Congratulations you have won the Heart of the City competition for Cheers Bar, Sydney!I'm stoked — but as I mentioned in the earlier post, it's more about thanking the team at Cheers for their continued hospitality. So well done all round, as commiserations to the Perth crew, who would have been worthy recipients.
We loved your entry and a plaque is now being produced for you.
I’d like to arrange delivery to you and discuss the presentation to the bar.
The announcement that you have won will go on the site tomorrow.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon and well done again.
Someone at Manchester City Football Club
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thanks to all who played, especially Steve from Perth and Josh from Melbourne.
New boys Steve-from-Perth and Dave destroyed the tired Liverpool team, countered with the husband and wife combination of Brendo and Age in defense, it was a comfortable three points for the Blues.
Supersub Josh hit the post with his first touch of the match, but it was Crouchy who gave City the lead, latching on to a through-ball from man-of-the-day Jameo. However, Everton threw everything forward and equalized in the dying seconds, RoHart unable to keep the low shot out. It must be said though that this match seemed to finish remarkably early — a case of Reverse Fergie Time, perhaps?
Whilst a win and two draws was enough to claim third spot in the group, it was not enough to qualify for a wildcard entry into the quarter finals. Just like under Mark Hughes, too many draws were costly, as City were bundled out in a very respectable ninth out of 17 teams.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Liverpool was the fixture and when I overheard some blues on the train talking about the snow in Manchester the reality started to hit me. 2 hours later I had arrived at Manchester Piccadilly and caught the 216 straight to Eastlands.
The first casualty of the starting lineup didn’t come from the squad, it came from the deflated Blue Roo which wasn’t match fit for travel and still recovering from some injuries incurred back home in his sun burnt country.
I arrived into the stadium at around 2pm to soak up the atmosphere and I must admit since my visit 5 years ago the place seemed to be a lot more polished and the vibe was better. Sitting in Mr Matt Coleman’s seat in the South Stand 1 I enjoyed some great views and was placed nicely right next to the red Scousers.
The game was always destined to end in a draw. Both sides really weren’t going for it and were hoping to get lucky late on in the game. It wasn’t the best game of football but just being back at Eastlands took away from what was being shown on the pitch. It was tense, scrappy and there were limited opportunities.
In the middle of the second half a bit of light snow came down and with my feet now numb all I could think about was Carlos Tevez’s banner of ‘Welcome to Manchester’.
The result was ok and the day out was great. Next week I’ll be cheering the blues on from Stamford Bridge and hopefully we can see City pull out the double of their rich rivals.
City til we die,
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Although there is no doubt it will be a fantastic few days of football, drinking, and drinking, there is another reason we are running the weekend — to work out how both Sydney and Perth can get bigger and better.
I've listed a few items on the agenda that we would like to discuss. And hopefully, we can use the vast experience of the Perth lads to increase our presence in Sydney. We'll come back in a week or so and post the findings from the talks!
- Make the weekend a regular occurance. Alternating yearly between the eastern and the western seaboard.
- Improving dialogue between our supporter clubs, and exchanging contact details. And making these available for everyone.
- Using our collective experience to help grow Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. There are plenty of Blues there, we know there are — but the hardest part is getting them all in the one place at the one time!
- Official Supporters' Club status for Sydney — is it feasible? is it worth it? We will have to have an executive and a monthly meeting if this is the case. A proper meeting, with minutes and everything, not just beers at trivia!
- A one-stop website that the first-time fan can stumble upon and find all the information they need for the area they live — who to contact, where to watch games, how to get involved.
- Should we consider one identity and badge for all Australian branches?
- Lesson in Pride is currently the only Australian-based City blog. Do we allow contributions and post information from other states and other branches?
- And any other idea to find more Blues, and what more can we do to continue to grow.
We hope to see you there.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After a quick exchange between all parties its discovered they are all Mancunians, Manchester City fans, currently living in Perth, and holidaying in Sydney.
Why? The Australian M.C.F.C Supporters Weekend.
I met with a few of these intrepid lions-come-sandgroppers last night for a quiet ale and I can say with no uncertainty that this weekend is going to be magic.
Whilst people may not fully understand the concept of flying across Australia to watch a game of football on TV, its nights like last night that make you realise you are part of something special. Put together a couple of beers, a few stories, laughs, tips on the best cafes and shops, a bit of Sydney v Perth banter and a generally great evening was had by all.
Of course we discussed all things football and talked about results, players, history and the future, and I believe by the end of the weekend we will have covered every person to ever pull on the sky blue!
