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  1. New City dads revel in fatherhood AAP 18 OCT 2017 - 3:58 PM If you're looking for secrets behind Melbourne City's sharp start to the A-League season, June 5 is a good place to start. The otherwise inauspicious date - four weeks after the grand final, and two weeks before Warren Joyce was appointed coach - holds special meaning for two City midfielders. It's the day Nick Fitzgerald and Luke Brattan became fathers for the first time. And both believe it's sparked an upturn in their own form. "I've been really happy away from the pitch and that's carried onto the pitch," Fitzgerald said on Wednesday. "There's definitely a link." Fitzgerald, with son Harrison at Etihad Stadium, laid off both assists in last Saturday's 2-1 Melbourne derby win. Brattan missed the match after a training incident last week, but impressed in City's opening night victory over Brisbane Roar. The two-time Roar grand final winner said his baby girl, Amaya, brought balance. "It's a fantastic distraction away from football," he said. "We get caught up in football a lot. Thinking about it all the time. Everyone tells you your life is going to change and it does but it's very rewarding. "The sleepless nights are tough (as are) sicknesses. Your priorities change but I think it makes you a better person. It makes you a better footballer." Brattan says he's available for City's round three date with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night. "I hate missing any game. I hate missing training so to miss that game was tough," he said. "It was the coach's decision. I got kicked in training but I said I was fine. It is what it is." At AAMI Park, City will gun for three straight wins to start the campaign for the first time in their eight-season history. They blew a similar opportunity last year when nemesis club Perth Glory completed a smash-and-grab 3-2 win. Brattan said the club had a chance to show improved maturity against the Nix. "We've got to learn from last year," he said. "We had a couple of good games last year at the start and it went to our heads a little bit. "We've got our fair share of critics and being at a big club they're going to continue to hang around until something goes wrong. "We've got to keep the momentum going ... (and) work extremely hard. "That's shown in the first two games it's going to pay off." http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/article/2017/10/18/new-city-dads-revel-fatherhood
  2. 2017/18 Melbourne City Media

    Mauk and Galekovic post-game presser (video starts around 1.20): Kamau interview (~Monday) about the derby win: http://20313.mc.tritondigital.com/WHOOSHKAA_1709/media-session/e2d3e620-91d4-4255-854e-a0cfdb824f68/podcasts/podcast_1709/podcast_media/4d350c-bruce-kamau.mp3 Jess Fishlock interview this week on re-signing:
  3. Details here: https://www.melbournecityfc.com.au/news/how-claim-your-kids-go-free-tickets
  4. I agree with the unchanged side, so Malik - Brattan - Mauk in midfield. The last game's bench was Bouzanis, Cahill, Budzinski, Carrusca, Tongyik. So the likes of Kilkenny will need to fight to make the bench, or miss out. Also if the captain Jakobsen isn't needed in midfield (and presumably gets moved back into defence), then someone of Jamieson, La Rocca, Schenkeveld, Muscat needs to be dropped. La Rocca and Schenkeveld have been a super solid pairing throughout all our 2 season games, so I don't like the idea of splitting up that pairing. Jamieson provided a team high 41 passes last game (more than twice as many as Mucat and with good passing accuracy). However Muscat was strong in defence, with 2 good tackles (other defenders only registered 1 each) and 5 interceptions (La Rocca had the high of 7, the other defenders had 1 each). The defence is arguably the toughest to pick (how to change something that's been working so well?). There are probably a few very good possible lineups, but I'd like to see: Jamieson - Jakobsen, La Rocca, Schenkeveld We'll learn a bit about Wazza with how he solves this selection headache.
  5. "MELBOURNE City’s Osama Malik has been cleared to play in Saturday’s home clash with Wellington Phoenix after his bruising derby cameo." "Fellow midfielders Luke Brattan and Neil Kilkenny are fully fit and available, Tim Cahill is training fully after returning from Socceroos duty and marquee super sub Marcin Budzinski pushing for selection with his stunning strike." http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/football/osama-malik-reveals-apology-from-rhys-williams-after-derby-tackle/news-story/201d4be12ea8951c67a43828b976e05e So, our midfield options are: Malik, Brattan, Mauk, Kilkenny, Budzinski, Carussca, Cahill. Maybe Jabobsen. We've got enough midfielders for 2 midfields. Big selection headache for Joyce this weekend.
