Monthly Archives: September 2013

Australian State Football: Victoria

The Australian state of Victoria is home to Melbourne, one of the most localised and sporting diverse cities on earth. The passion for sport, ball games particularly, borders on religion. Although AFL (“Aussie Rules” to my UK friends) reigns supreme, almost exclusively in Victoria, soccer has been played for at least 130 years in the state. In this first part in a series on Australian state football the focus is on Victoria and the game’s journey from the glue of ethnic communities to the pre A-League heights and recent controversies.

ImageBrunswick Juventus – Picture courtesy of http://www.ozfootball.net

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Luxembourg Football: Emerging From its Neighbours’ Shadows

Until last week Luxembourg was more famous for being a tax haven for the world’s wealthy and has been treated with suspicion since the Global Financial Crisis. With a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that is ranked number one in the world, the nation would for once have its five minutes of fame in the sporting arena last Tuesday evening. A historic 3-2 victory at home against Northern Ireland gave the country its first World Cup qualifying win since 1972 and only its fourth ever. With just over half a million residents the country is bordered by France, Belgium and Germany and its football culture has been influenced by all three nations. It’s performance and status on the world football stage has however not mirrored its neighbours’ traditionally strong record.

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Image courtesy of The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com

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The Docceroos

Socceroos, Olyroos, Kangaroos and the lesser-known Futsalroos. The quirky nicknaming of Australian national sports teams is unashamedly endearing and clearly if you add ‘roos’ on the end of any name you just cannot go wrong.

In my day job in recruiting Doctors across Australia and beyond I encounter some interesting practitioners. A couple of years ago I produced an article about Sports Medicine with a Doctor I work with; he revealed he was also a Doctor for the Socceroos (Australian National Soccer Team), and with my love of football this was pure gold.

docceroos

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On the brink of Brazil: A Profile of Ukrainian Football

As I write England are just hours away from their most important game of football in recent years. If they win they take a huge stride towards automatic World Cup qualification at the expense of their opposition, Ukraine. As a substantial part of the former Soviet Union, the young nation has shown a gradual and impressive improvement in ability in just two decades to be on the verge of securing a place in Brazil next year.

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