Page 1











pg 5 Editorial – The Keepers’ Issue


pg 6 Johnny Told Us So pg 8 7 Things you should know about being an agent pg 10 Txt Msg Interview with Brad McDonald pg 11 180degrees with Tommy Smyth pg 14 What if the A-League was on Free-to-air FEATURES

pg 14 Bang Bang Barisic – Aussies in

Indonesia pg 18 Spider, The Man pg 24 Adam Federici – Australia’s Number Two on being Number One pg 30 Edwin van der Sar pg 40 Blue Steel – Carlton SC 10 Years On THE ZONE

pg 36 In the Zone – Games, Bluray, Books,

Cars pg 38 The United Colours of Football THE A-Z 4

pg 46 The A-Z of Goalkeepers



The Keepers’ Issue PREPARED FOR by 14 Risley Street RICHMOND VIC 3121 AUSTRALIA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mark van Aken +61 (0)3 8415 8413 EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Michael Tarquinio SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR Kieran Pender CONTRIBUTORS Paddy Higgs, Sebastian Hassett, Dr John Bonacci, John Iannantuono, Eli Pfefferberg GRAPHIC DESIGNER Carmela D’Alesio PHOTOGRAPHY

ADVERTISING & PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Mark van Aken +61 (0)3 8415 8413 0433 10 10 32 Andy Gusman +61 (0)3 8415 8413 ©Green and Gold Army Pty Ltd 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of publication. Green and Gold Army Pty Ltd can not accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Green and Gold Army Pty Ltd a license to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine.

How many world-class guns has Australia really turned out? Kewell, yes. Viduka, uh-huh. Johnston, Marsden, some would say Okon. What about Bosnich, Kalac and Schwarzer, just to name three in the immediate era. We’ve always produced keepers that can compete on the biggest stage at a better rate than the outfield equivalent. And that’s saying something, because let’s face it, statistically 91 per cent of the team are outfielders. Theoretically we should be turning out centre-halves and strikers at a greater rate than custodians. My theory? In Australia, even if your official experience with sport begins at your local football club at age five and takes you through to retirement, in this country you’re exposed to ball sports that involve your hands. Think cricket, Aussie Rules, the rugby codes, netball and basketball. Australians spend time with ball-in-hand for much of our recreational time. As silly as it sounds, that isn’t the case in most other nations. For mine this explains why we’re sound at churning out number ones, and not so great with filling spots two through XI on the team sheet. Thus this issue we cast the spotlight on those between the sticks, including a very enjoyable chat with Zeljko Kalac, a legend of the Australian game who’s never short of an opinion. We also go one-on-one with Adam Federici, a player we know far too little about. From a foreign perspective we also feature recently retired Man United and Holland champion Edwin van der Sar. We’re slowly finding our feet at ITYS and are tinkering a little with the formula as we go along. Soon, we’ll soon be incorporating iPad and Andriod apps. In the meantime feel free to share the mag with your tweeps and facebook friends.



The fact that we can sit and watch Kewell, Viduka, Bosnich, Okon, Schwarzer, Tiatto, Aloisi, Lazaridis, Slater and Filan playing in the English Premier League, to list just one competition, is a scenario which is still very difficult to believe. To think that Australian players are now so sought after by European teams and that there are so many Australian players who earn a professional living in the big leagues of the world is remarkable. To see Kewell and Viduka play in the European Champions League and display a skill level that surpasses nearly every other player; to watch them play Real Madrid, the football club of the century, and for them to be amongst the best performers just blows my mind. The story of the young guns is summed up in one word – opportunity. Today’s players are benefiting from other people’s groundwork. The Australian team was something that used to be, quite literally, thrown together at the last minute. If a game was scheduled for South Australia, a team of crow-eaters would be formed to save on travel costs – the typical approach of Australian soccer many years ago. When the game moved to Victoria, the team would be reselected and filled with Victorians. The boys would meet each other for the first time in the dressing room before the game. That would sometimes be the extent of the relationship of the ‘teammates.’ The Australian players of today are products of a dramatically improved Australian system, one that has been refined over the years. They bear testament to the evolution of the local scene that was once an importer of talent and is now, in basic economic terms, an exporting nation with a string of clients queuing to purchase its football products: our worthy Australian players.


O S YOU - Johnny Warren MBE, OAM

From 'Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters' courtesy of Random House Publishing

EARLY DOORS EDITORIAL Spain coach Vicente del Bosque says that the intense Real-Barca rivalry has left wounds within the national team.


It’s not just about negotiating playing contracts - our services can be as diverse as assisting with home purchases to sourcing movie premiere tickets. You can be a relationship counselor, career adviser, coach, buyer’s advocate, and many more things to a client.


I am literally sent hundreds of DVD’s and CV’s each month – my favourites are from the 34 year olds that “just haven’t been discovered yet” and need their "big chance”. Or those that contain a photo of said wannabe player with an arm around Ronaldinho in a café as proof of their talents!


I am not a magician. If you are injured, out of form or just crap, there is nothing that even David Copperfield can do for you. It’s amazing how many players (or their parents) blame their agents for their lack of career progression, when the real answer is staring at them in the mirror.





You can’t study for this as a career. I often get asked by people how they can get into the industry. There is no real answer, there are certainly no courses – you have to find your own way in. You make your own luck. It's a very ruthless business and bullshi*ters quickly get found out and don’t last long. It’s not as glamorous as it looks, and it’s bloody hard work.


It is one of the biggest misnomers in the game that agents drain money from the sport. On the contrary, (good) agents make the game rich. Not just in terms of money (though the sport would suffer terribly if it wasn’t for the transfer fees generated by agents for clubs by selling their players), but also by sourcing and introducing the next generation of talent. Agents often have a dual role as scouts.


We are licensed by our national associations (not FIFA). We are required to maintain our own professional

indemnity insurance and re-take the examination for the license every five years. Contrary to public belief, it is actually a much-regulated profession. Whether or not the regulations are adequately policed is another matter… and a constant bone of contention for licensed agents.


Agents need to be flexible and stay focused in the face of minor obstacles. Such as running out of space for a 7th point!

EARLY DOORS EDITORIAL Legendary Argentine club River Plate have been relegated for the first time in their 110-year history.


Q: Who is the next captain of the Socceroos? 1st TIM CAHILL 31%

the txt msg interview w. Brad McDonald ITYS: Hi Brad, how are you? Firstly we’ll get the serious Q out of the way, how did u find this year’s season?

Brad McDonald: G’day Kieran im good thanks. Well last year i was playing for the fury so judging by our results it was tough but I really enjoyed it.

ITYS: Good to hear. You spent last year under Franz Straka, well known for being a bit crazy. What’s he like? BM: He was good. A crowd pleaser, everyone in NQ loved him! ITYS: Especially that suit! Who’s the funniest guy in the CCM squad? BM: They are all a good bunch but i would say its out of McBreen or Hutchinson. ITYS: Now I hear you live with Justin Pasfield, and have an interesting arrangement regarding house hold chores. Care to fill us in? BM: Haha yeah well i obviously knew him from Townsville, but yes we have an arrangement. Justin cooks for me and i clean. It works out well because if anyone wants to cook for me im not going to argue. ITYS: Haha fair enough. What’s the worst thing about being a pro footballer?

Luke Wilkshere 27% None of this lot 17% Harry Kewell 11% Brett Emerton 6% Mark Schwarzer 5% Carl Valeri 3% 10


BM: To be honest, I cant think of one. I think its the best job in the world, getting paid for doing something you love. ITYS: Lucky! And finally, tell us 1 thing most people don’t know about u? BM: Ahhh most people don’t know but im learning how to play guitar ITYS: Cool

Well thanks for talking to ITYS!

BM: No worries mate. Have a good day!

By Kieran Pender


Tommy Smyth What was your first job in the media industry? I emigrated from Ireland to the USA in 1963. I had always missed the loss of the music and the news from Ireland, (remember the internet was only a dream at that time), so I went out and bought

myself a half hour on a local station in the NY area. I sold ads and financed the show myself, and that was in 1969.

the studio for Press Pass. Then back on to the net to wrap up the day and have a look ahead to the next day.