  6. Rather unfair to call any of our players "a spud" in that excellent derby win IMO.
  7. Rd 2 MOTM vs Melbourne Victory

    What a pleasant "problem", so many contenders for MOTM and there being no obvious or clear winner. That's starting to look like a trend for this season.. Very tough, but I'l just award it to Fitzy, for 2 assists, and hard work in attack and defence. All the other names mentioned in this thread are very worthy too.
  8. R2 Etihad Derby 14 October 7:50pm

    Superb win. Perhaps the best thing was the great attitude from the team throughout. Worked all game, and worked together as a real team as well. At the same time there were some starring individuals and great moments: Fitzy with 2 assists (the 1st one was magic IMO; he attacked the defenders with excellent footwork and laid the ball off deftly--that goal doesn't happen without Fitzy's impact), Budzinski scoring minutes after his derby debut, Our defence being rock solid in particular with Schenkeveld and La Rocca being near faultless, Jakobsen again stepping up to put in a solid shift in a makeshift position (this time in midfield), Brucey with a great individual goal running 3 quarters of the pitch, and Malik for mine kept the team ticking in possession in the first half (our possession play went down a peg in the second half without him). In short, there were great performances all around in my view. A win to be proud of. We had 8 shots to the visitors 4 shots in the first half. In the first 45 they also got 3 yellow cards and we got 0, them needing to do dodgy tackles to keep us down. So we really should have been a goal up and a player up by HT. And all game we had 7 shots on target to the visitors 2. For all their possession, they produced precious few actual chances and only got their one goal after a breakaway from one of our corners. We should really have finished the game 3-1 with Budzinski having a great one-on-one (and Cahill there for the layoff) near the end. On Melbourne City's fluency in possession, I'd say this: In the first half, we matched and maybe even surpassed the visitors. Our first goal was the only goal not from a counterattack, and we had 8 shots to 4. And consider the players we had: going into the game no Kilkenny and no Brattan. Malik went off before HT. And Mauk pushed on often, so we were playing 4-2-4. And in the entire second half that midfield was a defender in Jakobsen and a significantly undercooked (fitness-lacking) Budzinski. So IMO it's not surprising we weren't playing Barca-style football with great ball movement and retention, because in the second half we really had no midfielders in midfield, and our captain defender Jakobsen needed to play the whole game in midfield. So really it was a pretty remarkable and sharp performance given how shaken up the midfield was. All in all, it was a great win built on a 1st class team spirit and a rock hard defence in an away derby at Etihad. Two wins out of two, can't do any better than that, and there's still so many good individuals to rejoin the team--Brattan, Kilkenny, Brandan, Fornaroli--or get up to full fitness--Budzinski, McCormack, Cahill, Carrusca. Bring on Round 3 against Wellington!
