Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Australia teams on Asian stage:

Football diplomacy in action
By Bonita Mersiades
Date: March 06 2012
Editor Rating:
Image Source:

Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)

The Asian Champions League gets underway tonight.

That probably doesn’t mean much to most readers of motherpedia, so read on to understand a little more –not least because it reminds you of the enormous global appeal of the sport that your son or daughter probably enjoys playing throughout winter weekends.

First, it’s an annual football (soccer) competition involving the best club teams in the Asian region. World football is divided into six regions (known as confederations) and Australia has been part of Asia since 2006. As a result, our teams are able to participate in various Asian level competitions both at country level (the Asian Cup) and club level (such as the Asian Champions League).

Second, Asia is a very large region. It comprises 46 nations including the Middle East (other than Israel which slots into Europe), north to Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and everything in between until you reach the Australian continent! 32 teams are taking part in the 2012 competition divided in eight groups. Each of the four teams in the eight groups meet each other twice on a ‘home’ and ‘away’ basis. So, in light of the geographic spread of the Asian football region, something as simple as a football match can involve very long journeys that are taxing enough for we ordinary folk – let alone for an elite athlete who is expected to go out and perform at optimum level.

Third, Australia’s A-League has three teams in the 2012 Asian Champions League:

·         Brisbane Roar who were last year’s domestic champions

·         Central Coast Mariners who were runner’s up, and

·         Adelaide United who came third.

Both Central Coast and Adelaide United have been in previous editions of the Asian Champions League, with Adelaide going all the way to the Final in 2008 which they lost to Gamba Osaka of Japan.

As well as our three local teams, we also have a few expats represented in other teams. For example, the Socceroos captain, Lucas Neill plays for the Abu Dhabi based Al Jazira team. Two more Socceroos are involved also: Mark Bresciano who plays for Al Nasr in the UAE and Josh Kennedy who plays for Nagoya Grampus in the Japanese J-League. Plus there's Blacktown boy, Milan Susak, playing for Tianjin Teda in China and who are in the same group as Central Coast.

But home attention will be on the three A-League teams with Adelaide United having the toughest schedule. After playing Perth Glory last Thursday night, they were off on a very long trip to Uzbekistan to meet Bunyodkor - a team they have met on two previous occasions in previous campaigns. It is a long and circuitous trip to get to Tashkent (the capital of Uzbekistan) – just ask those who trod the silk road - but at least Adelaide can be comforted by the fact that, once tonight’s game is over, they don’t have to do it again this year!

Central Coast Mariners are in Tianjin, China (about 120km from Beijing) where they meet Tianjin Teda. Although Beijing is far closer than Tashkent, it still took around 24 hours door-to-door from when the team played their A-League match on Saturday at Gosford to arrive at their hotel in Tianjin. The temperature on arrival was minus 3 degrees. As with Adelaide and Bunyodkor, the teams have met on two occasions previously.

Brisbane Roar has the easiest opening game. They will enjoy home comforts at Suncorp Stadium tonight when they take on FC Tokyo. This is the first time either team has participated in the Asian Champions League. But Brisbane Roar coach, Ange Postecoglou, whose team has been nicknamed ‘Roarcelona’ after the smooth footballing style of Spanish giants, Barcelona, has said he expects to exceed past performances of A-League teams in the ACL and eventually take on the likes of another Spanish giant, Real Madrid, at the Club World Cup (another competition that is the ‘big daddy’ of the regional club competitions and which is an entire other article!).

The match in Brisbane tonight kicks-off at 7.30pm local time. Players to watch include Thomas Broich, Besart Berisha, Erik Paartalu and Henrique for Brisbane, while the danger men for FC Tokyo include Kazuma Watanabe and Sota Hirayama.


Adelaide won in Tashkent, 1-2 overnight Tuesday; and Brisbane Roar had a loss at home - not a good result! - 0-2. (The convention for giving scores in football is to home team: away team).

Central Coast drew in Tianjin, 0-0 Wednesday night - an 'away' draw is a good result.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
3 Total Comments
Fliss says: 2012 03 06

Are all the men who play soccer as cute as this one and Tim Cahill (the only other one I know).

Liz says: 2012 03 08

Agree Fliss. But his team lost. What happens now?

Inge says: 2017 03 13

wholesale china jersey - Myron, real soccer jerseys cheap

View All Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343

Your Comment has been posted
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.