Run us through a day in the life of a sports journalist. It depends on the time of games and like in Australia it can be a challenge with early European games here in the US. First thing I do is get on the net, what a mighty tool the net is. I read the papers from the country where the game is being played. I check out ESPN Soccernet see what kind of tidbits they may have for me. If I am also doing Press Pass that day we have a production meeting and discuss topics for the show. Off to lunch and then generally do the game. Then I catch up on action from other games, before heading to

Favourite interviewee? David Beckham, who was so open and just a pleasure to deal with. I interviewed him four different times and he was always the same, a real nice lad. View on goal line technology? Always said the most important moment in football is when a goal is scored. We must know for sure if the ball was in the net or not. We live in an age where we don't have to guess ‘if it’s a bulge in the auld onion bag,’ we can tell for sure with a camera. It has to happen, the sooner the better as far as I am concerned. ITYS By Kieran Pender

Home Profile Find People Settings Help Signout



@Paddy_Higgs Find it hard to believe that after just one season at a major club, #VillasBoas has over £13 million just lying around. @lesmurraySBS There are plenty of football people in Sydney to connect to - probably around a million. Don't need tourists. @sebth I find it curious when non-football writers wade into football and then try to fit their existing understandings to the game. Cringeworthy. @Gatty54 Great scenes now..Pele holding hand in air with Santos coach!!! Now that is what it is all about



EARLY DOORS EDITORIAL The South Korean Media have reported an ex-national team goalkeeper has admitted to match-fixing.

WHAT IF... THE A-LEAGUE If on Channel 7, it would be neatly slotted between an Air Supply infomercial and the American Today Show.

WAS ON FREE-TO-AIR? There’d be one more sport on freeTV for angry pensioners to complain about on talkback radio.

It would probably be on One HD... meaning most people still wouldn’t see it. Gold Coast United would still draw crowds on par with your little cousin’s Saturday morning under-9’s game.

Your uncle Gianni wouldn’t have to watch the state league highlights on Channel 31 for his weekly football fix.

FFA’s annual TV rights deal would mirror the wage bill of your average third-division Tasmanian team — what’s two-fifths of f**k all?

Pim might’ve actually caught a game – word is he was too thrifty to pay for Foxtel.






BARISIC Every year thousands of Australian holiday-makers board flights bound for the sun and sand of Bali’s beaches, the relaxing rice-terraced ranges of Ubud, or the cosmopolitan metropolis of Jakarta. 2011, however, has proven to be a record year for Australian footballers venturing to Indonesia in pursuit of their round ball dreams, with the controversial Liga Primer Indonesia (LPI) the destination of choice for the intrepid Aussie professional. WORDS BY BEN O'NEILL


o less than 14 Australian footballers have had their passports stamped and subsequently made their way to their respective LPI clubs, making Australia the leading provider of imports to the currently unratified league. One Australian to have joined the rogue competition is 25-year-old former A-League striker Andrew Barisic. Linking with leading side Persebaya 1927, Barisic’s form in the first half of the LPI season has earned him rave reviews in Indonesian football circles, cult status among his clubs hardcore support, and perhaps most importantly, revitalised his playing career after a stop-start spell with Gold Coast United. Speaking with ITYS Magazine on his return to Australia, Barisic said his shift to the East Javan municipality of Surabaya – a city known to locals as “the city of heroes” thanks to its role in the Indonesian National Revolution – had made him “happy” with his football again. “The coach (former Indonesian international Aji Santoso) has placed a lot of confidence in me,” the ex Melbourne Knights attacker said. “He’s given me the opportunity to play 90

minutes week in week out, and when you’ve got the confidence of the coach it helps a lot on the field.” “He’s (Santoso) always finding out what the players think and talking to each player individually, asking what needs to be changed and what could be improved upon.” Rewarding Santoso’s belief in his ability, Barisic has netted eight goals in 11 games since making the switch to “the green crocodiles”. Indeed, Barisic’s consistent capacity to bulge the back of the net in the colours of his new club helped lift Persebaya to the top of LPI prior to the competition’s pause (more on that later), ranking him as the fourth deadliest striker in the league. It’s these same prolific statistics that inspired Persebaya’s management to extend Barisic’s working visa for another year in anticipation of the player signing on for 2012, and perhaps beyond. “I’ve only signed a deal for one season however the club has indicated they want me to stay,” he said. “When I got to Indonesia it took a little while to settle in but everyone at the club was very welcoming so I can definitely see myself there long term.” ITYS MAGAZINE


The prospect of playing regular first team football remains the key driver behind Barisic’s move to Indonesia’s second largest city; however the fervour for football exhibited by Persebaya’s fans may prove to be one of the deciding factors in ensuring his stay there is extended. One of Indonesia’s best supported football clubs, Persebaya possesses an avid and notorious following known as ‘Bonek’ – a term which literally translates to “the reckless people”. With a reputation for violence and hooliganism, Barisic says ‘Bonek’ are working hard to change their standing within Surabayan and Indonesian society while at the same time staying steadfastly loyal to the vociferous, synchronised support they show for their side. “The fans here are incredible and the players truly appreciate what they do,” he said. “They travel to games with no money in massive numbers and they’re trying to change their image by displaying peaceful signs and moving away from violence.” “We played Persema Malang in a top-of-the-table match in May, and tickets sold out in 25 minutes. Our stadium (the Gelora 10 November Stadium) fits 30,000 people so that was pretty impressive and set a new LPI record.” Barisic said. Like fans of the A-League, LPI clubs, players and aficionados currently have to cool their heels in anticipation of the recommencement of the local competition. The second half of the LPI season was due to have started on June 11, however Indonesian media reports now indicate phase two of the league will in fact kick off on September 17 – some three months later than first scheduled, and a year to the day that the original ‘Indonesian Football Reform Movement’ declaration was presented in Jakarta. Indeed, it has been widely recognised that FIFA has asked the PSSI (Indonesian Football 16


Association) to embrace the controversial league during its Congress to be held in Solo this July, however LPI spokesperson Abi Hasantoso told ITYS via Twitter it was a case of wait and see. Hasantoso added that should LPI be sanctioned by the PSSI, LPI is “open to the opportunity” for other clubs to join the competition from the Indonesian Super League (ISL). This would ultimately create one dominant professional division under the auspices of the original LPI reform directive. Barisic believes the addition of influential clubs still playing in the ISL – such as Persija Jakarta, Arema Malang and Sriwijaya FC – to LPI would be a positive for Indonesian football on the whole, so long as they’re integrated correctly. “It’s in a bit of limbo at the moment,” he said. “But if it does happen I think it will be a great thing for the league and Indonesian football.”

“Bringing the best clubs together under a proper structure ought to create a very good competition.” Barisic is set to head back to Surabaya in late July or early August to resume training with his club, however he won’t have to wait till he touches down on Indonesian soil to reconnect with the 13 other Australians based in LPI. A large proportion of the players who are potentially helping pioneer the brave new world of Indonesian football have taken to Twitter as a means of keeping in touch and chronicling their experiences in the world’s largest archipelago. While their 140-character entries may seem to be relatively insignificant pieces of information at this stage, the tweets may one day be held in far greater esteem then even the players themselves could imagine – as documentary evidence of the monumental and powerful evolution in Indonesian football they helped occur. ITYS



