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The Rock-itt : November 2009
Down time at Cromer Park, not for long though as pre-season training starts this month and we have just had news that the 2010 NSW Premier League season should start the weekend of February 13/14. Time to catch up on a few things then, not least the picture that was omitted from last month's Manly United piece. I think you will agree it's a beauty! Robbie Slater taking the field for a showbiz XI v Spandau Ballet game!! Someone in the 1980's thought this was a great look for the National team. Robbie Slater's hairdresser must have been taking the same stuff, nafftastic!! Incidentally, if you find yourself wanting to own one of these shirts, the cheapest I could find was on the Net at $134 from classicfootballshirts.co.uk. I'll do you the haircut myself for $20! We had the excitement of the friendly with Holland recently and they gave the Socceroos a severe work out. We were lucky they didn't have the services of the injured Robin Van Persie or it could have been a little embarrassing. The Socceroos' defence did cope extremely well with what they threw at us, Lucas Neill in particular having a solid game. Our attack, however, didn't look at all world class. In the same week we had the Asian Championship qualifier against Oman and they gave us a real fright in the first half. They looked very sharp, thankfully Pim Verbeek had strong words with our boys at half time and thanks to Tim Cahill's second half goal, we now look in better shape to qualify. After a slow start in this Asian Cup competition, we were surprisingly beaten 1-0 in Canberra by Kuwait in March and drew 0-0 away to Indonesia in January. This win against Oman puts the Socceroos back on track, level at the top of the group with three games still to come. The next game for Australia is on November 14 in Oman followed by an away game against Kuwait on January 6. Brisbane gets to see the team in the flesh next March when the Socceroos take on Indonesia at Suncorp Stadium. Suncorp is a great venue. I've been to the San Siro home of AC Milan and when full Suncorp will give you the same experience. I hope they get more supporters there than Brisbane Roar have been doing of late, 4,500 for an A League home game is enough to drive you to drink, ask Frank Farina!! Sticking with International teams, it turned out to be a pretty torrid time for the Australian under 20 team at the recent U20 World Cup. We mentioned last month that Manly United player, Sam Gallagher had been selected to be a part of the Australian team and it turned out to be a steep learning curve. I spoke with Sam on his return and asked him about his experiences in Egypt. He said that it was an awesome experience to go over there with the team and represent his country, Egypt wasabitofa culture shock at first, he hadn't been anywhere like it before and it made him appreciate Australia. He saw the Pyramids but probably wouldn't be rushing back there on holiday! Sam got in the starting line up in the last game against Brazil and he thought they did quite well against the team who ultimately came Timmy Cahill points the finger at Oman whilst Dario Vidisic gets all romantic Sydney FC's Sam Munro gives one of the Brazilians a helping hand at the Grade 20 World Cup.