The following article was written by Matthew Summers, who submitted it ahead of the inaugural game of the new NSL club the Parramatta Power.
The Much anticipated debut of the Parramatta Power against Marconi is set to be a cracker, according to the media, but will the Power have the same effect on the game in Australia as such new clubs Northern Spirit or Perth Glory. Both these clubs have very highly rated teams and have 16,000 as an average at each home game, both are teams that can challenge for the title, Can the Power recreate this?
The Power's inclusion in the NSL will provide more competition for other NSL clubs, it will also give non Marconi or Sydney United fans a non - ethnic club to support for the plain and simple fact that it is all for the game. The Power will play their games at Parramatta Stadium, apparently they will share with their league brothers the Eels. That in my view could pose a problem, although the seasons are different, the field to begin with will be in terrible shape after the eels are finished with it, and then towards the end of the NSL season, the league boys will want access to the field to train and prepare for the upcoming NRL season. That is one downfall, however the stadium is first class, and should provide a great atmosphere for the home games for Power.
They also have a very qualified coach in David Mitchell, who is being touted as the next Socceroo coach as well as Frank Farina. He should provide that much needed advice to the new boys as they prepare for their debut season. In money the Power are spoilt, they are currently one of the richest teams in the NSL, with the ability to buy and promote domestic talent as well as bring quality imports over to raise the standard of the NSL. No one 3 years ago would believe that the NSL had the ability to buy overseas talent to bring here, instead of just letting our boy's head overseas. Who predicted it? Their current squad is made up of mostly ex - Sydney United players, the main ones being Burns, Sterjovski, Griffiths, and Pleasa, they also are set to sign Northern Ireland international Norman Kelly, and are being linked to players in Asia and South America. The apparent defection of players from Sydney United with their coach to Power has United on their knees. However, history will show that United will always recover to maintain it's pedigree in the NSL. Once they sort out their internal problems, then we will all see what they can do again. The Power will also be able to tap into about 25,000 junior players in their area. The potential Kewell's and Viduka's will have a professional platform for their dreams to be realised. The fan base we all can't judge, I can guarantee though that many people will turn out for the first game, I can safely predict at least 10,000. Time will show how the populace will react to such a proposal, who knows, they could smash all NSL records, they could flop, they could win the title. We can however say they have the ability to do all of the above, the future of the game in Australia looks in very good shape, West Sydney look out, the Power are in the house.