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SOCCER

(BY "VANGUARD")

The 1925 Soccer season, which is now drawing to a close, will probably go down in history as one'of the most important from the point of view of actual I results for a .very long time. During the season Wellington has regained,posses^ aion of the Brown Shield, which had had its home in Auckland for several seasons, and has won, for the first time, the Chatham Cup, which has. also changed its I place of* residence from Auckland to Wei-. I lington. In winning these two trophies Wellington has demonstrated that it is in possession of brilliant individual play- ; ers, and at least one club team of butj standing ability. The performance of the Brown Shield team, led by' George j Campbell, and fathered by that enthusi-ast-of enthusiasts,; Alf. Williams, waa such as to indicate that Soccer in the capital city has reached a high standard, and Wellington may now ,f airly claim.the' title which Auckland has claimed for. itgelf.iri recent years—the home of Association football in New Zealand.. However, I to make that claim is one thing, arid /to live up to it is another,, and it now remains for the powers that be to see to it that the progress made, during 1925 is maintained during 1926 and the years' to follow,. Wellington has the players— and will keep them, ho doubt—but, so fa.r .it has not the public .foliowirigj which is so essential to success. Crowds of three or four thousand at the Basin Reserve every little while are alright as far as they go, but further crowds must be looked for; if real.progress is to be made. That Wellington can provide the goods as far as spectacular games are | concerned has been proved duririg_ the present season, but the public is still in i need of education as far as the virtues of the round-ball game are concerned. That is the problem which faces administrators of the game to-day. In Auckland, a' crowd-df six or seven thousand.at a club fixture is not, unknown,-'and, the secret seems to lie in the fact that .the -Management Committee in the Northern, city ha*.catered properly for ttie public by purchasing a ground in easy reach of the centre of; the-city,., and by building a grandstand. Wellington' has a fine asset in Association Park, but so far the Park offers, no protection to the public against the wrath of the .elements. . Auckland; has made good in this, respect.;. Why cannot, Wellington—the home of Association fooiball—do the same? May "Vanguard" once .more urge that serious consideration be given during the recess to the question of erecting a grandstand, so that when next season comes along enthusiasis may be able to see their favourite game played in some semblance of comfort. , ■ Whit th« Clubs Htv« D*n«. At ihe end of the financial year the manager of a business, successful or otherwise, usually reviews the . year's workings, notes any weakness,- and makes up his wind to improve things in the ensuing twelve months. And to it is, or should be, with the manage-1 irient of every football club at ihe conclusion of each season. The season practically, closes to-day, arid ,'the wise management will now take stobk of the doings of 'their teams during the past season. It is an.easy, matter to criticise, especially . destructively, but helpful criticism is good for any .sport .and should be welcomed. It is intended, in these;last few notes of the season, • to lightly touch on. the. first , division teams and their success and otherwise. The season 1 has been a good: oaey although, a wet one, and many fine gamss have been played. ; And there is no denying the fact that there, have been many poor orieis 1 played. There are s'oriie team*, who "do not. take ■ their football seriously, and then there are some who take it very seriously on Saturday only and expect to do well-without a moment's training. These sort of teams. enjoy themselvesy arid are probably: quite satisfied, but' they are not the sort that will draw the crowd and help to: advance the game. In football, as in most things in life, if you want, to succeed you must befit for the fray and be a reil trier front,start to finish.

. Y-.M.C.A. have won the League chainpioriship and Chatham Cupj and a good deal of; their' success has been due to their fitness. In the/cup final last Saturday, it was condition that told in the extra half-hour played, and Sea r cliff were, done when heads wire turned, for home. Marist have also, always been a well-trained team, and they % have again won. the Charity Cup, arid with a little more luck. Would have done still better. -Arid, scoff 1 -ai' some will, there is not the least doubt that .. luck frequently plays: a most important part in a game. In the very first match of the. season it is generally agreed they were unlucky to lose 0-1. How valuable those two, points would be now! Manat are a well-balanced team, and it is difficult to' Suggest a weakness. The weakness, if any, is in the inside forwards, as there is no doubt too many goals have been-missed from the opportunities they have received; A year older and the experience gained this season will make them an even more formidable team next year: Hospital have soriie of the finest players in the Competition, and oh paper one would almost have fix-' pected them to have at least won the championship or ono of» the cups. But it was rarely that Hospital played as,a t#ain.' This has been one of the teams that havd taken their football seriously on Saturdays only. -All players will joyfully hop into training at the beginning of the season, but gradually one or two drop out, arid it is only the keen enthusiast that keeps going. That is the sort of : player that is wanted nowadays. One weak spot in Hospital has been the centre-forward position, and many players have-been tried without success, until 'Newman : arrived [iowards the close of the season. This club has also created a record in the nuriißer of signed senior players on the books, no lets than 25 players taking ptrl in leiiiit; thd out> nitehii for on; t«*m* li, U uy aoadir ,th« turn could

