You've just got to love this time of year if you are a true football fan.
I woke yesterday morning to witness the survival of Everton's top-flight participation, which stretches over a century, and how much it means to everyone at the club, particularly the fans.
I'm sure it was that that brought a tear to the eye and not the dismal performance of my three fancies in the PGA golf first round. Hell, I'm not even an Everton fan but the history, the burden of pressure, the agony and ecstasy are totally compelling.
In a different way we can admire the excellence of your Manchester Citys and Liverpools, their consistency at the highest level and their endurance. To perform with nary a slip, or mistake, for months on end with snowballing pressure for company is quite remarkable.
I think both win on Sunday (at the same time) and City take the title, with Liverpool more likely to taste triumph a week later against Real Madrid rather than a huge comeback or minor miracle away from advancing to the big dance.
The first legs were entertaining in their own right, the need to stay in the contest for two games perhaps restricting ambition a fraction towards the conclusion of both matches. But I'm anticipating two close matches and at least two teams throwing everything at the result and opposition in the concluding minutes.
I wouldn't be disappointed nor surprised if Western United or Adelaide advanced. But my hunch is that Victory and City have more matchwinners and a touch more quality than their worthy adversaries and will meet in next week's grand final.
Even closer to home, and Beka Mikeltadze scooped the majority of the prize pool at the Jets award night in front of Daniel Penha and Angus Thurgate, who both enjoyed productive seasons, and Cassidy Davis dominated the women's section of the awards.
No arguments from yours truly there as Mikeltadze and Penha were rewarded for excellent seasons with selection in the All Stars clash with Barcelona in Sydney next Wednesday. Thurgate surely would have been in the Olyroos squad but for a groin injury that requires attention, and the ever-present Davis impressed judges and teammates on her way to 111 consecutive appearances.
I noticed an article on the iPad as I started this column that Sydney FC had released 12 players for next season as they made some tough decisions after a campaign that confirmed major regeneration was desperately required.
That got me to thinking about the Jets reaction to and summation of their season. Will there be a big turnover of players? Have the current group got enough improvement in them to mount a serious challenge next season? Can the club afford any big-name recruits? Are we convinced that coaching and philosophy can bridge the gap?
Rumours persist that Penha is bound for Sydney and that would be a big hole to fill, starting your recruitment from three steps back if you like.
Where do you think the Jets should concentrate? What areas are most important? Can they afford to look for a like-for-like replacement if Penha does depart?
Surely the defensive stocks need replenishment, a dominant defensive midfield presence seems an urgent requirement to your scribe and a clear first-choice goalkeeper would be on my list. If Penha does leave, a creative element would become a focus immediately.
At this stage recruitment rumours are a little light on and the ownership chat has simmered down so the fans are in a familiar position, none the wiser and clinging to hope that things will get better.
Rumours that some back to the future coaching appointments are imminent have not wavered. Is that the answer?
Enjoy your football in what promises to be a fascinating week.
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