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Murfy1 last won the day on January 7 2018

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  1. Jamieson, Vidosic on track for Melb City OCTOBER 24 2018 - 4:26PM Ben McKay Melbourne City are confident of regaining key players this weekend as they look to hold onto top spot on the A-League ladder. City are looking to consolidate their 2-1 derby defeat of arch-rivals Melbourne Victory - achieved with 12 players missing due to injury, illness and unavailability - with a win at Central Coast on Saturday. The good news for Warren Joyce's side is they will regain left-back Scott Jamieson and attacking threat Dario Vidosic for the trip. Jamieson was a touch-and-go proposition for the derby, with club medicos recommending not to take the risk on their skipper in the opening game of a long season. Vidosic reported sick and is on track to return to full fitness for Saturday's game in Gosford. The pair's absence led to Joyce naming virtual unknowns Idrus Abdulahi, just 15, and Anthony Lesiotis, 18, on the bench against Victory. Lesiotis made his A-League debut as a late substitute for Lachlan Wales with Abdulahi spared a run-out which would have made him the youngest player in A-League history. The bad news is Osama Malik, a virtual ever-present for City last term, is likely to be missing for the next fortnight and possibly longer. The utility has a calf injury, making him a longer-term proposition along with Curtis Good and Michael O'Halloran. Good is viewed as a project player by City after enduring consecutive seasons ruined by serious injuries while based overseas with Newcastle United. O'Halloran has a hamstring injury and is being prepared for a return around Christmas. City and Wellington were the only winners from the opening round of matches and both face tricky away dates this weekend. City play the Mariners - complete with ex-City striker Ross McCormack - who are fresh off a 1-1 draw with Brisbane, who are the Nix's opponents on Sunday. https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5720968/jamieson-vidosic-on-track-for-melb-city/
  2. Hi Haz, in the interview Joyce said "Malik's injured" (around 14:27 here). I gather that Griffiths has been playing well, and I really rate his playing history (especially his performances in the A-League). Nonetheless, I was thinking that with Brattan as the only real CDM, and McGree more as a number 8 who gets upfield that they could both together do the defensive work in midfield (and of course they can offer a huge amount to our attacking play in midfield as well). So my idea on dropping Griffiths was based on the idea that while he is A++ with defending, with regards to attacking in midfield Brattan probably can't be dropped for Griffith, and McGree can't be dropped for Griffths. I happy with McGree as our CAM. Actually regarding the competition for the 5 midfield spots between Brattan, Griffiths, McGree, MOH, Vidosic and Berenguer, I actually think Berengeur could be the most likely to be dropped. I just have a gut feeling that this French league 2 player maybe won't hit the ground running. Nonetheless, I hope he does do very well, so on hope I put him in my starting XI. I agree with your opinion about Good. He's back in the environment where he produced his best and longest stretch of football, so I'm rather optimistic he will feature positively for us this season. Ditto if La Rocca can get back onto the pitch, then he can maybe be as good as a new player for us IMO. I agree we'll need a lot of goals. I'm a little weary about that also. I think we'll need Fornaroli in career best form again (like his 25 goals for us in his first season). Meanwhile Berenguer has only scored 5 goals total over the past 3 or so seasons, and MOH has 10 goals over the last 3 seasons. And in general I'd be weary about midfielders chipping in with 5 or more goals each (McGree has 6 goals in his whole career). In short, I can see why Joyce said why "goals" was "certainly" what the team needed some more of (before curiously signing Berenguer, Ritchie and Good). I think we'll score enough scores to be right up there this season, with Fornaroli, Vidosic and MOH being the leading scorers for the team IMO. But at the same time I'm skeptical we'll break any records for scoring this season. But then again, with our defence, I'm confident that we won't have to.