IN RETROSPECT

SUCCESSES OF PAST SEASON

"A HIGH STANDARD MAINTAINED '*

not settle down and play consistently? Thistle is another old club that has given an in-and-out performance, playing good enough one Saturday to inflict On YiM.CjA. their only defeat' and then in an apparently,., easy match fall right away and give a poor exhibition. The Reason is mainly training, or the: lack' of ii, arid this applies to more than one team—too much experience arid not enough youth. It is. an ideal team that has ; youth blended with a certain amount of experience, but in these times it does not pay in football to • have too much of : the lat; ter at the expense of the former. It is a certainty that next season Thistle will be a much more powerful side, as' the Scots have joined forces, and the selection for a senior side will, be much wider. Institute havo been, the unlucky team of the competition, havingbeen, soyerely handicapped by accidento to their best players. >The*e is no doubt that but .for these accidents the teani would have been much higher in the" table. Institute is a team composed en-' tiroly of youth, and; it would be-a-'dis-tinct advantage if a little of the surplus' asperience in-other teams had been with, them. Institute ; confines its players to boys and old boys of ihe institute, arid it'is, quite a laudable idea,' but it necessarily narrows the -selection, and the lean yeafs may be many. However, the fat ones will surely follow.. Scottish Wanderers have had a good ■season, and quite justified their promotion. They'hafe played and;won many good games, but their identity as a club will be lost next season, as tWy ate one of tjie Big Threei in tfi« com.bine.'; '.'•.., ".- .'• .-.' . :..- ■' ■ . ' ..'

Diamonds opened the season in great form, and their supporters arid wellwisbers, who are many in the land, erpected.them to go far. But they did not do so well as expected, and it is rather hard to define the exact reason: lie team was generally in fine fettle and could ; last .put:. a\: game • with' ahy team, but the weakness was mainly in' tactics. There was far tod. much of the kick-and-rush stylo-Of playVvith them; and they, were palpably weak in front of goal/ There were numerous occasion* in almost every match when a. little steadiness in front 1 of . goal would have mad© all-the difference. The forwards! could .get: there all: riglit,<; but they licked tha finishing tonch. /. Waterside have fallen on .hud times; and will be relegated to' th* B division next season. They have, howetef, always shown a fine spirit'in taking the field every week with the. almost certainty of,defeat. In the; latter part of the season they have,,been assisted] mainly by promoted juniors, arid the knowledge gained will be of great help! in the future/ So; taking all in all, the clubs, have hat! a real good season, and the public" have., been provided with, many fine contests. There is no doubt the class of football generally is improving and more clubs are reaching a high' standard, thiis ; ensuring v keener. and harder .games; The clubs ■ next season will: have ,to fight even harder than ever to gain supremacy. Tfi* thanks 01 all. clubs are due „td that fine body ' of. enthusiasts, the referees, who have willi.nSty given of their time to help thegame along. The rt fereeing, thi« season especially, has generally been of a very high standard; and this body is now very much alive.. Referees have made mistakes,' a.rid will continue to do so as long as 4 ball is kicked; that is only human, but Tefereeirig in Wellington is now on a higher plane'than ever it has been. A great deal, of the credit for this efficiency is due to Mr; Onhrod, the energetic secretary,»rtho has worked Hard and long, for the benefit of dubs. With the.Brown Siiield and the Chatham Oup, the two most coveted trophies in New Zealand, both resting in Wellington, we have every nght to feel pleased with ourselves and say we have had a glorious season. • Chatham Cup Filial. Another Chatham, Cup competition Has been decided, and for the first time since the trophy was/presented by the men of H.M.S. Chatham a Wellington team hasbeeri successful. .V.M.C.A., playing bright football, accounted for Seacliff at Newtowri Park last Saturday by the odd goal in. five,-but it; was only after thirty minutes' extra time, marked by strenuous football, had been played that the deciding point was registered.. Se'acliff were making their third appearance in"- the Chatham Cup final.' : ,In 1923, when the competition was inaugurated, they met V.M.C.A. in the final. at Athletic Park, and on that; occasion they were successful .in carryihg the day. Last year Seacliff came to Wellington to defend the trophy against Harbour Board (Auckland), but their effort wai not good enough, and the cup went North. This year they made another yam quest for the trophy, but, although they were defeated, they had the sati«faction, of making the winners fight one of their hardest battles of the season. .To play.for two strenuous forty-fives arid then to have to turn round and. play for another half-hour was a test indeed, arid players on both' sides were no doubt mighty pleased when that .final whistle sdunded-j-Y.M.C.A. more pleased than Seacliff,; of course,- for when they left the field they went to collect the coveted Chatham Cup. Seacliff put up-a stern ,figlit against their victors, and until extra time they succeeded in holding their 'own." Dnrihg that final thirty minutes, however, they faded out of the picture, and Y.M.CiA. should have scored more' goals than they did.' On their plucky fight arid on their sportsmanlike action in making the trip to Wellington in the face of a heavy experiditude, Seacliff c are to be congratulated. Now that Otajjo, Wellington, and Auckland liave each held the trophy; it is to be hoped- that the ; Canterbury centre ■will take a hand in matters, next .season. So far a team from Canterbury has not been further', than the senii-firial stage. The standard ot play ,iri, the. final on Saturday was . better- thai one mikht; have been justified in-'expectirig iiiider th« eiiounUtancii, A diAtbna! wind of almoit huxritttt force milit.attd •faiait,

