And now, this is a round of the A-League being played in both 2016 and 2017! A pretty interesting factoid, in my opinion. The things I find interesting probably aren’t the things you do, though. But, considering you’re reading this…
As we reflect on a year when the United Kingdom left the European Union, Donald Trump was elected president, and lots of people died, it’s got to know we’ve got the A-League to carry us through into 2017.
Game of the Week – Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
This one’s a gimme. The team that hasn’t lost a game, twelve rounds into the season, against the team that’s only lost one and has the best winning record in A-League history. Brisbane Roar has top-notch striker Jamie Maclaren, who is at the foot of transfer rumours John Aloisi is denying, as well as Thomas Broich and Tommy Oar, while Sydney has been going from strength to strength, and now have the best start to a season by any Australian team in history…
Should be a cracker.
Mini-Article – Melbourne Victory’s Make-or-Break Month
Melbourne Victory has an incredibly busy schedule over the next month or so.
The older and more successful Melbourne team play six games in the space of 25 days. They have to deal with breaks of five, six, four, four, and five days between matches. At one point, from the 13th to the 21st of January, they play a game in Melbourne, then another one four days later in Wellington. After playing that, they have to travel the 5,261km west to Perth and play another game just four days after that.
Victory are the team closest to the runaway leaders of Sydney, but are seven points behind with a game in hand. Over the 25 days, they play Newcastle, Adelaide, Brisbane, Wellington, Perth and Sydney. As tired as they will be, they need to get at least 12 points from those games. That could be the difference between being championship contenders and also-rans.
Chart XIII – New Year’s Eve Games, and Attendance
Central Coast, who have spent most of the last few seasons languishing in the bottom part of the ladder, are hosting the Middle Eastern billionare-owned Melbourne City on New Year’s Eve.
While pondering what to have for my chart for this week, I thought about the history of New Year’s Eve games, and wondered what sort of effect that had on attendance. On the one hand, people might want to go to the soccer to pass the time until midnight, but others might instead watch the fireworks from afar.
One of the things I found, which I didn’t know before, was that Central Coast have made it a tradition of hosting a game on December 31st, to finish off the year. The only season that this didn’t happen was in 2014-15, when the New Year’s Eve game went to Adelaide and Wellington (the Mariners got an away game to the Wanderers).
The other discovery was that, with the exception of last year, every NYE game has been at least 30% better attended than the average Mariners home game. In 2006-07, 2010-11, and 2011-12, the NYE game had a 50% larger attendance than the average, and from 2008-09 to 2011-12, it was the most attended home game for Central Coast.
It hasn’t worked as well for other teams, though. Adelaide in 2012-13 and Brisbane in 2011-12 only got small increases, and for Newcastle in 2011-12 and Adelaide in 2014-15, it was actually less attended than the average home game.
I am 29 out of 59, which is so close to half it’s not funny. Need three right to push me over.
See you in 2017, and Happy New Year!