Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Rank

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    MVFC & LFC

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    New Zealand National Team

Recent Profile Visitors

845 profile views
  1. Thanks mate!! Right. Now it's time for some action. I named my first squad of 23 in preparation for the friendlies against New Caledonia and Vanuatu. English based youngsters Michael Woud and Liam Graham are in with a shout for their international debut. The squad is as close to full strength as I want right now. There is though a clear lack of quality CAM's available, so uncovering a hidden gem in this position is a priority. After the squad was announced it was time to name our captaincy team. Our two English centrebacks are the men for the job. Winston Reid will be the New Zealand captain with Tommy Smith as his deputy. We, as expected, totally dominated the match. Our wastefulness is front of goal was frustrating. First half goals from Marco Rojas and Chris Wood secured the win but Wood alone could have had three and Barbarouses and McGlinchey both spurned golden opportunities. As the defence tired late on the likes of Reid and Smith were subbed off and that let New Caledonia in. Five of their six shots were in the last five minutes. I was happy that we won and we kept a clean sheet so that is a positive too. Hopefully the sharpness in front of goal comes and we can add a ruthless streak against our Oceania neighbours. Between matches the new FIFA rankings came out. I can tell we're gonna have a love/hate relationship with the monthly standings. First two editions we don't play a game and we rise. Then we win a match and we dropped seven places!! Maybe I'll cancel all our friendlies and we'll achieve our goals quicker! Our next friendly was in Auckland too against Vanuatu. Similar to the first match, we controlled with out killing off the opposition. And again the second string defence struggled late in the game, this time conceding. Wellington Phoenix midfielder Michael McGlinchey was our star, bagging a brace along with a goal from star striker Chris Wood. McGlinchey did pick up a knock late which is a worry. 5-6 weeks with a knee injury for the ex-Celtic man. Next up another set of back to back friendlies. Papua New Guinea come to New Zealand and then we travel to play our first non-Oceania opposition with Indonesia our hosts in Jakarta.
  2. Early on we get an idea of the task at hand with the monthly FIFA World Rankings announced. Always happy to climb five places without playing a match!! Our first matches were over a month away so I did a bit of scouting on players who we could bring into the national pool. It's a 'tragedy' this guy doesn't have a Kiwi grandparent! I'll be making you aware of any transfers involving players in and around the senior national team. The first was a key one, with backup left back Ian Hogg finding employment. You wiould have to be an absolute superstar for me to even consider picking you if you're without a club. He's joined the biggest club in the New Zealand competition Auckland City. A further month passed with no game time, and the rankings were again released. Just around the corner are our first two matches. Home friendlies against New Caledonia and then Vanuatu. My first ever New Zealand squad and the first two matches of my reign are next.
  3. Wow 20 years!! I'd be stoked if I could do that! I'm expecting a struggle. Nah I have just the Aussie league as well as the UK, USA and South African leagues as that's where the majority of the kiwi players are based. Thanks @Benjoe
  4. BIG FISH. TINY POND - TAKING NZ FOOTBALL TO THE WORLD The New Zealand football team lives constantly in the shadow of the all-conquering All Blacks rugby union team. Their geographic isolation, coupled with Australia's decision to move to the Asian Football Confederation means that the team known as the 'All Whites', are now by far the biggest fish in the tiny Oceania Football Confederation pond. Competing for continental honours against the likes of Fiji, Tahiti and New Caledonia, New Zealand do not often have the chance to test themselves against quality competition. Winning the OFC Nations Cup sees them gain entry to the FIFA Confederations Cup, however against some of the biggest nations in the football world, the Kiwi's are often easily swept aside. FIFA World Cup qualification is similarly difficult. The early rounds seemingly a formality, they then are forced into a inter-continental play off against a team that has missed out from a stronger continent. For reference, in attempting to qualify for Brazil 2014, the All Whites were tripped up at the final hurdle by Mexico 9-3 on aggregate. The last challenge for New Zealand football is the club game. There is only