an Morrison said: I think we all really appreciate Gor | Forum

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LAM Mar 8
SYDNEY -- Organizers hope the homecoming of local hero Tim Cahill will fuel enthusiasm for Australian footballs A-League which opens its 12th season on Friday. Mike Ditka Jersey .Cahill has joined Melbourne City after playing overseas for the past 20 years -- at Millwall, Everton, New York and for the past four years in China -- while remaining one of Australian footballs favorite sons.He is the highest-profile player associated this season with a league which has lacked star power since Italys Alessandro del Piero turned out for Sydney FC between 2012 and 2014.While the television audience for the league has grown by almost 50 percent since 2011, it is not yet as popular as other domestic football competitions including the Australian rules Australian Football League and the National Rugby League.The A-League has in its favor a broadcasting agreement which allows matches to be shown on subscription and free-to-air formats. But viewership last season slipped on the previous year, even though recent surveys show soccer has overtaken swimming as the most popular sporting activity among Australian children.The television rights deals enjoyed by the AFL and the NRL are vastly bigger than the $40 million agreement which covers the A-League this season.But Cahills presence in the league this season, even at the age of 36, and the closeness and unpredictability of the 10-team competition may swell TV and live audience numbers and ultimately lead to a significantly bigger broadcasting rights deal. Melbourne City received financial support from Football Federation Australia to swing a deal with Cahill, and the FFA also sought to help other clubs attract marquee signings.While the clubs havent managed to attract foreign players of Del Pieros stature, they have managed to draw several Australian internationals back to the league, including Brett Holman at Brisbane, James Troisi with the Melbourne Victory and James Holland at Adelaide.That seems an important turning point for the league as leading Australian players have often pursued their careers offshore.Cahill said the return of players formerly based overseas to the A-League is a compliment to the caliber of the competition.To be finally home as international Australian players is good for us, good for our families and great for the game, he said. Youre talking about good quality players, national team players, who are not choosing something else. Theyre looking at the A-League and saying `this is positive for my career.The league kicks off with a match between Brisbane and the Melbourne Victory and the first round features a derby clash between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Willie Young Jersey . Pierce was ejected in the third quarter of Indianas 103-86 win Monday. George Hill stole a bad pass and was going in for a layup, and Pierce hustled back and appeared to be trying to wrap him up. Josh Sitton Jersey .R. Smith realized how easily basketball can be taken from him, and he wasnt going to take his place in the NBA for granted anymore. http:///...l-wright-jersey.aspx . Three came down to the fourth quarter while quarterbacks continued to shine in all four games; so important to the overall quality of the game.Scotland will not solve their problems by sacking Gordon Strachan, according to Leigh Griffths. Celtic striker Griffiths started Friday nights 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to England at Wembley, a result that leaves them fifth out of six teams in Group F with four games played.Sky Sports Neil McCann questioned the managers future in the aftermath of the latest defeat, while Strachan himself preferred to reflect on his sides performance. But he retains the backing of players including Griffiths and James Morrison as he approaches four years in charge. Watch NOW TV Watch all the excitement on Sky Sports for £6.99. No contract Obviously it is a results-based business but changing a manager midway through a campaign is not the answer, Griffiths said. As players, we need to focus on the next qualifier. Neil McCann believes Gordon Strachan could quit as Scotland manager following the defeat to England at Wembley The manager told us to keep our heads up. Adrian Amos Jersey.  We are bitterly disappointed but we go away and when we meet up in March for the next qualifier, we need to be ready.We need to remember that these guys [England] are playing at a top, top level every week and you have to give credit where credit is due. Leigh Griffiths started the 3-0 Wembley defeat and is backing Strachan Morrison said: I think we all really appreciate Gordon. He is a man full of knowledge.He has played at the top level, managed at Celtic for a number of years and I would like to see a man who knows more about football than Gordon so yes, definitely behind him.There are lots of positives. I think when the third went in thats when they dominated but if we take our chances it is a different game. 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