There should always be pride when a sportsperson is picked to represent their state, province, county or ultimately their country and there undoubtedly is, but sadly in today’s sporting world other issues can also come to the fore.
Australian sports fans have now come to terms with the battle between club and country that top athletes face. When they receive more money on a weekly basis playing for their clubs around the world than they do playing for the national team, if the club says they want you to stay, you are faced with a difficult decision. For example being involved in Australia’s recent World Cup qualifiers Not The Footy Show understands that each player received $10,000 per game. A good earner for an A-League player, not such a big carrot for those based overseas.
The issue now is being raised lower down the sporting ladder in Western Australia, with the finals series of the All Flags State Premier League season fast approaching a fixture has been arranged against the Perth Glory; there is nothing new in this, and there is nothing new in it being called a state team, and nothing new in our belief that it should be classed a state League team, as some players selected are not permanent residents. The old minimum requirement to don the Black and Gold.
Once again the timing of the game could not be worse for those vying for the title of Premiers. Do they play in the representative team, and risk injury which could harm their club’s chances in the finals, thereby as some would say, putting themselves ahead of their club?
Despite the salary cap heavily reducing most players earnings, players could also miss out on earnings if they were injured, as we understand that the representative side will not be receiving any financial reward for playing.
Many would argue that that is as it should be, but surely having reduced the earning capacity of the players with the salary cap, and attracting hopefully a big crowd thanks to the game being promoted, the players should receive some financial reward?
It is a tricky question, and football like all sport has changed. There is no doubt that no one playing in the state league is playing purely for the money, but it is an added bonus. If the players are not going to be paid, then at least let them keep their shirts to commemorate the occasion; something that has previously been overlooked in recent years.
Either way it will be interesting to see who does in fact run out to face the Glory in this representative side.