Just in case you missed it, here is everything of importance from the A-League Round 9 in Tribalfootball's Press Rewind.
After nearly a year spent injured on the sidelines, Blake Powell made his return to first team football for Central Coast this weekend, and didn't he return in spectacular fashion.
Off the back of some very hard work by Daniel De Silva, Powell had the ball handed to him on a silver platter in front of goal, and promptly tucked the ball away to get on the scoresheet in his first match back.
Not only did he score in his return, but he also scored a mightily important goal. The goal proved the difference between his Mariners side and their Perth Glory opponents on the day, seeing Central Coast jump up to fourth place on the table. They'll be hoping this win marks a return to consistency for the often uninspiring Gosford side.
Bravo, Blake. Welcome back.
I don't see another week that goes by without our infamous Video Assistant Referees getting a shout. In the landscape of Australian football, one thing has never united the football community such as the VAR, and it's not likely to change unless we see some massive improvements.
This week Ernie Merrick criticised the inconsistencies of the usage, suggesting that any infringements should be clarified by a VAR check. Jets defender Nigel Boogard was on the receiving end of a harshly judged push that was not reviewed by the VAR.
Furthermore, Besart Berisha found his early goal against Wellington ruled out for offside. Reviews suggested his lead foot had him offside for a split second, but offside nonetheless.
Whatever happened to "benefit of the doubt goes to the attacking side?" With miniscule decisions like this being reviewed but Boogard's non-existent push being brushed aside, it undermines the on-field referee's credibility as well as the longevity of the VAR system in the game.
Let's hope the FFA reform happens soon and we get some proper governance and guidance over such issues. It starts from the top.
The apocalypse is here! Deadline day for the FFA arrived on Friday, and even after two and a half years of trying to agree on terms to make Australian football more democratic and transparent, the final FFA Congress reform was rejected.
@FFA right now #FFAAGM#FFApocalypsepic.twitter.com/HE5WssR82N
— Matt (@Yakcall) November 30, 2017
Seventy per cent of the stakeholders voted in favour of these changes, which is just below the seventy-five per cent required to ratify changes to the constitution. It is believed the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (AFPCA) – the member representing the A-League clubs, as well as NSW and Victoria state federations rejected this proposal.
The AFPCA maintains that Steven Lowy has “lost the locker room", after early Friday morning questioning the independence of the board and providing evidence between 13 possible conflicts of interest and the Lowy Family.
In the following press conference Lowy stated, “Today's vote was all about money and control. This has been a fight about who runs this game in Australia."
While all parties agree that the number of seats in the FFA Congress needs to expand, there is a deep running distrust between the FFA board, who are seen as dictatorial and opaque, and the A- League owners, who have been labelled by the board as a “greedy billionaires club."
The FFA will now communicate the outcome to FIFA, and discuss the options available now that no agreement could be reached before the deadline. This could see FIFA take over the running of the game in Australia in interim.
Lowy has refused to rule out legal action against FIFA should they decide to take over and govern the sport in Australia.
FIFA : Shall I show you to the exit or would you prefer to be dragged off kicking and screaming?
SLowy : Oh! Kicking and screaming, please. #FFApocalypsepic.twitter.com/TyXmghuEhH
— Glenn (@Glenji_) November 30, 2017
With the sudden surge in popularity for the Matildas, and the excitement for the Socceroos qualifying for the World Cup; in a country where football struggles in a super-saturated sports market; this could not come at a worse time.
The storm has been coming for a long time now, but this scandal is going to hurt the game deeply.
Only one name jumps out at me after this round, and for good reason. Wellington striker Andrija Kaluderovic. He's plucked himself out of obscurity and is now scoring regularly, something he struggled to do while at Brisbane Roar back in 2015
Compare the pair. Not quite the same age but the standout for their respective sides. It's always a little more impressive to be scoring goals when your club is struggling, much like the Phoenix. I don't want to say O'Donovan has it easy, it's more a case of Kaluderovic has it a little tougher.
Needless to say, the Serbian has put his dismal Brisbane stint behind him as he looks to truly establish himself with Wellington, despite their losing ways. If he can score regularly and do it well, it's enough to have other parties interested.
Star Wars Round
STAR WARS Episode VIII: THE LAST JEDI(NAK)
"War! The FFA is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Gianni Infantino. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.
In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, David Gallop, has swept into the A-League capital and announced Star Wars round, most blatant of publicity stunts.
As the A-League clubs attempt to flee the besieged capital with their valuable dignity, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to save face after a horribly timed themed round announcement...."
Star Wars is great. A-League is great. Announcing a partnership between the two in the wake of one of the most shambolic periods in recent Australian football history, not so great. Fans will be hoping that the folks over at the FFA spend a little more time on VAR WARS rather than STAR WARS in the coming weeks.
Goal of the Week
Roar were leading after a stunning Massimo Maccarone goal in the 45th minute (which also deserves a watch!), before Franjic was substituted on in the 65th minute.
It took Franjic less than a minute to get on the scoresheet, as with his first touch of the game, he received the ball on the right side of the penalty area, switched the ball to his left foot and fired a beautiful curling ball into the top far corner.
Wanderer's goalkeeper, Vedran Janjetovic didn't have a chance, as even in full stretch he didn't come near, as the ball flew over his outstretched arms, before neatly dipping under the crossbar.
WOW! WHAT A GOAL @Franjic5!
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) December 2, 2017