days.

Matheson said the critics were often those who knew `very little' about the NQ market.

"They know very little about North Queensland, so they (southern journalists) are giving you a chance to explain what it reflects and what North Queensland's about," he said.

"They tend to back off a little then, but I'm sure they will come back with something else that will annoy them later on down the track.

"If that's generated disappointment from down south, that is something that we can live with _ it's not like they are going to support us anyway."

Meanwhile, defender Robbie Middleby is understood to be close to agreeing to terms to join the Fury from Sydney FC.

Matheson said the club was hopeful of announcing a series of high-profile signings within the next two weeks.

Van Egmond facing a lengthy ban 11/11/2008

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond faces the possibility of a significant sideline ban but Sydney FC's John Kosmina has been cleared after a drama-charged weekend of coaches behaving badly.

Football Federation Australia confirmed yesterday that van Egmond had been given 48 hours to explain his on-field antics at the end of Sunday's 2-2 draw with Perth Glory.

The Jets boss charged on to the field and fronted a bemused Glory attacker Adrian Trinidad, after the Argentine had won a last-minute penalty that helped his side escape with a share of the points.

As players shook hands at the end of the game an angry van Egmond remonstrated with the South American and appeared to suggest he had dived to win the penalty.

The coach could clearly be seen finger waving and verbally admonishing Trinidad, before attempting to go nose-to-nose with the forward.

The situation threatened to flare out of hand as players from both sides rushed in. Van Egmond was eventually dragged clear by Jets youth coach and former Glory defender Craig Deans before he produced more finger waving aimed at referee Matthew Breeze.

He was still very agitated in the dressing room minutes later with television cameras capturing him making a point to several players before he picked up something from a table and threw it on the floor.

While van Egmond had calmed down significantly by the time he fronted the post-match press conference, it appears highly unlikely he will escape sanction. He is facing the possibility of a three to four week ban from the sidelines, which means he will have to watch games from the grandstand.

Kosmina, coach of Adelaide United at the time, was handed a six-match sideline ban after abusing Breeze at the end of the preliminary final against the Jets two seasons ago.

Kosmina left the club at the end of that season and eventually had to serve the suspension after taking charge of Sydney FC after nine rounds last season.

He again found himself in the spotlight on Friday night when he was involved in a verbal clash with opposition coach Ricki Herbert at the end of Sydney's shock 2-1 home loss to Wellington Phoenix.

The former Socceroos captain had walked up to Herbert at the end of the game and told him "you got a lucky break" after the Kiwis had won the match with a last minute penalty.

The pair never got to shake hands with Herbert giving as much as he got before having to be dragged away from Kosmina by an official.

Herbert later accused Kosmina of being disrespectful to Phoenix and a poor loser.

Upset by Kosmina's action, Phoenix officials considered writing a formal letter to FFA, but decided in the end to pursue the matter with Sydney officials.

Sydney FC chief executive Stefan Kamasz said he has spoken to Kosmina about the matter and confirmed he received an email yesterday from his Phoenix opposite number, Tony Pignata.

"As far as they are concerned, the matter is finished," Kamasz said. "They said it was only an exchange of words and nothing else and they are not pursuing it any further. As far as John is concerned, I spoke to him to today and he gave his version of the incident.

"He explained what happened and that there was nothing more than an exchange of words. The matter is now closed."

Meanwhile, Perth Glory skipper Jamie Coyne had his red card overturned after FFA found he was on the end of a case of mistaken identity.

Coyne was sent off by Breeze in the second half of yesterday's match after a tackle on an opponent that also involved team-mate Eugene Dadi.

Tony Popovic pulls plug on A-League glamour club Sydney FC 11/11/08

SYDNEY FC has been rocked after Tony Popovic, one of Australian soccer's most decorated players, announced his immediate retirement.

Popovic is understood to have informed the club yesterday and faced the media today to formally announce the decision.

Popovic, 35, who has been battling injury for most of the A-League season did not want to continue playing knowing he was unable to give his best. He will remain club though as a member of John Kosmina's coaching staff.

“It’s pretty simple for me, at the start of the year I said to myself if ever the day comes that I feel I’ve lost control of my destiny or my body that I would stop,” said Popovic.

“With the few injuries that I’ve had this year it got to the point where I feel that I’ve lost that control and can’t now meet the high expectations I have of myself. After the game on Friday I felt that pain coming and going throughout the match. I felt I needed to stop immediately and I think it’s the right decision.”

He returned to Australia at the start of last season to link with Sydney after a decade playing overseas.

Popovic, one of the few to represent Australia at all levels of international football (under-17s, under-20s, Olyroos and Socceroos), played 27 games and scored one goal during his season and a half with Sydney.

A quality central defender, he played 58 times for the Socceroos (eight goals) including the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

Sydney CEO Stefan Kamasz paid tribute to his out-going captain, describing Popovic as a wonderful human being who has been an inspirational footballer during an outstanding career.

"His skill, professionalism, dedication and leadership qualities have been long recognised by his peers and coaches,” said Kamasz. “He will be sorely missed as a player, but fortunately for Sydney FC, Tony's influence on the team will remain as he becomes a member of John Kosmina's coaching staff."

Popovic added: “The ideal scenario would’ve been to win the league and be standing up there as captain holding the trophy, that is the ultimate way that I wanted to leave the game, but that was taken out of my hands.”

“Winning the Championships is still the main goal of the club and still a goal of mine as part of the team, or part of the coaching staff now, and I want to play some part in seeing that goal achieved.”

“This journey’s come to an end, a very happy one, many great memories, no regrets, and now it’s the start of a new journey in the coaching world.”


Mariners sign D’Apuzzo for extra season  11/11/2008

Central Coast Mariners have signed talented youngster David D’Apuzzo for a further season.

The 20-year old has been super impressive this season after winning his first contract and the club is delighted to retain him for the 2009/2010 A-League season.

"We’re delighted to have extended David’s stay at the Mariners for at least a further season, we’ve been most impressed by his contribution to our Hyundai A-League campaign to date and we’re sure that he has much more to offer our club and football in Australia," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"David’s re-signing is another significant show of intent in regards to the direction of our club in the medium to long-term, that being another tremendously exciting young player signing on for what will be a landmark period for the Mariners.