No sooner have we returned from Russia 2018 bemoaning the lack of goal scorers than we are calling for heads to roll for letting Fernando Torres escape our A-League clutches.

Do you think, perhaps, there might possibly be a connection there that we’re missing?

And now today Central Coast Mariners are set to trial Usain Bolt for a place in their 2018/19 squad.

Look, I know he’s a world record-breaker, top bloke and absolute giant in international sport – but shouldn't we be looking at, you know actual pro footballers?

I mean, if we’re now just looking at star names to join the A-League there is quite a list of celebrities who can kick a ball that would also LOVE to become pro footballers - stars like Robbie Williams, Liam Gallagher, Serge Pizzorno, even Elton John. 

Gordon Ramsay turned out for Rangers briefly so maybe give him a call and Bob Marley was a bit tasty too. Just because he’s dead needn't get in the way of a contract offer because "THINK OF THE HEADLINES…”

But there is a deeper fundamental problem with Australian football now that has been thrown into sharp focus by the Socceroos’ World Cup performance.

As a unit we were more than capable of holding our own, but unable to capitalise on that because of our lack of goalscorers.

While the reasons for that are multiple, a key part is the A-League and its relative success.

No-one is pretending the A-League is matching the EPL, but it has surpassed the key modern day metrics of its predecessor, the National Soccer League.

And that’s the problem. Budgets are bigger. TV deals are much much bigger. Crowds are bigger. Expectations are higher (in some parts at least). There is a greater need to not just bring results, but also entertain. 

As a result the FFA runs football as a business more than it does a sport. Its focus is largely on making the A-League entertain. It is the goose that lays the golden egg of TV money now.

Pathways are being sacrificed to plough more money into the elite level of the sport. The AIS Centre of Excellence has gone. The National Youth League is a joke of a competition and the NPL is the only avenue for players to come through - but one that is largely ignored by A-League clubs, certainly at the pointy end of attack.

As has been widely pointed out, none of the A-League clubs last season regularly fielded an Australian striker. None (even with Melbourne City having the Socceroos' most successful ever striker on their books...)

It’s bad enough for young hopeful Aussies coming through the system knowing they have to compete for a squad spot with someone like Bruno Fornaroli or Besart Berisha.

But now they have to battle non-footballers like Usain Bolt just because it will bring a headline/raise the A-League’s profile/make the front page…

The bottom line is that A-League’s albeit limited success is now counter-intuitively stifling our growth as a football nation.