Feature

Australia's exposure to premium football on free-to-air

The exciting part for Australian football about the new SBS/Optus deal is to bring the work of some of the planet’s top technicians to a wider audience and, of course, free-to-air.

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As the strongest league internationally from a commercial perspective, the EPL has been an attractive force for high level players for many years, and quite a few of the world’s best coaches as well, however this trickle has become flood recently.

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English football now recognises the need to import the best coaches, usually termed managers in England (though the international breed are predominantly the former, as are the new generation of English technicians) and are doing so at an extraordinary rate.

Whether this race to England impacts negatively on other domestic leagues or, in fact and as I suspect, provides opportunity for further generational renewal in Germany, Spain and elsewhere, remains to be seen.

Today, the EPL can boast up and coming technicians like Juergen Klopp at Liverpool, Ronald Koeman at Southampton and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, who is clearly an exceptional talent.

It is bringing the work of these types of technicians to Australia that, aside from the casual or even fervent fan who just love their EPL club, is very exciting for our game.

We want our young coaches to be exposed to the latest methods, modern systems of play, different types of football and all the various discussion around the styles of play that opens the mind and produces more creative and innovative coaches.

Increasingly, the EPL is now spending huge sums on these new coaches and the effect on future generations of English players will also be profound.

Of course, no discussion in this regard is complete without mention of Pep Guardiola, and the opportunity to showcase the evolution of Manchester City under his tutelage is very exciting indeed.

We don’t have the Bundesliga on free to air in Australia, nor La Liga, so that Pep’s work has mainly been followed and devoured here through pay television, on SBS’s Champions league coverage or over the net.

Next season, we will all be able to watch how the project unfolds, how Pep brings his unique brand of football to the English environment and for our context this is extremely valuable.

Who does he sign? How does he alter his football dynamics (if at all)? What will the balance be between possession and penetration? What areas of the current team does he see as weak and needing reinforcement?

All of these questions will be fascinating to watch and answer together, now that the EPL is back on free to air.

 


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3 min read
Published 17 March 2016 at 3:34pm
By Craig Foster