  9. R2 Etihad Derby 14 October 7:50pm

    Great day for football! Keen to get down to a sunny Docklands today to follow the team. interesting to see the coach's emphasis on "consistency" in the presser with regards to the team
  10. Welcome Ross McCormack

    Ross McCormack opens up on Melbourne City loan deal, Melbourne Derby expectations ANNA HARRINGTON October 14, 2017 ROSS McCormack isn’t too sure what to expect from the Melbourne Derby. It would be unfair to expect the new Melbourne City striker, only in the country for a few weeks, to know the fiery A-League history between Melbourne Victory and Heart/City. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t anticipating it. “To be honest, no [I don’t know much about it]. Obviously I know they [Victory] are a good team, everyone tells me that they’ll be fighting towards the top of the league this season again but I think like any game, it’s about us,” McCormack told foxsports.com.au. “If we look after ourselves, play the way that everyone in this building believes we can, then we should hopefully get a positive result. “But on a personal level, I’m looking forward to going to see the stadium and see what the atmosphere’s like with the fans and stuff, to see how it compares to back home. “So I’m looking forward to it.” And crucially, the striker knows a thing or two about scoring important goals in derbies. The 31-year-old has played in plenty of big games for the likes of Leeds and Fulham, and reminisced on some of his favourite moments with the latter. “Over the years I’ve been quite lucky,” McCormack said. “At Fulham, the big derby’s QPR and I seemed to score nearly every game against them and I think we won most games. “So I’ve been quite lucky — and long may that continue.” McCormack, who signed with City on loan from Aston Villa at the end of September, made his A-League debut against Brisbane in Round 1. While he didn’t score in that game, he said he hoped to get off the mark in Saturday night’s derby. “Obviously that would be my first goal as well and that would be a dream come true but just to get off the mark, I don’t care how it comes,” McCormack said. “If it hits me square in the nose and goes in or it’s a 40-yard wonderstrike, I’m not bothered. “I just want that first one to go in and then I can take off after that.” McCormack has made the move to the A-League off the back of a rough stint at Aston Villa. A high-profile signing on a $20 million transfer from Fulham, McCormack fell out of favour under Steve Bruce, going out on loan to Nottingham Forest in February 2017. McCormack said it had been “tough” dealing with the negativity around his time at Aston Villa. “I think … it’s just the way of life now, everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon and I’ve had it now for the best part of a year and it is tough to deal with because they question your professionalism, what you’re doing in training and what have you,” he said. “And I say to people all the time, I was club captain of Fulham, I was club captain of Leeds — massive club. If you’re a bad professional or if you’re a bad guy or whatever, you don’t get them honours. “I think every club I’ve been at — even at Aston Villa, there’s no-one I don’t get on with at the club, or I haven’t got a good friendship or a good bond with. “So for the outsiders to be saying things like that, it’s always hard to take and it does dent your confidence a little bit but I’m learning to sort of get over that and not think about it too much.” So, looking to find goalscoring form and confidence again, McCormack joined City on loan as an injury replacement when Bruno Fornaroli suffered a serious ankle injury. Despite knowing little about the league, McCormack snapped up the opportunity. “Obviously the British transfer window was closed so it was basically either come over here or stay at Aston Villa and do what I was doing there,” he said. “I’m not one to be sitting around doing nothing, I like to be involved in squads and stuff and playing games and hopefully scoring goals and that all came into the decision.” McCormack said while he’d been surprised when his agent pitched the loan move to City, he embraced the opportunity. “I tell you what, when he called and asked if I’d like to go to Melbourne — I’ve never really thought about going abroad, I’ve always wanted to do it but I’ve never actually looked into it,” he said. “So when he asked if I wanted to go to Melbourne, I thought he was meaning like on a holiday or something. “And then he said, ‘No, Melbourne City have had quite a bad injury to Bruno’ obviously — and hopefully he comes back pretty soon — and they needed someone to cover for him while he was injured. “So I was more than happy to get on a plane and come over.” McCormack said his priority while at City was to return to the type of form that put him in demand in 2016. “That’s another aim of mine is to get back to that frame of mind where you feel as if every time you’re going to be playing you’re going to score a goal or two,” he said. “And throughout them three or four or five years I always felt like I was going to score or make a positive contribution and I think it might take another week or two. “My fitness feels fine, it’s just sharpness, little burst of speed around the box that needs to come but we’re working on that every day with the fitness coach and training’s pretty intense too. So I’ve got no doubt I’m going to get back to it.” With those touches, the Scottish