Did that REALLY happen in 1997?

1 - Peter Desira reports that Frank Arok has recommended Eddie Krncevic for the Carlton coaching position!
2 - China emerges as the next possible importer of Australian players after Alex Duric attracts the attention of multiple clubs while on trial at Guangzhou.
5 - South Melbourne take on Collingberg in the latest chapter of Melbourne's traditional Greek derby with the Blues taking the honours 4-0. Three thousand tickets were pre-sold. But the interesting observation in the social club after the game is the sight of well-dressed Chinese player agents - complete with mobile phones - questioning fans on the relative merits of certain South Melbourne players.
12 - The Ericsson Cup shuts down for three weeks just as it was getting into full swing. Sydney United and Brisbane Strikers draw over 10,000 fans to Parramatta Stadium while a massive 17,000+ crowd at Perth Oval sees the Glory held to a 1-1 draw by Marconi.
28 - Tony Labbozzetta is disqualified from holding office at Marconi for two years as a result of the NSW Licensing Commission's investigation into - amongst other things - irregularities concerning the transfer of Paul Okon (to Club Brugge). Magistrate John Keating wasn't impressed with the quality of Antonino's evidence, while AL himself was astonished that Okon hadn't given evidence... Naturally, an appeal will follow. Club Marconi itself doesn't come out unscathed either, having previously been found guilty of eighteen breaches of the Licensing Act and copping a fine of $15,000.
30 - Carlton announces that Eddie Krncevic has been appointed senior coach for the 1997/98 season. Training will begin on June 1. Collingwood general manager Rob Petrie states to the Herald Sun "There will be a Collingwood soccer club in the 1997-98 season."
31 - The Ericsson Cup resumes with a bang as league leaders Sydney United win 4-1 at Wollongong in front of 10,158 fans, a ground record. Ante Milicic notches a hat-trick to take him to twelve goals, just one behind the leader, teammate David Zdrilic.

4 - The Oceania Football Confederation confirms that two Oz clubs will compete in this years Asia-Pacific Cup. It will all become official at a meeting on March 7 in Malaysia when the various contracts are scheduled to be signed. The other six competing teams will come from Asia (4), Africa (1) and North America (1).
5 - UTS Olympic sack David Ratcliffe following the sacking/resignation of his assistant Steve Darby last month, and appoint David Mitchell as caretaker.
8 - Branko Culina tells Peter Desira (Herald Sun) that the interest from other clubs may have a destabilising effect on Sydney United's charge to the finals. Carlton (chasing Enes and Trajkovski) & Perth (Milicic) are singled out.
11 - Nagoya Grampus Eight defeat West Adelaide 4-1 in a friendly at Hindmarsh. Dragan Stojkovic scores Nagoya's fourth after setting up a couple for Mochizuki.
12 - Australia is now ranked 33rd in the FIFA / Coca-Cola World Football rankings following their three wins in the Optus World Soccer Series.
15 - Sensational developments as Collingwood Football Club decide to withdraw their support of the Collingwood Warriors Soccer Club. David Hill decides to fly to Melbourne....
16 - ...and after convincing CFC of their legal obligations, it is agreed that the Warriors will finish this season after all, but that doesn't include the scheduled match at UTS Olympic. Mayhem at Lakeside as Kuzmanovic is sent off, the officials are pelted with bottles and the Adelaide City team bus is pelted with rocks.
17 - SocAus is quick to announce an investigation into events at South Melbourne the previous evening. They also announce some good news. George Christopoulos was won FIFA approval to join "an elite global club of player agents". George is the first player agent in Australia (and Oceania).
19 - Marconi draw 1-1 with Vissel Kobe at Marconi Stadium, and only about 2,000 are on hand to see special guest Danielle Massaro score the equaliser for Marconi.
20 - UTS Olympic is awarded the three points and a 3-0 scoreline following Collingberg's decision not to play the Round 17 match on Feb 16. UTSO will also seek compensation. Alex Kuzmanovic is cited under Law XIII, Violent Conduct, for his actions during the Sth Melb / Ad City match.
21 - South Melbourne is fined $10,000 for various breaches of Ericsson Cup regulations, including $1,000 for "Failure to provide safe escort away from the ground....". As Greg Blake rightly points out later, there are thirteen other clubs in the league who breach this regulation every time they play at home!
24 - The Euroroos meet up in London for a three day training camp with Terry Venables. SocAus announces a national alliance with Mars Confectionery to the Snickers Super Skills program.
28 - SocAus announces that South Melbourne must pay a further $10,000 fine for the 'Costanzo Affair' and the club will be placed on a bond of $50,000 until June 30, 1998. Meanwhile Alex Kuzmanovic is fined $7,500 - the highest individual fine in the league's history.

