Pre-seasons are the bane of many supporters, and for A-League supporters this is one heck of a long break. A hiatus of almost seven months. The break is so long that the talk of the pre-season is an extended version of a swap meet with supporters, journalists and players themselves discussing who will play where and for how much.
Whilst I enjoy the banter as much as anyone else the extended gossip now has me wanting to watch Oprah and Entertainment Tonight on a daily basis to get a further does of the gossip fever! So whilst we wait for the EPL, SPL, La Liga, Seria A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and A-League to recommence we need to fill the void. Some people will play football, some will dream of the new season, some will renovate their home and others will spend time contemplating how to get through the off-season, sanity intact. But there is another option, support your local competition.
The NSWPL, VPL and BPL for starters have an amazing array of up and coming and experienced players from many nations. Some are students, others are looking for a break into the A-League whilst others play to the highest level that they can achieve and some play for the pure enjoyment. Highlights from these leagues are available online and in Brisbane's case in HD.
Going even further metropolitan leagues from all over the country offer not only a high level of skills and competitiveness but something that is becoming rare in this age of 'digital only' relationships, a real sense of community. Following your local club can give you a sense of the diversity available in your local community and can bring communities together. Besides sausage sizzles at Bunnings on a Saturday morning where else could you take a family and purchase food without taking out a second mortgage on your house?
In this extended pre-season, look up your local club, meet the locals and not only will you be welcomed but you will have another club to follow!