striker hopes comes a renewed sense of confidence and self-belief. “To be honest, (my) confidence is pretty low but you only get your confidence back when you start to do well and you start to feel like your old self,” he said. “So first and foremost in my head is to being sharp, being confident — not just being one of them players who just take a touch and get rid of the ball — I like to try and make things happen. “As I say, I’m working hard every day in training to sort of get back to that level.” Despite being a newcomer to the A-League, McCormack said he was impressed by the standard he’d seen in City's first-up win over Brisbane. And while Australian football is often considered ‘physical’, the Scotsman said it was another part of the game style that caught his attention. “It’s hard to say, obviously we won the game in the end, it wasn’t comfortable. 2-0 sounds comfortable but I think the standard was good,” he said. “You get a lot of people back home who sort of dismiss the standard and stuff and say ‘you’ll score X amount over there, you’ll do this, you’ll do that.’ But it certainly didn’t feel like that. “What struck me was in England it seemed to be a lot more physical whereas over here, even us and Brisbane sort of tried to build from the back a bit more than you usually would in England. “You’ve got a select few teams in the Championship who tried to do that but not many. “So it was a pleasant surprise.” McCormack said while he expected the A-League’s style of play to suit him, he needed to ensure he adapted to the game. “Height-wise and if I do play I’m going to be up top myself so it probably should suit me but football’s about adapting — you never get two games that are the same,” McCormack said. “There’s never an easy game of football — you’ve got to work for what you get and I’m willing to do that.” https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/teams/melbourne-city/ross-mccormack-opens-up-on-melbourne-city-loan-deal-melbourne-derby-expectations/news-story/a945368aba52647953c96315d0dae9dd
  11. R2 Etihad Derby 14 October 7:50pm

    Melbourne Derby: Warren Joyce looks forward to Victory rivalry but could do without the water cannon Michael Lynch 13 October, 2017 Melbourne derbies can be daunting affairs for those who have never experienced them before. Some players handle the prospect of the biggest stage with aplomb: it was hardly a surprise that Tim Cahill, the man who loves the limelight, scored a wonder goal on his debut as he helped power Melbourne City to a 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory in the first of the three derbies last season. Others can go into their shells or take time to adjust. The tackles always seem to fly in harder, the crowd noise seems to be louder and the pace and intensity of the game is greater. This time round there are plenty who will be making a Derby debut. Victory's new signing, Rhys Williams, the former Socceroo defender, and its new Dutch forward, Leroy George, are probably the two most prominent names in navy blue lining up for their first taste of the Victory v City rivalry. Argentinian midfielder Matias Sanchez, a veteran of explosive confrontations in Buenos Aires, where so many top Argentine teams are based, may join them. There will be several in sky blue experiencing the special tensions of a Derby for the first time, including City's new Scottish frontman Ross McCormick. But as he started his career off with Glasgow Rangers and subsequently played at Leeds and Fulham, he will be well used to the tensions that come with local rivalries. Nowhere in Britain is the tension hotter than in Glasgow, where the Rangers v Celtic fixtures triggers animosity and visceral hatreds that stretch back more than a century, emphasising economic, religious and cultural divisions which have historically separated the two great clubs. However, one man will go into this game with more riding on his shoulders than any other, and that is City's new English coach, Warren Joyce. He is the man whose tactical decisions, selections and approach to the game will be scrutinised more than any player because he is a fresh face. Get it right and mastermind a City win, and his kudos will rise, his place in the affections of City fans be assured and the judgement of the media and critics will be positive. Get it wrong and Victory fans will make him a figure of fun, City fans will be wondering what else lies in store, and the critics will mark it down as his first failure. Not that Joyce is the sort to lose too much sleep over it. As pressure cooker situations go, he has been in far hotter kitchens and survived with his equanimity and sense of humour intact. During a senior playing career which lasted 17 years, the now 52-year-old former midfielder spent two-thirds of that time (12 years) playing for the Lancashire clubs Bolton, Preston and Burnley, where the heat is on every time they meet on a football pitch. He also experienced on-field tensions in England's west country, during a period at Plymouth late in his playing days, where rivalries with Exeter and the Bristol clubs were heated. And, of course, he spent eight years at Old Trafford as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's assistants, coaching Manchester United's reserve side. That was during the latter years of United's domination of the Premier League, but also coincided with the period when the "noisy neighbours" of City, fuelled by first Asian and then Middle Eastern