  3. I think Joyce has a little bit of history with being cagey with the truth about our signings, so it wouldn't surprise me if we made one more signing (however, it'd be an Australian and probably not too expensive signing). But I'd say the starting 11 and probably the bench is settled at this point
  4. My best XI looking ahead to round 1: Birighitti Atkinson de Laet Schenkeveld Jamieson Brattan McGree O'Halloran Berenguer Vidosic Fornaroli Bench: Galekovic La Rocca/Good Griffiths Caceres Najjarine Omitted: La Rocca/Good, Delbridge, Wales, Pieiras, Najjar Injured: Malik A few assumptions: Berenguer is more a central midfielder than a winger, Joyce rightly sees Vidosic as undroppable, de Laet will be played as a CB I'd like to see an attacking set up (so McGree rather than Griffiths as a CDM). Also, I think if La Rocca is fit and can produce early last season's form (or Good is fit and capable) then Atkinson could go to the bench and de Laet to the right (perhaps he's better at RB than CB; that'll be interesting to watch over the season). We look very deep and strong in every position, except arguably striker. Fornaroli only played 10 games (8 starts) last season, so arguably expecting 27 games from him this season is being a little hopeful. And I'm not sure how Vidosic would go in the striker role for a long stretch of games (he scores goals almost at the rate of a striker, but I'm unsure how he'd go as a lone striker [also I think we'd get the most out of Vidosic, which can be a lot, if he's CAM or RW]). And playing a youth as a striker (e.g. Najjar) is inherently a gamble. Nonetheless overall our squad is a very good story going into the season. Only 1 position with a question mark over it, and if I had to bet I don't think the striker position will be an issue at all this season. Also all of our starting XI are in peak ages for footballers--most of the 11 are between 27 and 29, a few others are 30 or 31, and there's 1 or 2 who are 19--so I'm predicting much less squad instability than last season, and I'll say that teams that are successful over a season often have stable and consistent teams like ours. So our squad gives us great chances going into this season IMO.
  5. I was weary that Ritchie maybe hasn't really been a CB in the past, and wouldn't be one for us. But it looks like this Joyce answer puts that concern to bed: Ritchie is pretty much a marquee CB for us
  6. Quality on paper signings in De Laet and Good. Especially if La Rocca can get fit that's the back four looking very strong. And Griffiths can play at centreback, perhaps? Joyce in the pre-match interview video (here): "There's no more spaces, that's done" So it seems that's it for recruitment at the moment
  7. Yep, the club's announcement calls him an "attacking midfielder", Joyce called him "a creative attacking midfielder", and media reports he's a "playmaker" or a "box to box midfielder (here and here). It does seems like Berenguer played both centrally and as a winger in France, but my money is firmly on Joyce planning to play him centrally here.
  8. It's good to be posting again. I'd say the whole book is like that, but I'll let the book speak for itself; here's the synopsis: https://www.amazon.com.au/Killing-Game-transformation-Manchester-creation-ebook/dp/B07GYSMBDG/ref=sr_1_1/356-2253118-0566166?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1536073469&sr=1-1&keywords=Killing+The+Game%3A+The+inside+story+behind+the+transformation+of+Manchester+City+and+the+creation+of+City+Football+Group It sounds like a really fascinating insider's guide to CFG, as well as their takeover and ownership of Melbourne Heart/City. I might well read this ebook when I have the chance (it was just released this week, and by the way it will seemingly be available in print copies in October. There's a good summary here of the "15 biggest takeaways" from this book: https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/what-killing-the-game-tells-us-about-a-decade-of-change-at-manchester-city-1.766473 Also, here's an interview with the author: https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/manchester-city-combined-aggression-and-patience-to-become-part-of-football-s-elite-1.766468 Overall what I've seen here improves the way I look at CFG. Very positive approach, focused on problem solving. Also that "aggressive and patient" notion rings true for what they are trying to do here, I think.