Dave, one of the Perth MCFC fans said it best: "if it wasn't for Man City, we wouldn't all be sitting here." He's right. One of the things I've always loved about City is the way it brings you together with people you may have never met before. People from all walks of life, from all corners of the country and beyond.
So as the weekend approaches, if you were umming and ahhing about coming along I can say this.
Don't miss out.
At the end of the day if City lose, then City lose. The best part will surely be the friends you make and the adventures we share. For many people this is a holiday to see Sydney, and for Sydneysiders its a great chance to see your city from a different angle and perhaps do some things you wouldn't normaly do in your own backyard!
See you all in Darling Harbour tomorrow night with your fashionable bowling shoes ready! If you're in earlier or want to meet up get in touch with Matt or Brendan and they'll point you in the right direction!
See you tomorrow night!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
It's called the "Heart of the City", and they want to know which is the best place to watch the Blues in Australia. And I reckon it's a two horse race between us and the fine folk at Perth's Kangaroo Arms.
Check out the details here.
We're putting the call out to City fans Down Under to tell us where Australia's Heart of the City is.We've got enough photos, video, and anecdotes to give this competition a shake — it would be a nice gift for Gerard and the team at Cheers who really do look after us.
If you're based in one of Australia's big cities and you gather with your mates at a bar or a social club to watch the Blues in action, we want to hear from you!
The club, in partnership with Umbro, are producing 20 "Heart of the City" plaques which will be sent out to places where Blues fans congregate in cities all around the world.
So far the NRG bar in Abu Dhabi and the Mad Hatter in New York City are proudly displaying their blue moon-themed plaque. Now we want City fans in Australia to tell us all about where they watch the Blues while sampling the old amber nectar and why their watering hole deserves the next one.
It could be in the sub-tropical climes of Brisbane, overlooking Sydney's world-famous Bondi beach or on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Perth.
If you and your friends have a favourite place where you regularly gather to watch City games in Australia, drop us a line. Email any details, stories and photos of your suggested Heart of the City to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, February 15, 2010
To all of those who are participating in the upcoming 5-a-side tournament as part of the Australian Supporters Weekend in Sydney here are the pools for the competition as well as a couple of ground rules.
After a few enquiries regarding footwear, trainers and rubber studs are all good but NO Blades, shin pads are compulsory, should you have a specific enquiry then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
The pitches are 3rd generation artificial surfaces which means that should the weather turn the competition will not be affected.
The first games will start at 10:00am prompt, each group will have its own pitch and pitch number 4 will be available for teams to practice.
The top two from each group will progress along with the two best placed 3rd teams, should it be a tie then it will be decided on goals scored not goal difference.
The venue is the Kikoff centre which is at Harbord Bowling Club with the address being Cnr Bennett Street & Stirgess Ave, NSW 2096, probably an idea to google map it and send out – very easy to find. http://www.harbordbowlingclub.com.au/contact
At the site there are changing facilities and there is ample parking space alongside the Club.
Australia 2 (not the yacht)
Awaiting confirmation on final spot.
For Man City the group is an interesting one. We face defending Champions Everton, who have a striker who is simply unbelievable. Also in the group are our bunnies, Liverpool who we defeated 3-1 after trailing 1-0, with only 6 players to their 12! The Tartan Army seemed only interested in the drinking last time, and Australia 2 are an unknown quantity.
For City to qualify wins over Liverpool, the Tartans, and Spurs should be what we are looking for. Any sort of points against Everton will be a bonus.
Regardless of our result the day should be good fun (especially if you like Ukulele music) and City will be there to represent in the good spirit and good humour we are known for.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The tie will be played on March 6 or 7, just a week after we visit Stamford Bridge in the league.
The full draw is as follows:
Chelsea v Manchester City or Stoke City
Fulham v Bolton Wanderers or Tottenham Hotspur
Reading or West Brom v Crystal Palace or Aston Villa
Portsmouth v Birmingham City
At a drizzly Sydney Football Stadium (probably accounting for the slightly disappointing crowd of just over 25k) the stage was set for one of the most important games of the year. If Sydney could overcome Melbourne then they would lift the 'Minor Premiership' (ie finish top of the league before the A-League finals series starts) and not only put one over their Victorian rivals, but also put them in the box seat for an assault on the A-League crown itself.