one professional club in the entire country. Wellington Phoenix play in the Australian A-League, but the New Zealand national competition is fully semi-professional. HISTORY The All Whites have made two FIFA World Cups, but are yet to win a game in six attempts. In 1982, against Brazil, Soviet Union and Scotland, the Kiwi's lost all their matches and finished with a goal difference of -10. Their efforts in 2010 in South Africa were much better. Drawn against reigning World Champions Italy, as well as Slovakia and Paraguay, they drew all three matches and finished above the Italians who came in last. The New Zealanders finished the tournament as the only team to be undefeated. As mentioned earlier, the Confederations Cup has offered the team its best opportunity for competition against the worlds best. However they haven't always covered themselves in glory. In the four (real life) versions they've competed in, their record reads, P12 W0, D1, L11 GD-29. Of course we will be taking part in Russia 2017 during this save. BEST PLAYERS Captain Winston Reid (L) is our star player. A stalwart at the heart of the West Ham defence, the big man is key to our ongoing success, and at 28 years old he still has a few good years left. Midfield maestro Marco Rojas (C) is arguably the most skillful player New Zealand has ever produced. The winger has spent time in Europe and is now with Melbourne Victory in the A-League. Striker Chris Wood (R) will be vital in our one striker formation. Currently leading the line for Championship Leeds United, at just 25, Wood is coming into the peak of his powers. GOALS FOR THIS SAVE Aside from the obvious goals of winning tournaments and developing international stars. I hope to tick off the below too. - Make the top 50 in the FIFA World Rankings - Score a new record high FIFA World Ranking (current best is 47th) - Rank higher than Australia - Make the top 25 in the FIFA World Rankings - Make the top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings - Make the top 3 in the FIFA World Rankings - Become the number 1 ranked team in the FIFA World Rankings - Win a match in the FIFA Confederations Cup - Qualify for FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final - Qualify for FIFA Confederations Cup Final - Win FIFA Confederations Cup - Qualify for FIFA World Cup - Win first ever FIFA World Cup match - Qualify for FIFA World Cup Second Round - Qualify for FIFA World Cup Quarter Final - Qualify for FIFA World Cup Semi Final - Qualify for FIFA World Cup Final - Win FIFA World Cup - Beat Australia in a major competition - Create new record for New Zealand's biggest ever win (current best is 13-0) And so it begins .....
  5. NOVEMBER 2014-15 RESULTS A great month for us. Undefeated in the league, progression in the FFA Cup and big wins over our arch rivals Melbourne Heart, Adelaide United and Sydney FC. The month started with us welcoming our Kiwi friends Wellington to AAMI Park. Their Fijian international Roy Krishna gave the visitors the lead with just a minute remaining in the first half. Connor Pain redeemed himself after missing a sitter in the first minute, by banging in a screamer on the hour to rescue us a point. We then made the journey across the country to Perth to play minnows Canning City in the cup. It was a completely dominant performance by our rotated side. Centre backs Ansell and Jovanovic were both on the scoresheet as well as widemen Martinez and Nabbout. We then had a huge three games in the league against our three biggest rivals. Two of them at home and one huge trip to Sydney. We saw off the other Melbourne in a cagey match. Right back Scott Galloway the hero. The Adelaide popped in. Same result thanks to an early Connor Coady thunderbolt. Then the big one. Gui Finkler's penalty gave us an early 1-0 lead which lasted just eight minutes. Despotovic dragging his side back to level. But then Finkler completed his double and Pain got his name on the scorers list to takes us to the break 3-1 up in hostile territory. We came out firing in the second. Martinez took just three minutes to put us up 4-1. Despotovic was really Sydney's only threat, and he joined our star Finkler in claiming a double on 63 minutes. Then, with the game winding down, Jovanovic rose higher than his marker to smash home a header from just our second corner. 5-2 it finished and another famous day for Melbourne Victory against Sydney. Our last game of the month was back in Melbourne against Newcastle Jets. It looked as if we suffering from a hangover from the Sydney game and we never got going. We could only muster five shots all game in a dull 0-0 TABLE So with all teams completing eight games we sit top a game clear of our nearest rivals. You can see just how frustrating the 0-0 against the Jets was as they were bottom of the table! FFA CUP QUARTER FINAL DRAW We were drawn away to another lower league outfit. This time we head north to Sydney to face the 1987 National Soccer League champions APIA. NEXT: November 2014-15 TROPHIES CURRENTLY HELD: 2 of 4 (A-League/Finals)
