Western front descends on sky blue Sydney

MAKE no mistake, it won’t be long before the A-League’s Sydney derby becomes one of the most anticipated events on the city’s sporting calendar.

Saturday night’s clash between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers was only the second ever edition and already it has become a sight to behold. 

I was at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night and the atmosphere in the stands was enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Yes, there were a few idiots who threw flares (they have been dealt with by police already), but the constant singing, chanting, jumping and flag waving by the Wanderers’ fans created a unique buzz.

The one thing that amazed me was the incredible number of Wanderers jerseys that were being worn in and around the stadium.

This club has only existed for six months and its fans have already established an impressive presence within the city.

On the field, the Wanderers also dominated. The gap between the two sides was about as big as the one between AFL teams Sydney Swans and GWS, except in this case it was the newest club well on top.

In the much-hyped battle of the marquee players, Alessandro Del Piero may have got the biggest cheer of the night but Western Sydney’s Japanese star Shinji Ono was simply a class above everybody else.

ATTRACTING FANS IS CRICKET’S REAL TEST

Unless I’m mistaken and droves of fans turned up to the Hobart Test match against Sri Lanka dressed as multicoloured chairs, then there weren’t many people at Bellerive Oval over the past five days.

Only 14,000 or so turned up for the first three days of the Test and incredibly one of those days was used to farewell Tasmanian legend Ricky Ponting. 

More than that turn up for Hobart Hurricanes matches in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.

I really hope Aussie sports fans haven’t been morphed into T20 cravers and Test haters – Test cricket is still the highest form of the game but, in saying that, charging people $45 for a ticket to one day is absolutely ridiculous. 

It also begs the question: what does the future hold for one-day cricket.

Adam Gilchrist addressed this issue on national radio last week and the great man predicted the 50-over format wouldn’t exist three years from now.

I tend to agree. In my opinion, the 50-over format has been made redundant with the popularity of T20s and once the 2015 World Cup has been held, I can’t see the ICC sticking with one-dayers.

PERFECT PARKO CLAIMS SURFING’S GRAND PRIZE

He needed some help from a mate, but Joel Parkinson finally claimed a surfing world title on the weekend.

“Parko”, who had not won a single event on the tour all year, needed to finish one place better than living legend Kelly Slater to claim his maiden world crown.

Fellow Aussie Josh Kerr did the hard part for Parkinson by eliminating Slater in the semi-finals of the Billabong Pro Pipeline Masters in Hawaii before Parko triumphed in the final. 

The win was an emotional one for Parkinson as the Hawaii event is a competition dedicated to the memory of his good mate Andy Irons, who passed away in 2010. 

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