SPIDER,THE MAN A legend of the Australian game, Željko Kalac is arguably one of our most decorated goalkeepers. He’s won a swag of trophies in Europe, including the prestigious Champions League, and has racked up more than 50 Socceroos caps. He’s now back in his home country, setting the record straight on Australian football, his illustrious playing career, and who, out of Mark Bosnich, Mark Schwarzer and himself, was really the best keeper. WORDS BY KIERAN PENDER – SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR I IMAGES BY GETTY IMAGES


fter exchanging pleasantries with ITYS, Kalac is quickly telling it how it is, and holds no prisoners as he discuss the standard of football he’s came back to after spending so long overseas. “I’ve been so disappointed since I’ve came back to Australia, I’ve been so disappointed with the whole attitude in Australia about football. I’m almost at the stage where I’m willing to walk away from the game.” While the former-Socceroo would be interested in helping out, he says the FFA isn’t interested. “They don’t want me! They said to me, ‘Spider put in your application so I can squeeze you into the goalkeeper coaching course.’ I need to be putting in an application to do the course so I can get a job. That’s the kind of respect we get for what we’ve done. That’s sad. In other countries and other teams, the Barcelona’s, the AC Milan’s, they get their ex-players coming back and coaching, because they played under the system. Here they don’t want the ex-players!” Another of his gripes with the FFA is the lack of an A-League club in

Western Sydney. Although a license was awarded for the area, the project collapsed and has let AFL move into the district without competition. “The biggest club in Australia, in the A-League, will be a Western Sydney team. And the team has to be played out of the Fairfield area. Because what they’ve done is try to get rid of the ethnics, get rid of the wogs. But those people are the bread and butter of the game. And the biggest club in the A-League will have their support. But these people don’t want to listen.” While the Australian government has recently announced a new report into football in Australia, potentially a Crawford report mark two, Kalac does not see the point of the Smith Review. “What the hell do we need another report for? Report for what? We’re having teams come in and out of the A-League because we’ve got no money. Frank Lowy’s been in charge and has done a fantastic job, but at the end of the day our game is lacking one thing and one thing only from becoming a bigger and better and more concrete sport, and that’s money. But no one’s going to put into it! They’ve already

used all the government money, so now we have to fund ourselves. And how are we going to do that?” The A-League also doesn’t escape comment from Kalac, with the formerAC Milan star not impressed by the national league. “It’s just a disappointment. It’s just a disaster. We’re lucky to have guys like Nathan Tinkler. We’re lucky Melbourne people know how to structure football clubs. But at the end of the day, how long are the owners willing to keep losing money?” So how do we fix the A-League then? Kalac is adamant that one thing will improve the standard of the league, the one thing that the FFA seems to be currently lacking. “You bring money into the game, you get better players. You get better players, you get bigger crowds. It’s as simple as that. Why do 80,000 people turn up at the San Siro every week? The Nou Camp? Old Trafford? It’s because of the players.” But getting that money is a problem. Other than television rights, the FFA will not receive any major income boost until the next World Cup



and Asian Cup, which Kalac believes is a serious problem. “Television is the big key here. The FFA is bleeding, they’ve got no money, and they’re not going to get any government assistance. We’ve got the World Cup in 2014, Asian Cup in 2015, so we’re talking three and four years away, and our governing body has no income until then. How do they survive? How does the game survive up until then? These are the logical things that are out there for everyone to see, yet somehow this all gets covered up.” Yet despite the doom and gloom, the 38-year-old still maintains that football has a major future in Australia. “There is no sport in the world that can draw a crowd and draw in the public and the imagination of people like football. Give them the right product and they’ll turn up. But it all comes back to the dollars.” With the state of the game out of the way, it’s time to look back on Kalac’s career. The giant keeper started life in the NSL, before moving to Leicester City. However problems attaining a work permit meant he was soon back in Australia, until he earned a move to Holland several years later. From there, Kalac went to Italy, where he played for Perugia and AC Milan, before ending his career in Greece with Kavala. So, which of the clubs did the keeper enjoy playing for the most? “I enjoyed playing for all of them. My career probably spiralled in the right direction. I went to Roda, and that was brilliant. And even the short time at Leicester. It was probably actually a god-send that I had the work permit problem, because the way my career ended up was great. Had I got my work permit in England, I doubt I’d have ever left. Because there are so many leagues, so many clubs, once you’re embroiled in that society there’s no reason to go anywhere else. So I’m probably quite glad that I had all the work permit problems.” 20





Kalac also thinks he was very lucky throughout his footballing career, with the keeper believing he was in the right place at the right time. “Every club I was at, I was probably there at the right time. I played at Roda in Holland for four years, which was brilliant. I was young, and it was a great age to be living in Holland and playing in football. Then from there I moved to Perugia, which was a pressure cooker. It was a small club, who had a madhouse president, but we had a fantastic team. We had guys like Grosso, who won the World Cup, it was a great team. But it



was all about survival at the club, so you learn different things. He does however highlight how hard it was at AC Milan, citing the constant pressure to win as an aspect not everyone understands. “I probably would have loved to have gone to Milan a year earlier, because you work so hard there. People don’t realise how hard it is to be a Milan player. It’s not just about playing football, it’s about everything. Personality, training, the amount of travelling, and the amount of discipline you need.

“At Milan everything is easy when you’re winning, they’re built to win. So when they lose, it’s like someone has died. The pressure of putting up with not winning matches was the hardest thing. When you lost there was no laughing in the dressing room, not talking about where we were going out. It was heads down, we need to win the next game. The whole club was built on winning.” At Milan, Kalac played several seasons in the Champions League, and claims this, above the World Cup, was the best competition he has every played in.

“I think if you speak to any player who has played in the Champions League, they’ll tell you there is not a competition in the world like it. It’s by far the best competition in the world. It’s the dream of every club, every player, to win the Champions League. “The World Cup is a massive stage, but at the end of the day only three or four countries can win it, and the rest of the countries are just making up the numbers. The World Cup comes up every four years, whereas the Champions League is every year. The World Cup was great, but for me the Champions League is the best tournament in the world.” Now retired from professional football, Kalac is a member of the SBS panel for Champions League and Europa League games, which the keeper says he is really enjoying. “I’m doing the Champions League coverage, which is fantastic for me because it’s my favourite competition. I obviously played in it, so I think I know the mentality of teams in the competition.” Is he interested in continuing further into the media, or is a coaching or managerial position more enticing? “I’m interested in everything, but the problem is the opportunities aren’t there. There are ten teams in the A-League, and there are all these people out there doing their C, B and A licenses and getting charged a ridiculous amount of money to do it. And then there are ten opportunities. What’s the point?” And finally, Kalac’s generation of goalkeepers is widely heralded as the best Australia has ever produced. Mark Bosnich, Mark Schwarzer and Kalac all played at the highest level, and battled it out for the Socceroos spot. But who was the best? Who would he have in his dream XI? “I’d say at his peak, Bozza was the best.” ITYS










202 160 5






2 INTO 1

Aged only 26, Adam Federici could feasibly be Australia’s number one for the next ten or so years. That is, if he ever gets a chance. Despite being one of the Socceroos’ best keepers, the amazing form of incumbent Mark Schwarzer means Federici has only made a handful of appearances for the Green and Gold. But don’t think that a tough road to the top will stop Reading’s shot stopper, who showed resilience beyond his years on a tricky road to professional football. WORDS BY KIERAN PENDER – SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR I IMAGES BY GETTY IMAGES


s his frantic season was drawing to a close, Federici was kind enough to sit down with ITYS and tell us about his Socceroo future, the difficult road to English club football, and why he never considered switching to the Azzurri. With Brad Jones having to withdraw from the 2010 World Cup due to personal reasons, the tournament in South Africa gave Adam Federici the chance to make his mark on the national team; to prove beyond doubt that he should take over when Schwarzer steps down. And although he didn’t make it onto the pitch, Federici still believes the tournament was a great experience and helped him improve his game. “Obviously to be involved in the World Cup was fantastic. It was extremely hard work, it was a long time to be away, but it was a great experience for me – although unfortunately I didn’t get on. But the experience served me well for the season ahead.” But while Schwarzer may have been in his way in 2010, it won’t be long till 24


