MARINERS fan Bob Brooks can’t wait for next season’s AFC Champions League. Central Coast will take part in Asia’s premier club competition for a third time.
Lang Park in Brisbane was transformed into a world-class stadium and renamed for a Queensland financial institution – Suncorp. As long as this organisation exists the name will remain. It is a short walk from Milton railway station and just along from the XXXX brewery. Seating over the stadium has been designed for easy access and egress. The walkways under the stands are wide and unobstructured. Food and drink outlets are plentiful with toilets well positioned. The only snag is that during the devastating 2012 floods the playing area and lower seating was inundated to the fourth row. That event is unlikely to happen again in the near future.
Brisbane Roar have defeated the Mariners in a Grand Final at this fine arena before a capacity crowd. Because of the ground-s design the noise (or that should that be roar?) of the crowd is well contained. The atmosphere on the playing pitch must be remarkable.
However we should not grieve that the Mariners have yet to win a Grand Final contest. In the opinion of many it would be preferable for the yellow-navys to do well in the AFC Champions League. As Daniel McBreen said he has seen so many places in Asia through football.
The ACL is something only the round ball game has. When the European Cup started in the 1950s and for a number of years afterwards, spectators were thin in the stands. Most grounds in those days had mainly standing room – hence the name ‘stands.-
These days, the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League are very well attended with capacity crowds at the most important games. The ACL is still a novelty and is struggling to get noticed. Subsequently the idea of our team competing in such a prestigious competition will not yet attract large crowds. It will be a great day when an Australian team beats the best of the rest of the Asian Football Confederation and wins the AFC Champions League. This is a prestigious competition on the international stage. Let us hope that it is the Mariners that are the first homegrown winners!