1 - Terry Venables decides to sue BBC disc jockey Simon Mayo for suggesting TV had the "accounting skills of an Albanian pyramid seller".
5 - Adamstown Rosebud chairman Michael Wagstaff announces the the club will withdraw from the 1997 NSW Super League season after the playing staff decided against playing for free.
7 - Ex-Socceroo goalkeeper Robert Zabica joins Perth Glory from local club Spearwood.
10 - SocAus Vice-Chairman Basil Scarsella starts to make noises about another inquiry, this time into the proposed transfer of Kalac to Portsmouth with concerns surrounding Venables and a possible conflict of interest.
14 - The Ericsson Cup Tribunal upholds Collingberg's appeal against the loss of points from its unplayed Round 17 game against UTS Olympic. The tribunal decides that the game must be played, and UTSO are stripped of the three points they had received. The Adamstown saga continues with the NSWSF still unable to decide whether they will punish Rosebud for their late withdrawal from Super League.
19 - SocAus announces the appointment of current President, the Hon. Neville Wran AC, QC, to the role of Australian soccer's Head of Delegation to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
21 - The West Australian reports that Perth Reds want some of the Perth Glory fans to turn up at their (Super Thugby) matches making a noise and singing their songs. Topper Breakers' season is effectively over with a 1-2 home loss to the emerging Melbourne Knights. The Breakers' cause is not helped when Jason Bennett cops a softball in the face during the warm-up.
22 - The board of Soccer Australia makes a number of headline-making decisions. First up is the decision to overturn the Appeals Board verdict and stick with its original decision to award UTS Olympic three points and a 3-0 victory over Collingberg, but the difficult choice over whether to include them for the 97/98 season is not needed after Collingberg decide not to submit an application. Unlike Canberra and Gippsland, who are given two extra weeks to submit new applications. Sydney United are included on the proviso they play all their home games at Parramatta Stadium and Ivan Simic is not pleased, especially as his club is currently negotiating with four 'major' venues for next season. Frank Arok celebrates his 400th game as coach in the best possible way - a 1-0 win over his old rival Zoran Matic, and ending Collingberg's finals dreams as a bonus.
23 - With a four goal haul against Sydney United, David Zdrilic smashes the season goalscoring record for Sydney United (nee Croatia). The previous record of 16 was jointly held by Jim Patikas (1985) and Graham Arnold (1986).
24 - The Lakers sack Bill Damianos after he signs a contract for next season with Carlton, but later decides he still wants to play with the Lakers and makes it known publicly he wants to tear up the Carlton contract. Joe Simunic is also thinking along the same lines.
26 - Collingberg withdraws its youth team from the national youth league with four rounds remaining. The NSWSF fines Adamstown $15,000 for its late withdrawal from this season's Super League competition.
31 - Sydney United come from behind to defeat Collingwood 3-2 at Olympic Park, and in the process make it 63 goals for the season, equalling Marconi's 1989 record (for a 26 game season).