the Socceroos legend steps down and Federici, along with a host of others, fight it out for the number one spot. Is Federici confident that he’ll be able to take over when his mentor steps down? “I’ve played a lot of games in the last few years – and at a very high standard. So I’m used to playing, and when I’ve stepped in previously for the Socceroos, I’ve proved that I can play at an international level. So I don’t see why not. But there’s a lot of competition for that spot. It ultimately comes down to the manager to pick the team, and it’s only a good thing when you’ve got more than one or two options.” The competition the 26-year-old mentions is wide and varied, with a number of high class keepers plying their trade in Europe, along with a bunch of young prodigies. Nathan Coe and Brad Jones are both experienced keepers, while the likes of Mitch Langerak, Dean Bouzanis and Alex Cisak are all going to be pushing for the spot. “There’s a lot to choose from, they’re all good goalkeepers, and that can only be a positive thing. Some of them are at big clubs, and others are

just playing in Europe, and it’s good to have that experience.” Despite being arguably Australia’s second best keeper, Federici has only made a handful of appearances for the Socceroos. But he tells ITYS that ultimately, he can’t be too hard on himself, given the legendary custodian in front of him. “Of course it is disappointing [not to have played more for the Socceroos]. Especially with the form I’ve been in at club level, but I can’t complain too much because Mark’s a tremendous goalkeeper who has been one of the best keepers in the Premiership for the last ten years or so. So it is a bit frustrating, but you can’t get too down, because when you’ve got someone of that calibre in front of you, you can’t really do too much about it.” Before the World Cup, rumours circulated that Federici had been approached by European powerhouse Italy about changing international allegiances, given his Italian heritage. But the keeper strongly refutes that he ever considered switching. “No I didn’t consider it at all. I’m Australian through and through, and



if you knew me personally you’d know that there’s no way I would have made that choice. Even if I’d never played for Australia I’d still be putting my name forward for the Green and Gold. So that was never a choice to be made.” However, before he can cement his place in the Australian side, he needs Schwarzer to move aside. But with the legend showing no signs of stepping down – and with Federici an integral part of his current club side Reading – is there any chance the keeper will be asking Socceroos boss Holger Osieck to not call on him for World Cup qualifiers? “That’s his decision. I want to play for my country, everyone wants to play for their country, and getting into the team is my ultimate goal. But if not, I’ll just continue to work hard and play well and continue racking up the games until I’m noticed.” Osieck has revived the weary Socceroos, and good performances in the Asian Cup and recent friendlies have strengthened his popularity. And while Federici hasn’t spent much time with the German manager, he is complimentary of his work, as well as the work of predecessor Pim Verbeek. “I haven’t worked with Osieck much apart from the Poland game, so I can’t really make a comparison [between Osieck and Pim Verbeek]. But he seems like a good manager. Obviously he plays a little different to Pim. But Pim was a terrific manager as well. I’m sure from all the results he’s had in the Asian Cup, and against Germany, that he’s doing a great job.” Before representing the Socceroos, Federici had also played for both the Olyroos and Young Socceroos. He was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing showing at the Beijing Olympics, and reflects to ITYS on his experience playing for the national youth teams. “To say you’re an Olympian is obviously a big thing, and to play against the teams we did, although 26


SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? It may be a classic song by British rockers The Clash, but it’s also a big discussion in many Australian football circles. While some argue going to Europe early is beneficial for the development of young footballers, others believe that playing for several years in the A-League before a move to Europe is a better career path. The FFA is certainly sticking with the later, with strict controls on players moving overseas before they turn 18. Given Federici moved to England as a teenager, who better to ask for thoughts on the argument. “When I left there wasn’t really a league to go into, but it seems now, although obviously I’m not there so I can’t really comment, it seems like the league is really strong at the minute. So there’s obviously a case for that, since the league’s picking up, that maybe players could stay a bit longer, and start and finish their careers in Australia. And it’s only going to get better, especially with the success of the Socceroos helping it along.” And while Federici may not have started in the A-League, he claims there’s every possibility he’ll finish in it. “Of course [I’d like to finish my career in the A-League]! Hopefully there will be a team in Wollongong so I wouldn’t have to move too far. I’d love to play in Australia one day, it’s definitely something I’d like to do eventually, but I’ve got a lot of box. TIF THIS IS FEDERICI É please click play we didn’t do that well, was great. Playing in big games, big situations, was great. It was a tremendous experience for myself.” “And I played in the U20 World Cup in Holland [in 2005] and again that was a great experience. It’s like a stepping stone going into the national team, it’s a really good set-up in Australia, and that’s why the national team excels like it does.” But while he may now be the Socceroos number-two custodian, and an integral part of the Reading team, it wasn’t always that way for the keeper. Federici had a rocky start to club life in England, trialling at several clubs but failing to bed down a place (other than a short stint at Wolverhampton

Wanderers). He then spent time at Italian side Torres, which the 26-yearold admits was an interesting move. “I think I played a few cup games for them, but I was quite young and really I was just looking for a team, and they took me on. It was a good experience I suppose, and all these things build your character.” The keeper then signed for Reading, and spent a number of years on loan before finally securing a first team spot at the club. But Federici claims that the time spent on loan was instrumental for his development as a footballer. “I think you always need to play football at that time of your development. Obviously no-one knew who I was, so I had to start at the



“...BEING A GOALKEEPER IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE THEN IT’S THERE FOR EVERYONE TO SEE, BUT THANKFULLY I HAVEN’T HAD TOO MANY. ” bottom. But for a goalkeeper it’s still the same game, it’s still the same shape ball, you’re still doing the same job! I just needed games, and as I said before it was character building that has definitely helped now.” The Nowra-born star is now the number-one at Reading, and sadly lost to Swansea in the Championship play-off final. Federici did however suffer an injury earlier in the season, and initially struggled to regain his place in the side ahead of 21-yearold Alex McCarthy. So was he ever worried he might have lost his spot in goals? “No not really, I’ve done a lot at the club and played a lot of games for them. He’s a good young goalkeeper, but with the play-offs looming you need a bit of experience. Obviously he kept me out for a little while, but I was just glad to be back playing.” Earlier in the year, British press reported that Liverpool FC were interested in Federici, but the keeper doesn’t want to divulge too much about any potential contact between the Premier League side and Reading. “That sort of thing is between the two clubs. I’ll just say there was

never really a decision to make. It’s always good though having interest from other clubs, because it shows how far you’ve come.” Before moving to England, Federici spent time at the Australian Institute of Sport, which he says was an important developmental step in his career. “It was brilliant. Reading has actually just signed a couple of boys from the AIS [brothers Cameron and Ryan Edwards], and I think the thing that people are most impressed about is just the professionalism. That’s what the whole thing is about, learning how to be a professional footballer. I enjoyed my time and obviously learnt a lot, which helped me when I came to England. When you do come over here, you don’t get told how to be a professional, you’re just expected to be. So to learn that at the AIS helps a lot and makes a big difference.” Since leaving the AIS, Federici has been on the professional football path, but as he tells ITYS, it’s not all the glamorous life that the media like to portray. “There have been plenty of highs, but obviously it’s the lows you really remember. Being a goalkeeper if you make a mistake then it’s there for everyone to see, but thankfully I haven’t had too many. One of the highs would be scoring a goal against Cardiff, which was quite funny. “Playing in the Premiership was definitely a high; playing at Old Trafford was great. In terms of lows, it took me three years to find a club before anyone would give me a chance to play. Coming from Australia no one knows who you are, so it took a while for someone to give me a chance. So that was definitely one of the low points for me.” Federici believes that time spent searching for a chance was instrumental in his development as a footballer, and recalls the difficulties he had. “Obviously it’s tough spending years travelling around trying to find

a club. I think the main thing was just that no-one would give me a chance. They said I was good enough, but they couldn’t take the risk on me. So there were moments when it was frustrating, especially at a young age, but once I got my chance I took it with both hands and three games later I was playing at Old Trafford. But there were moments when I was thinking about chucking it in.” Although the keeper may have struggled then, he now has extra help in the form of compatriot Schwarzer, with Federici claiming the custodian is always happy to give advice. “I speak to Mark quite regularly, and get advice from him. He’s not too far away, and he keeps an eye on me, which is nice of him. It’s great to get advice from such an experienced goalkeeper.” With a number of high profile Australian footballers on the verge of stepping down from national team football, the Socceroos may be about to undergo a period of change. And while this is something that worries Australian fans and media alike, Federici is reassured about the future of the Socceroos. “I know there will be a lot of talk about it [the future of the Socceroos], because we’ve had a lot of terrific players and the likes of Timmy [Cahill] and Lucas [Neill] and Harry [Kewell] are probably coming towards the end of their careers. So there’ll be a nervous stage, and there’ll be a transition stage – but we’ve got a lot of talent coming through both in Europe and back home, so I don’t see why we can’t continue to be successful. I’m sure they’ll be a lot more new faces in the next few years.” And finally, after scoring a couple of goals for Reading, does Federici have any plans to ditch the keeping gloves for the iconic number nine – maybe ask Osieck to put him alongside Josh Kennedy? “I do like to play a bit in training, but I don’t think I’ll be making the move up front any time soon!” ITYS ITYS MAGAZINE