  6. Yeah at the rate I'm going, CWC might be a push. As I type, I'm watching your boys take on Melbourne City. Talk about torn! Thanks for the support! OCTOBER 2014-15 RESULTS We started well outside of the league winning the Supercup and then our first game in our second attempt at the FFA Cup. The 'Nix were no match in Melbourne as young fringe striker Francesco Stella gave us the lead which we took to the break. New signing Jorge Martinez made it 2-0 before a soft goal to Wellington made it a nervy finish. As the Kiwi club pushed everyone forward, Andrew Nabbout capitalised on the space to get his season of an running and secure us a passage into the Round of 16. We switched focus to the league. We started our campaign at home against Western Sydney and we were staring down the barrel of a dissapointing scoreless draw to kick of the season, before last season best player Adama Traore popped up at the far post to tap in a Martinez cross and snatch us the three points. After pushing aside the Roar in the Supercup, we ventured north to Brisbane to face them again and goals to former Roar man Barbarouses and new signing Carl Valeri were accompanied by an own goal from Brisbane defender Corey Brown to cap a convincing win. Our second from two. We then stopped in New South Wales on the trip back to Melbourne, to face the always tricky Central Coast in Gosford. We needed a second half equaliser from Jorge Martinez after the Mariners got off to a flyer with a goal in just the second minute. Month one in the league. Two wins and one away draw. We'll take it. Add in progression in the Cup and the month was a good one. TABLE Very early days but we slot into second place, behind the Mariners who we took a point off. They've played an extra game though. We make up the only two teams still undefeated. At the wrong end, the Phoenix and Sydney are still searching for their first wins to get their seasons pointing in the right direction. FFA CUP ROUND OF 16 DRAW Tricky, but could have been much harder. We'd obviously preferred not to take a trip to Western Australia, but the lower league opposition should be helpful in our quest to win the FFA Cup for the first time, and add it to our other two trophies. GALLOWAY IN RED HOT FORM Our young right back Scott Galloway was one of three players away with the Australia Under 19s for the first part of the season. Not only did he walk away with the Player of the Tournament award, in something of a shock from a defender, his four goals in five saw him add the Golden Boot award to his collection. NEXT: November 2014-15 TROPHIES CURRENTLY HELD: 2 of 4 (A-League/Finals)
  7. Looking forward to seeing this one progress. Good luck for what is an epic challenge.
  8. PRE-SEASON 2014-15 Three great results and one mediocre. Not too much can be read into these results though as we were barely tested by the four lower league teams. New signings Martinez and Valeri were both in the goals, which is nice. Our squad has been finalised. The newcomers were covered last post. From the youth squad, Anthony Proia is one likely to feature. The striker is in his last year on a youth contract so this season will be make or break. The Super Cup doesn't exist in real life. It is an inclusion from the creator of the edited database I'm using. It is therefore not one of the trophies I'm desperate to win. It was, however, a nice way to get things started. There was obvious Pre-Season rustiness but our boys did just enough, with youngster Connor Pain capitalising on a goalkeeper howler to pinch it late on. A pretty ordinary draw for our first match in the latest edition of the FFA Cup. Not only are we facing A-League opposition. We are facing a team we couldn't beat last campaign. This is one of my major aims this season. Next: October 2014-15 TROPHIES CURRENTLY HELD: 2 of 4 (A-League/Finals)
