The new kids on the block pulled off a deserved 1-0 win in a pulsating western Sydney derby. The game lived up to expectations and showed the A-League has a great platform to launch the top tier back to where it belongs.
1. Macarthur FC are just what the competition needs.
The Bulls fans were in full voice yesterday and created a terrific atmosphere. The cowbells were a great touch and gives their fans a unique identity.
There is plenty of quality among the playing stock and coach Ante Milicic knows what it takes to get success.
The Bulls have had their critics but they were silenced yesterday.
2. Derby football is what football in Australia needs.
Nothing whets the appetite than a game against your rivals. Yesterday's game had a somewhat more friendly atmosphere than the animosity that exists between the Wanderers and Sydney FC but it was still a derby all the same.
The win meant a lot to Macarthur fans and plenty of Wanderers fans took exception to losing to the new kids on the block.
Sydney FC and Macarthur will have their own rivalry as well which will take its own character.
Melbourne City's move to the South-East, Western United's clear geographic presence and Victory's domination of Melbourne as a whole will create plenty of intense rivalry in Victoria going forward.
Derby football could be the catalyst to take the game forward downunder.
3. Cost of football is still an issue.
Two burgers, a coffee and a bottle of water cost $35 yesterday. This is not the fault of the league nor the clubs.
Bankwest Stadium charge a lot for food outlets to rent space, this cost then goes on to the consumer.
This is costing the game fans. This issue will always be there but something needs to be done to help make the fan experience affordable.
The Wanderers have a fantastic season package for families. Their Family Zone memberships cost $200 for a family of three or $270 for a family of four for an entire season. This is tremendous value.
While families can bring food from home, bottom line is to enhance the experience they want to get food at the game. Some families are happy to do that but will only do it a few times a year as a treat.
We want them there for as many games as possible.
If we can negotiate with stadiums to charge less to food operators, and then get them to reduce costs for food and beverage, it could be a winner for everyone.