All Whites Deserved to Win Halberg – So Says Biased Football Fan

OK, I am biased, I am a football nut. I think they deserved to win the Halberg Award and given that the 28 person panel voted accordingly, there was obviously enough support from the people who mattered.

The panel consist of 10 media types and 18 sports people from a wide range of sports. Interestingly, none of them are from Football.

Possibly sentiment carried the day, Dick Taylor is due to resign as he didn’t “agree with the end result.”

As the President of the Canterbury Rugby Supporters Club, you could guess that football is not his favourite sport, but his beef seems mainly that he thinks you must win something to be eligible.

“Really, they (All Whites) didn’t win anything. Part of the criteria for the Halbergs is about people winning or high achieving.”

He mentions that bit at the end “or high achieving” as a bit of a throw away, but it does change the criteria significantly.

Is high achieving significantly surpassing everything people expect of you?

If so then the All Whites were a shoe in for the award.

People expect the All Blacks to win, The Kiwis and Silver Ferns are one of only 2 or 3 contenders for every trophy. This is a massive achievement in the world of football.

Giving the award to a “non winner” has precendent:

Here is a list of recent winners:

  • 1990 Halberg Award Winner – Peter Blake
  • 1991 Halberg Award Winner – Philippa Baker
  • 1992 Halberg Award Winner – Annelise Coberger
  • 1993 Halberg Award Winner – New Zealand Men’s Amateur Golf Team
  • 1994 Halberg Award Winner – Philippa Baker & Brenda Lawson
  • 1995 Halberg Award Winner – America’s Cup Team
  • 1996 Halberg Award Winner – Danyon Loader – (1990s Decade Champion)
  • 1997 Halberg Award Winner – Beatrice Faumuinã
  • 1998 Halberg Award Winner – Rob Waddell
  • 1999 Halberg Award Winner – Rob Waddell
  • 2000 Halberg Award Winner – Rob Waddell
  • 2001 Halberg Award Winners – Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell
  • 2002 Halberg Award Winners – New Zealand Men’s Basketball Team
  • 2003 Halberg Award Winners – SILVER FERNS (netball)
  • 2004 Halberg Award Winner – SARAH ULMER (cycling)
  • 2005 Halberg Award Winner – MICHAEL CAMPBELL (golf)

Full Details can be found here and here

The 2004 triumph of the Tall Blacks is a similar award of the Halbergs to a non winner, their amazing 4th in the world championships is arguably an ever bigger non winning achievement.

It was also a great result for Winston Reid’s equalising goal as the Sporting Moment award. I was awake, ready to pack the kids off to bed after a competent, but anticpated loss.

But THAT goal changed everything. The kids were buzzing. They didnt want to miss the other games and the whole World Cup took on another dimension from that point onwards.

Enjoy these…

God on you Boys, well done!

Will Adidas pay for their failed Jabulani Ball?

There have been plenty of criticisms of the Adidas Jabulani ball, to the point where FIFA have said they will look into the concerns about the ball.

Seems to me like it is a bit too late.

We are in the middle of their show-piece tournament and that FIFA have made this admission now (given their reluctance to even acknowledge the discussion on technology) shows they are not happy.

Adidas have a contract with FIFA to supply the ball for the next World Cup in 2014. They paid over USD300 million for the right to do so.

I think one of the key reasons for the problems with this ball is the significant change from previous models. There seems to be a complete change is feel to the ball and the way players are describing how it acts will mean that they have some getting used to it.

The fact that the first free kick to be scored from came in the last round of the group stages again highlights how long it has taken to get used to the new ball.

The Jabulani has been available to national teams for months before the finals, but given most leagues (Especially, the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A) use Nike balls, they could not be used consistently to gain experience.

Ironically, Germany’s Bundesliga was the only major European league to use the Jabulani in normal domestic matches.

I expect for the next games to play better as teams are coming to grips with it. But it shouldn’t take this long.

I would hope that Adidas are put on notice for 2014, to either provide a ball similar in characteristics to what is being used throughout the world or provide it much earlier for teams to practise with.

Unfortunately, with Nike’s domestic league dominance, if Adidas decide to push the boundaries again, we could have the same problem in four years time.

The 2010 Football World Cup and the All Whites

I am an unashamed football nut, have been forever. I was young but remember the ’82 World Cup (I was even given some Spanish stamps commemorating it from a friend that went)

I have been reading and watching the current All Whites World Cup campaign from the early stages: relatively routine progression through the Oceania Group, the warm up game vs Jordan, then the nail biter in Bahrain in the first leg of the qualifier.

I was even lucky enough to be one of the near 35000 who was at the game on “that” night in Wellington.

But then the wait, six months before the true build up to the World Cup itself.

Expectations have been varied, from Ivan Vicelich’s possibility of getting past the group stages, to some of the bookmakers who were giving big odds for us even scoring a single goal.

Recent warm up games have given some optimism, that we will be at least competitive and not the walk overs we were talked as. But more than that, while our midfield is light, especially in technique, our defence is looking strong and the most pleasing things is that we actually look like a genuine threat at the pointy end.

I would expect us now to most likely score in each of our pool matches. If that is the case, we give ourselves the best opportunity to get results in every game.

Who knows, Ivan could be right.

Comic Relief – Sketch comes true in England 2 – Ukraine 1

As a football fan, it’s great to see the footballers making fun of themselves.

For those of you who follow football, this was a recent sketch from Comic Relief.

Interestingly, Peter Crouch (one in the front row) did the “rope” as part of his celebration after scoring a goal in tonight’s 2-1 win over Ukraine.

Well done that man.

Comic Relief Sketch is here