  9. Yep...but I somehow think the second half of the challenge will be a bit trickier than the first! OFF-SEASON 2014-15 NEWS The first bit of good news we got was the transfer of our former attacker Robbie Kruse from Borussia Dortmund to Ajax for $7.75m. We received just under $80k from the deal so I was quite happy with that. Doing the double pushed gave us the highest reputation is Asia, which is a great achievement up against Japanese, Chinese and Korean clubs who have been around longer than us. Our Ivorian left back was officially named as our members player of the season. A great reward for a very important player. Our best XI of 2013-14. The one that surprised me the most was AM Rashid Mahazi. The youngster was probably the best of a bad bunch, beating out dissapointing Celtic loanee Tom Rogic. Leigh Broxham and Aleks Jovanovic capitalised on the sales of Mark Milligan and Adrian Leijer respectively. TRANSFERS The signing of Albanian international Besart Berisha was secured before I'd arrived at the club and was something of a coup. The striker had spent the very succesful seasons with Brisbane Roar and his goals to games ratio is one of the best the leagues ever seen. Lets hope he's an able replacement for Archie Thompson. We secured the services of high profile Socceroo midfielder Carl Valeri back in Janurary on a Bosman from Italian club Ternana in Serie B. The 29 year old has never played in Australia having started his career in the youth ranks at Inter and then plying his trade in the lower leagues of Italian football. He joins as our Australian Marquee contracted player. We bought in a second Australian central midfielder, this time in the form of 21 year old Jackson Irvine. He follows the path of Tom Rogic in joining from Celtic. He spent last season on loan to Kilmarnock and played 12 games in the SPL. A Melbourne boy originally, hopefully we can see a better return than his club teammate Rogic provided. Signed as back up to Adama Traore, who we are expecting to lose for a period of time to the African Cup of Nations. Smith is Sydney born but spent his formative years at Liverpool. Last season he played 18 games in League 2 with Chesterfield. As he's Australian born, he doesn't count to our foreign player count. We snapped up another ex Liverpool youngster, this time using one of our international spots. Conor Coady can play as either our holding midfielder or central defender. This is vital for us as we are under strength in both departments. Coady played League 1 football on loan with Sheffield United last term. Our last addition joins us from Italian giants Juventus. 31 year old Martinez joined Juve from Catania in 2010-11 for a massive $21.5m but could only manage 14 games between 2010 and 2014. He spent time on loan at Cesena and Romanian club CFR Cluj and spent last season on loan at Serie B outfit Novara, where he notched an impressive 11 goals and four assists in just 19 league matches. He takes up our International Marquee contract. Next: Pre-Season 2014-15
  10. END OF SEASON 2013-14 TRANSFERS The deal that took Adrian Leijer to Holland took place in pre-season and we immediately snapped up Aleks Jovanovic. The other big bit of business was that which took our captain Mark Milligan to Werder Bremen for a massive club record of $5m. FINANCES LEAGUE FIXTURES We finished with an incredible 12 game unbeaten run FINALS FIXTURES FFA CUP FIXTURES Out at our second hurdle. This will be a focus next season. TOP THREE PLAYERS OF OUR SEASON Number 3: Pablo Contreras A great season by our veteran centre back. The Chilean international had been set to leave from the moment he joined and to be fair I'd probably be looking at pushing a younger player through for the next season. He stood up following the departure of Adrian Leijer and he and Aleksandar Jovanovic formed a solid and dependable defensive pairing. Number 2: Adama Traore The Ivorian left back was key to our team. When he missed 19 year old Aussie Dylan Murnane stepped in and whilst he did ok, and will be good in the future, we lacked a sense of stability when Traore was out. As you'll see soon, left back cover was one of my key focuses ahead of the next season. Number 1: Archie Thompson A bit bitter sweet for the Victory fans. Crowd favourite and foundation player Thompson was in vintage form and cemented his place as one of the all time A-League greats. However the 34 year old was in his last year of his contract, and because he filled our Australian marquee spot (his wages were paid outside the salary cap), he wouldn't re-sign on lower wages. A shame, but for what I want to achieve I can't be giving a guy in his mid-30's the sort of wages he was asking for. SQUAD STATS MY THOUGHTS... We did the double, winning both the league and the playoffs at the first time of asking. We were poor in the cup and that will be a big focus ahead of the 2014-15 season. We have to find a replacement for veterans Archie Thompson and Pablo Contreras. Also I have to build a strategy early for the inevitable fixture pile up that will occur later in the season as I embark on my first AFC Champions League campaign. