Tuesday, June 13, 2006

while on matters of the foot ...

As I do every week, I just finished playing soccer with other students and staff in my research school. Inspired by last night's stunning win in Germany, I hit the pitch this evening with new found confidence. It's amazing what a little confidence can do. I normally refer to myself as the token Aussie, which is pretty much the truth considering just me and one other guy were actually born in Australia. In fact, I think we are the only two born in this hemisphere, but I digress. Tonight, similiar to the history making perfomance of the socceroos last night, I made my own little bit of history by scoring two goals. I won't claim they were quite as impressive as Cahill's last night, particularly considering one of them was intended to be a cross, but the fact is, I was on fire - and it was good.

I quite unashamedly admit that I am one of the many thousands of Australians who has jumped onto the soccer bandwagon. In truth, I was a fan of the game quite a while ago, but it's a difficult game to crack, both as a player and as a spectator. In both instances, it helps to have someone who knows a bit about the game, who is willing to explain the offside rule, all the club competitions, and why it is that Australia had to play the 5th placed South American team to qualify for the world cup ? It's a complex game to understand, yet one of the simplest in terms of rules and necessary equipment. A ball, a bit of flat space, and some objects to mark the goal - that's all you need. Any wonder it's the world game.

I don't think AFL, League or Union fans need fear the rise of soccer. Australians have a fine tradition of embracing any sport we're half decent at - how else would lawn bowls get television coverage ? I am just glad soccer has arrived, because I have a feeling we could be very good at it in years to come (particularly if I can keep up my current good form).


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