  9. Yes, the latest rumour seems to be that Panathinaikos are interested:
  10. Excellent reading from John Didulica on Behich's humble beginnings to his impressive success (which as the PFA president, he ties together with the story of youth opportunities in the A-League and Australia): From the Chief Executive: Aziz Behich’s rise September 3, 2018 By John Didulica, Chief Executive, Professional Footballers Australia The young player sat uncomfortably in a plastic seat in a damp cafe, looking downward. As recently appointed Director of Football at Melbourne Heart, I had lived many of these meetings. Agents, friends of friends, well-meaning uncles; all hoping to leverage a relationship to give a shot at a contract to a young player they believed in, within an incredibly fragmented and disjointed system. The meeting was unremarkable other than the despondency I sensed in the player. He was clearly anxious or nervous or sensed the slipping dream of becoming a professional. As if this was yet another audition for the dream role on Broadway that would end in rejection. Later that day I met with our coaches, John van’t Schip and Ante Milicic, to plan for our first regional camp as Melbourne Heart. Whilst there was an adventure to be had to sign our top end talent, there was the more immediate task of finding players for the very short term – like this weekend – purely to make up the numbers. We scratched through our spreadsheets. Our scraps of papers and weathered note-pads. We needed bodies to build a training squad for our first pre-season match as Melbourne Heart – a week long community camp in Geelong. As we struggled to find the numbers we needed, I thought back to the meeting I’d had earlier that morning. “What about Aziz Behich?” I said, half as a reflex to the meeting I’d had but half thinking it actually wasn’t a bad idea. My instincts were confirmed instantly – with JvS and Ante immediately lifting their heads up from their notepads to look up at me with smiles, as if a light-bulb had gone up in their collective minds. We had tracked the Melbourne Victory National Youth League team closely that season. We would head out to the bleachers at the Veneto Club and watch the young players melt in the searing midday sun on the synthetic pitch. We were devastated that Mitch Langerak was contracted but another player who we’d often comment on was Aziz, a raw, aggressive and competitive left winger. He would make less and less appearances for the NYL team as he started playing more of a role within the A-League team, so through reverse osmosis he’d almost vanished from our thinking. The quiet resignation I’d sensed within Aziz at our meeting was now becoming more obvious. He was now back playing in the state league. In his mind, he had missed his chance when he missed that chance. A far post cross to win the A-League Grand Final in front of 50,000 people that he didn’t know whether to tap home or head home. So, he chested it. No goal. No title for Victory. No contract. No hope. Aziz would join us on the camp in Geelong. Every day, he would drive from Meadow Heights in the multicultural heart of Melbourne’s outer suburbs to Geelong – about a three-hour round trip. He would go on camp after camp without the promise of a contract. Not once did he take a backward step. Not once did he ever find an excuse. Not once did we ever doubt that he would become a footballer. Every session he would remind the coaches of the tenacity, hunger, humility, resilience and talent he had as a footballer. He was a player who could be trusted. Qualities that would ultimately hold him in good stead to make his starting debut as a left-back against Melbourne Victory in the first ever Melbourne Derby, conquer Turkey, play at a World Cup and earn a move to PSV – one of the world’s most famous football institutions. I often think of Aziz when we discuss the bottle-neck facing young players. Its undeniable that Aziz would most likely never have become a professional player without the expansion of the A-League and the birth of Melbourne Heart. Not because he didn’t have the qualities. But because it is almost inconceivable that a non-Victorian team would have taken a punt on an NYL reject when they had an over-supply of fish swimming in their own pond. It is impossible to know how many careers have been lost or how weakened our national teams may be because we haven’t been able the build the platform we need to service our thousands and thousands of talented young players. Should expansion – or the development of a second division – be hijacked or compromised by politicking it would be a betrayal. It would be a betrayal of not only a generation of footballers who place their trust in our many footballing institutions, but a betrayal of the mums, dads and volunteers across the country who ask Australia’s children to dream about what might be when they strap on their boots for the first time. http://pfa.net.au/from-the-chief-executive/from-the-chief-executive-aziz-behichs-rise/
