PLAY IT SHORT (A-LEAGUE): Glory goldmine with ex-Man Utd star, Victory coup with Bayern Munich junior, FFA get out of A-League business
PERTH GLORY ON CASH WINNER WITH MILLER
I can't believe Perth Glory will get to the next preseason without a major offer arriving for Liam Miller. He'll turn 31 next month, but when you think of the contribution Dwight Yorke made to Sunderland post his A-League career, you must fancy a Championship club with ambitions of promotion taking a close look at the former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder. His goal yesterday at Adelaide United was absolute top class, beating two players so coolly before banging the ball past Galekovic. This column has said it before, if he was Brazilian, the local media would be talking him up as the greatest import we've seen in this country.
VICTORY GET ONE OVER GLORY FOR DAVIES
Perth Glory are flying, but not everything is falling for the Sandgropers. It looks like Melbourne Victory have a deal for Julius Davies wrapped up. Either now or for next season, the boy will be a Victory player - a great coup for the giants. Plenty has been said about Davies' Sierra Leone background, but he learned his football in Perth, played for both Swan IC and Inglewood United before getting his dream move to Bayern Munich. He's a product of the same Perth system which has produced the likes of Shane Lowry, Chris Herd, Brad Jones and Nikita Rukavytsya. Hoffenheim were happy to take him off Bayern hands, so there's no doubting his ability. Fingers crossed for Victory fans he can settle in Melbourne.
SUTTON AT MARINERS ANOTHER GREAT IMPORT COUP
If Central Coast Mariners can land John Sutton, it'll be another amazing import coup by A-League clubs. Players of the quality of Miller, Ifill and Berisha could easily be playing at a higher level, but have found something in Australia and contributed to the step up in quality we've seen this season. Sutton would be another. Hearts have refused to do business with SPL rivals, every club outside the Old Firm want him, so he could end up in the Mariners' lap. The only concern would be their ownership doubts, which would worry Sutton after all the carry on at the Jambos. But he would be a great replacement for Matt Simon.
A little known fact about Sutton is that when he was doing great things at Raith Rovers, Valencia actually tried to sign him. Like Real Madrid with Steven Fletcher, now of Wolves, Los Che wanted to take Sutton for their B team with the view to developing him for the senior side. He's only 28 - his best years are ahead of him.
MEDIA AND PHOENIX CAN TAKE US INTO EXCITING NEW ERA
Fantastic day for the Nix on Sunday. They trounced Melbourne Heart, played them off the pitch - and in front of one of their biggest crowds for the season. The local fans responded to co-owner Gareth Morgan's best Delia Smith impersonation and came in their droves. Ifill and co didn't let Morgan down and to see the Nix now in second-place is great for the A-League.
On the morning of the game, Paul Lewis, Herald on Sunday's sports editor, dedicated his column to the Nix and how they can capture the imagination of local fans. It was a great read - with Lewis arguing for more colour and gold dust to excite the public. It was massive contrast to the drab, elitist stuff we get this side of the ditch. If the Nix have a media actually pushing for big name signings, big controversy and big ideas - the A-League can only benefit.
DON'T TOUCH A-LEAGUE IMPORTS
Just when the comp's quality has reached new heights comes the news the FFA are getting involved to cut the import quotas for clubs. The A-League is now looking like a mature, stand-alone comp. Han Berger, the FFA's technical director, has no business demanding quotas for local players. Clubs now matter. The fans are now passionate about their teams putting themselves first, ahead of mickey-mouse international calls. It'll be two steps back if the FFA interfere and are allowed to go through with their import restrictions. The elites talked about a soccer tsunami when we made the World Cup. Well, we've made two and nowt's happened. The answer for the game's success is a strong, exciting and independent local comp.
CARLOS HERNANDEZ - BIG MAN, BIG SUCCESS
If this is to be Carlos Hernandez's last season with Melbourne Victory, hopefully he'll be celebrated on and off the pitch as his Blues career runs down. He was our first - and so far only - $1 million player. The failure to regularly refer to Hernandez as Victory's $1m man during his time here was a big miss for the local game. The credibility of such a financial commitment would have attracted more sports fans to Victory. But that's a missed chance. Now you hope he is recognised for what he brought to the club. An absolute star man, brought to the biggest club in the land for the biggest fee in the game's history. And he'll leave a current Costa Rica international. A massive success for everyone involved.