Posts Tagged eight games
Showcase … a clash with the Swans would be a perfect launching pad for the Giants in Sydney. Source: News Limited
Greater Western Sydney will play the Sydney Swans on March 24, 2012 at ANZ Stadium as a stand-alone round one fixture in a deliberate move to gatecrash the opening round of the NRL season.
The Giants put the idea to the AFL during their scheduling discussions earlier this year and the request is set to be confirmed in the coming weeks once the official 2012 season fixture is ratified by the commission.
Under the proposal the Giants and Swans would stage their first showdown in the week immediately following the NAB Cup pre-season grand final, which is typically a rest week for the AFL, with the remaining eight games of round one to be played the following weekend starting March 29.
With a 22-round season, one bye and four-week finals series, the season would then end with a grand final at the MCG on September 29.
The NRL season typically starts earlier than the AFL season and the Swans have traditionally struggled to pull a crowd in the opening weeks of the season, but it is hoped the first official cross-town clash would draw supporters out of their summer slumber.
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GWS are desperate to start their season with a bang and no game of the year would be bigger than a clash with the long-established Swans.
The AFL is keen to confront the NRL head-on in the Giants’ inaugural season and don’t want to allow rugby league a free hit weekend on the Sydney sporting landscape ahead of what is promising to be an interesting launch for their brand new $200 million franchise.
Giants chief executive Dale Holmes said the AFL had yet to confirm the GWS request, but he let the date of their round-one game slip during the club’s inaugural grand final luncheon at Doltone House yesterday.
Holmes offered up a return cruise from Darling Harbour to Homebush and a private box for 60 guests for the western Sydney club’s "round one game on March 24".
Once questioned about the date, Holmes then corrected the prize mid-auction to be the Giants’ first home game at their Sydney Showgrounds Skoda Stadium in May. it sold for $18,000.
When asked about a potential Giants-Swans round one clash Holmes reiterated that the AFL hadn’t ratified their request, but the club is hopeful.
"it is our preference," said Holmes. the Giants gave the first insight into the $60 million Skoda Stadium redevelopment at yesterday’s luncheon with the ground to include the largest big-screen scoreboard in the southern hemisphere.
Posted February 28, 2011 15:28:00
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka denies he has undermined the club’s decision to sign Juho Makela by axing the Finnish striker from his Asian Champions League squad.
Makela joined the club in December on an 18-month contract for the back-end of the A-League season and for the ACL campaign, which gets underway on Wednesday against South Korean outfit Suwon Bluewings.
However, Lavicka surprisingly did not select the 27-year-old, opting instead to hand Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine a new 12-month deal and the final overseas player spot in the squad.
Lavicka was not aware of Makela until he arrived at the club, following a spell with Scottish team Hearts, with members of the club’s board responsible for the signing, which was made with some fanfare.
But the Czech was reluctant to pick Makela, with the big striker starting six of his eight games from the bench despite scoring two goals.
However, Lavicka, who ended any speculation about his future by signing a new one-year contract with the club last Friday, said dumping the 28-year-old had been a tough decision, but purely a football one.
“It’s unlucky for him because we have only four visa spots for the Champions League and six players, so it was a very cruel situation for us and for Makela and (Sung-Hwan) Byun,” Lavicka said.
“He was upset and disappointed but that is football, in Europe it is different, but we have to respect Asia and the rules.”
Makela’s future with the club is now very much in limbo, with the new A-League season not starting until next October and Lavicka said he will be sent out on loan to a team in Europe to keep him in shape.
However, there is a chance he could appear in the latter stages of the ACL, should Sydney progress from their group, when skipper Terry McFlynn would no longer be classed as an overseas player.
Irishman McFlynn, the club’s longest serving player and the only survivor from the inaugural season in 2005/06, became an Australian citizen eight months ago.
However, under ACL rules, he must be a citizen for at least a year to be classed as a home player.
Sydney operates in the style of many European clubs, with the coach only responsible for the team and tactics, and signings and recruitment conducted by the board.
Lavicka said he was comfortable with the current system which he worked under with Sparta Prague and Slovan Liberec in his homeland, but happy to be more hands-on when it came to player recruitment.
<a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/28/3150966.htm?site=sport§ion=footballtag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/28/3150966.htm?site=sport”>Lavicka stands by Makela decision