Monday, 24 July 2006


Someone needs to pull their head in.

The ever-developing Akermanis situation is a gross tragedy for all concerned, and I think the Lions are the more culpable party. Here's a guy who easily counts in the 5 best players Brisbane has ever had, who's still playing really good football and remains capable of turning a game on his own, is by modern standards rarely injured, is as close a thing to a home-grown player as they have, and is their most popular player among fans. He runs at the mouth but doesn't get in trouble himself in a league where drink-driving seems to be the rule rather than the exception. From management to coach and everywhere in between, then need to bending over backwards to keep him and make sure he finishes his career having played 300 games all for Brisbane. This is especially true given that, by my reading, all that requires is shutting up and telling him they'll do just that. The 6-game leave of absence is not along those lines.

Aker is not blameless here. He runs at the mouth, and seems to be chasing himself out of town to some extent, be it through a real desire to leave or just through his normal tendency to sensationalism when fronting the press. Still, I really think he's better off in Brisbane, where the (strictly superficial) damage he does with his spiel can be limited by the relatively light media attention, and in a club which shows promise for returning to finals football in the short-to-medium term (a topic for another post, perhaps).

I´m not unbiased in this. Brisbane is my club and I have a number 12 jersey which diminishes dramatically in value if Aker is wearing different colours next year. He's one of my favourite players, not just because of his play but because he is surely a walk-up start for the all-time all-FreeDarko team.

I can only hope this is part of some elaborate plan to generate media attention in Brisbane while credibly allowing Akermanis to have the surgery he needs in order to be ready for the start of next season with a Brisbane list purged of its current injury plague.

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