Saying farewell on a high note, it is not in the stars for everyone. For Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar another championship ensured this would be the case, even if the ultimate goal of European glory fell 90 minutes short. Kevin McCarthy sits down with one of the true monuments to the keeping craft. INTERVIEW BY KEVIN MCCARTHY I IMAGES BY GETTY IMAGES


dwin, when I watch you play, you look as if you could continue for another ten years. Why did you decide that you would retire at the end of the season? I think it has been coming for a while. And after playing so many years, you come to a point in your career where you have to make a decision about what you’re going to do. I think it’s a wise decision to stop playing for United and start doing something else after May. But you are playing so well. It just seems like a shame. Thank you very much for that. But there’s a couple of things to consider. 1) Have you still got the appetite for it? 2) How is the family. At certain points you have to start looking at yourself also. How good are you still? Can you still bring that top top level that is needed at Manchester United? I have been quite happy with my form and the things that I achieve on the pitch. I just want to keep it on a high level. What did Alex Ferguson say when you told him? I think he knew it had been coming for a while, to be fair. I can’t be Superman 30


and keep playing in my 40s. It has been a mutual decision and we agreed that this was the best decision. You referred to your family earlier. How is your wife? We know she was ill last year. It was a little bit longer than a year ago and she is doing really well and coming back strong. She’s still working really hard to get that last ten per cent to make a full recovery. The club has been great and the players also. I think the main thing is that my wife worked hard to do that herself. You mentioned the help the club gave you. How important was that? The club’s support was incredible and it really helped me and my wife. It is unbelievable how the manager, the players and everyone connected with United have helped my family to get through it. They gave us so much warmth and some lovely messages of hope. United also allowed me to take my time to come back and granted me the peace and quiet that I needed to sort things out for my family. Nobody expects this sort of thing to happen. When a crisis like this occurs inside your family you need support and we have a lovely warm

feeling about the massive support the club gave us. It has really made a big impression on me. Manchester United are a family club, a very warm club with strong ties between everyone, with some people who have been there for more than 35 years. Of course, United also have to take tough decisions at times because they are a big club, but I found out then that players like myself can always rely on that family bond when you need it most. What do you plan to do with your life when there are no football matches, no training? I’ve had a long time to think about it. At the moment I’m just looking forward to doing a couple of things: a couple of long holidays with the children. A summer without a preseason. As for what I do beyond that, you never know. It could be in football, maybe something in business or looking at doing something for United also. I think there are so many options nowadays in the football world. We’ll just have to see. As you mentioned, you have been hinting at retirement for a long time –

almost from the moment you arrived at United in 2005. You must be so glad that you have spent six years at Old Trafford and won so many trophies. Yes. Every season I always treated it like it could be my last year because you never know what’s coming. When I came here, I was happy just to sign a two-year contract and see how it goes. I just wanted to try to win the league before I retired. Luckily I achieved a little bit more than that and prolonged a little bit longer than the two years I originally planned.

stays with you for the rest of your life. You want to have one or two of those moments in your life and luckily I’m one of the few who has been fortunate enough to have those moments. One thing I always wanted was to make a particular save that you would always be remembered for. Stopping what proved to be the last penalty in a Champions League final is that moment — something you will cherish for the rest of your life, because you know how important that was for the players, the club and yourself.

And it probably goes without saying that the high point was the Champions League final in Moscow 2008, when you saved the decisive penalty from Nicolas Anelka in the shoot-out. Yes, of course. But it wasn’t my best save ever or anything like that. It wasn’t that difficult.

Alex Ferguson often says that he wishes he had signed you six years earlier when Peter Schmeichel retired. Do you share that regret? Yeah. I spoke with the boss about it and he admitted that. Of course I enjoyed it here. It would have been nice to be here a couple of years longer. You can say that you wish you had a couple more years, but that’s life. You don’t always get what you want at the right time. At least I’m happy that we finally managed to get together and have a good couple of years.

No, but it was still a very good save. Well, you dive to the left or you dive to the right and luckily I guessed the right way with the penalty from Anelka. And of course the moment is something that



I’m sure you would praise the players in front of you and recognise the role they have played. How good has it been, as a goalkeeper, to play behind players such as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic? They made it easier, much easier. They are quality players. I have not played behind a better centre-half partnership than Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The understanding between them is great. But it is not just in defence. All over the pitch you have quality and experience. All I did is do my bit to help the team. Alex Ferguson wanted me in the first place six years ago to bring that experience, to have a commanding voice in the back four and to organise things and I think that is one of my stronger points. Hopefully that helped the team in achieving things. I interviewed Petr Cech recently and he suggested that United would really miss you – and particularly your experience - when you go. I don’t know about that. We have good goalkeepers here. Experience helps you, but you need a mix. On the one

hand you have the experienced guys, who have the knowledge and the composure in important situations. On the other hand you have young players who bring enthusiasm and freshness. You need the mix, you know. What has been your secret in lasting so long? I watch what I eat and drink and I think my training is good. I’m quite lucky in not having had that many long-term injuries like knee ligaments and that kind of thing. I’ve been lucky. And I’ve always had the hunger and the appetite to stay at the top. It’s the same with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and so on. United have a very special group of older players, but is it fair to say that we are now going to start seeing what the younger players are made of – not just Rooney and Nani and Hernandez but other younger players? ‘Yes, of course you can't keep relying on the likes of myself, Scholes and Giggs forever. You have to bring through young players too and I think the manager has tried to do that.’ Is it strange when you are 39 years old and sharing a dressing-room with players who are half your age? Yes, it’s a bit weird at times when some of them are less than half my age. They talk about things I have never heard. They play different music - music I don’t recognise. But this is good, because it helps me stay young. You might not agree with this, but I think you have actually been a more impressive, authoritative goalkeeper the longer you have stayed at United. Is it possible that the quality around you and the environment has made you into an even better goalkeeper than you were when you arrived in 2005? Yes, it’s possible. You keep learning at a club like this. It is not just during the games. Even in training you are always learning. That's very important because every time you step out onto the pitch

The most capped player in Dutch national team’s history and named by UEFA as the best European goalkeeper in both 1995 and 2008, van der Sar has procured for himself a long host of admirers. In light of his retirement, we look at some of the most glowing comments: "Van der Sar is a great example to follow and someone I admire a lot. To see someone of his age still playing at that level inspires me.” MARK SCHWARZER "He deserves to go out at the very, very top. Because he's had a career that's been absolutely fantastic. Not just what he does on the football field but how he's been as a professional, and as a human being. He's been absolutely outstanding. And if you could see him in the dressing room before games and at half-times he's absolutely fantastic.” SIR ALEX FERGUSON “He is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. If Manchester United have him in goal at 40 years of age, no matter who they buy next season, they will feel the difference because, not only does he have exceptional experience, he has exceptional talent.” ARSENE WENGER

