The End

As of today, the Sydney FC Insider project has come to an end.

See you around on Twitter at @andiesawmill!


Summer of Discontent in Australia’s A-League

“In the nine months since we launched Northern Pitch, we’ve received attention not just from Minnesota or the United States, but across the world. Among them was @sydneyfcinsider, (aka “John Smith”) an Australian fan and blogger, who chimed in occasionally on Minnesota news, from the latest on Tiago Calvano (a former Sydney FC player) to the success of Miguel Ibarra.

Recently, some major news about Australia’s soccer scene made its way to our shores, and so we turned to our Aussie readership of one to make some sense of it all.”

Read the full, original post on Northern Pitch.

John Smith – Sydney Tribune Chief Football Analyst

Socceroos History: November 16 – 10 Years On

On Nov 16, 2005, the Socceroos defeated Uruguay on penalties to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

10 years on, Click here for a selection of Tweets, memories and photos of that amazing night that changed football in Australia forever.

John Smith – Sydney Tribune Chief Football Analyst

Western Sydney Wanderers Social Media Manager is a GRUB

What is wrong with the A-League social media managers? We’ve thankfully seen off the era of banter between clubs, but it looks like we’ve entered a whole new realm of rubbish. The era of the GRUB.


You think you can just delete your tweet and nobody will notice that you are a sleazy GRUB? The Wanderers social media manager busted being the GRUB he is.

Yes you are correct… That is meant to be Tony’s O face after ejaculating on a woman’s back. Pure class from an official football club’s social media account with women and children reading along.

The GRUB couldn’t even get his own material, instead stealing from his past project, the Football Sack.


You see, the difference is that the Football Sack is a fan account. It is run for the purpose of stupid banter like this. An alternative view to the sometimes mundane official accounts.

But if you don’t want to read that sort of stuff, you click unfollow. Fans shouldn’t have to click unfollow on an official in an effort to avoid petty banter or sleazy tweets!


After being blocked by the @wswanderersfc official Twitter, I decided to ask one of the women who works in their media department what her thoughts on the sleaze were.


There was no positive to come from a reply so it’s fair enough that she didn’t bite, but I still thought the deafening silence was telling.


The Houston Rockets social media manager lost his job for that piece of golden ‘banter’ which didn’t sit too well with the league’s general followship.

So now I have a few questions that I’d like to ask the powers that be:

Does Tony Popovic mind having his face on that sleazeball GRUB’s Tweet?

Does the FFA have anything to say about the consistently poor social media account management from the Western Sydney Wanderers?

Why does that GRUB still have a job?

The fans deserve better.

John Smith – Sydney Tribune Chief Football Analyst

Friday Night Lights: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar Preview

Sydney FC Squad: 1. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 2. Seb RYALL, 3. Alex GERSBACH, 5. Matt JURMAN, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Christopher NAUMOFF, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE (c), 18. Matt SIMON, 19. Jacques FATY, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 21. Filip HOLOSKO, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 24. George BLACKWOOD, 27. Mickael TAVARES. **Two to be omitted**

Ins: 10. Milos NINKOVIC (promoted), 24. George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 22. Ali ABBAS (knee — indefinite)

Ideal Lineup:


Selection Conundrums:

How do you manage Smelt’z form slump?

Do you start Matt Simon?

While Sydney FC have a few manageable selection issues elsewhere, these are the big questions that stand out. The days of the mainstay marquee striker in Marc Janko are long gone and an ageing, out of form Smeltz sees his position possibly up for grabs. Yes Smeltz scored last week, but he was still largely invisible throughout large majorities of the match. Reward performances Arnie and make the change. Matt Simon is never going to be more motivated than now.

With Hoole, Naumoff and Blackwood fighting for what looks like a single bench spot, your alternative could be to play Holosko at number 9 to open up an extra spot? Unfair on Simon after last week, but he knows he is a role player and not a long term solution to an out of form Smeltz. It wont happen this week, but Holosko’s versatility is an option worth discussing.

I would however like to see Arnie pull the trigger and start Tavares ahead of Dimitrijevic. Tavares has looked the goods off the bench, while the guile of the Brisbane midfield could see us needing the extra cover that he provides.

Finally from a tactical point of view, the left side is still open for the debate. Gersbach’s attacking talents far outweigh those of Grant, but the opposite can be said in defence. I have been pleasantly surprised by the fitness and work rate of Brosque who I can’t remember ever running more than he has to start the season, so for me Grant gets the nod from the start but this is my tactical talking point.

Brisbane Roar FC Squad: 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Corey BROWN, 7. CORONA, 8. Steven LUSTICA, 9. Jamie MACLAREN, 12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Daniel BOWLES, 15. James DONACHIE, 16. Devante CLUT, 17. Matt McKAY (c), 19. Jack HINGERT, 21. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS, 28. Brandon BORRELLO, 36. Andre JANNESE (GK). **One to be omitted**

Ins: 12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (return from injury), 15. James DONACHIE (return from injury)

Outs: 20. Shannon BRADY (not considered)

Unavailable: 1. Michael THEO (GK) (quad strain — 1 week), 10. HENRIQUE (knee ACL reconstruction — 2-4 weeks), 33. Luke DE VERE (quad — 4-6 weeks)


Browsing through some old Sydney v Brisbane images and I came across this. For someone that won championships for the club, how strange does Berisha look in Orange! He’s definitely found a home with the Tards.

Bosschaart says hi.

John Smith – Sydney Tribune Chief Football Analyst

The Story that is Matt Simon

They say that sport is the greatest drama theatre of all and Matt Simon delivering against his former club was better than any movie, drama or show on offer. Reality TV? This is reality.

Matt Simon. The Central Coast Mariners’ all time leading goal scorer. One time club pin up boy. Local junior. Bled yellow for the club and the area that the club represented.

But after missing the whole of last pre-season for personal reasons followed by an injury riddled season where he fell out of favour toward the end of the season, the club informed Simon that he would be released at the end of the year.

Simon was devastated. Even offering to play for his hometown club on minimum wage just so he could stay in the city that was so close to his heart. In today’s world of professional sport, becoming a one club player especially in your home domestic league is a big deal and that’s what Simon wanted.

In what could only be seen as supreme disrespect to a local junior and club legend, summing up the type of man that Matt Simon is, he handled his release with the upmost professionalism, not making waves and accepted the decision.

Enter stage left Graham Arnold. He himself knowing what it is like to be disrespected from the former club that he delivered so much success to, gave Simon a lifeline as backup to Shane Smletz. Never complaining, putting his head down and working hard, the stage was set for him to come off the bench in Gosford, but this time wearing the sky blue of Sydney FC.

When he made his substitution, all Arnold said was “the scene is set”. To which Simon replied in true chill, coastie fashion, “Don’t worry, I’ll go out and win it for you”.

And deliver he did.

Showing again his professionalism and respect for the people of his home town, even after they booed his entry to the match mind you, Simon celebrated with only a chill central coast shaka above his head.

After copping it week after week from his former club, Graham Arnold no longer had it in him to hold back and unleashed an emotional tirade across to the bench that he too once say on.

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“You didn’t want him!”

“Thank you!”

What a result. What a man. What a story. This is football.

John Smith – Sydney Tribune Chief Football Analyst