Our U-13 and U-12 squads won their respective championships this season and I was as proud as punch when I received the Trophy and Medals for each of these squads from Football Brisbane.
I was absolutely gob smacked by the reaction of the players when i called them to arrange a presentation.
There I was telling the players that they had won a medal each for being CHAMPIONS and their response was, and I quote, “There must be a mistake Mr Fenech we lost the Grand Final”
I could not believe that these players have been so influenced by the culture in Australia where the Grand Final is the be all end all!
I am very angry that our sport “Football” through administrators chooses to “Follow” the culture in other codes instead of “Leading” the way by sticking to the traditional football culture which places the emphasis on winning the league.(Home and Away fixtures over a season)
The reality is that the CHAMPIONS are teams that are the most consistent over an entire season by accumulating the highest amount of points throughout the season.
It is rich to call the winner of what amounts to be a three week, end of season consolation competition, the champions and call the winners of the season long competition the “Minor Premiers” Surely that must be insulting.
In our sport “Football” we really should be lobbying to scrap the end of season consolation competition and replace it with something more meaningful like rewarding players with representative honours where the best players in each age group in QPL/NPL play against each other. This will involve most if not all supporters of the game not just two teams.
I want to be on record as stating that I do not rate participation in Grand Finals and frankly as Technical Director of the Hawks I would place very little kudos on any of our teams winning any grand final in the existing format.
Our coaches know that winning the league title is what describes CHAMPIONS! Try telling Manchester City; Bayern Munich; Juventus; Barcelona and in Australia Sydney FC that they were only the “Minor Premiers” having finished top of their respective leagues in 2018.
I say it is “Hollow” recognition winning two games at an end of season consolation competition, when compared to being part of a squad that was the most successful over a 9 month competition. I think that the reward should mirror the effort.
Frankly were it up to me personally i would call the grand final a “Consolation” Final and if there had to be a finals series at all, it should not include the CHAMPIONS for the season. The presentation at the completion of the Grand Final should be to reward the losing finalist with medals first, followed by the presentation of medals to the Grand Final winners and then all the fuss should be aimed at the seasons CHAMPIONS who would be acknowledged on the day as the BEST TEAM of the season.
Frankly there should be no Finals series it is NOT football. Further we really must stop trying to make everyone a champion and teach our kids that you only get trophies when you earn them. Lets teach our kids some resilience and teach them that not everyone is a winner every year, and that winning comes with dedication, commitment, and hard work all season not just for two or three weeks.