Ethnic ties have held football back in Australia

A few years ago at work I was asked to show around a new employee, a young Englishman named Michael.

We got to talking and it emerged that Michael was a recent arrival in Australia, and was here to play football semi-professionally. He’d come to Australia to study, but was also playing football for a Victorian Premier League club, who were paying him a small stipend for his work as a central defender.

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

I asked him to compare the quality of the play in England to Australia, and his responses were generally predictable:

  1. England has a higher overall standard of play.
  2. Australia has surprisingly good goalkeepers though.
  3. English leagues are quicker.
  4. Australians are more aggressive

His next point was the one that, I admit, caught me off guard:

  1. There is too much ethnicity wrapped up in Australian football.

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AFL Grand Final Preview 2014 – Hawthorn v Sydney Swans

Every Grand Final Preview essentially is trying to crack the question: who will win the big game? This simple yet somewhat challenging question can baffle even the most expert minds. And at the end of reading these previews you can be scratching your head, seemingly no closer to understanding why Expert Person A has tipped Sydney by 12 points, or why Expert Person B has picked the Hawks in a nail-biter.

Who won’t be fake-smiling at 5.30pm on Saturday?

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The NRL is terrible

That a Melburnian doesn’t like the NRL is not overly surprising.

Ugh. Gross.

After all, I grew up being force-fed a steady diet of AFL, and being told that Rugby League is a rubbish sport. To be honest, I still believe Rugby League is a rubbish sport.

But I will take it a step further: The NRL head office, clubs, players, and fans are all awful too. Yes, based on recent evidence, even the fans are awful.

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Dancing pixels and shattered dreams

Last night a glittering second half hat-trick from Alexis Sanchez saw Arsenal prevail over Hull 3-1, and left me buoyant. The world’s colours shone brighter, food tasted better, and I had a spring in my step.

Encouraged by their solid display, Arsenal immediately changed shirts and backed up for another match (a hugely impressive feat) only to be decimated by a Manchester City shaped steamroller, 6-0.

Shattered… vulnerable… I put down the PS3 controller.

And two minutes later…

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The Pointlessness of the Commonwealth Games.

The coccyx, pinky toes, ear muscles, the appendix, wisdom teeth and the Commonwealth Games. What do all these things have in common?

10968

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Should Brian Lake be in jail?

In my opinion, Brian Lake should have been dragged in front of a Magistrate, not the Match Review Panel.

The Hawthorn defender is currently serving a 4 week suspension for choking North Melbourne’s Drew Petrie. Choking. That means he consciously and violently attempted to deny Petrie oxygen. Check it out.

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Go away, Gary Ablett!

Two days ago we saw one of the most incredible games in World Cup history, with Germany annihilating Brazil 7-1 in the Semi Final.

The game and its implications will reverberate for years to come. People will remember where they were when the Brazilians were humbled. Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as a German team with cliche-levels of efficiency completely dismantled the home nation on one of the biggest stages possible.

Cheer up kid. Maybe you’ve got some German *ahem* ancestry…

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Why Garry Lyon is centimetre perfect

Being a sports commentator is a hallowed and sacred position in the Australian sporting landscape.

We have our preferred commentators, we have those we can’t stand, and we have commentary that becomes synonymous with moments in time.

Jesaulenko, you beauty.

Leo Barry, you star.

This, is a famous victory.

Oh it’s a wonderful moment in Kaiserslautern!

But I have a problem with Australian sport commentary. And it struck me during Australia’s recent World Cup matches, which I watched at 2am while involved in numerous simultaneous SMS conversations with friends also watching the matches.

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World Cup 2014 – The Mike or The Don Analysis

Friday it kicks off – the big dance, the big show, the main event. THE WORLD CUP! Every 4 years we set our body clocks to nocturnal and enjoy the extravaganza that is football! Now at this time you can read any type of preview imaginable – from your basic break down of each team and their star players to ones that can state which team will win based upon the selections of an ocelot.

Case in point

So at Mike or The Don we have stripped back all the fluff and have compiled arguably the most comprehensive form guide to give you all a slightly different perspective of each team’s chances heading into the World Cup. Continue reading

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How Australia can win the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Here at Mike or The Don, we think the FIFA World Cup is the greatest sporting event on earth.

We are stocking up on Red Bull, napping at the office, and experimenting with not-quite-legal medication in an effort to retune our body clocks to Brazilian time.

Most pundits are writing off Australia as having no chance. We are not most pundits.

We’ve done the homework for you, investigated our competition, and have come up with this sure-fire, can’t-miss, lock-it-in-eddie guaranteed plan that will win Australia the World Cup.

Allow yourself to imagine those hands belong to Mile Jedinak!

Laughable, you say? Well, let’s break it down, MoTD-style.  Continue reading

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