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PLAY IT SHORT (A-LEAGUE): Liverpool keeper in Adelaide, Magilton and Kewell, Heart mentality

LIVERPOOL KEEPER POPS UP IN ADELAIDEThe Cove have pulled off a great coup in landing former Liverpool goalkeeper Deale Chamberlain. Just 20, Chamberlain has been capped by England at U17 level and managed a first team appearance with Leeds United during a loan spell last season. He's now signed with The Cove in Adelaide for an 11-match stint and you have to fancy A-League scouts will be running their eye over him. Chamberlain has offers from the Championship, but does say he'd welcome the chance to continue his career in the A-League.

GLORY SUCCESS DOWN TO FERGIE MANAGEMENTPerth Glory's victory over Melbourne Victory was a triumph of Ian Ferguson's management. Glory have hardly missed a beat since losing Mile Sterjovski and Adam Hughes at the start of the month. Even without injured pair Liam Miller and Jacob Burns, they still managed a great performance against Victory - crowned by four-goal Shane Smeltz returning to form just at the right time.A home final is just what Tony Sage's balance sheet has been screaming out for. With another owner talking about major financial cuts, do you think the FFA and PFA can drop the tin ear act and start making this competition - so good on park - an attractive investment for people like Sage?

NEXT CHAPTER IN KEWELL-MAGILTON STORYFascinating viewing at halftime of the Glory game with Harry Kewell and Jim Magilton discussing Melbourne Victory tactics. Unfortunately, the cameras cut away just as Magilton, who had listened to Kewell's opinion, was about to respond. The pair of them are just a great story to follow. It's exciting seeing big personalities like Magilton, Kewell and Muscat all working together. It's what a club the size and ambition of Melbourne Victory should embrace. The morons convinced the vision was a sign of tension between the pair are really selling both men short. Why shouldn't Magilton draw on and encourage Kewell's contribution after all he's achieved in the game? And the Victory coach has a big enough personality himself not to feel threatened.

DON'T SET DEADLINE FOR GOLD COAST INVESTMENTYou just hope the powerbrokers at the A-League were at Gold Coast United's clash with Brisbane Roar. Over 6,000 fans for a team at the foot of the table is a great result. But more importantly, the make-up of the support has to give those with the club's future in their hands food for thought. It was a young crowd, the majority were wearing Gold Coast shirts and other merchandise. It's a great base to build on. The A-League should leave no stone unturned to keep the club going next season. No deadlines, no pressure. And if it means Clive Palmer is involved - then bloody well let him! Otherwise, lock it away, these young fans will be lost to the AFL. That's a guarantee.

DO HEART HAVE THE BOTTLE?Plenty has been said by a very supportive media about Melbourne Heart's culture - or philosophy (the latest soccer buzzword). Y'know, they play football the right way, they give youth a chance, they're already 'winners' - though haven't actually won anything. This soft-soap approach has to be questioned. It's one thing to stumble into the finals. It's another to finish in the top three. And it takes even more to actually win a title. You wonder if this chip on the shoulder culture of 'beautiful football' over results will actually deliver silverware anytime soon. When the stakes are high, will the Heart players who have come through such a system really have the mentality to make the extra effort that separates the true winners from the also rans?If it's 1-1 to the Glory in extra-time on Sunday and Fred's limped off. Who in the Heart team will have the bottle to stand up against big-match warriors like Burns, Smeltz and Baz?

OWNER WOES REACH ADELAIDEMore owners' woe this time at Adelaide United. Talk is they'll seek to go to 85 per cent of their salary cap next season, with Jon McKain, Dario Vidosic and Sergio can Dijk all to go. John Kosmina's reappointment was a no-brainer. He IS football in Adelaide. You want him to do well - he's a straight-shooter and a headline maker. But the way he kept pulling apart Rini Coolen just doesn't sit right. Having such a huge personality continually chipping away when things were going wrong made the Dutchman's task all the more difficult, especially with no-one else in the local press willing to act as a counter balance.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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