Girls lose on points
WERE our girls robbed blind?
Is this one of the wonkiest sporting decisions imaginable?
Northern New South Wales 13-years girls finished their FFA National Youth Championships campaign unbeaten, with the best goal differential in Group A and as the only side to defeat glamour side NSW Metropolitan 1.
But it counted for nothing when NSW Metropolitan 1 were awarded top spot after gaining the maximum five bonus points from the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Technical Committee.
The playing style of the city slickers was judged the best across the three-day competition, despite going down 1-0 to Northern NSW in the final group match and finishing behind on match points.
“It’s a farce,” North Coast Football (NCF) president Peter Rowe said, when alerted to the outcome.
“If this rule was applied to the 2006 World Cup, neither Italy nor France would have reached the final.
“This takes away what a competition is all about and in our eyes, Northern are the champions.”
The FFA Technical Committee for 2010 consisted of Westfield Matildas head coach Tom Sermanni, Australian under-13 girls national team coach Nicola Williams, ACTAS coach Milo Milanovic, Westfield Matildas goalkeeper coach Paul Jones and former English Premier League player Spencer Prior.
NCF spokesperson Terry Allen reports the decision has taken some competitors by surprise.
“However, FFA explained to participants before the tournament began that teams who attempted to play their matches in the manner FFA is using to develop young talent would be awarded bonus points regardless of their match results,” he said.
“NSW Metro 1 was congratulated by tournament officials for attempting to play the ball on the ground from the back, through the midfield and then to their front line, rather than booting the ball over the top of the pack in order to score quick goals.
“This philosophy is being used throughout the modern Australian game, beginning with Small Sided Games, to ensure our national players learn a style of play which is competitive when they get to senior level.”
Northern NSW was also awarded one bonus point for their efforts throughout the tournament.
Neither of NCF’s Northern NSW representatives, Hope Eadie and Lizzy Tonks, played in the game against NSW Metro 1.
This takes away what a competition is all about and in our eyes, Northern are the champions.”