One of the bonuses about being a blogger is that you’re not beholden to those pesky deadline thingies that are the curse of a journo’s life. That means I can post this article now and I’m still relevant… (hopefully).
Excuses out of the way, I’m glad I made it across to Michaels Ave for Ellerslie’s match against Manurewa. This was a competitive game, even though Ellerslie scored inside the first 90 seconds and Manurewa lost a player to two yellow cards (see embedded movie) before the break. Clearly the hosts were the better side and they carved out more chances before finally putting the game to bed with a late second goal, but Manurewa were never really out of it. A dinky little lob that went just over at 1-0 could have made for an interesting finish.
I’m enjoying the opportunity to watch some Premier League football now that I have the chance. While neither of these sides would be favoured to make the top four the football was still fun to watch.
But the match, while important, was not as fascinating to me as the venue – the new souped-up, 21st Century, all weather football haven. It’s a lot different to what sat on the same plot of land this time last year.
Cliches aside, this type of venue really is the future for football in NZ. Not only can good quality senior football be played on it, but you can get the kids out there in the morning, during the day, on week nights, winter and summer. It allows you to do so much more, particularly in a city like Auckland where there seems to be a massive squeeze on decent surfaces.
Now, I have no idea how much one of these things cost but I’m guessing it didn’t come cheap. So kudos to Ellerslie and the local council and whoever else was involved in getting the job done. You’ve created a great little multi-use venue that, as a football person with ties to another club, I’m more than a little jealous of.
Yes, every club should have one. The trick will be in every club actually managing to get one.
As a venue for senior club football Michaels Ave is now ideal. The surrounds allow for a decent number of fans to watch and the bowl-type layout certainly throws the fan noise right back in your face. Night game help ramp up the noise factor. The hecklers on the bank certainly got their money’s worth. And so did I.