Australian football's two pacesetters will go head-to-head once more in Saturday night's Big Blue, but there's a new way in which Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are leading the A-League forward – through their use of live video analysis on the sideline during games.
American-based sports analytics company Hudl is the major provider for video analysis in the A-League and have gained approval for their software to be used mid-game by coaches and in the dugout, which allows clips to be shown to substitutes before they enter the fray.
Live analysis is only part of their most premium offerings and sources suggested the only two clubs that purchased the licence to access the package at the start of the season were Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, who are relentless in their search for competitive advantages against each other and the rest of the competition.
The use of mid-game video analysis was approved at the start of the season and Football Federation Australia jumped at the opportunity to bring it on board with their national teams as part of a push by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold to increase the level of video analysis used in the game.
Sources close to FFA suggest Perth Glory, Adelaide United and Melbourne City have also signalled their interest in the software and are set to use it on match days.
Taking the world by storm
The meteoric rise of Matildas star Sam Kerr as an international sports star shows no signs of ending with Australia's newly appointed captain set to become the face of a major global advertising campaign for the 2019 Women's World Cup.
Already at the centre of Nike's Australian advertisement campaigns for this year, Kerr will become the main figure in the American sports manufacturer's commercials set to be launched around the tournament.
Not even the security of a two-year contract extension appears to be enough for Sydney FC to keep hold of Brandon O'Neill with murmurs another English club is set to submit a transfer offer for the talented midfielder at the end of the season.
Championship outfit and former European Cup winners, Nottingham Forest, have flagged an interest in signing O'Neill in the upcoming transfer window and are preparing to offer Sydney FC in the vicinity of $350,000 for his services.
The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Aston Villa and was available to join the Birmingham club on a free transfer but instead opted to extend his contract with Sydney FC for another two seasons. Club sources suggest O'Neill has a transfer clause in his new deal that allows him to move to Europe for a set transfer fee.
Meeting of the minds
Spotted amongst the dazzling array of A-League types at Sydney FC's business lunch on Thursday at The Star was a first-time meeting of two soon-to-be-rivals.
It's hard to believe they hadn't made one another's acquaintance beforehand, but Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer finally crossed paths with Gino Marra, the co-chairman of Macarthur-South West Sydney, the incoming expansion outfit which is encroaching upon their turf.
Lederer and Marra swapped business cards before conducting what appeared to be a very amicable conversation – no doubt touching on how the success of their respective clubs can be mutually beneficial.
Indeed, there seemed to be very little tension in the air at the luncheon despite the frightening length of Australian football's to-do list and the dire consequences that will be felt if the game's top executives can't resolve every item on it.
Phoenix hopes rising
Speaking of which, the New Leagues Working Group has set themselves an extended deadline to come up with a model for an inRead More – Source