Well after a break for Christmas and New Year, I though I'd have to come up with some mundane intro as not much had happened, but then All Whites Coach Anthony Hudson spoke to the media! He has complained about the unprofessional-ism of football in NZ and the lack of games for the national team.
The outburst could be seen as
- The start of an exit strategy (something that he has vehemently denied)
- A calculated move to get the powers that be at NZF to do something about the state of the game, especially the International schedule
- Just pure frustration built up after 18 months in the job.
It would be easy to shoot the messenger here and Hudson doesn't help himself with some of his comments about being unable to field the same line up twice when he has made a point of using different and new players for the National side. (He has used 49 different players in his 6 games in charge!) But the points about professionalism and the attitude within the NZ game are valid, but in a game that is largely supported by amateur volunteer base it is unlikely that these issues will go away anytime soon. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
In the football, the first game of the new year was at Newtown Park with Weenix and WaiBOP United scoring 7 goals between them, all in the 2nd half with the Weenix throwing away a 2-0 lead, to lose 4-3 to a 7th minute injury time winner from WaiBOP's Ryan Tinsley.
On Sunday a wind affected game involving Team Wellington, not unusual you may say, but this was played in Napier against Hawke's Bay United! The game ending 2-2, with Hawke's Bay United giving a debut off the bench to their new signing, ex Phoenix star Paul Ifill.
Canterbury United comfortably beat Waitakere United 2-0 and Auckland City survived a scare from Southern United to run out 3-1 winners at Kiwitea Street.
Here are the highlights
Goal of the week – Emilano Tade's 2nd for Auckland City against Southern United. Louis Evans should get a mention for finishing a nicely worked set piece for Wellington Phoenix's 3rd goal
Well I'd like to say I'm back on it after a Christmas break, but we all know thats not true as what else do you do at Christmas! So the games I picked this week for the beer league were Hawke's Bay United v Team Wellington and Canterbury United v Waitakere United
Hawke's Bay United v Team Wellington
I have noticed that Zeelandt Brewery banner at Hawke's Bay United games. I had seen their beers at the supermarket, but besides their pilsner, I hadn't been able to find another beer to put against it. Until this week when I found they had a new one in the shop a Barrel Aged Saison at 6%, made in conjunction with Petane Station Winery. So I got this and for Team Wellington I selected Upper Hutt brewery Kereru's Belgium Farmhouse Saison Pale Ale (also at 6%)
Saison is a strange beer style that I don't really understand. I had tried it once before in Christchurch when I was visiting the fantastic Pomeroy's Pub. It was strange, I love the big hopped beers that smack you in the face before you actually taste them, Saison doesn't do this, in fact it is hard to describe what it does, it smells yeasty a bit like a old school home brewed beer, but luckily it doesn't taste like that, in fact it doesn't really taste of anything, it's a bit like the beer you have when you're not really having a beer!.....At first that is, when you get about half way down your glass it starts to make sense and the flavours hit you.
The Zeelandt one was dry but had an orangery taste, it was nice but a bit too sweet for me. The Kereru one edged it as it was also dry, slightly tart but didn't have that orangery sweetness of the Zeelandt one, Kereru was just edging it but the packaging of Zeelandt got it a last minute equaliser ending 3-3.
Canterbury United v Waitakere United
For Canterbury United v Waitakere United I went with Red IPA beers, one from Eagle brewery in Christchurch, I thought this was a new brewery but then realised they have been around since 2010. They have recently rebranded from Golden Eagle to just Eagle Brewing. The Red IPA had a nice malty taste but was very very dry. Red IPA's are supposed to be dry but this one had beaten 2 defenders and was trying to beat a third!
The beer I used for Waitakere United was Bach Brewing Duskrider Red IPA (6.1%), it's colour and texture was very similar to the Eagle beer and it was dry too, but it's mix of Cascade, Amarillo, Citra & Nelson Sauvin hops gave it a nice refreshing taste and a 3-1 win.
Wellington Phoenix 3 WaiBOP United 4
Auckland City 3 Southern United 1
Beer & Football
Hawke's Bay United 2 Team Wellington 2
HBU : Zeelandt Barrel Aged Sasion (6%) 3
TW : Kereru Belgium Farmhouse Saison Pale Ale (6%) 3
Canterbury United 2 Waitakere United 0
Eagle Red IPA (5.8%) 1 Bach Brewing Duskrider Red IPA (6.1%) 3