1 - April Fools Day, two years since David Hill took over, and SocAus announces another Superstars of Soccer series for late May / early June as a lead-up to the WC qualifiers.
2 - Australia defeats Hungary 3-1 in Budapest. It's not all roses for Venables though as Vic Jenner resigns from the board at Portsmouth, saying "I believe the club has given responsibilities to some who should not hold them. I am not willing to name names."
5 - Gippsland Falcons collect 10,000 signatures on a petition to keep them in the Ericsson Cup. Mark Bosnich is named in a FIFA team to play Asia in Hong Kong in July.
6 - Sydney United clinch the minor premiership with a 1-0 home win over Gippsland.
11 - SocAus announces that both Canberra Cosmos and Gippsland Falcons WILL play in the Ericsson Cup next season, saying "both clubs had accepted the inadequacies of their original submissions and had strongly argued a case for re-admission carefully addressing the relevant issues." Gippsland threaten to boycott their match with Ad City if Angelo Costanzo wears protective goggles. He doesn't play against Gippsland, but wears his goggles against Marconi in the finals after approval from SocAus.
12 - Mark Bosnich storms out of the Aston Villa dressing room after being advised he would be starting on the bench. He is later fined two weeks wages by manager Brian Little.
15 - Sydney United hold an open training session at Brighton-Le-Sands. All the media are invited, and the corniest headline of the season emerges in the Australian: "No beached wail from Marusic".
16 - Melbourne Knights coach Ian Dobson knocks back the club's offer of a full-time coaching position for the '97-98 season but proposes a coaching structure that would delegate responsibilities to an assistant and a development officer allowing him to work as a part-time coach.
18 - Peter Tsolakis is appointed coach of Heidelberg.
20 - Final round of the Ericsson Cup and Melbourne Knights come from behind to win 3-1 and end Perth Glory's dream of competing in the finals. Paul Wade exits the national league at the Bob Jane Stadium and sets up the Cosmos goal with his last kick.
22 - UTS Olympic appoint former coach Geoff Harcombe to the position again for a two year period. John Kosmina tips Brisbane for the championship. Marconi's Dominic Longo is fined $5,000 by the Ericsson Cup disciplinary tribunal following his recent red cards. This follows the $5,000 fine he has already copped from the club!

6 - Melbourne Knights announce that Ken Worden will be the full-time manager-coach next season, with Alan Davidson providing assitance in the senior and youth areas. Worden coached the Knights (nee Croatia) to the grand final in 1990/91, where they were beaten on penalties by South Melbourne.
8 - Canberra Cosmos sack coach Mike Lyons and Marconi also decide to not reappoint Manfred Schaefer. Zoran Matic hots up as the favourite for the Marconi job.
11 - Robbie Slater is named Southampton's player of the year.
12 - John Elliott announces the appointment of Jack Reilly as chairman of the Carlton Soccer Club at a luncheon attended by over 100 of Australia's leading businessmen and soccer personalities.
17 - Paul Agostino (Bristol City) signs a three year contract with German first division club 1860 Munich. Mark Schwarzer rules himself out of (Socceroo) action until November after breaking his fibula for the second time.
18 - Marconi appoint Zoran Matic as coach for a 12 month period.
20 - Due to the upcoming international/WYC/Nintendo programme, SocAus decides that a replay of the Ericsson Cup grand final is impractical, and announces that a shoot-out will decide the title if sudden death fails to produce a winner.
21 - Terry Venables arrives at 5am to a modest reception in the Piano Bar at Sydney Airport. But he manages to fire off a warning... "These two (Nintendo) games are not friendlies. I never believe in friendlies and we will not be treating any game with a false sense of security. This is World Cup preparation." Ken Murphy resigns as coach of Port Melbourne, with reserves coach Bill Lambropoulos taking over in a caretaker capacity.
22 - The list of 'unavailables' for the Nintendo Series grows with Schwarzer (leg), Okon (knee) and Horvat (best man, see Zelic) being added to the list which already contains Zelic (wedding), Muscat (play-offs), Viduka, Popovic & Arnold (club commitments) and Moore (missed the plane again?). Viduka is also reportedly being linked to Arsenal in a $7.4 million deal.
26 - The finest day in Australian club soccer history as 40,000 watch Brisabe defeat Sydne United 2-0 in the grand final.
27 - Ian Dobson is appointed coach of Altona Magic, whom he led to the Vic Premier League title prior to joining Melbourne Knights. Kevin Muscat helps Crystal Palace into the Premier League with a 1-0 play-off win over Sheffield United. Cyrille Ndongo-Keller and the West Adelaide Sharks have reached a confidential agreement for compensation over a contractual dispute. Ndongo-Keller is now free to find a new club.
28 - Sharks midfielder Ross Aloisi signs for Swiss first division club Aarau.
29 - After signing Sydney United and Socceroo 'keeper Zeljko Kalac, Portsmouth manager Terry Fenwick turns up in Adelaide to sign West Adelaide striker Hamilton Thorpe. Nintendo Gold v Green ratings are out: peaking at 1 million viewers Australia wide - 600,000, in Sydney, 200,000 in Melbourne and 280,000 in Brisbane.

