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It was the goal that sent a chorus of delirium across Australia. A moment steeped in Australia’s sporting history that sends shockwaves around the world and represents Australia’s stubborn and determined spirit.
Mathew Leckie’s goal against Denmark is a defining moment in Australian rules football, which has to be credited to our domestic football settings.
The scenes in Federation Square after the 1-0 win over Denmark showed a dystopian football-crazed country, rivaling that of a South American showdown between two heavyweights. You’d be forgiven if you considered the latter, given that this level of support for football in Australia is continually marred by rival codes.
How come this level of support is not important in the A-League? Admittedly, the Sydney and Melbourne Derbys offer an alternate level of support, mirroring that of Fed Square, except on a much smaller scale.
Indeed, tensions between A-League supporters and Eurosnobs dominate football fan dialogue in Australia.
Combined with the hostility between former NSL supporters and Eurosnobs, the A-League struggled to attract vast supporters to maintain a legitimate broadcast and healthy attendance. Look no further than Western United’s low average attendance of around 2,993.
For the Socceroos, however, the distinctions between Eurosnobs and A-League supporters come together for a common cause.
Why can’t this be replicated in the A-League?
After all, the mainstream media jumped at the chance to usher the words “Mathew Leckie” into prime time. Yet they fail to mention his club, Melbourne City. They also don’t bother to mention that 80% of the Socceroos World Cup squad are A-League wonderkids.
Euro-centric adaptation in the Australian rules football landscape dominates the agenda and undermines the principle of the A-League, which explains the Socceroos’ unprecedented glory in the World Cup. More needs to be said and done to give our A-League heroes the standing ovation they deserve on the biggest stage in the world.
It starts with recognizing the National League and uniting under one banner to invoke the beauty of football. Eurosnobs tend to see the A-League as an amateur attempt to replicate the Premier League. However, the Socceroos prove that the domestic league is much more than tedious football.
The likes of Mitch Duke, Mathew Ryan, Aziz Behich, Riley McGree and Aaron Mooy prove the A-League is a legitimate stepping stone to equaling the best in the world.
Mathew Leckie, Craig Goodwin, Garang Kuol and Keanu Baccus demonstrate that the contemporary A-League is an attractive centerpiece, capable of attracting better attendance and coverage.
The Socceroos’ progression to the Round of 16 enhances the platform we A-League lovers have. How do you criticize the competition as former and current wonderkids are set to mingle with Argentina’s best in a World Cup knockout tie, let alone finish with the same number of group stage points as the France ?
Lionel Messi, the beloved of the Eurosnobs, who dazzles us with his skills, reiterates the Eurocentric narrative. But why not support the outsider? It’s the A-League example of current Socceroo players that has gotten us this far anyway.
Whatever the result against Argentina, the World Cup has shed light on the future prosperity of the A-League. The Socceroos’ performances incline Eurosnobs to view the A-League as a legitimate alternative to Europe’s affluent leagues.
In time, the scenes at Federation Square could be repeated in the A-League, except with valid media support and the gratification of the beautiful game between the Eurosnobs and the A-League supporters.