Hyundai A-League

As the international stage is being set, I thought to look at how the current club football scene has been doing, with the first league that we look at being the Hyundai A-League which is the top league of Australian football. Just as it is concluding with some great fixtures up ahead, it will be worth a watch if you’re looking to watch even more football than the Euros.

Drawing similarities to Scottish football, the A-League only consists of 12 teams with this season 11 being from Australia and one from New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix. Each team plays each other three times and the winner is presented with the Premiers’ Plate and qualify for the Asian Champions League. There is no relegation for the bottom team in the league.

However the top 6 teams break away from the others and play a knockout tournament called the Finals Series with the top two teams getting a bye in the first round. The winner of Finals Series is crowned champions of the A-League and also qualify for the ACL.

That’s the rules out the way, now onto the teams and who you should be supporting:

At the top of the tree we have Melbourne City FC who have just won their first Premier Plate after finishing runners up last season. Not only do they sound similar but they wear the same colour, share the same shirt sponsor and are also owned by Manchester City owners City Football Group. Although all their transfers this season have joined for nothing, it is reported that Melbourne City have the highest wages in the league. If you are a fan wanting to watch a team grow and could possibly take over the A-League, Melbourne City are for you.

Second in the league are Sydney FC who are looking to build on their success of last season and reclaim their A-League trophy. Sydney FC are the most decorated team in the division with 4 Premiership Plates and 5 A-League Trophies. Glory hunters, Sydney FC are the team to follow. Also to note that former Premier League striker Adam Le Fondre is currently on their books but was loaned out to Mumbai City for this season.

A team for the outsiders would be 4th placed side Brisbane Roar. Winners of 2 Premier Plates and 3 A-League titles while also being the first team to win back to back titles, the roar are looking for success with their last piece of silverware coming way back in 2014. Ex-Motherwell favourite and centre half Tom Aldred is the current captain of Brisbane Roar and will be looking to lift something by the end of the season. Sporting a bright orange home kit with a lion as their crest, they are definitely a team you cannot miss.

If you just like the look of a team based on their badge and kits then look no further than Perth Glory who may have finished 9th in the table but they looked good doing it. Winning trophies is the last thing on their mind with only one title since the beginning of the A-League in 04/05, it’s the kits that you’ll be embracing as the white and purple mixes perfectly and you can’t forget about the Perth badge which I would put up there with the best designed in world football.

Shout out the other teams in the division include Melbourne City FC rivals Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets, Western United, new boys to the league MacArthur FC and the only New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix.

European International Tops

Jan Everse – Netherlands 76′

Not a common household name, Jan Everse was a left back for Holland who spent all his days in his home country playing for Feyenoord between 1972 – 1977 and Ajax between 1977 – 1980. Everse only played for eight years before being forced into retirement. However, during this short career Jan managed to be called up to both Holland under 23’s and then the Holland national team, winning two caps against Belgium and Yugoslavia.

This top comes from Scotland versus Holland during the European Under-23 Championships in March 1976 where the match was played out in front of an incredible crowd of 32,593 at Easter Road. This Scotland team consisted of players such as Joe Jordan of Leeds United, Derek Johnstone of Rangers and Willie Pettigrew of Motherwell, who would go on to swap jerseys with Jan after the game.

Having won the first leg 2-0, Holland would lose this game 2-0 with goals coming from Derek Johnstone and Colin Jackson. taking the game to extra time and eventually penalties where the dutch would succeed and take their place in the next round of the tournament. The Dutch would soon feel the same heartbreak as the Scots as they were beaten in the semi-final by the eventual winners, the Solviet Union.

This Adidas top is identical to the jersey wore by the Netherlands in the 1976 European Championships as it features the bold black collar with the iconic Adidas three stripes running down the sleeve towards a thick black cuff. A simple top, as all jerseys only featured the badge and the players number (No trefoil on this jersey), the flying dutchmen always make their kit stand out due to their use of the colour orange which signifies the Dutch Royal Family and William I of Orange who led the country to independence back in the day. A bright kit that is instantly recognisable to everyone, fans of the Oranje should remember this top for years to come.

2 5 9 10 11 14 1970's 1990's 2000's Adidas Admiral Australia Black Blue Borussia Dortmund Celtic Chelsea Claret and Amber Diadora England English European Everton Germany Green International Italian Liverpool Macron Motherwell Netherlands Nike Orange Pony Puma Purple Rangers Red Scotland Scottish Umbro Wales White Xara Yellow