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?
I asked him to compare the quality of the play in England to Australia, and his responses were generally predictable:
- England has a higher overall standard of play.
- Australia has surprisingly good goalkeepers though.
- English leagues are quicker.
- Australians are more aggressive
His next point was the one that, I admit, caught me off guard:
- There is too much ethnicity wrapped up in Australian football.