2 - Paul Okon has arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will miss the Oceania preliminary group games at least. Meanwhile Mark Viduka is still missing....
3 - Sydney United's Robert Trajkovski signs with the newly formed Carlton which also signs teammate and Ericsson Cup Player of the year Kresimir Marusic the next day.
4 - Melbourne Knights take out the national youth league title with a 1-0 win over Sydney United. Branko Bacak scores the only goal of a game which sees Sydney dominate possession and hit the woodwork on numerous occasions. The match is played as a curtain raiser to the Nintendo match.
5 - The worst kept secret in Oz soccer is finally made public when Branko Culina is revealed as the new Canberra coach. The Cosmos also announce a new sponsorship agreement with computer company Novell at $250,000 per year for 3 years. Sad news with the death of former West Adelaide president Harry Zacharoyannis, 44, the guiding influence behind the Shark's resurgence on and off the field in recent years.
12 - The SocAus Committee of Inquiry, set up to investigate proceedings at Parramatta Stadium on Preliminary Final day, decides to adjourn the hearing until July 10, enabling Sydney United to "more fully prepare its defence of the charges".
23 - South Melbourne defender and card collector Alex Kuzmanovic signs with West Adelaide .

1 - The VSF completes settlement for the sale of Soccer House and the purchase of new premises at 236 Dorcas St, South Melbourne. The move to Dorcas St is expected to take place in mid to late August.
4 - SocAus announces that QSF president Wally Dann has been elected (by the state and territory federations) to the Board of Soccer Australia. He replaces Mr Teamsheet - aka Peter Gray. Wally Dann joins David Hill, Basil Scarsella and Don Di Fabrizio (elected by the stakeholders), Fred Lenzi (nominated by the clubs), and George Negus and Sue Baker-Finch (the two independents elected by the board of Soccer Australia).
15 - Socceroo and Adelaide City 'keeper Jason Petkovic leaves for trials with Glasgow Rangers. West Adelaide beat Chinese club Quingdoa 4-3 in the friendly return leg in China after a 2-2 draw previously in Adelaide.
16 - Michael Cockerill reports that the board of Soccer New Zealand has approved a bid for an Auckland-based team to play in the Ericsson Cup, from the 98/99 season.
17 - Australia jumps to 31st on the FIFA rankings, our highest ever position. Says David Hill: "This is one of the most meteoric rises in the history of soccer. To be this close to the top of the rankings is one of the most spectacular jumps ever". Patrick Smith (The Sunday Age) is unimpressed, remembering when Hill used to insist the rankings meant bugger all.
18 - Portsmouth might be in trouble for playing ex Sharks striker Hamilton Thorpe without an international clearance in a trial game. He's yet to be cleared because the Sharks have yet to receive a $150,000 down payment on the overall $600,000 transfer fee.
20 - Gippsland Falcons announce they have signed television station Ten Victoria to the largest media sponsorship deal in the history of sport in Gippsland
22 - A tribunal set up to investigate incidents during a school match between Hurstville and Tamworth decides to suspend three players for 12 months, 6 months and the rest of the season.
30 - Mark Viduka gets on the scoresheet as Croatia Zagreb thrash Partizan Belgrade 5-0 to earn a showdown with Newcastle United for a Champions League spot. Cyrille Ndongo-Keller signs with J-League club Yokahama Flugels.