good football; but playets on both sides rose superior to the elements and played football of an attractive .quality. Com-, bincd work was .'; not lacking, the *orwards on both sides playing with a good understanding of each other' taotics. A brilliant performance was given .by the Se'acliff left wing; BoUlie, ■ wk>>«aß the outstanding forward on the field. His ball control was excellent, and, if more use had been made of his many openings Y.M.C.A.'s task would have been more difficult. Mdch of, the ; responsibility'of stopping Baillie fell ,pn .M'Ar-, thur's shoulders, and the Wellington repreientative had a, busy ; afternoon. O» the whole he came'through'it well, and when he was riot attending to BaUlie he was saving V.M.C.A.. fcrc*i a d»np;e'rous situation resultant oh i .corner kick. During the second spell M'Arthur made three or f our brilliant saves froiri: corner kicks, and turned what should have been an advantage to Seacliff into an advantage for V.M.C.A. Hooper -rtas anothet Seaclifl forward •who: tieoiled careful watching, for he adopted tfush tactics which might have easily come off. He followed up very quickly whenever, the halves sent the ball forward,and but for a sound defence by the y.M.C.A, backs he might have been through ori ; several, occasions* Of the Seaclin halves the outstanding ;fijgure was the captain of the team, Murray, who played*, with a fine .-understanding of the.tactici of the men in front of , him. His. defensive work wm also good, although Nicblle,, the Y.M. tight winger,' was a little too fast far him most of the time. /It is difficult to pick out the outstanding forward. in the local team, for all .did their work we 11.':.,.-■ Nicolle showed that his enforced spell on account of. illness has notdoh^ him b great deal of harm, and he and Dtmpeter worked welLto the right wing. Ballard made a success of the centre forward ppßition, but was an even .greater^ success wh«n Campbell moved him out to the wing. It was a wise move, for it was the., primary carise: of .Y.M.G.A.'sr success in levelling.lip the scbres b'efovp the final whistle sounded. Halley and Campbell '[ also did their duty 1 ■■ to' the team, the latter controlling the' eleven in his usu«l masterly style..- tn.the rew division, M'Girr showed,a return to form after a. of off !d»ys; and Prince played good,-solid football. Anderson, the Seacliff right back, worked particularly hard all through and kept a good check on Ballard towards the end of the game. In blocking a centre on one occasion he was winded arid was out of action for a minute Or t'wbv There was little to choose between the two goal-keepers—Bentley ■ (Y:M.G.A.) ■ arid Gwilliam (Seacliff)—but if anything the' former had .the greater amount-of work todo. Bothwere iriatromental in say':, ing penalty kicks,- although in each case the ball was kicked straight-for. the centre of the goal-month. One d6e» not often see two penalty kicks awarded in the same game, and still less freoneritly does one see both missed « w«« the case on Saturday.. It: inUs't hay been "» cas* of nerves. Gwilliam had-■ an ■ nn^ fortunate; argument with a fellow-player on one occasion, and threatened to with, draw from the game, but wiset .conrisel* prevailed before be had gone too: fajj Taken all in all, the game was well worth watching, and,.; it muet bs: admit; ted thai the better tide woo, .

