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How often do A-League hopefuls really have to produce ‘A’ game?

Fair question? With three football codes cranking up for a new season, and one heading towards its finals, I’ve been reminded to revisit a Sportsword regular’s poser we’ve been remiss in not addressing.

“Wag”,  noting at the time how struggling defending champions Brisbane Roar were still a mathematical chance of making the A-League’s playoffs, wrote: “I can’t believe, that in the 10-team A-League comp, a team can qualify for the semis by coming 6th —  i.e. in the bottom half of the points table!”

“AFL and NRL are not much better,’’ “Wag” argued, “with a requirement to finish 8th in a 16-team comp.

“ Super Rugby is better —  a 5th place being required from a 15-team comp —  although it suffers from the fact that each province meets only 4 of the 5 teams in the overseas (conferences).’’

While “Wag” went on to set me some homework – “You might like to investigate the play-off requirements in sports OTHER than football” – I’m inclined to respond with a neat sidestep and throw the whole finals format debate open for discussion.

What d’ya reckon?

 x                         x                         x

 In the interests of bouncing a few other thoughts around, has anyone got any favourite sporting quotes they’d like to share?

I’ve been prompted to invite contributions after coming across one recently that took my fancy – attributed to former England and Arsenal soccer captain Tony Adams – which read: “”Play for the name on the front of the shirt and they’ll remember the name on the back.’’

And this one (though, presumably, offered more in a business context, by boorish US tycoon Donald Trump): “If winning was easy losers would do it.”

Sport’s littered with a lot of oldies but goodies in the quotes department. Maybe we can put together a top 10.

— Peter Thomson


6 Responses to How often do A-League hopefuls really have to produce ‘A’ game?

  • Leo says:

    This rubbish, so properly pointed out by Wag, is all about extending the season by extending the finals and, thus, extending the income.
    There is nothing in the administration of modern sports that is not impelled by money.
    As for sports quotes, I had a couple I used to use when I was coaching cricket youngsters.
    One, which wasn’t original, was: “We’re only playing for fun, and there’s no fun in losing”.
    Another was: “Be humble in victory, and cheerful in defeat”.

  • Sam says:

    Leo, those two quotes seem to contradict themselves.
    I’m not sure who said it but I like “Don’t practise until you get it right. Practise until you can’t get it wrong.”

    • Leo says:

      No, Sam, I don’t think contradictory. I always meant the first as a gentle way of saying: “We’re playing to win !!” And during my sports playing years, I always played hard to win.
      But it was always also my policy to accept victory humbly and defeat graciously.
      I just tried to pass those two attitudes on to my cricket boys (and my sons).
      I like your quote, too. “Practice makes perfect.”
      Getting away a little, perhaps, from sports, but how many times have we seen, especially in the performing arts, some-one like Willie Nelson in the 1970s described as “an overnight success” after many years of working on it ?!!
      Reminds me, I’ve got to get out to the local karaoke shortly.

  • John Wagner says:


    I thought that you were a good student who always did his homework!!

    As for quotes, one that has become folklore in Australia was that of Jim Kenny, Coach of Q’ld Rugby for a few years when Tempo coached the Wallabies. NSW were coached by a intense fanatic, Dave Brockhoff, and Jim was quoted in the media as saying “Brockhoff couldn’t coach a choko vine over a shit-house wall !!
    (I attended a session with “Brock” as speaker in 1984, and I
    reckon, with fists clenched, he did not open his eyes for his entire address!)

    As for personal quotes, one that I always used (as a schoolboy Rugby coach) if I had to drop an under-performing player to the B team:-
    “It is now up to you to prove to me how wrong I have been.”


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