“FOR ME, HE IS FAR TOO GOOD TO RETIRE. HE LOOKS TOO FIT AND HE CAN STILL DO IT… IT'S DIFFICULT TO KNOW HOW HE FEELS AND WHAT HIS ACHES ARE EVERY MORNING, BUT TO ME PHYSICALLY IT LOOKS AS THOUGH HE DOESN'T HAVE A PROBLEM.” PETER SCHMEICHEL (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH) “Right now, Edwin gives a calming influence throughout the team. He has great calmness on the ball when we play back passes to him and in general his goalkeeping is sound. And he's getting better with age. Obviously he has great players in front of him, but when he's called upon he never makes a mistake.” RYAN GIGGS (MIRRORFOOTBALL) “Edwin's the best keeper I've ever played with - it's as simple as that. The calmness and assuredness he brings to the back four in front of him is great. He's got another year after this one and I'm sure he has the capability to go on and do it again. I also don't think I've seen a goalkeeper with better feet than him.” RIO FERDINAND (MIRRORFOOTBALL)





you have to be on your toes and ready for all the things that can happen. It has been a wonderful career, hasn’t it? Well, yes. I won things, obviously, but I also lost things. Most of the time it’s natural to think more about the ones you won than the ones you lost. The things you win, ok you achieve them, but then you put them away and out of your mind. Sometimes you think more about that games you lost and the ones you missed out on. Sometimes it still lingers in my mind about those games and what things I could have done different. Maybe it’s something in my mentality. You always want more. So what is the biggest regret? The biggest regret is not winning anything with the Holland national team. I played six or seven international tournaments and we never one. Sometimes we came close and of course I always did my best. But then sometimes you see something like the Olympics or another international tournament and you see guys being proud to win things for their country. That is something I else wanted to experience, winning something for the national team, but it didn’t happen.

just unlucky and you don’t get the performance on the day and that results in the end of the tournament. But I am sure that the success you have had at club level – not just with United but with Ajax and Juventus – has gone a long way towards making up for that. Of course. But you always want more. But still, joining United must mean that you end your career with a huge amount of satisfaction at all the success you have had in recent seasons.

Yes. As I said, I wanted to try to win the league title with United and then maybe to end my career with Ajax. But each time I came towards the end of my contract it became obvious I wanted to stay with United. It has worked out really well. The best decision you ever made in your career? Yes, it has been nice and it has been a great experience even at my age to be at a club as big as United. It has been an absolute joy. ITYS

PUT THAT ON YOUR RESUME The 40 year-old goalkeeping legend has acquired a cavalcade of team honours throughout his glittering career. But even more eye-catching have been some of the personal honours that grace his CV. • Oldest player to appear in the knock-out phase of the UEFA Champions League (40 years and 137 days) • Most caps for Netherlands National Football Team (130) • Worldwide league record keeping clean sheet (set in Premier League 2009-10 1,311 minutes) • Only non-british player to be active in the Premier League beyond the age of 40 • First goalkeeper to keep 50 clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League - Michael Tarquinio

Does that seem like an underachievement, given the quality of players that Holland have had over the last 15 or 20 years? That’s not really true. We’re a small country and of course we’re not the only country. The World Cup only comes around every two years and it’s the same with the Euros. I guess it’s just the process. In 2008 we were in the Euros and for the first three games we played brilliantly and scored loads of goals, but then we got the quarter-finals, where it’s life or death, and there was absolutely nothing. You have to peak at the right times. But sometimes you’re ITYS MAGAZINE


THE ZONE EDITORIAL Officials from Scottish club Hearts have blamed outside ‘mafia’ involvement for their lack of success.

NEW TO BLURAY AND DVD TRUE GRIT (TRIPLE PLAY) > WESTERN/WAR A remake of John Wayne’s Western classic and nominated for 10 Academy awards, True Grit sees a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) seeking the help of Jeff Bridge’s trigger-happy U.S. Marshall and Matt Damon’s hardened Texas Ranger to avenge the death of her father. UNSTOPPABLE > ACTION/THRILLER When an unmanned half-mile long freight train – with a cargo full of toxic chemicals – runs out of control, Denzel Washington and Chris Pine must work together to stop it before it derails and consequently, destroys a whole town. NO STRINGS ATTACHED > ROMANTIC COMEDY Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are life-long friends that one morning do the unthinkable and sleep together. In order to salvage what is left of their friendship, they create a set of rules to keep their relationship “no strings attached.” EURO 96 > PC Euro 96 for the PC was the official game of the European Championships, which were held in England during the summer of 1996. It was ahead of its time, while the gameplay was much maligned the game was the first to replicate the real game of football in regards to fluid player movement. While Euro 96 was Action Soccer take two or three, it was an extremely fun game to play. The game had all twelve teams from the Euros and the graphics were quite acceptable at the date of release. Overall it AME CLASSIC G was a solid game that did have some flaws, however to this day it remains to be one of the all time greatest football games.



GAMES LA NOIRE - ROCKSTAR GAMES > ADVENTURE /ACTION LA Noire is a gritty throwback to 1940's Los Angeles where you play as Cole Phelps an ex-army officer turned fledgling detective, who has just returned from service in World War II. LA Noire brings a unique adventure that sometimes feels more like a movie than a video game. Much of your time will be spent searching crime scenes for clues, exploring the City of Angels. Interrogating possible suspects is made even more interesting by the use of facial motion recognition technology. This "MotionScan" tech allows you see every twitch on the characters faces in-game, which deepens the realism, and also helps you to detect when a character is lying to you. Graphics Presentation Lasting Appeal Gameplay Online Play N/A Facial recognition is fantastic and really adds a new dimension to the characters Takes around 20-25 hours to complete CLICK FOR MORE ON


40 optional side missions Over 350 voice/facial actors portrayed as character Shooting sequences are clunky


DIRT 3 - CODEMASTERS > RACING Dirt 3 is the third chapter in this rapidly growing franchise. Players can race through the snow, rain and dirt and experience some the best rally tracks ever witness in recent gaming history. The latest chapter in the series includes new cars, locations, routes and more events. For the first time in franchise history, Dirt 3 includes more than 50 rally cars and improves upon its predecessor in just about everyway possible. Graphics Presentation Lasting Appeal Gameplay Online Play Great track selection Cars are well modeled Both online and offline multiplayer modes are available


Game modes available for both novice and experienced gamers YouTube functionality is extremely limited


ITYS Playlist

DRIVE | AUDI A1 It has a confident road stance – powerful, distinctive and full of character: The A1 is both the premium option and the athlete in its class. Sportiness, precision and youthful freshness – these themes characterise the interior of the A1. The four round, far-protruding air nozzles are reminiscent of the turbines of a jet. The A1 TFSI Sport takes this sportiness to the next level with its standard S line exterior package that further enhances the athletic appearance. The S line exterior package (exclusively available for that model) includes lower and deeper front and rear

bumpers as well as the S line roof edge spoiler and rear diffuser, giving the A1 TFSI Sport an unmistakably powerful presence. The Audi A1 features TFSI® technology. What




CDS UKULELE SONGS / EDDIE VEDDER Pearl Jam front-man releases a new solo album – stripping his performance back to the basics, playing a collection of both original and cover songs on the ukulele. Songs include Dream a Little Dream, Once in a While, and Tonight You Belong to Me.

SUCK IT AND SEE / THE ARCTIC MONKEYS The boys from Sheffield are back with their hotly-anticipated fourth album, seeing them get back to their chart-topping best. Recorded in the historic Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, the twelve songs exhibit exactly why the band are among the world’s most popular.

21 / ADELE Adele has already had an incredible career. Aged 19, her Mercury nominated debut album ‘19’ sold over 20,000 copies in Australia, and went on to become a double platinum album, selling over 2 million worldwide.

makes it so special is that it combines the advantages of FSI® – efficiency and dynamics – with turbocharging that improves the power characteristics even more.


Rolling In The Deep - Adele

ITYS Top 5 Singles U2 - Beautiful Day The Fratellis Chelsea Dagger Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow Coldplay Viva la Vida Chris Brown Beautiful People

BOOKS ANATOMY OF ENGLAND: AN HISTORY IN TEN MATCHES - JONATHAN WILSON Widely-respected football historian Jonathan Wilson provides his own assessment of the Three Lions’ football history and seeks to answer the question as to why England has procured such a less-than-impressive international record.