"Cdtuil fiay.r ■ - : "'';--/'; '; -,'.; '■''; ■. ,:-.'\- ■Reference to the "casnaj'j :na£ut«i of the play in recent oJub matches' is made by a.correspondent in' a 'etter.to "Vanguard." The correspondent writes :— "There ippears to be something wrong with the system of competitions and rounds j for it is an . ', '•_ Undoubted fact that- . interest, dots ' edch season lag most markedly. '.'. Very probably there ii,. a , great; deal,';: in. the argument advanced by many. Of the old hands .that there are' too many senior teams which are hot senior teams at all,' that is, that .from the number of Soccer players in Wellington on£ could not *«■; pect to select so many elevens which are really up to^ aehibr grado niark. ''It is thoroughly obyioiis.that at"any rate there are no:'seiior• play^ri what-1 ever to spare, otherwise clubs would riot j hive such a job of it to bring oil » substitute wh'eh fororie wasbft 6r: aiiotKet I a regular player.wai,triable.<o;turn out. When teams were sent' in to the. newspapers a few seasons ago for publication one very frequently, probably generally^ found below the names of'the eleven plkyers selected two or three named as eraergenciiis. That is not so to-day. Club's; some clobs, have ■■ to- scratch fairly, industrially to get together tbe bare eleven, and' even so there may be included in that eleven three, or four who are not really; to.-be"classed as senior mien >. on perfonnahce. There are pjetijty of players for eight, senior A teams md nine setiior' B. todms, but are there endiigE good pliyei-s? ■ , -'.'."' "The result of the inclusion of inaiffereht players in senior teams natutklry is that the teams play indifferent football;,th«y achievo a series of defeats andlook forward ;to more of the ;sanie,' -with the result; that their. game: falls -' to pieces some more. This season there hive been too many Rugby score Tictohesj plainly for the reason that some teams are not really senior teams at all. I maintain that. spectators are : almost as: important to good football as pliyers, and the more enthusiastic tIM spectators the better.the play, but^spectators will not turn out to pobr exhibitions and the big inducement to, pliyers;. to shine brightly is lost. . One hangs upon the other arid one assists the other. "There is,another reason why' spectators will not turn out to Association s*, £ "**, th*y mi«nt: ' AMociatioii Park, the home of Soccer in Wellington, is not by any stretch of imagination; to be described as an attractive spot, even ih: fine weather, and; in wet weather it, is peculiarly miserable and uninvitihg. Last year the glad news was spread that something would be done during the off season, but nothing /eventuated. I This year again the glad news' has gone ' forth, a better playing surface arid shelter for enthusiastic followers. Possibly something will be done. Soccer will never, go ahead until it is, for the interest of the public is not to be caught by occasional matches upon the Basin, but by a series of worth-while matclies under decent conditions Saturday after Saturday. As it is public interest in waning, not waxing." N«t*i. ; ',-' . • ' c ■-;, ' ■ '■ ';' . The smallest player . engaged "among the small; army engaged by the club in the English Football League is "Faiiny" Walden, of tho Spurs, who stands sffc 2in, and the tallest is Iremongerj the Notts County janitor, who stands 5£ inches above six feet. „"; • ' .;■.-..

"llford F.C. challenge the burglavs to play for the return of the oup. If Il-ford-Joss they Will present, the lid. whit:!: the thieves jit their hurry left behind, together with the case to the winners. This is an appeal to:; the sportinc instinct." . This . notice appeared in the broken window of the thdit in' High Mi; IHord, from' jvhich tha Bto« Senior Oup vru itolMt '''. :/ .v , :)■, 0 ,

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Bibliographic details

SOCCER, Evening Post, Volume CX, Issue 76, 26 September 1925

Word Count
3,273

SOCCER Evening Post, Volume CX, Issue 76, 26 September 1925

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