7 - Marconi's Bob Catlin and Jean Paul De Marigny sign with UTS Olympic.
12 - Jason Van Blerk signs for Manchester City. South Melbourne signs John Anastasiadis from PAOK on a free transfer. After nine years in Greece he will be hoping to put a couple past his brother Dean when they play Carlton.
17 - John Aloisi makes it two goals in two games for Portsmouth after scoring in a 3-1 win over Port Vale.
19 - Collingwood 'keeper Frank Juric is set to sign with Fortuna Dusseldorf.
20 - The penny drops. Lack of confirmed warm-up fixtures for the Socceroos is officially causing concern. Says Raul Blanco, "I don't think we are going to have a wonderful lead-up".
23 - Melbourne Knights president Steve Mandekic says Joe Simunic is likely to join Hamburg for $625,000.
25 - Blackburn's John Filan breaks his arm during a 7-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, and he's not happy. "You like to think that in the Premiership, players have other players' careers at heart". The culprit? Wayne Collins. The score at the time was 6-2.
26 - Gippsland Falcons announce that 100,000 junior supporter passes will be distributed through McDonalds family restaurants in Gippsland between August 30 and September 13.
29 - South Melbourne defeat Carlton 4-1 in the Tynan-Eyre charity match at BJS. Jason Polak suffers a serious knee injury that will see him miss most, if not all, of the season.
31 - SocAus hands down the penalty in the Sydney United saga. Here we go again...

5 - Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett announces that the WC qualifier will be held at the MCG. Melbourne Major Events have agreed to underwrite a crowd of 62,000. The news is overshadowed by comments suggesting Melbourne may not host any soccer in 2000.
9 - The worst kept secret in town is now official. David Cervinski will play for Carlton this season. Bolton manager Colin Todd confirms he won't be signing West Adelaide's Jim Tsekinis. Undettered, Jim heads for Huddersfield...
11 - Portsmouth update: Craig Foster's British work permit is granted, and Portsmouth sign their sixth Australian player. Paul Harries is apparently a product of the NSW academy.
12 - Marconi defeat Canberra Olympic 3-1 in the Waratah Cup to squeeze through to the quarter finals. It is Zoran Matic's first victory in six pre-season matches.
13 - ACT win the final of the national Womens Youth Championship at Noble Park, defeating hosts Victoria 6-5 in a shoot-out after a 0-0 draw. UTS Olympic are all set to sign a deal with Eastern Suburbs (Sydney City Roosters) rugby league club, but UTS chairman Gary Punch is not happy about it....
15 - Carlton confirms the signing of Kiwi international midfielder Mark Atkinson.
16 - Gary Punch resigns as chairman of UTS Olympic, but UTS president Simon Konstantinidis is not content with that and asks the NSWSF to dump Punch from its board. NSWSF president Peter (teamsheet) Gray says that Punch is entitled to retain his place on the board until the AGM in December.
18 - The VSF state league management committee unleashes its latest proposals to restructure the top end of the pyramid, with TWO division ones (east and west). Norman Tome is fined $5,000 after signing contracts to play with UTS Olympic AND Wollongong. Meanwhile, Andy Harper will be playing with Brisbane Strikers this season, and Carlos Gonzalez will continue trialling with Liverpool (England).
19 - Gabriel Mendez leaves for trials with Boca Juniors (Argentina).
21 - Semi final time in the Waratah Cup and Bankstown City - one of the 'lucky losers' - upset UTS Olympic 2-1 with Robert Gomes scoring a golden goal in extra time. In the other semi, Wollongong come from behind to defeat Marconi 3-1. The national womens championships kick off in Newcastle and the Northern Territory cause a huge upset by defeating Queensland 2-0. The Territory team are bolstered by the inclusion of a few ACT players following the ACT's late withdrawal.
25 - South Melbourne legend Micky Petersen announces his retirement after close season surgery failed to heal chronic knee problems. Petersen will remain with the club in the role of team manager.
26 - Referees boss Gary Power announces that Australia will nominate Gerry Connolly, Simon Micallef and Brett Hugo to FIFA for full international badges. Eugene Brazzale and Eddie Lennie are Australia's only two current referees with FIFA badges.