CELTIC FC CULT HEROES – DAVID POTTER This book focuses on the true cult heroes though some of the names mentioned may not be the best players to pull on the hoops – they were the ones who developed the most intense relationship with the Bhoys’ support.

ALRIGHT ALDO: SOUND AS A POUND - JOHN ALDRIDGE The former Liverpool and Ireland striker and current media personality, John Aldridge, produces a light-hearted look at his career and the crazy world of international club football.



UNITED COLOURS OF FOOTBALL EDITORIAL Seventeen of Libya’s top football figures have defected to the rebel troupe battling to oust Muammar Gaddafi.

Orange Crush 1

3 4 2





11 9

10 12



1 Cruyff Tee ‘Mito’ 49.95 EUR | 2 adidas F50 adizero Prime TRX FG $229 USD www. | 3 Nike 10-11 Holland Home Shirt 45 GBP | 4 Puma Ivory Coast Graphic Tee Shirt 14.99 GBP | 5 Adidas SL 72 SHOES $70 USD | 6 Apple iPod Nano From $179 | 7 PUMA Puma - v1.10 SL FG Boots $250 | 8 Adidas FIREBIRD TRACK TOP GRÜN $65 | 9 PUMA Ivory Coast Track Jacket 39.99 GBP | 10 G-Shock Large Digital Watch $269 | 11 Ralph Lauren Big Pony # 4 From $89 | 12 GFunk N Batz A-League Series Brisbane Roar Tee $15 | 13 Nike Netherlands N98 Track Top $69.99 USD | 14 LaCie 1TB Rugged Hard Disk $259.95 38



www.gettaSaving you time and money


A lot has happened in the ten years since the demise of the Carlton Soccer Club. Just as Australian domestic football learned to walk and eventually run again in Germany, it recently retreated into a mere jog as fans and stakeholders wait with baited breath at the next phase of events that we hope will take us into an unprecedented successful phase. Management of the game remains a contentious issue, as does the volatile nature of the ownership of clubs across the A-League. But one thing was for certain, and despite the club’s ultimate failure, Carlton SC gallantly attempted to become a professional outfit both on and off the park – one that would set the benchmark for its time. WORDS BY JOHN BONACCI I IMAGES BY GETTY IMAGES


hrough an interest in the Carlton Football Club, passionate football (soccer) follower and now player agent Lou Sticca saw an opportunity and approached Carlton Football Club’s Ian Collins with a business proposition. The rest was history, as the club stemmed from the financial support of the Carlton Social Club and started with its heart at Princess Park - a home with history and great memories, albeit to an AFL club. After rejecting Soccer Australia's invitation to join the league in 1996, the club used the extra season to appoint Eddie Krncevic as foundation coach and assembled a team capable of mixing it with squads that had been together for years. A pioneer in his own right, Krncevic was the first Australian-born footballer to win a golden boot award in a European league, a testament to a stellar career that spanned stints at clubs including Dinamo Zagreb, MSV Duisburg, Cercle Brugge, an impressive 52 goals in 84 starts for Anderlecht, FC Liège and Charleroi. While reflecting on his foundation squad of players that included the likes of Josh Kennedy, Kresimir Marusic, John Markovski, Andy Vlahos, Danny Allsopp, Simon Colosimo, Mark Bresciano and Vince Grella, Krncevic felt privileged to have been given the opportunity to assemble and coach such talent. “It was a really exciting time for me because it was something new,” said Krncevic, current coach of South Melbourne in the Victorian Premier League. “We went really close to winning it and I still get comments today about how good a side it was and how good the football was. I don’t think there is a squad in the A-League that could beat that foundation squad, and that goes for the South Melbourne side at the time as well. It was just really exciting to watch and a fantastic mobile squad to coach.” 42


And quite remarkably, the club fell short of a national league crown in its first season after a narrow 2-1 defeat by South Melbourne in an epic encounter at the now also defunct Olympic Park. After falling behind to a ninth minute strike by South’s John Anastasiadis, who ironically fired home past his brother Dean, the Blues as they were affectionately known managed to restore parity soon after half-time thanks to Marcus Stergiopoulos. At the time, the impossible looked inevitable as the goal looked set to have swung the game in Carlton’s favour. “I was in the right place at the right time and after (Mark) Bresciano laid it off, I picked my spot and (Michael) Petkovic was left rooted to the spot. I don’t remember too much after that. I ran to the bench and got a clothesline from Andy Vlahos,” said Stergiopoulos, who quickly became one of the league’s best left-sided defenders. “Carlton was an amazing experience for everyone involved and you just have to take a look at the players that

have kicked on from there to see the quality that we had. I just don’t think people realise how good a team it was.” But the dream would be over just three minutes from time, with Con Boutsianis controversially netting the winner after bundling over Carlton’s New Zealand international defender Sean Douglas. And who will ever forget the SBS coverage of the game with the late Paul Williams’ commentry and the great Johnny Warren’s interpretation of an event that referee Eugene Brazzale later admitted to not seeing clearly; “I thought it was a foul there. I think Carlton have been hard done by,” uttered the special comments of Warren. When the heartbreak was over and the club faced season two of its existence (98/99), the honeymoon period ended and it missed the finals by a staggering 14 points. It was during the second season that the club changed hands in terms of ownership, with a syndicate led by influential businessman Peter Jess acquiring the club, at what was believed to be a decent profit for the Carlton Social

Club. To this day, it is estimated that Jess lost upwards of $2million on the venture, and it is understood the club is still seeking to reap benefits from the transfers of former Socceroo stars Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano to settle accounts that put it in the red, and ultimately, underground. But season two did provide a rare highlight for Carlton fans, with striker Archie Thompson joining the team just days after netting the opener for the Gippsland Falcons in a 2-1 win over the Blues. While the defeat was disappointing for fans, Thompson’s debut was memorable – with a haul of four goals in a 5-2 demolition of the Brisbane Strikers at Princess Park. And the club bounced back to its brilliant best almost immediately under new coach Stuart Munro and somehow lost the 99/00 preliminary final on the road against the Wollongong Wolves by two goals to one – a black day where luck deserted the visiting Blues. Carlton’s goal scorer on the day and arguably the best left footer to play national league football in Australia, John Markovski, had bitter sweet memories of his time at the club, which included many goals, a somewhat half-hearted grand final parade in season one, and the disappointment of a wake at North Melbourne’s Keeper's Arms hotel. “I remember that Wollongong game vividly; it was my first game back from injury,” said the 20-time Socceroo, who could easily have had a hat trick in the preliminary final after hitting the woodwork on no less than three occasions. “We had heaps of chances and it just didn’t happen for us. That side was a great mixture of experience and youth and was probably the best team that I’ve been a part of. Even when I look back at the first season, there was a lot of hype around the grand final and we had a parade in the City with a stage set up for interviews that left a lot of great memories.” ITYS MAGAZINE