  11. Hey all. I've been real busy where I am, but I still try to follow City closely (however unfortunately I can't watch too many of the team's matches, hence there's not a lot of comments for me to make). Anyway I've seen some fascinating reporting on the team in the lead up to this intriguing season. Here's a big history on CFG and the club: How Manchester City developed a global network of clubs Daniel Slack-Smith September 3, 2018 In an extract from his new book Killing The Game, Daniel Slack-Smith describes City Football Group's acquisition of six football clubs on five continents While City Football Group was still in the process of securing the expansion licence for New York City in 2013, the emerging football group was already looking for new opportunities to bring additional clubs into its ecosystem. To the surprise of many, the first place that CFG went after New York City was Melbourne, Australia, through the acquisition of Melbourne Heart FC and its rebranding as Melbourne City FC in 2014. “Australia was opportunistic,” says CFG Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. “I mean, I don’t think we sat down and said, ‘You know what? We’ve looked around the world, and Australia is the first place we’re going to invest in.’ No, it wasn’t that. We had decided that the global idea made sense, and that the City Football Group concept needed to be tested, and Australia came up as an opportunity that was a relatively safe, manageable and risk-controlled testing ground for that new vision. It came up, we took the opportunity, and then it grew from there.” Ferran Soriano says CFG first considered investing in China, but eventually settled on Australia as its initial launching pad into Asia. “At the time, the way we were thinking about expanding was by looking at two elements,” he explains. “The first element was the size of the market and its potential for future growth, so we were looking at places where we thought that football and sports in general were going to grow, like China or India, and places where football was not the number one sport, but we believed it could grow to become the number one or number two sport, like the US and Australia.” On the basis of this first element, CFG decided that China represented the greatest potential opportunity, and began exploring the concept of investing in a club in a major Chinese city. “However, the other factor that we had to consider was stability,” says Soriano, “so places where the league was solid, and that was one of the things that eventually led us to Australia. Australia was a stable environment. At that time, the Chinese league was not as well-organised and professionalised as it is now. So, we went for Australia, which at that time was more similar to New York. There was an opportunity in Sydney, but ultimately we found an opportunity in Melbourne that we liked very much.” Melbourne Heart was established in 2009 as the second A-League team to set up shop in Australia’s second largest city. It entered the competition a year later in 2010, and made the finals just once in its first three seasons, before its founders began quietly making plans to sell the Club. The opportunity to acquire Melbourne Heart was brought to CFG in late 2013 by Bart Campbell, the Chairman of National Rugby League side, the Melbourne Storm, which shared a stadium with the four-year-old football club, who had become aware that its owners were looking to exit. “I’d heard that City Football Group were looking at an A-League club in Sydney,” says Campbell, “and I had already seen what they had done in New York. So, I met up with Simon [Pearce], and I said, ‘I know you’re focusing your efforts on a team in Sydney, but just for the record, there is an opportunity with a club in Melbourne, and we would be interested in partnering with you to provide some in-market support here,’ and that didn’t sound entirely crazy to him.” Pearce confirmed CFG’s interest in the opportunity, but thought having Campbell front the deal gave the two parties a much better chance of getting the Club for a reasonable price. ADUG and its officials knew from experience that the mere mention of ‘Manchester City’ or ‘Abu Dhabi’ tended to give wide-eyed sellers unreasonable expectations for the value of their assets. “I told Bart that the problem for me is that every time we get close to something, somebody is going to put an ‘Abu Dhabi premium’ on it, and we are not going to overpay,” explains Pearce. “I said, ‘We are not anybody’s fools. So, if you are prepared to front that for me, then let’s talk about you and your partners coming in as minority shareholders.’” Campbell agreed, and negotiations proceeded on the basis that the owners of the Melbourne Storm would own 80 per cent of Melbourne Heart, and the remaining 20 per cent would be held by an unnamed Premier League club. It was only when the deal was almost done that Campbell revealed to the sellers that the 80/20 split would in fact be the other way around. CFG would own the lion’s share of the Club, and the Melbourne Storm ownership would be the minority shareholder. Melbourne Heart was duly sold to CFG and its minor partners for AU$11.25m on January 23, 2014. Later that day, Melbourne Heart CEO, Scott Munn, received an ominous phone call from CFG director, Simon Pearce, asking him to gather his senior leadership team and bring them to the Crown Hotel in Melbourne for an urgent meeting with the new ownership. “Simon said to me ‘Look, can you get your Head of Commercial, Head of Football, Head of Finance and yourself, and come and meet us at the Crown in the city?’ So, I went and got them all, and I remember Brad Rowse [the Club’s Head of Commercial] in particular was like, ‘This is it. They are going to sack us all today,’” recalls Munn. Rowse doesn’t deny he was bracing for bad news. “My thoughts were that, normally when you get a big corporate takeover, they would get rid of the executive team and put their own people in,” says Rowse. “So, we were having a bit of a talk in jest, but also with a bit of concern as well. We were thinking, ‘Well, what are you going to do next?’” “Clearly, we’re nervous,” admits Munn, laughing about the incident four years later, “and Brad’s like, ‘Let’s stick together, and if they try to ask us to come up individually, we’ll all go as one!’” “We’d also been told two o’clock or something,” adds Rowse, “and then it drifted out to almost four in the afternoon, and we were still sitting there in this hotel lobby, and the longer it went on, the more bleak it looked for us.” “Eventually they called us up,” says Munn, “and it was Ferran [Soriano], Simon [Pearce] and Brian [Marwood]. Simon and Ferran spoke, and then Simon said, ‘I am going to ask you one question, and I want each of you to answer it.’” “He said, ‘I want you to tell me what keeps you awake at night,’ and he started with the first person. It was Paul Jeffrey [Head of Finance], and Paul said ‘Cash flow. We have no cash flow, we have to scrimp and save to find the money to pay the wages on the 15th of every month.’” “Simon said, ‘No problem. We have your bank details and tomorrow morning there will be enough cash in the bank for the next 12 months.’” “Paul says, ‘Okay, fantastic. I’ll sleep well tonight.’” “Then he went to Brad and asked the same question, and Brad said ‘We’ve had [Australia’s oldest bank] Westpac as our major sponsor for five years and they have just told us they are not going to renew front-of-shirt next year. Simon said, ‘No problem. We think Etihad wants to take front-of-shirt next year,’ and Brad was like, ‘Okay, great.’” “He then went to John Didulica [General Manager, Football], and John said, ‘We finished second-to-last [in 2012-13], and we’re at the bottom of the table now.’ Simon said, ‘Well, we’ve just won the Premier League, and Brian is going to fix your football department.’ John said, ‘That’s fine with me.’” “Then they asked me,” recalls Munn, “and I said, ‘Nothing, because you’ve just fixed everything that kept me awake at night.’” Munn, who remains CEO of Melbourne City FC today, says the light-hearted exchange was an important moment. “It was a bit of an icebreaker,” he says, “because at that point we started thinking, ‘Okay, these guys seem like good people.’ I remember both Brian and Simon spoke about wanting the Club to be successful. They said things like, ‘We want to invest. We want to give you an opportunity to succeed. We are not here to come in and judge people by what’s happened in the past. We are not here to come in and sack people. We are just going to understand the business. We are going to understand the people. Then we’ll make it right, and some things we’ll get wrong, and then we’ll change it and start again.’” The message was reassuring. However, Munn admits that he and his colleagues still harboured some doubts as they left that hotel suite high above Melbourne’s Yarra River. “I remember leaving,” says Munn, “and a few of us were joking and saying, ‘Sure, we’re just going to suck all your brains and get three months out of you, and then we’re going to sack you,’ and all that sort of stuff, but the reality is that those comments of ‘We just want to understand the business, and we want to understand the people, and the good people will be able to blossom, and those that can’t embrace it will move on,’ that is pretty much the reality of what’s happened.” For some of CFG’s first boots on the ground, the modest atmosphere they found in Melbourne was eerily familiar. “It felt like a much smaller-scale Manchester City around the time ADUG had taken it over,” says Marwood, who audited Melbourne Heart’s football department immediately after the takeover. “It was a club that was obviously operating on a very small budget. Basically, the CEO, Scott [Munn], and John Didulica, the Football Director, were doing ten roles each. It was great because it had a real community