I HAVE been hammered by all and sundry over my suggestion that Canberra shouldn’t give up on trying to field an A League team.
Understandably, there is disappointment after Canberra was overlooked previously, despite submitting the only bid.
Football Federation Australia was so determined to put a team in from Western Sydney that it bankrolled the Wanderers itself.
As it turned, out the team is the success story of the A League. In only the second year, it has 16,000 members and made the grand final in its debut season.
I worry that, as the A League becomes more successful, it will become harder for Canberra to get a look in. So there should be some semblance of an ‘A League for Canberra organisation’ to keep highlighting the need for a home team from the national capital.
We should be ready for when the FFA decides again to expand, if for nothing else but to make the federation aware that Canberra is interested.
You don’t need to look too far into Canberra’s history to see the benefits of keeping the dream alive.
In the late 1980s-early 1990s Ron Cahill led the push for an AFL team for Canberra. It almost came off with Fitzroy becoming our team before heading north.
The fact that GWS now plays three premiership games a season in Canberra had its genesis with the momentum created by Cahill and the like.
Once we are over “bid fatigue”, perhaps we can have another look at the A League.
In praise of Owen
I DIDN’T know Owen Brown well. We spoke on the phone several times when Easts Rugby Club was going through a tough period.
Owen was a player with the club, then twice its president. It was during his second stint that he was at his most influential – the club was on the brink financially and he was instrumental in ensuring it didn’t go under.
Not only was he a powerful force in saving Easts, he was also pivotal in ensuring the club was viable into the future.
Owen died last month, aged in his early 60s, following a long battle with cancer. Owen wouldn’t have been able to do what he did for the Easts without the support of his wife Karen, sons Adrian and Matt, and his extended family.
Every sporting club needs an Owen Brown; Easts was lucky enough to have the original.