Congratulations to all four teams in the finals of the Football West State Premier league, on putting on two superb games over the weekend. The football was great to watch and was what you would expect for finals football.
However, as in all things in life there are things that can be improved, and some may say we are picking holes, but there are a few things that maybe need to be looked at if we are to continue to take the game where it should be.
Looking at the Knights v Perth game for a start, there is a huge rivalry between the two teams and they have been two of the best teams in the league for the past eleven years thanks to the great work of Graham Normanton and Ronnie Campbell. But the Nash Field pitch was not up to the standard of the game. It was appalling and in truth even though the Knights won the right to host the game, the pitch was detrimental to the game itself. When you have a player dribbling the ball on the deck and then it bounces up and hits him on the knee because of the pitch, is that surface worthy of finals football? Sadly it is not. Both sets of players did extraordinarily well to play the football they did on such a pitch.
Secondly Stirling and Floreat dished out a humdinger of a finish in their game, with some of the best penalty taking I have witnessed for many a year. However as much as they have new lights at Macedonia Park, they were in this writer’s opinion not of a standard suitable to host a game, with areas of the pitch far darker than others, and the angle of the lights in spectators in the main stand’s eyes.
Football West have done well with the finals this year and have shown a great deal of thought splitting the times and the venues, but a question has to be asked does the six o’clock kick off work and how many people are watching both games? Having done so the past two weeks I am not sure that this has worked as well as people hoped. In fact the 6pm kick off on a Saturday night has not been a huge success full stop, as married fans are expected to be at home and players from other games in the main go out or go home.
Maybe the games should be played back to back at one venue, which would ensure a good crowd for both games. It was also reflect well on the video highlights which in turn would enable those at Football West charged with finding sponsorship to have a package to show provisional sponsors that would be attractive. The downside of this idea is the money made by the clubs concerned. With this option Football West would have to look at manning the gates and splitting the revenue four ways. Possible but an option that may get voted out by the clubs, however they need to be asking themselves what is best for the game, and which option could bring in more sponsors? More sponsors for the league see them benefit in the long term rather than the short.
It has been better this year than last year, but like everything in life you have to strive for excellence which means things can always improve. But well done Football West, and well done all the clubs concerned.