Halfway mark

Each Tuesday, CFA Head Coach writes an opinion column for the Cairns Post titled “Full Time with Zenon Caravella” covering the A-League. Here’s the latest edition.

“One half down, one to go in the A-League”, Zenon Caravella – 10th Jan, 2017

AS we move into the second half of the season, some fans will hope that 2017 will bring a fresh start, a new vigour and a little spark that may give their team the slightest glimmer of hope to get back on track.

With Round 14 done, it was the big guns that continued momentum while for others it was the same old story.

It’s always interesting to hear players and coaches continuously say after matches that “luck didn’t go our way” – but champion teams and players make their own.

For shrewd coaches, New Year is also a Godsend – with the transfer window not closing until early February it presents the opportunity to bolster squads and add quality in areas that are lacking.

I remember going into my previous A-League coach’s office at this time of the year and there would be Eiffel Tower-sized piles of DVDs and CVs of players desperate to be signed.

Could there be a belated Christmas gift awaiting some clubs in the form of a new signing?

As for this round, there were great games and a couple of screamers, which we haven’t been short of this season.

The first came from Melbourne City’s Ivan Franjic, whose brilliant volley delivered three points to interim boss Michael Valkanis. While an inexperienced yet capable coach whom I worked under at Adelaide United, given City’s resources it’s likely a big name will come in to take the reins.

Over in Perth, the youngest coach ever in A-League history (new Phoenix boss Des Buckingham) nearly put Glory to the sword.

With Wellington having a 1-0 lead until the dying minutes of the first half, Glory captain Royston Griffiths let loose an almighty thunderbolt from outside the box and although they fought hard, being down to 10 men through a red card didn’t do them any favours.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous column, contract talks can certainly disrupt focus.

While the Roar don’t need to panic, after a poor loss against the Jets they need to quickly regather to face a rampant Victory who are looking red hot at the moment.

With the Aloisi brothers yet to agree to terms to keep them in our home state, it remains to be seen whether this unsettles the playing group.

Down south the Sky Blues – despite riding their luck a tad – remain undefeated.

Having created chances of their own, it took a David Carney winner to seal the game in dramatic fashion.

Their depth will be tested after the departure of Matt Jurman and Seb Ryall’s injury.

Do we dare to think of the 2003-04 Arsenal Invincibles?

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