As we reach the half way point of the season it’s evident that this has been the most compelling in the history of the league.
As we reach the half way point of the season it-s evident that this has been the most compelling in the history of the league. Improved recruiting, better preparation and the addition of four new coaches, two from overseas and two high profile locals, have changed the expectations of teams and impacted the dynamics of the competition.
Over the next couple of weeks things are about to become even more intriguing. Runaway leaders Canberra United are about to face two season defining matches, facing Brisbane Roar away followed by Sydney FC in the National Capital. Just outside the top three another critical encounter between Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets will take place in Geelong.
Can Canberra continue their impressive run or will they be brought back to reality by ‘the big two-? Seasons often evolve around crucial fixtures such as these and I-ve no doubt these upcoming matches will be crackers. All three teams are rich in talent with a plentiful supply of match winners. Who will be the heroes?
A win this weekend for either Melbourne or Newcastle would catapult them into contention for a home semi final whereas a loss could see a play off spot slip away. A huge prize awaits the winner, so it-s pressure time in Geelong.
The Victory are arguably the unluckiest side this season, with three narrow loses to Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra while doing enough in each of those matches to merit at least a share of the spoils.
With a new coaching staff and a considerable changeover in playing personnel some inconsistent performances from Newcastle would be expected. However they currently sit in equal fourth position with a game in hand and enough depth, quality and experience to go far.
It would be remiss of me to leave Adelaide and Perth out of the equation. Given the challenges they faced with preparation, both teams have performed admirably and Perth still has an outside chance of a top four finish. Realistically finals football may be a bridge too far; however both teams are ideally set up to be spoilers. They are primed to produce the result to upset the front runners
Five games to go, much to be played for, it-s all happening!