Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Porta again champions Australia ambitions, Phoenix set for pre-season tour of India and more
Richard Porta is hanging onto his dream of an Australia call-up, according to brother Gonzalo. The Sydney-born striker has never played in Australia, but is back among the goals after unspectacular stints in Italy [Siena], Portugal [Belenenses] and the UAE [Al-Wasl]. Porta, 28, scored 17 goals in Nacional's 2011-12 Uruguayan Primera Division title, but - despite several years of speculation - still has failed to come under serious contention for a Socceroos call-up. "I have been contacted a couple of times by FFA asking if Richard would be happy to play for Australia and the answer has always been 'yes'," brother Gonzalo said to The World Game of his brother, who was called up for Uruguay's national team in 2006 and 2007 but failed to feature. "I have talked lately to the Australian federation and they have wanted to look again at DVDs. But Richard is a little disappointed because this has been going on maybe for three or four years now and nothing has happened. Richard would like to meet somebody from the federation in person and have a coffee and catch up and talk."
The Wellington Phoenix may take their 2012-13 A-League season preparations to India. According to The Dominion Post, club co-owner Gareth Morgan said a pre-season trip for the Phoenix to India is "getting closer and closer to being consummated", with the inspiration of the trip coming after former player Tim Brown represented the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association at a conference there in May. The Wellington newspaper also claims the Phoenix are close to confirming a pre-season friendly against A-League rivals Central Coast Mariners in Christchurch in September.
Football Federation Australia and the Australian Competition Consumer Commission have joined forces to increase safety measures for junior football players. Announced on Friday, the two bodies have launched the 'Anchor, Check, Respect' program after the emergence of concerns over the safety of moveable football goals. "With at least seven deaths in Australia, plus an injury leading to a person becoming paraplegic, it's critical that moveable goals are safe and correct and treated with respect – both on and off the game," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said. Melbourne Victory captain Adrian Leijer has put his support behind the initiative as a safety ambassador.