Sydney FC Vs. Melbourne Victory is always a bit tasty and whilst 'soccer' isn't the most watched code of 'football' over in Oz, the fans are surprisingly passionate. To this end there always are plenty of flares, fighting (in this case inside the stadium with the Police!), singing, dancing, scarves and yesterday was no disappointment. Not that I condone a bit of a ruck with the fuzz, but watching the idiots getting pepper-sprayed, tasered and kicked out along with a cameraman slipping in the mud is all part of the fun.
As for the game itself, Sydney played well and sealed victory with a cracker of a goal from Jean Aloisi just after half time to take the game and the Premiership plate 2-0. Also on the scoresheet this weekend was a certain Terry Cooke for North Queensland Fury (also the club currently hosting Robbie Fowler until his falling out with the manager a couple of weeks ago).
Intriguingly, spotted from our vantage point was this season's Third kit, belonging to a City fan that we have yet to meet in our travels and travails around Sydney. Furthermore, on viewing this blog post again we've noticed directly behind him is a chap in this season's Home shirt. Surely, if you live in Sydney and are a Blue, you know about the Sydney Blues, right?
These people were sat in Bay 38. We'd like you to get in touch if you could, so we can ask "Where the bloody hell are ya?"
If you know who of either of the mystery duo are - please get in touch or leave a comment below!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Many fans are of the belief that City, as a club, was so invested in the Carling Cup semi final that we are forgetting that there is life after death! The players have obviously felt the toll of the physical and emotional burden as our performances over the last couple of weeks have been less than enthusiastic. We were horrible against Hull, sub-par against Portsmouth and boring against Bolton. With big games coming up we must find a way to shake the hangover.
The cure? Stoke.
We've two games in a short space against the club who are the butt of many jokes, but often the bane of teams higher up the league than them. City has a chance to really right the ship in the next few days (not that 5th place and cup semi-finalists is really a bad place to be) as we look to push ahead of Liverpool, and deep into our second cup of the season.
The players, and fans, need to realise that although we all invested a lot in the matches against United they are gone, but the promise of so much more than the 'Mickey Mouse Cup' lies ahead. With our games in hand and an upcoming fixture against Liverpool we have the chance to push forward and take the Champions League spot that is on offering. Another quarter-final appearance would put the belief in a Blue Wembley right back in the hearts and minds of the City faithful and the silverware may yet come this year.
So to all the Blues across the land and world pick yourselves up, lift your head high again and get ready because the ride is only starting. When we are knocking certain red teams out of the Champions League next year we wont even remember that little cup United have so often slated. The focus has to be ahead and with so much more on the line it would be foolish of City to let any mistakes or misfortune from the season ruin what could be our best finish in many, many years.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Sydney in a week!
Brendo the Jet
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Dear City Fans,
Fresh off the back of a 2-0 win over Bolton here is the final itinerary for the upcoming weekend in Sydney. We’ve had a great response so far with people really warming to the idea which will hold us in good stead for the future of the concept.
There has been a slight change to the arrangements due to another event clashing with ours. Fortunately the change is for the better! The Sunday was scheduled to be a day off to see Sydney but has now been changed due to the Supporters Club 5-a-side tournament. The Sydney supporters had entered a team in this earlier but when given the dates recently discovered that it coincided with our weekend festivities. The good news is that instead of having 6 people (like last time) we will be able to bring our entire supporters club along and everyone should get the chance to play in the Sky Blue should they desire!
The plan is now as follows:
Friday 19 February 8pm: Bowling
Kingpin Bowling Bar http://www.kingpinbowling.com.au/
This is the start of the party with a game of ten pin and a few beers(soft drinks for the kids and designated drivers!) to introduce ourselves, have a laugh and enjoy a game of Ten Pin Bowling. The cost for bowling is $16 per person for the game, payable on the night, plus whatever you eat or drink. We will be running some games on the night as well such as pool comps and the like and you’re free to do as little or as much as you like.
10pm: Darling Harbour
On a fine summers night there really aren’t many places better than Darling Harbour. Its filled with restaurants, night clubs, bars, street performers, incredibly expensive yachts and people from all over the world. Those with families may wish to stroll around and wonder through the parks, or ride the Ferris wheel overlooking the Harbour. Those who are grown up can head into any number of bars, or trek further into town. Chinatown and George St are close by, the Rocks area isn’t far and is filled with Sydney’s convict history (and pubs) and you will have a blast no matter the direction you head. We will leave this open and decide on the night. Some people may wish to go off on their own or the group may indeed take to a bar together!