investment, started to catch up with and then overtake United. City have won two of the past five league championships while United foundered under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal as they struggled to adjust to the post Fergie era. Derbies between the two clubs – ironically his former and now current employers – were always intense affairs and victory in them is highly prized by Mancunian fans, especially those of City who were able to measure their progress in the most tangible way of all, with a win over the hitherto dominant United. But it is none of those derbies with which he has been involved – City v United, Burnley v Blackburn (noted as one of the most vicious rivalries in the English game), Bolton v Preston or Plymouth v Exeter – that Joyce rates as the hairiest. He says his time in Belgium, when he managed United's partner club Royal Antwerp between 2006 and 2008, was the standout where bizarre behaviour and straight out fan vehemence was greatest. "All those games in England, the atmosphere is always fantastic because the rivalries have been going on for years and everyone in the towns looks forward to those matches in particular. You feel it out on the pitch as a player. "It's not just the actual derbies within cities either. In the Premier League when I was with United there were games against Liverpool and Leeds that always had an edge too. The geography makes it easier – fans can travel and get to away games. You could drive from Manchester to Leeds in 40 minutes: here it takes that long to get from Bundoora [City's training base] to the city. "In Belgium though, it was something else. The country is so small you could drive through the best part of it in an hour and the fans all get to away games every time." The mood was, to put it politely, boisterous, he said. "It was a genuinely hostile atmosphere at so many of those games – particularly when the fans had been on the strong Belgian beers for hours leading up to it. "Lots of chanting, shouting, the police would be there with machine guns and the hungriest looking dogs straining at the leash that you have ever seen. The Antwerp fans were probably the noisiest I have ever heard and they wanted results: if you drew 0-0 away from home there would probably be 600 of them in the car park later letting you know how they felt about a result like that. "You would have police in armoured vehicles with water cannon, I remember one game when there were helicopters buzzing over head after, it was like a war zone. "I got to know them a bit at Antwerp. There was one bloke involved, Gino, he was a nice fellow when he hadn't had a drink. Him and some of his mates also for some reason used to follow Barnsley in the English Championship too, and sometimes they would hop on a plane and land at Doncaster Airport and go and watch them." So what is he expecting from his first Melbourne Derby? "Well, three points is the first thing, but what we also want to do is put on a show for the fans so that our supporters are proud of the players and proud to support this team. That's very important." http://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-derby-warren-joyce-looks-forward-to-victory-rivalry-but-could-do-without-the-water-cannon-20171012-gz04m5.html
  12. R2 Etihad Derby 14 October 7:50pm

    Cahill fit to fire in derby against Victory Jason Phelan 13 October, 2017 Saturday night's much-anticipated Melbourne A-League derby between Victory and City could provide the next big stage for Tim Cahill to work his magic. City coach Warren Joyce is confident Cahill has recovered well enough from his Socceroos heroics on Tuesday night to have a major impact against his club's arch-rivals. Cahill was back training at City's facilities the morning after his two goals against Syria in Sydney put the Socceroos through to the next stage of World Cup qualifying. The 37-year-old has been named in City's squad for Saturday's Etihad Stadium clash, but Joyce has played his cards close to his chest when asked if he will start. "I'm not going to go through the team ... it's not professional," Joyce said on Friday. "(But) it was a tremendous effort to get back as early as he did to prepare properly - it's the sign of a true professional. "I think he opened the building up ... a quick flight back and he's raring to go. "It's good for the group." Victory will also be bolstered by the returns of Socceroos Mark Milligan and James Troisi, and New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses. Milligan was on the receiving end of several bruising tackles against Syria and featured for all 120 minutes of the extra-time win. "We've had to integrate him a little bit differently," Victory coach Kevin Muscat said of Milligan's return to training. "We're still assessing all their recoveries and especially Millsy because he played 90 minutes in the (first leg against Syria in Malaysia). "He took a fair few knocks in the first game ... but he won't have any issues - we've just got to make sure that we're doing the right thing by him. "We'll sleep on that but, at this point in time, they're all putting their hands up to play in what is going to be a massive game." New Victory signing Matias Sanchez was also named in an extended squad after the Argentine midfielder overcame the hamstring tightness that sidelined him last week. Victory will look to bounce back after a 1-0 loss to Sydney FC to start their campaign, while Joyce oversaw a 2-0 win over Brisbane in his first A-League game in charge of City. https://au.sports.yahoo.com/football/a/37456415/citys-cahill-fit-to-fire-against-victory/
