Australia 3 - World Stars 2

Since Big Pete and others are giving their accounts of Saturday night's experience I thought I'd chip in with mine.

I would have done so earlier, but have only just recovered sufficient strength to type, after suffering (a) vertigo, (b) oxygen deprivation and (c) total knackerndness after climbing all those stairs to my lofty vantage point. (Poor Mrs Forza is still in bed suffering from a bad back after having to carry me the last 50 or so)

Pete said you get what you pay for...true, but much as I endeavour to support fitba I don't think I'd pay again to sit up in the clouds.

As I was saying to my good friend Zeus, who was seated only slightly below me, I know ALL the Socceroo players out there, even a couple of them on first name terms (insert name dropping bit here), but I STILL have to look at the TV replay on the big screen to identify in the main, who did what, and to whom.

If I've learned one's not to sit in the 'family' seats again...behind the goals where Our Ned scored that cracker.

It was so far up, that for the first time in living memory I did not make the trip down for half-time/any time refreshments...and waited, in extreme discomfort, until on the way out to visit the dunny!

A quick summation

THE GAME: As expected and desired, an Aussie victory over a team of very talented, but obviously knackered, and later disjointed 'stars' ..even if there were a couple I had never heard of....Joe Public doesn't need to know they weren't the best around. Thought Zelic was man of the match, but hey, early on Paul Okon did some superb things with the ball..

THE ATMOSPHERE Honestly thought it was pish..that's Scottish for crap. Again, from my lofty perch, I commented that if there were important WC games played in Sydney, I hoped it would be at the SFS, as the spectators are a lot closer to the park.

THE CROWD Like probably everybody we indulged in the usual "how many do you think are here" quiz. I reckoned, based on Forza Jnr's summary of the capacity etc that there were "less than 80,000" and was surprised when they said 88,000 odd...although I am the first to admit that as it was my first visit to the stadium, it makes it very difficult to be an instant 'expert'. However my guess was based on knowing the capacity and subtracting from it what were quite obviously empty seats.

THE TRANSPORT Passed the test adequately.

THE GROUND ANNOUNCER Tim Webster...have we unearthed the Tim Bailey of Stadium Australia? A tosser of almost world class proportions..a 9 out of 10 on the 'cringe factor' scale .

THE MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT Who gives a monkeys....except for the magnificent blonde in the red dress, Jane Scali..who I have lusted after since she first appeared on Young Talent Time, oops I mean since she LEFT Young talent time as a grown up ....8-)

THE DICKHEADS And there were a few....which you get unfortunately in any big crowd, at any event, anywhere. I wasn't far from the guy who removed his Celtic shirt, and was ejected, probably for his own good, before succumbing to Hypothermia. Incidentally, his mate in a West ham shirt was also shown the door. A flare to our top left..or could have been a lightning bolt I suppose. But the biggest dickhead of the night, was what now seems like the obligatory drunken Northern Spirit supporter just in front of us who kept shouting,"There's Only one Northern Spirit" ad naseum.

International matches should be a time when club allegiances are put to one side and in my not so humble opinion you come to support your national team, not a divisive myriad of club sides.

Coming from a place where fitba can be a tad more parochial than this fair land, let me say that I have followed Scotland to various points of the UK (as a lieutenant in the Tartan Army) and NEVER witnessed someone singing (a) Rangers songs, (b) Celtic songs etc.. They hate each other with a passion but, certainly in my time, buried the hatchet about club allegiances to support the national team. Which is certainly a mature achievement, as normally at club level they are burying the same hatchet in each other.

So please laddies, support your club team with a passion by all means, even when pissed, but at the appropriate forum.

Having said all that, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I can say "I was there" like any good footballing soldier who has done his duty. However, I won't be going to the Manchester United game as I reckon I'm better of watching the game on telly in my lounge room, than sitting in the clouds watching the telly at Stadium Australia.

Finally, its just a pity that all the dosh that was generated by the game does not find its way to further the game of fitba.

I read in today's paper that this deal was negotiated in David Hill's reign...hopefully there will be a bit more commercial acumen shown by those in charge in the new regime.

written by Fred Leggett