The Club’s final year (00/01 season) lasted just eight matches, including a disappointing afternoon at Epping Stadium where an inability to peg down the nets and permanently position the portable goals caused what was no less than a 90 minute delay to a round six kick off against the Eastern Pride (formerly Gippsland Falcons). And, not to mention, a physical threat against this writer for then jeering the ground staff for hammering pegs into the ground in the wrong direction – even after the 90 minute delay. For the record, the ball did hit the net four times in a 3-1 win – Carlton’s last, ever. But some of the burning questions raised by the Carlton experiment will never have plausible answers, such as whether or not the club did itself an injustice before it in fact started? Did the name Carlton Soccer Club




already alienate a large cohort of the market because of its affiliation with the Aussie Rules club? Did the name turn people off? The venue? Passionate fan of Carlton in both codes, John McGauran, who along with his sombrero was a mainstay at Princess Park during the national league era, believes in hindsight that the club might have done things differently if it had its chance again. “We didn’t have a lot of fans, but it was a really tight-knit group. We still catch up with ten years on,” said the influential Green and Gold Army member. “I’m not entirely convinced that Carlton would have survived if it had come along more recently, because lots of clubs have come and gone of late. Being named Carlton and based in Victoria immediately put off a large legion of prospective fans, despite probably playing the most attractive football of its time. While there was a movement to change the name towards the end of the club’s existence, it was probably more a desperate attempt to save its existence.” While issues about the name, location and colours have been addressed to death since the club’s wake, timing questions such as ‘Would the club have thrived if it rode the wave of success from the 2006 FIFA World Cup?’ offer just a glimmer of fantasy for many of the club’s explayers, former Blues defender and past Socceroo Steve Horvat included. “The club was being run in a brilliant manner, and this is what struck me the most when I got back from overseas,” declared Horvat, who joined the Blues in season three and scored the winner in the semifinal. “But no matter how well the club was run, the simple fact that we couldn’t get fans meant there wasn’t enough revenue to keep the club going. The fans were small in number, but they were some of the most passionate I’ve played in front of and there has definitely been a

legacy left behind. I think at the end of the day Peter Jess saw the big picture and his business plan for the club may have involved trying to groom players and sell them overseas at a good profit. What didn’t work out was planning for a worst case scenario, i.e. few fans and less money.” Inaugural coach Krncevic also went on to speculate about why the club prematurely reached its use-by date, comparing it to the likes of the present-day Gold Coast United. “I think the club was ahead of its time and unfortunately it folded. It was clearly because of a lack of bums on seats and it just couldn’t be sustained. It was $1.5m budget for a squad of 22 players, but the problem was a lack of supporter base. When I think about it now, it was probably like the situation Gold Coast has been confronted with in the A-League.” So that was Carlton, a club clearly a decade too early, and perhaps, in marketing speak, a victim of wayward branding. One of the first in Australia to don Nike kits and brand its shirt with global sponsors such as Parmalat and American Express, it signed imports like Alex Moreira who could claim to have played youth football with Brazilian great Ronaldo and a high profile striker in Mike Conroy from Blackpool who could barely score to save himself. While the fate of its players has been interesting - Archie Thompson still dazzles, others such as Lubo Lapsansky have gone on to coach state league clubs – Carlton SC now remains a vague and distant memory, and for some, a non-existent one particularly those that jumped on the football movement riding the success of Germany 2006 and back-to-back World Cup qualification ITYS (NEXT PAGE) KIMON TALIADOROS SUITING UP FOR THE COLLINGWOOD WARRIORS (LEFT), THE PARRAMATTA POWER CELEBRATE.

WHEN CODES COLLIDE While the current sporting climate in Australia is often focused on a battle between the different sporting codes, many will best be reminded that it wasn’t too long ago that sporting teams were looking to the late NSL to form club associations and trumpeting its opportunity to act as a franchising endeavour.

THE COLLINGWOOD WARRIORS Lasting only a single solitary season (1996/1997), the NSL club was born via a unique partnership between the Collingwood Football Club and Heidelberg United – although the latter did maintain an individual presence in the Victorian Premier League. Playing at the AFL affiliate’s traditional home of Victoria Park and with Zoran Matic at the helm — who had won two NSL championships with Adelaide City — the Warriors produced a bright start to the club’s existence, going seven matches without defeat. But its form quickly changed for the worse, eventually finishing second from the bottom... and after financial pressure set in, the club soon disbanded.

PARRAMATTA POWER Established as an NSL club for the 1999/2000 season and lasting until the league’s demise in 2004, this venture backed by the NRL’s Parramatta club. Playing at the Eels’ home ground and in their distinct blue and yellow strip — one that resembled Brazil, a happy coincidence, much like a current A-League off-field

battler — the club’s existence was constantly blighted by poor spectator attendance – most usually attributed to the already crowded western Sydney football market and (similar to what occurred with Carlton SC) negative feelings towards the ‘host’ club associated with the NSL project. By Michael Tarquinio



AN { A to Z } OF GOALKEEPERS This month ITYS looks at the A to Z of some of the beautiful game’s most memorable goalkeepers… BY KIERAN PENDER


is for Aston Villa – the club where Mark Bosnich was able to come to international prominence, winning acclaim as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.


is for (Dean) Bouzanis – Once hailed by then-coach Rafa Benitez as one of the best shot-stoppers for his age, he has since parted ways with the Reds – after limited first-team chances and a couple of fruitless loan spells.


is for the Colo Cougars – the first youth team of Socceroo hero Mark Schwarzer, who would go on to become the bona-fide goalkeeping star that we know today.



is for Emerald – the Queensland birthplace of rising star Mitch Langerak – who now plies his trade in Germany for Borussia Dortmund. 46




is for Gloves – the goalkeeper’s most prized piece of equipment. Glovewearing became expected practise after the 1970s. However, at Euro 2004 Portugal keeper Ricardo created much comment after choosing to remove his gloves for the penalty shootout.


is for Higuita – Rene Higuita, the free-kick-taking keeper who cemented his place in football folklore with his audacious scorpion kick against a Jamie Redknapp shot during an international friendly in 1995.


is for Insanity – Let’s face it, you need to be insane to a certain degree to pursue a career in the goals. While some of the world’s most much-loved players have been goalies, it is undeniable that they often dance to a different beat.


is for Jess Vanstrattan – the former Northern Spirit youth product was picked up by Juventus and taken to Italy, before returning to Australia to play for Gold Coast United and the Central Coast Mariners.


( is for Kalac – Standing at 6 foot and 7 inches, ‘Spider’ was an Aussie international for more than fourteen years, but had to be content with largely playing second-fiddle to Bosnich and Schwarzer. Just don’t mention the Croatia game!



is for Madame Tussaud – In 2009, the Berlin branch of the famed wax museum duly chose to immortalise legendary German keeper Oliver Kahn – complete with his iconic yell.


is for Nick Feely – the Aussie keeper, who is currently impressing in Celtic’s U-19 team, hopefully forging the beginning of a long career with the Bhoys.


if for obese – let’s face it; if there is one position on the football field where a player can risk having a second helping of dessert the night before, it is between the goals. Just ask Adelaide FC’s former glovesman Daniel Beltrame...


is for the penknife that enabled David Seaman to win his first England International Cap, when first-choice keeper Chris Woods cut himself attempting to untangle his tracksuit pants’ string.


is for (Niall) Quinn – When Man City keeper Tony Coton was sent off against Derby County in 1991, team-mate Quinn took the gloves in the absence of an appropriate sub. Having already scored early in the game, the Irish striker went on to actually save a penalty.



is for Serafim Michael Theoklitos – Named the goalkeeper of the year for the 2010-11 season, the Brisbane player managed to break the A-League record for the most amount of minutes without conceding a goal (876 minutes).



is for undersized goalkeepers – the ones who must rely on their reflexes and anticipation to make up for the fact that they are vertically challenged. England’s Teddy Davison (170cm) is a great example, earning a national team cap in 1922.


is for (Danny) Vukovic – The newly-signed Perth Glory player will hope to continue his A-League goodform after scoring a 93rd minute penalty for Wellington Pheonix in their final game of last season.


is for the Washington Whips – the American team that Scottish-born Socceroo keeper Jack Reilly played for before reaching our shores.



is for (Lev) Yashin – Widely considered to be the best goalkeeper in history. ‘The Black Spider’ secured a staggering 270 clean sheets and is estimated to have made over 150 penalty saves.


is for (Dino) Zoff – the captain of Italy’s 1982 World Cup triumph. The Juventus legend was the oldest ever winner of the Cup, tasting football’s ultimate success at the age of 40 years, 4 months and 13 days.. ITYS ITYS MAGAZINE



pain and It EW big names a ly in + t h M e ic big ha grassroots game and el Zullo + Why Foo leagues – from Eng la tons more tball is the most expe nd, nsive

ITYS Issue Three  

The third edition of ITYS is The Keepers Issue as we feature the outspoken Zeljko Kalac, Socceroos second-choice Adam Frederici and former H...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you