Saturday 20 February 10am: Sydney Bus Tour
Unfortunately our Blue Bus that we had is still undergoing repairs, and indeed the Museum that operates it is in some trouble itself. There is an alternative, and you’re not going to like part of it, the Sydney Explorer. This is a fantastic ride that lets you hop-on/hop-off as you like along the tour and simply get back on when the next bus comes. It covers the entire city and you get to see everything you’ve seen on a postcard in real life! The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for children ($97 for family ticket of 2 adults and any number of children from the same family.) The part you won’t like? The bus is red. So that means Blue shirts are mandatory that day!
We will take time to stop midway through for a picnic lunch in the Botanic gardens, a lovely spot overlooking the Harbour, the Opera House and of course, lots of flowers!
The bus also includes lots of vouchers to other attractions in Sydney should the tourist bug bite really hard! To board the bus we will meet at Town Hall at 10am, but will wait for the half past bus for any late-comers.
Saturday 8pm: Dinner
Bowlers Club of NSW http://www.bowlersclub.com.au/
Located in the middle of the City the Bowlers Club is a great venue and has some lovely function rooms, one of which is hours for the evening! Here we will be served a Chinese buffet and drinks, whilst we watch some highlights and lowlights of City throughout the year and enjoy some live music from a couple of our very own Blues!
At this stage it is uncertain as to whether the FOX Sports team will be able to join us due to their work commitments but hopefully they will be there to talk all things football and sign some autographs for the truly keen.
The cost is $40 per person and includes Entrée, Mains, Tea & Coffee. We are trying to organise a deal with the bar for reduced drinks.
This would have been the night that City was due to play Liverpool but due to the demands of TV contracts the game has been shifted to Sunday night. We can amuse ourselves by going to Cheers, Sydney’s home of Sport, or any number of other venues. We will leave this to be decided on the night.
Sunday 21 February: 10am Supporters Club 5-a-side Tournament
Taking place on Sydney’s northern beaches at Harbord Bowling Club is the summer edition of the Supporters Club Football Tournament. Man City featured last year and won a memorable match against Liverpool, despite their squad being twice the size of ours, and wearing matching shirts! This year we hope our added numbers will help push us towards the semi finals, or perhaps a piece of silverware!
We really want everyone to be at this so we can show the other clubs (Everton, Liverpool, Celtic. Rangers, NI, T Army, Inter, Benfica, Brazil, Portsmouth, Sydney FC, Cardiff, Spurs, Oz x2, Aston Villa, Rep of Ireland) that MCFC is a force to be reckoned with!
The day is a great laugh and City’s wandering minstrels will be there to make a fun day for everyone. Cost is $180 per squad ($20 per player) and free to spectators. Anyone is welcome to play, regardless of skill level.
To get to and from the event we will be riding the fabulous Sydney ferry to Manly, and then taking a bus. Everyone will need to be at Circular Quay at 9am to meet for the trip across the harbour.
The tournament will conclude around 4pm but you are free to leave early if there is anything you want to do in Sydney for the afternoon or you have a flight to catch! The buses and trains are all close by and transport always brings you back to the CBD.
9pm to 4am: The Match
Unfortunately some of you won’t be able to stay on for the game, but for those of you who do the night in Cheers will be filled with songs, colour, atmosphere and hopefully a Manchester victory! We will assemble in the Cheers Bar around 9:30pm to commence preparations for one of the biggest games of the year.
I hope you are all as excited as I am about the weekend and are ready to have some fun. Please pass this letter on through the supporters club and Facebook, or simply email to any other City fans you know who are coming or thinking of coming.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Sydney very soon,
Brendo the Jet
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Firstly, that penalty was dodgy to the extreme... no way should that goal have stood.
Robinho started on the bench (something he had become accustomed to at City I guess) before coming on in the second half. From the highlights, it looked like he bossed the game — but I guess that's pretty easy when the level is not much better than our A-League and you afford Robinho so much time on the ball. To be fair, his goal was well-taken, but you'd expect a £32million player to be dominant in that league.
He looks happy playing in the sunshine in his home country, but to be as world-class as he thinks he is, he's going to have to be a lot more ambitious.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, it probably save to say that we've seen him in a City shirt for the final time. And although the 'Offside Smiler' had very few admirers, I for one, will miss him.
You know those players that may not be the best on the park, but you still have an affinity with them? Benjani's mine.
Whilst not brilliant talented by any stretch, Benjani is the antagonist in some of my favourite moments as a City fan.
Benjani's debut was the Munich Memorial derby on February 10, 2008. I had arrived back in Sydney the day before from my first trip to England, and tired and still a little jet-lagged, fronted up to one of the first decent Sydney Blues screenings. Having just observed first-hand some poor football in the week prior... I thought we'd get pummeled.
