Sunday, November 01, 2009

Brisbane's Champion Team

A few times over the past few years I've noted the obvious word play, "The Roar purred." I guess it would have been used more if it was true more often, but even when they were really getting it together, like toward the end of last season, it didn't quite work as a metaphor.

Yesterday against Perth at Ballymore the Brisbane Roar Women purred.

Now I'll get a caveat out of the way. People will inevitably point out that the pace is slower in the woman's game. It is. And the slower pace is distracting, at first. But you get used to it, and frankly the pace is the only difference. Obviously I'm blessed by being able to watch a genuinely brilliant team, but in many other ways it's straight-out better. I'm beginning to think much better.

Brisbane played no long balls. I'll spell that out - they played z-e-r-o long balls. Even the keeper, the young lioness Casey Dumont, played the ball out to the defense virtually every time. On the odd occasion Brisbane lost possession, they fought like animals to get it back all over the field, but then in possession, they kept it and played it everywhere. They were a machine. I was honestly more in awe of the brilliant, tactically clever, technically highly trained, consistent demonstration of dominance than I have ever seen before. Ever.

Brisbane did not stop attacking for the entire game. 3:0 at half time. 6:0 at full time, the final, by my personal favourite striker Sasha McDonnell, at 90+1 minutes. Not an inch of cynicism.

There was not a hint of diving or theatrics throughout the entire game. To those who knowingly sneer that the women's game can never be as good as the men's, but who also spend a lot of time complaining about cynical defensive play and diving, I ask this question: "Are you sure?"

The women's game is slower, but if you can get used to this, are you sure that the women's game doesn't better fulfil almost every other criteria for spectator enjoyment of a soccer game?

My frustration is that I think Brisbane has something VERY special going on here and very few people realise. I can say with a straight face, unlike for any other Australian soccer team, that this team could play it with ANY TEAM IN THE WORLD. That this is not even being explored is wrong.

Is anyone looking at playing Brisbane (already the Australian champions and premiers) against the champion US women's team? Sure it would cost money but women's soccer is big in the US so there would easilly be enough of a market to sell the TV rights and come up with a sponsor or two. The tragedy, and the reason it may seem far fetched here, is that noone in Brisbane knows about its most formidable sporting team.

I am in love with them all, and the home games at Ballymore are among the most satisfying and enjoyable days out that I have had. $5 people. Kids free. And you can buy beer.

Next week is away against Canberra, the closest thing to a nemesis Brisbane has (Canberra is the only team to have beaten them, once, last year). It will be televised on the ABC at 3pm (Sat 7th).

Then there are just TWO home games left before the finals rounds. For what it's worth with my humble Brisbane readership (there's at least 3 or 4 of you) this is a PLUG. The Brisbane Roar women rock, right now.

vs Melbourne Saturday 14th November, 6pm
vs Adelaide Sunday 22nd November, 6pm

Love to see you there, but please don't talk to me during the game. :)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

very persuasive hamish - when i followed basketball more closely, i noticed similar trends there ... women`s basketball is slower, and relies more on teamwork and every player having the basic skills.

am now video hunting for the Brisbane women`s highlights


November 01, 2009 3:59 pm  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

Saw some of the game, BR were very impressive. Definitely think the ladies could teach the (other) BR side something about team cohesion at the moment...

November 01, 2009 7:47 pm  
Blogger Hamish said...

Thanks Clayton and Mike.

Agreed Mike. The women's season started at just the right time for me of course as my soul (it's not some kind of conscious stand) has abandoned the men's team for the time being, since Frank's sacking in particular.

But good luck to Ange. I do hope he finds a path to the beautifully playing Roar of yore.

I have wondered at Ballymore about the connect, if any at all, between the boys' and girls' teams (I'm not being crude). Like on Saturday, having played the night before, you'd have thought a few of the blokes might have come to the game to support their sisters. The women should both inspire and taunt them to better things, especially in terms, as you say, of team dynamics.

November 02, 2009 7:06 pm  
Anonymous Ed said...

If I was sticking around, I recon I would love to watch the women, also love the idea of youth league/W-league double headers.

November 07, 2009 9:16 am  

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