spirit and no kind of hierarchy with stuff. No matter who you were, everybody just kind of mucked in and got stuff done. One minute John was doing the contracts for the players, and the next minute he’s serving them lunches or getting the kit washed. It was a big removal from where we’d got to in Manchester by then.” “It was obviously not an ideal office environment,” recalls CFG’s Tom Glick, who visited the Club shortly after the acquisition to evaluate its commercial capabilities. “It was far from the stadium, which was not traditional, and it was a small staff that was doing a lot and wearing a lot of hats. I related to it though, especially with some of the things I had done and places I had been earlier in my career, coming up through Minor League Baseball. You could sense that they were a group of people that was surviving, but at the same time there was this real commercial competency. One of the things I remember is their sponsorship team was the best in the League. They were selling more than anybody else, yet had this team that was finishing eighth, ninth, tenth in the table.” Don Dransfield, who was redeployed from New York to Melbourne immediately after the acquisition to lead the development of a business plan for CFG’s newest club, had a similar experience when he attended his first A-League game in the small country town of Albury within days of his arrival. “I’d received all the financials from this guy called ‘P.J.’ [Paul Jeffrey] and they were brilliant,” recalls Dransfield. “They were really professionally done. I hadn’t met him yet though, so when I got to the game, Scott said he would introduce me to him. We then ran along and went to the merchandise store, and ‘P.J.’ was there selling shirts. This guy was the financial controller for the Club. He’d done all of the due diligence stuff for the sale to a really professional standard, but he was also the guy selling shirts and taking cash on match day. I couldn’t believe that.” That combination of competency and goodwill was one of the main reasons why CFG ultimately decided to integrate the Melbourne Heart staff into the Group rather than to outsource many its non-football operations to the Melbourne Storm [the National Rugby League club owned by CFG’s minority partner in the transaction], as had been originally considered. According to Soriano, the learnings from that integration process continue to deliver benefits to the Group today. “It was important,” says Soriano, “because the value of our investment in Australia was obviously the team itself, but also the fact that it enabled us to create the Group mechanism that we needed. As a result, I think today we have a system where we can add a new club, I am not going to say effortlessly, but with a reasonable amount of effort, and it is not a drama. This is because we now have the systems on the football side, on the commercial side, and on the IT side, that allow us to do this.” Dransfield agrees that the significance of the Melbourne acquisition has always been greater than the sum of its price. “Melbourne didn’t complete the story, but it at least allowed us to start to tell the story,” he says, of Melbourne’s strategic importance to CFG at the time. “Before then, we just had these two anchor assets. This big Premier League club [Manchester City FC], and then this big and obviously very expensive asset in a prime city in the US [New York City FC]. What Melbourne allowed us to do in a relatively inexpensive way was to complete that part of the arc, but in a salary-capped environment where you didn’t have some of the issues around match fixing, corruption and other allegations that you had in a lot of the markets that we were looking at. It was a smart, low cost way of doing that.” Melbourne Heart was renamed Melbourne City FC in June 2014 and CFG bought out its minority shareholder the following year to own 100 per cent of the Club. The next stop for the emerging CFG was ten hours flying time away in Yokohama, Japan. In July 2014, CFG announced an unusual partnership with Nissan that saw the Japanese automaker become a global sponsor of CFG, two months after CFG had bought a 20 per cent stake in the Nissan-owned J-League club, Yokohama F. Marinos. “The Yokohama arrangement is probably a different model because that one was born off the back of our commercial deal with Nissan,” says Marwood. “Nissan owned Yokohama Marinos, and they were very open with us saying, ‘Listen, we make cars, but we’ve got this football club that is part of our DNA, because it’s right in the heart of Yokohama, and we’d like you to help us with its football operations.’” “The club was struggling,” says Omar Berrada, now Manchester City’s Chief Operating Officer. “It was struggling financially and it was struggling on the pitch. That’s when the idea came up of, ‘Okay, if we came in and helped you make the club more successful, would you come in as a global sponsor?’” That double coincidence of wants remains at the