Columnist

Philip Micallef

Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.

350blog entries

A-League caught behind by Mariners' North Sydney Oval folly

Football in Australia did itself no favours by opting to stage an important A-League match, featuring two clubs that have won three championships between them, at a suburban cricket ground that was woefully unprepared for top-level competition.
Central Coast Mariners chose to entertain visiting Melbourne Victory at North Sydney Oval, which is a picturesque and historic venue that is easily accessible to those diehards who would watch a game anywhere....

The night football showed its true colours

Football was the big winner after yet another epic Sydney derby that made you feel proud and privileged to be a fan of the round-ball game.
Apart from the best half of A-League football seen for a long time, a jaw-dropping goal for the ages from Bernie Ibini and the colour and passion shown by two sets of loyal fans, what will linger in the memory was the heartfelt tribute paid to...

Socceroos will gain from their growing pain

Australia's Socceroos are reeling from the worst year in their long history, yet there is not much use in pointing fingers or pressing the panic button.
We all have to be strong about this and look at the bigger picture because these are indeed tough times for the Socceroos. We all knew that there would be pain before gain when the game's leaders decided that the stagnant Socceroos needed a facel...

Muscat reaps the rewards for positive thinking

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat had every reason in the world to complain and feel sorry for himself about the key players he had to do without for the weekend clash with arch-rival Sydney FC.
It is a measure of his evolution as a coach that he didn't. The man who can polarise opinion like no other has antagonised many players, coaches and referees over the years by his uncompromising approach to the game as a tough defender and fierce...

A-League presented with a window of opportunity

No sooner does the Australia national team 'pinch' a number of A-League players in its never-ending bid to establish itself on the international front than the clubs and media start jumping up and down in howls of protest at the absurdity of it all.
The 18 November international between the Socceroos and Japan in Osaka will deprive the weekend Big Blue between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory of several key players and possibly diminish the spectacle as a result....

A-League clubs should follow Wanderers example

The extraordinary achievement of Western Sydney Wanderers to become champion of Asia less than three years after it was born out of the Gold Coast United fracas should be the seminal moment in Australian club football.
Not necessarily because the Wanderers' incredible feat will put the A-League on the world map and boost the general confidence in the competition. [sbsondemand video="351000131572"] The aggregate defeat of Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal should serve as ...

Juric the man to lift goal-shy Socceroos

Western Sydney Wanderers super sub Tomi Juric is the logical remedy to the finishing woes that are afflicting the Australian national team.
There can be no doubt anymore now ... this guy is something special. Juric, 23, burst onto the domestic scene as a raw striker with Adelaide United less than two years ago and his rise has been nothing less than meteoric. His impact with the Reds...

Sydney and Melbourne share the limelight

Australian club football will be the centre of attention on the country's sporting landscape when Sydney and Melbourne stage two massive matches on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers faces Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final at Parramatta Stadium. City rivals Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will cross swords in a keenly awaited derby at Etihad Stadium. Unfor...

Socceroos and Wanderers are worlds apart

Australia's Socceroos and Western Sydney's Wanderers have made headlines for wildly disparate reasons in the last year or so.
While the national team has undergone a tactical transformation and embarked on a bold journey of open, attacking football with all the risks that come with it, the Wanderers have crafted a safety-first way of closing down a game to suit their...

The clubs chasing that elusive A-League championship

The A-League kick-off cannot come soon enough for two clubs that have largely under-achieved in the nine-year history of the competition.
Season 10 of the competition that starts on Friday night will go into a partial recess in January for the AFC Asian Cup and will end up with the grand final in May. As usual, it is keenly anticipated. WATCH THE HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE LIVE ON SBS ONE FR...