1 - Australia does the business in Tunisia, but already there are grumbles from club bosses over player release. Rangers' Walter Smith and Southampton's Dave Jones are the two noisiest. Another problem for Venables is the death threat he received just prior to the game. The caller was blunt. Stop picking Croatian (based) players or you will be killed.
2 - Carlton announce a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with Parmalat. As well as a cash injection, the company promises to add a couple of Brazilians to the Blues line-up later in the season.
4 - History is made as Carlton kick off, and they celebrate with a 2-1 home win over Perth Glory in front of about 6,000 spectators. Dunno about that cricket pitch though....
5 - Fifteen year-old Year 10 student Nick Carle scores a dramatic late winner for UTS in the derby with Marconi.
9 - Sydney United are willing to tell anyone who'll listen that they are looking to attract Eric Cantona for some guest matches early in the new year.
11 - A very sad day for soccer as British tourist Hayden Wederall, 26, is bashed at the Darling Harbour Casino while watching the Italy v England World Cup qualifier. He later dies in hospital.
12 - Nigerian international Samson Siasia scores after only eight minutes but Adelaide City storm home to a 4-1 win in Perth.
17 - Melbourne Knights' Friday night experiment is a disaster with only 2,845 in attendance.
18 - Newspaper reports suggest Terry Venables has turned down an approach from Benfica. The offer was apparently close to one million pounds a year.
19 - A bad night for Manny Gotis who scores an own goal and then gets sent off in the Falcons' 0-3 loss to UTS Olympic at the SFS. Meanwhile Tony Labbozzetta is re-elected Marconi president after being forced to relinquish the reins earlier this year by the NSW Licensing Court.
20 - Sydney United and SocAus finally seem to have settled their differences with an out-of-court settlement which sees Utd pay the $30,000 fine and SocAus drop the $50,000 bond.
21 - Socceroo Kevin Muscat leaves Crystal Palace and heads to Wolverhampton Wanderers as part of a swap deal involving Jamie Smith.
23 - Melbourne Major Events chief Ron Walker reckons Melbourne is unlikely push for Australia to bid for the 2010 World Cup Finals. Sepp Blatter is still keen though....
28 - Soccer Australia advises that all former senior national team players will be invited to attend the MCG World Cup match on November 29.
30 - More Venables rumours from England - this time he's heading to Liverpool!

1 - Ante Milicic scores NAC Breda's second goal in the 2-0 home win over Graafschap.
2 - Nasty scenes at Somers St where Sydney United captain-coach David Mitchell is sent off after just 28 minutes following a clash with Andrew Marth and Alan Davidson. Sydney United assistant coach Laurie McKinna is adamant he knows what happened - "... one was an elbow and one was a fist to the face when the ball was dead". "He spat in my face" retorts Davidson. Okay boys, calm down....
Over in England, Terry Venables, writing in his column in the News of the World, calls for the abolition of offside, a sin-bin, two referees and a ban on goalkeepers leaving the eighteen yard box.
3 - Wolverhampton Wanderers' Steve Corica is ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing a knee reconstruction.
6 - Venables announces a 26 man squad for the two match play-off with our 'mystery opponent'. One unhappy vegemite is Middlesbrough's Mark Schwarzer who suggests Portsmouth's Zeljko Kalac is under-prepared. Schwarzer's club boss Bryan Robson goes in to bat for him as well, but most observers see Mark's comments as sour grapes.
8 - Harry Kewell is on target in Leeds' 4-3 win over Derby. His streak has started....
9 - Brisbane lose again. This time at Norwood Oval. Plenty of action off the park as well with UTS Olympic members unable to decide which consortium they would like to takeover the club. It seems it is down to two: the Eastern Suburbs rugby league club and a bid from stockbroker and cigar-smoker extraordinaire Rene Rivkin. Possibly good news for Aurelio Vidmar as word filters through that Tenerife have sacked coach Victor Fernandez, who had been in charge since the close season.
12 - David Hill's nightmare comes closer to reality as it becomes clear we will be visiting either Tokyo or Tehran.
15 - Joe Spiteri scores the 'go-ahead' goal in Sturm Graz's 3-1 win at Admira Wacker
16 - Abbas Saad hits a rare hat-trick as Sydney United dump Olympic 3-0 at the SFS to remain unbeaten at the top of the table.
20 - The Knights announce that Iran will train at Somers St during their stay in Melbourne.
22 - In Holland, Ante Milicic is on target again as NAC defeat Fortuna Sittard 3-1.
23 - Sydney United stay two points clear at the top despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Marconi at Parramatta. The crowd is a disappointing 6,363.