heart of the CFG-Nissan partnership today. “So, as part of the relationship,” explains Berrada, “we bought a stake [in Yokohama F. Marinos], and committed to helping them on two fronts. First, on the commercial side, by leveraging our global sales network to help bring them sponsors, and second, helping them on the football front.” hree years after Yokohama, the next two clubs to join CFG were Uruguay’s Club Atlético Torque [100 per cent owned by CFG under an agreement signed in April 2017] and Spain’s Girona FC [44.3 per cent owned by CFG since August 2017]. The investment in Girona FC is already paying dividends, with CFG officials estimating that the Club has quadrupled in value since securing promotion from the Spanish Second Division and staying up after its first season in La Liga in 2017-18. The connection to Girona FC has been beneficial in other ways, with Manchester City’s Pablo Maffeo sold to Stuttgart FC in May 2018 for L8.8m with a 25 per cent sell-on clause, after playing the last two seasons on loan at the Spanish club. The rationale behind CFG’s acquisition of Club Atlético Torque is at least partly geographical. “Torque gives us a foothold into South America,” says Al Mubarak. “It’s in Uruguay, which has historically been one of the most successful places in terms of producing young talent. It’s a good legal jurisdiction and a good economic place to invest, and CFG is uniquely equipped to help the Club succeed and grow.” “Uruguay is a very small country,” says Soriano. “Only 3.5 million people. But, they are two-time winners of the World Cup. The amount of good players to have come from there is spectacular. In the case of Torque, this was a very small team. We bought the team, it got promoted to the first division, and we hope that we can develop some very good talent there.” Early signs are positive, with 19-year-old Argentine midfielder Valentin Castellanos moving to New York City FC on loan [with an option to purchase] from Club Atlético Torque in July 2018. Castellanos is not the first, and is unlikely to be the last, promising young player to move from one CFG club to another in order to take the next step in their career. In early 2014, in a deal negotiated just days before CFG’s acquisition of Melbourne City and completed after it, the Club signed a talented Australian midfielder by the name of Aaron Mooy, on a free transfer from another A-League club. In 2016, after two strong seasons at Melbourne City, Mooy was sold to sister club, Manchester City, who immediately loaned him out to Huddersfield Town. There, Mooy was instrumental in the Terriers gaining promotion from the EFL Championship to the Premier League, taking out the Club’s Player of the Season award in 2016-17. In June 2017, Huddersfield Town signed Mooy permanently from Manchester City for a fee of L8m [potentially rising to L10m]. The Mooy fee [AU$14-18m] was worth more than the amount that CFG paid for Melbourne City FC [AU$11.25m] in 2014. Killing The Game: the inside story behind the transformation of Manchester City and the creation of City Football Group is available to buy on Amazon [this story is from this book here] https://www.thenational.ae/sport/football/how-manchester-city-developed-a-global-network-of-clubs-1.766476
  12. By the way, at the moment Victory have a +5 goal difference and we have a +2 goal difference. So we need 2 points to jump them on the ladder
  13. Some fair comments. Unfortunately, apart from maybe Sorensen (and that’s debatable) It’s very hard to name senior or important players (like Socceroos) who have left the club on impeccably good terms. Especially Australian players. Aloisi, Skoko, Colosimo, Bolton, Garcia, Kewell, Kennedy, Paartalu, Franjic, Cahill Kilkenny. None of these players have good or ongoing ties with the club (even though some have been named “club ambassadors”). And too many players are badly regarded the moment they exit the club IMO (Bolton is merely a Sydney player? Really?). I know there are lots of circumstances our struggling club has had with these players, and maybe a few or some are fully correctly criticised and disregarded. Nonetheless, overall I hope former players aren’t so disregarded and dismissed so easily in the future. We know there’s too much instability with the playing squad, and i would like to see less instability with former players too in the future too.
  14. Maybe Bolton does have an axe to grind. It can both be true that A) Bolton is very informed about Melbourne Heart/City (he really knows his stuff), and B.) he has an axe to grind (perhaps he is bitter about how he left and/or how CFG treated the old club--"the club that would become Melbourne City"--of which Bolton was once one of the main faces of). I'm not saying that everything that Bolton says is gospel. I'm just saying that I wouldn't dismiss his claims easily (some counter-evidence to dismiss his claims would be a good start).
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