AS the Green and Gold Army trudged out of the Fisht Stadium in Sochi the mood was somber, our beloved Socceroos had again failed to progress past the group stage for the third consecutive World Cup.
It certainly wasn't for the lack of support from the 10,000 gold-clad Australian fans that spent their hard-earned money to follow the team to the tournament in Russia.
Serious questions must now be asked about the leadership of our game in Australia. Our fetish to follow a curriculum based on everything Dutch is clearly flawed in my view, and a more flexible approach is needed.
Do we have the people leading our game in Australia to make the necessary changes? I believe the answer is clearly that we do not.
For me, 13 years on from the introduction of full-time professional football in Australia, it is just unacceptable for us to say it is good enough that we are here at the World Cup but a threat to no one.
I believe Australian football needs new leadership if the Socceroos are to progress past being also-rans.
AS an ex-Novocastrian I write to you because your readers are the true believers of soccer. A pure soccer town from way back.
Our failure to score other than from the penalty spot is an embarrassing reality of the current Socceroos.
There is not one goal poacher in the squad apart from Tim Cahill, who suffered from a lack of game time courtesy of decisions made by our emergency coach.
Every successful team, whether it be Under 10s or at a World Cup, has a centre-forward who regularly scores from half-chances. He may lack skills but he can score when least expected.
Coach Bert van Marwijk searched high and low around Australia but apparently couldn't find one. I consider that an overpaid, underdone failure.
So why was Mr van Marwijk even there? Because David Gallop chose him to replace Ange Postecoglou six weeks out from a World Cup. In my opinion Mr Gallop should stick to rugby league, a sport he knows something about.
AFTER watching Q&A on Monday evening I became more aware of the difficulties for people with disabilities, especially when looking for housing.
All buildings in Australia are regulated by conditions specified in the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Public buildings are required to be constructed in conformance with an Australian Standard for Disability Access. The standard specifies the height of light switches toilets and taps, as well as the width of doors and the provision of grab rails, among other things.
Perhaps it is time for the building code to be reviewed to incorporate some of these features into homes and units. Why not have switches and power points installed at a metre, higher than normal toilets, lever-action door knobs, grab rails in showers and toilets and the rest?.
As an older person with dodgy knees, I appreciate grab rails and higher toilets that make it much easier to lower oneself to the seat. And why are power points at near floor level? They will be much more accessible at waist height. It’s time for change. Upgrade the building code to suit the needs of the ageing and disabled.
I THINK young people looking for extra income could do worse than volunteer for the Army Reserve. Most would qualify. I served in the 1960s, mostly weekends and an annual training camp. As a publicity officer for Titans/ BHP, I received around $2500 a year. My Army Reserve pay was $600, and my company paid me while away.
My service helped me to buy a run-down house in Cooks Hill, which I rented out while I stayed with my family. I also managed to go out at weekends. I had a second-hand car. The point is, anyone can get ahead if they are prepared to work for it but I fear today’s culture is more focused on the self and having a good time.
More people appear to be looking for government handouts than prepared to do something for themselves. I accept that not everybody has aspirations beyond working 9 to 5 and collecting this week’s pay cheque, and good luck to them, but please don’t get caught up in the politics of envy as espoused by so many of our politicians.
THE Meryl Swanson piece ("US experience raises more questions over toxic inaction", Opinion 22/6) raised more ongoing concern about residual PFAS chemicals in the environment.
It seems to me that Ms Swanson doesn't like the 3M company that made those chemicals defending itself. 3M dismissed some unfavourable conclusions about the toxicity of those chemicals. She should realise that researchers making conclusions from very small numbers or circumstantial comparisons is not sound scientific method, though it has become common in recent times.
I believe some researchers, chasing grant funding, will sensationalise their results to increase the profile of their work. This is disgraceful behaviour and politicians would be wise not to patronise it. Let good science follow its course and the truth will come out.
THE ABC’s finest hour was when David Hill was chairman and general manager. Despite being a rugby fan himself, Mr Hill’s ABC had a choice of culture or sport on offer at weekends.
Classical concerts, ballets, operas, musicals, non-vulgar comedies and educational art and quiz shows were on the menu in abundance. These have been lacking now for many years. If money is lacking, could they not be shown again now? Many are now being viewed again on the commercial channels. Q&A should be shown earlier in the evening and repeated more often. Do we really need four TV channels? Quality is always better than quantity.
Radio reception is poor outside metropolitan areas. Yes, Minister should be shown repeatedly, as it was for service personnel in English-speaking countries, as an introduction to the Westminster system. If there is no improvement, why not have a referendum at the next election on privatisation?
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