Something about that day was magical, from start to finish. The sun blazing down on Vermin Towers after two weeks of cold and drizzle. The impeccably observed minutes' silence. Deadly Darius' goal on the second attempt. And then... Benjani's shoulder. With the exception of Bellamy third goal at the swamp earlier this season, I have never celebrated a goal as enthusiastically as that. An amazing day and an amazing team performance, without big names such as Elano. Probably our best win since the 4-3 over Spurs in the FA Cup.
Then later in the year, another overseas journey saw myself and Blue Roo land in Schalke in City's first proper Euro away day in many a year. I had stayed overnight in Hong Kong the day before (or maybe two days, who the hell knows with the time difference), and originally planned to fly straight to Manchester before the Derby on the Sunday. However when the UEFA Cup fixtures were released I decided to add Germany to the itinerary. To get to the Veltins in time, I flew direct to Heathrow, changed planes, and then on to Dusseldorf, before a train to Gelsenkirchen. I can't begin to comprehend the amount hours spent travelling or time zones crossed. After a few beers in the Square, I was ruined.
The game itself was a complete blur. But we won, courtesy of goals to Benjani and Stephen Ireland (and even that goal Benjani had a hand in). My first, and only City win was in the Veltins.
And Benjani even managed to score in my favourite away game attended, nodding in the opener in a 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Benjani is up there with my favourite ever City players, holding weight with such names as Shaun Goater, Danny Tiatto, and Carlos Tevez. I'll miss his finger-pointing goal celebration, his shocking first-touch, and his clapping when caught offside for the sixth time in the half.
I'll keep possession of his shirt with pride. All the best Benji, the one who comes from Zimbabwe and scores on Derby Day.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Football ability is not an essential requirement. We're not it in to be massively competitive... we will be there to meet fellow Blues, get on the beers, and sing. So if you have the tactical awareness of Benjani or the tackling ability of Martin Petrov, it's ok.
We're not after payment or anything, that will be on the day.
Supporter's Club 5-a-side Tournament Details
Date: Sunday 21 February
Location: Harbord Bowling Club, near Manly
Cost: $180 per squad, so no more than $20 each
If you can confirm you are good to play, please send an email to email@example.com saying you are in, and you'll be added to list in this post.
This will be the only way I will accept nominations... telling me in person at Cheers will not suffice, as I am most likely drunk and WILL forget. At a stretch, writing on my Facebook wall will suffice.
Brendo the Jet
Underage Georgie D
Joshua L from Melbourne
Andeh J the Manc (party of five)
Adam Johnson (signed)
Unveiled on the Official site soon after close, Johnson completed a switch from Middlesbrough for around £7 million. A very decent player, he caused us a few problems in the recent FA Cup tie before going off injured.
This deal goes against the theme of recent City transfers. Rather than sign successful players with Premier League experience (and an inflated price-tag to boot), we have gone after a promising young player from the Championship, a look to the medium-to-long term. Bear in mind that we were also heavily linked to Victor Moses, who has now gone to Wigan, who falls into this same category.
This gives me the impression that there is more influence in transfers from the director of football, Brian Marwood, than there were previously under Hughes.
McDonald Mariga (missed out)
The Big Mac, as he is known (well I hope he is), failed in a bid to attain a work permit. The rules on this as quite clear, although rather ridiculous.
Mariga met the first part of the UK criteria after playing in 75% of Kenya's games in the last two years. But his application was rejected as Kenya are ranked 98th in Fifa's world rankings, outside the top 70 nations.
An appeal was launched on deadline day, but alas, it didn't fall in our favour. How can the league be expected to attract the best players in the world, regardless of their nationality, with these rules in place?
Mariga has since signed for Inter... really disappointed that this move fell through. We really did need the cover in defensive midfield, with Vieira still not fit and both Barry and De Jong pretty much running on empty.
Gago (missed out)
Attempted to sign from Real Madrid in the region of 15 million pounds, however Real didn't accept our offer of a loan with a look to buy. Apparently the Spaniards were holding out for more money, thinking that the deadline in England was midnight, rather than 5pm.
Benjani (a City player — for now)
There's something about Deadline Day and Benjani that doesn't seem to mix. He fell asleep at the airport and missed his flight en route to signing for City from Portsmouth, now despite being linked to Sunderland all day, the paperwork was not filed on time. As it stands, the Offside Smiler is still a City player, but this may change in the next day or so.