David versus Beckham versus Australia

By Max Grieve

Beckham. Australia. Lucrative. Speculation. POSSIBILITIES. They’re all words, but what do they have in common?

We were convinced that the trans-Pacific liner carrying David Beckham and all manner of spices and exotic fruits would dock in Sydney Harbour. The newly-appointed CEO of the Football Federation Australia, David Gallop, told the country that he had spoken to those mysterious ‘people’ who decide the midfielder’s life for him. ‘David Beckham,’ Gallop declared in an actual quote, ‘can kick a free-kick, and do some other stuff too.’

Australian football knows international superstardom – indeed, we have seen cultured forwardsman Emile ‘The Touch’ Heskey at his imperial finest this season – but Beckham would take the game to an entirely new level. Imagine the delirium, then, when a mere four hours after news of his imminent arrival broke, his ‘people’ – those malevolent bastions of misery – took to the skies in a biplane, and launched an almighty assault on the dreams of a nation. Apparently, he had no interest in Australia. We wept for a time, then got on with watching Alessandro Del Piero, who I will get to shortly.

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Western Sydney Wanderers FC: Australia’s newest, oldest club?

By James Pennington

A sense of history is always relative, and in Australian sport any team, venue or personality that has been around for more than a couple of decades is venerated as a hallowed asset to society. Australia played a rugby international against Wales at the Sydney Football Stadium in mid-June, a venue that had not seen international competition featuring the Wallabies since 1998. Commentators hailed the occasion as an historical occasion, where Australian rugby returned to its roots – at a ground that originally opened in 1988. For a nation that only became a nation in 1901, it’s an understandable process.

It was with clear pride, then, that the Football Federation of Australia this week launched its newest A-League club, the Western Sydney Wanderers, as Australia’s ‘newest, oldest club’. An idea of history, a foundation legend for the club, has been created from the off: the name came from the fact that the first game of football to be played in the colony of New South Wales was between the King’s School in Parramatta, and a side called Wanderers back on the almost prehistoric date of August 3, 1880.

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Welcome Home, Harry.

By Gina Baldassarre, writing from Sydney

After a tiring, drawn-out saga, a contract has finally been signed, the dust is beginning to settle, and the prodigal son is coming home. And no, I’m not actually talking about Cescgate.

That’s right my friends, those of us living down under have had twice the transfer drama to keep us on the edge of our seats this winter. Aren’t we truly the lucky country? (Please try to control your jealousy.) After a seemingly never-ending series of reports of bizarre wage requests and opinion pieces on which club deserves and/or needs him the most, Harry Kewell is coming home.

Well, he’s coming to Melbourne which, having grown up in western Sydney, is a bit like your boyfriend deciding he wants to shack up with the sophisticated, stylish European girl living next door that you can’t even bring yourself to pretend to like. But it’s home.

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