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | SEASON | A-LEAGUE | FINALS SERIES | FFA CUP |AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE| OTHER COMPS (SUPER CUP/CWC etc) | |------------|------------|---------------|-----------|--------------------|-----------------------------------| | 2013-14 | 1st | Winners | Qtr Final | N/A | N/A | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. FINALS 2013-14 AWARDS SEASON Before the Playoffs, the end of Season awards were handed out, with Melbourne Victory picking up some of the big ones Tom Rogic picking up the Young Player of the Year was a huge surprise. I didn't even think the midfielder, on loan from Celtic, was our own teams best young player, let alone the best in the league. Nathan Coe was definitely the top Keeper in the league though, so I'm stoked for him. He's also forced his way into Socceroos reckoning which gave back up Lawrence Thomas a bit of a run towards seasons end. I won Manager of the Year, which was a nice reward. And a selections of our players were also rewarded for their hard work by being named in the All Star XI (voted by media) and the PFA Team of the Season (voted by players). SEMI FINAL So Adelaide defeated Newcastle 3-1 to set up a Semi Final against us. If we won, we'd seal our spot in the Grand Final, and ensure the game would be played in Melbourne. If we lost, we'd go crashing out in the most embarrassing way after coming first. Brisbane were hosting Wellington in the other Semi Final. I couldn't have hoped to start better. Archie Thompson was on the end of a pin point 40 yard pass from Contreras that caught Adelaide defender Jon McKain horribly out of position. Thompson went one on one with Galekovic and his chip was timed to perfection, kissed the post, and nestled in the back of the net. The perfect start just three minutes in. Archie should have had a first half hat trick. He had one goal ruled out for a 50-50 foul, and another header crash of the cross bar from a Finkler free kick. The second half saw Nathan Coe come into his own, justifying the Goalkeeper of the Year award he picked up. He pulled of five great saves from Adelaide strikers in one on one situations. This included pretty much the last kick of the game. He was as vital as anyone in securing us a home Grand Final GRAND FINAL Brisbane Roar would be our opponents in the big one. They thumped Wellington 4-0 at home in their Semi Final. I lined my team up with a more attacking purpose. I wanted to jump the Roar and take an early lead. We'd registered seven shots on goal before the ten minute mark ticked by and our possession football was a joy to behold. But, as it had so often this season, our inability to convert bit us on the rear end. One time Victory loanee Jean Carlo Solorzano got on the end of a Henrique flick on slot calmly past a helpless Nathan Coe so give Brisbane a 37 minute lead that rattled us. It was the only goal of the half, and despite my strong words to the team, we started like we'd conceded defeat already. On 64 minutes I removed left winger James Troisi and striker Archie Thompson and bought on youngsters Connor Pain and Jesse Makarounas. Pain needed just 11 minutes to bring us level. A lovely intricate passing move between Barbarouses, Finkler and Broxham ended with the Brazilian Finkler in acres of space and with the time to pinpoint a through ball for the overlapping Pain to place his shot past keeper Michael Theo. 1-1 and that the way the 90 minutes would end. Just four minutes into the first half of extra time, the second part of my double substitution doubled our dividends. Andrew Nabbout, who was also bought on from the bench, had his shot from long range blocked. The ball fell kindly to Makarounas, who was marked tightly and had his back to goal. He dinked the ball to his right, turned and curled the ball into the top corner to put us up in the Grand Final for the first time. From there, we never looked like losing. In fact if anything, we were very unlucky to not add the icing to the cake. A great reward for a great season! The win saw us qualify for the secure the double, in winning the League and the Playoffs... ...and qualify for the Champions League. Next: End of Season Review
  12. Great read mate and amazing start to the season for you. Keep it up. Looking forward to seeing if you can keep this form going
  13. Wow! What a result mate. Really enjoying reading this. Good luck for the rest of the season!
  14. APRIL 2013-14 RESULTS With top spot cemented, we finished the season with a whimper. Two scoreless away draws and not the best form to take into Finals football. FINAL LEAGUE TABLE So the final six is now set. In week one of the Finals 4th place Adelaide United plays 5th place Newcastle Jets and 3rd place Wellington Phoenix are at home to 6th place Melbourne Heart. This is the Elimination Final round. The losers are out, the winners go through. The lowest placed Elimination Final winner plays second place Brisbane Roar and the highest place Elimination Final winner plays us in the Semi Final round. The winners of these two clashes go through to the Grand Final. Simple! Next: Finals Football 2013-14
  • Create New...