5 - Time to get out the record books as Wollongong slaughter Canberra 8-0. Scott Chipperfield scores four times for a season total of nine after ten rounds.
6 - SocAus places national newspaper advertisements calling for "applications from Australia's soccer clubs to become part of the excitement that is the Ericsson Cup."
7 - Joao Havelange officially confirms what SU told its readers months ago; all 200 national federations will receive $1million per year for the next four years. In addition, each confederation will receive $10million for development purposes. Remember that centre they're going to set up in Auckland?
You know, the one the other Oceania members are grumpy about....
8 - SocAus says that they have received two new applications from consortiums interested in joining the Ericsson Cup. The first is Northern Spirit, headed by ex-Marconi president (and arch-rival of Tony Labbozzetta) Remo Negorotto and likely to have Graham Arnold at the helm. The second is Seahawks, headed by John Thompson. They would most likely play at Brookvale Oval. Meanwhile back in this season's Ericsson Cup Adelaide City whack five past Marconi without reply. Damian Mori notches a hat-trick with John Gibson snaring the other two. All action in Perth as well with five goals, five bookings and fifteen thousand witnesses as the Glory pump the Lakers 4-1.
9 - Mark Bosnich keeps a clean sheet as Aston Villa defeat Steaua Bucharest 2-0 and advance to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup.
10 - The Los Angeles Lakers tell South Melbourne it's time to change their logo.
11 - West Ham United announce they will be setting up two soccer academies in Australia, one in Perth (based at Kingsway Olympic) and the other in Sydney (based at Blacktown). Carl Veart transfers from Crystal Palace to Millwall for 100,000 pounds.
12 - Portsmouth striker John Durnin goes public with what (apparently) a lot of people are thinking privately: "....I think we can concentrate a lot better when he is not around. The club seems to run a lot smoother and I think the gaffer (Terry Fenwick) finds it a lot easier when Venables is not here. He can be a distraction."
14 - SocAus announces that Terry Venables has agreed to continue as Socceroo coach when his current contract expires in July 1998. League leaders Sydney United crash 0-3 at South Melbourne with John Anastasiadis scoring all three goals. Further details elsewhere in this issue. The Wollongong revival continues with a 3-0 win in Perth. And yep, Chipperfield is on the scoresheet again.
20 - Referee Brett Hugo reckons Rod Brown is bundled over inside the box unfairly. It is a significant moment in NSL history. Brown composes himself to despatch the penalty into the top corner and thus becomes the NSL's all-time leading goalscorer with 134 goals, surpassing John Kosmina's record. Brown removes his Brisbane shirt to reveal a specially made 134! shirt. Hugo books Brown for removing his playing shirt.
24 - Could be all the Christmas cheer, but the Melbourne Major Events corporation reveals it would like to bid (with SocAus of course) for the hosting rights to the 2010 World Cup. MME boss Ron Walker says he has spoken to Hill and Wran and has "formally written to them asking for a committee to be formed to pursue this".
28 - Sydney United retain top spot with an excellent 2-0 win in Perth.

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