Word of the Week: Joy

By Vinnie Venezuela 

Let me keep it real and just say that while winning the Asian Cup is the sweet, sweet icing, watching A League football week in, week out is the actual cake. It’s back and I’m excited.


Having said that, kudos to Ange and all the Socceroos who made history and brought us such joy. And may their run in the forthcoming schedule of friendlies and qualifiers be better than that of the Wanderers who lost their mojo big time despite winning in Asia.


What I hope the Asian Cup will do for the domestic game is inspire those who love the national team to get a little more up close and personal with the A League.  It should be like realising that the girl next door always was pretty nice.


Perhaps the greatest gift Ange has given the sceptics and the luke warm football fans is the realisation that Socceroo quality can come from all sorts of places. When you look at the impact and contributions Tomi Juric, Nathan Burns, Mark Milligan and Matty McKay provided for the green and gold , you’d be a fool not give the A League respect.


The other obvious plus is that the Socceroos’ win should make every eligible A League player hungry for a piece of national team action. By now it should be absolutely clear that Ange will give anyone playing quality football a run, no matter where they play it. … even Leicester City. (Cheap shot, I know it, but Schwarzer started it…)


Metaphorically speaking, this means it’s time to start dating the girl next door.


Last week, as I saw Melbourne City play the Wanderers, I thought Mooy was genuinely impressive; his technique and distribution were a pleasure to watch. He is definitely on the cusp of getting a guernsey given his ability on set pieces and quality longer balls.  As a different sort of midfield option his star keeps rising.


I also reckon Jacob Melling is another Melbourne City player who is heading in the right direction: strong, confident and able to penetrate from midfield. He is also ‘up for it’ and I like that.


This week, Adelaide United’s Awer Mabil had two very clear moments of brilliance in the game against Central Coast Mariners. One of them put the Reds a goal up and the other was an almost identical move seconds prior. Barring injury, this guy will be a gun. I love his bursts of pace as he cuts in and sets himself up for shots on goal.


Scott Galloway for the Victory was another player whose maturity and consistency is always on the increase. It’s clear he backs himself going forward and can keep things tight on his side of the defence. That he is able to maintain his composure in front of 40 000 fantastic derby fans also bodes very well.


The other player who has really imposed himself this season is Sydney FC’s Bernie Ibini.; deft on the ball with an excellent ability to surge forward and create something from nothing.


The joy for all fans now that the A League is back is that we get to play ‘ Be the scout’ and spot all the other guys who will be on the ‘Quality player’ radar.  It’s the chance to say, “Hey, I saw him play when he was starting out, he was hot then too.”


 Just don’t try to date his sister.



Vinnie Venezuela

The Four Diegos


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