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PLAY IT SHORT (A-LEAGUE): Good Newcastle timing, it's still NO PEN, is the 'restless soul' what Victory needs?

STARS ALIGNING FOR GOODNice timing for Curtis Good and his trials at Newcastle United.The Toon are overhauling their academy and development squads this summer, with only a handful of prospects - including Adelaide whiz Brad Inman - doing enough to be kept on. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is throwing 4 million quid at the academy to lift standards - which includes going on a global recruiting campaign.Good has been identified and by all reports hasn't let himself down in trials. It'll be a hard slog for him should he win a contract, but if he's good enough he'll get a chance under Pardew. Remi Streete, also a centre-half, won the Wor Jackie trophy this year, but is sidelined with a serious knee injury so opening the door for someone like Good next season to establish himself in the reserves - at the very least.

BY AUSSIE SPORT STANDARDS IT WAS NO PENI'll repeat it: it was never a pen! Okay, technically, there 'could' have been a foul on Besart Berisha - but in Australia, given our approach to sport, it was NEVER A PEN! We're trying to sell the game to the wider sports loving public. It's up to the A-League to adapt to what the Australian sports audience expects - not the other way around. The demand from the soccer clique that we must accept it was a penalty, that we need to be educated about sideways passing and patient build-ups, that diving is just a clever tactic, none of it is going to wash with the vast majority of Australian sports fans.The most popular football codes in Oz are the AFL and NRL, the most popular soccer comp is the Premier League - the A-League should reflect these values. Stop listening to these elites and give the public what we want - a football comp that reflects OUR sporting values.

WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT RADOWow! Rado Vidosic has stepped straight into the firing line at Brisbane Roar. Erik Paartalu and Mitch Nicholls are wanted in Denmark, Mo Adnan is pining for home and Ange Postecoglou wants to nick Ben Halloran from under their nose for Melbourne Victory. Yeah, on paper it looked a smooth transition - but it does appear Vidosic will be overseeing major squad changes this winter and it'll be a test for him to identify the right replacements.On a side note, I'd love to see Vidosic Jr alongside Berisha in attack next season. Kosmina has warned them off, but you fancy a decent offer would force Adelaide's hand - and there doesn't appear to be a local marquee on the Roar's books. It'll be like the Cloughs at Forest!

FERGIE CAN GET WARD BACK TO BESTDecent move from Perth Glory to bring back Nick Ward. In the first-half of last season, he looked the business for Wellington Phoenix. He was making those lung-busting runs that earned him a move to QPR while under Steve McMahon's guidance in his previous spell with the Glory. If he listens to Ian Ferguson and gets a big preseason under him, you fancy Ward, now 27, can finally reach his potential back home. The only question is, where does he fit in a midfield built around Liam Miller and Jacob Burns? Won't Miller and Ward be taking up the same space?

IS THIS REALLY STABILITY FOR VICTORY?It's staggering how the media have lapped up the Ange Postecoglou appointment at Melbourne Victory. Some even celebrated the way it was achieved, that the fact that the commitment the board had made to Jim Magilton was not on paper somehow excused their treatment of him. Even the Gianfranco Zola red herring has been forgotten. It remains disgraceful behaviour.The one question staring at us all in the face was Postecoglou's "restless soul" comment. After the Merrick era of stability and success, came this board with its scattergun approach. And now they have a coach at the helm who freely admits he needs to keep moving towards new challenges. Victory won't be his last job, Postecoglou wants to try again in Europe. He wants to slay that dragon. So where does the club's stability sit in this latest decision from the 'new' board?

CLASS ACT BY SMITHNice to hear Brisbane captain Matt Smith reached out to Shane Smeltz last week about their GF clash. Smith didn't have to do that, it was no deliberate elbow, but showed great class as a captain to seek to take any sting out of the incident by making contact with Smeltz.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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