  13. R2 Etihad Derby 14 October 7:50pm

    Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce coy on his squad ahead of derby against Melbourne Victory Matt Windley October 13, 2017 MELBOURNE City coach Warren Joyce is still getting used to how things are done in Australia and says Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola or Arsene Wenger wouldn’t be doing some the things he’s had to for the build-up to the derby. COMING from England, where opposition coaches don’t see eye-to-eye at the best of times, Warren Joyce found Friday’s Melbourne derby build-up a tad strange. On the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, side-by-side with Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat for a pre-match press conference and photo opportunity, new City coach Joyce mused that you wouldn’t see the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola or Arsene Wenger do this. “To pull the two coaches and players from both teams in the same room before a game, I think you’d find that difficult,” Joyce put it politely. Joyce will get his first Melbourne derby taste in front of an anticipated crowd of about 40,000 at Etihad Stadium. Still adapting to the intricacies of coaching in Australia, the former Manchester United youth coach said he took the opportunity to take in Victory’s loss to Sydney FC last weekend as preparation for Saturday night. Not that his wife was too happy. “My wife flew in last Friday,” he said. “So I treated her — after a 24-hour journey — to go and watch Melbourne Victory. “That’s not the norm, here, either. In England you can drive nearly anywhere to go and watch your opposition, look at them and guess what they’re going to try and do the following week.” Joyce was guarded about team selection, simply saying Tim Cahill would be “in the squad” after his 120-minute Socceroos outing and that marquee midfielder Marcin Budzinski is “getting a little bit sharper” every day after he started on the bench last week. But there is a big case to say City will be unchanged. “You’re talking about consistency and there’s got to be consistency from myself as well,” he said. “You’re looking for people to train well every day and play well every day, do what they’re asked to do, there’s got to be some reward as well.” Victory also announced on Friday the signing of Heidelberg United striker Kenny Athiu, a star of his club’s FFA Cup and successful NPL Victoria campaigns. http://www.news.com.au/sport/football/melbourne-city-coach-warren-joyce-coy-on-his-squad-ahead-of-derby-against-melbourne-victory/news-story/a17f6b4b4d9ab3918c07ec79b37fa945?from=rss-basic
  14. 2017/18 Melbourne City Media

    I find it interesting to follow what the players have to say in their own words. It can tell quite the story. For example, both Kamau and Brattan went out of their way to say "they didn't play well against Brisbane" in their own opinions. Even though one scored both goals, and the other was some journalists/broadcasters MOTM. Maybe they are both taking a more humble or (high) standards-setting approach this season. And maybe their approach of really wanting to perform better has to do with Joyce. There's usually only a handful interviews each week, so it's no worry to put them up on the Forum in one place
  15. Tim Cahill

    Melbourne City superstar Tim Cahill on Ronaldo, Henry and the art of crossing Jason Pine Oct 12, 2017 His aerial prowess rescued the Caltex Socceroos against Syria on Tuesday night and now Australia’s all-time leading goal-scorer Tim Cahill has revealed what makes for a perfect assist. Australia's talisman headed home crosses from Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse in Sydney to send his country through to an intercontinental playoff against Honduras. And having benefited from the service of several top-quality team-mates throughout his storied career, Cahill has opened up about the kind of service he craves to excel in the box. “Someone who's cultured - someone who understands footballers' runs and timings,” Cahill told www.a-league.com.au “Pretty much my whole career I've made a living off players like Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Leighton Baines and Thierry Henry - players who can see what's happening next. “I was lucky to have [Nicolas] Colazo as part of the Melbourne City team last year. “It makes a big difference when you've got someone who understands football.” BEST OF THE BEST In a career spanning two decades, Cahill has enjoyed hugely successful stints with the likes of Everton in the English Premier League, NY Red Bulls in MLS, Shanghai Shenhua in China and now Melbourne City. Having played in some of the top leagues around the world, Cahill has now revealed the best players he’s played with and against throughout his decorated professional career. “The best I've played with is Thierry Henry, Mikel Arteta, Louis Saha and Phil Neville for his professionalism,” Cahill said. “Players like that are just exceptional. “The best I've played against would be Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo – they’re two very different players that I admire a lot. “Roy Keane for his work ethic, mental toughness and being a leader and Cristiano Ronaldo because he's got everything!” https://www.a-league.com.au/news/melbourne-city-superstar-tim-cahill-ronaldo-henry-and-art-crossing