Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home Kit pre-orders... Who's in?

According to the Official Site, the new home shirt will be available to pre-order from 9am (6pm here) on 1 July. The new adult shirt will retail at £36 for Seasoncard holders and £38 for Citycard members. Non-card holders can purchase it for £40. Add on £5 for long sleeves.

As mentioned in an earlier post, shipping to Australia for the kit will be a somewhat ludicrous £15 each (over $32AU). So once you've paid for the shirt and postage, you are looking at approximately $112 for a home shirt. And even then, there's no guarantee that it will fit...

Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea if all the Aussie Blues could pitch in to reduce to cost a bit. I knew it'd be cheaper, but to be honest I didn't think the savings would be as great as this:

Purchasing the kit individually
+ £40 for the home shirt
+ £15 for postage and handling
= £55 total, approximately $112.50AU.

Purchasing the kit in bulk
+ £36 for the home shirt, using my Seasoncard
+ £2.5o postage from UK, if the £15 is split across for instance, six ways (could be even less depending on orders)
+ £2.5o for me to pop it in an Australia Post satchel when it arrives ($6AU)
= £41 total, approximately $85AU.

That's a saving of almost $30, and you will save more for every person that gets involved. There's a further discount if you elect to pick it up from me personally at Cheers.

Be very wary when choosing your size. Not only are the sizes changed from the standard S-M-L to a chest measurement, they are apparently a slimmer, more tailored fit — unlike last year's tent-like kit. Please consult the Umbro guide to determine your approximate shirt size:

Also note that I can't accept orders for names and numbers — it is impossible to exchange the shirt if it's the wrong size or does not fit, and also we have no idea who will be wearing what number until closer to the season.

So, if you're interested, please get in contact with me in the variety of ways listed on the right hand side, preferably email. All expressions of interest should be placed by 8 July. I will get back to you with a quote after this date. Payment must be in my possession (ie. I have the funds) by 15 July. So please be organised and work it out before this date.

When contacting me, I will need the following from you:
Shirt Size
Short or long sleeves (remember $11 will be added for long sleeves)
Posted or not ($6 will be deducted if you elect to pick it up from Cheers)
Hope to hear from you soon, remember the more the merrier (and cheaper!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goalkeepers: Stuart Taylor in, Joe Hart out.

Slightly less exciting news, but still significant nonetheless, City have secured the services of Aston Villa back-up goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. The 28 year-old has spent most of his career as second-choice behind such keepers as Jens Lehmann and Thomas Sorensen, interspersed with loan spells at Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Cardiff. Whether he is a capable replacement for Shay Given should the unthinkable happen remains to be seen.

Media reports throughout the week have suggested that Joe Hart will be loaned to Birmingham City, and the signing of Taylor all but confirms that this will be the case. It is a sensible move for Hart, who is seeking as many first team games as possible in the lead in to next years World Cup — something that Manchester City simply cannot offer.

I try not to reference the Bluemoon forum on the blog, but this post from 'Spursmad321' on Wednesday 17 June deserves special attention:
Its not earth shattering news, but it is solid info.
Hart will definately be loaned out. Your back up keeper will be Stuart Taylor from Villa. And Elano is history.

As I said its not going to set the world on fire, but when I get anymore info I will keep you informed. I am not here to wind anyone up, I just happen to have a very good source who knows about your club, and I happen to think that you guys and gals deserve to know. If you want to shoot me the please fire away.

PS. Don't worry about RSC & Tevez, they are still Man City players.
I'm not usually one to blindly believe speculation on a message board (especially from a Spurs fan), but this one seems to check out. Anyone could have guessed we might sign Santa Cruz or Tevez, but Taylor?

Oh and this signing came as such a surprise that I was unable to secure exclusive photographs from the ground. My contact will be better prepared next time...

UPDATE 24/06: Joe Hart officially joins Birmingham City on a year-long loan.

It's pretty easy to feel sorry for Joe. Forced to battle Andreas Isaksson and Kasper Schmeichel for the gloves in 2007-08, he quickly became established as the first choice for both Sven Goran Eriksson and Mark Hughes. However, the signing of Shay Given for £8million in January 2009 saw him relegated to the bench.

Whilst not a bad keeper by any means, Hart was uneasy under crosses and did not have particularly strong command of his area. It simply the case that he needs first-team football to improve, and he won't have that opportunity — barring injury and Cup games — at City for the forseeable future.

We may very well have seen the last of Hart in a blue shirt (well techincally, a green or yellow shirt, but you get the point).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rocky Santa Cruz signs!

Well it was predicted earlier in the blog that Santa Cruz would most likely sign, and it became official at approximately 5pm (2am here). Roque Santa Cruz is now a Manchester City player. The 27 year-old becomes the second player to join City this transfer window, and in doing so reunites with the manager that brought him to Blackburn from Bayern Munich.

Hughes was able to get the best out of Rocky, with the Paraguayan bagging 23 goals in his debut season. However in 2008-09 his opportunities were limited, due to injury and a falling out with the Rovers management.

The relationship with Hughes is one of the most important factors in his move, as well as the 'Project', and of course, the cash...
"I'm very happy to have signed for City - it's been close to happening for a while, and now I can just focus on football and concentrate on doing my best for the club.

"I know the kind of football Mark Hughes wants to play and the kind of character he is - he's a winner, he wants to make things happen and be successful. Those are always my thoughts as well, so knowing what he wants was a big factor in coming here, because I know the club is going in the right direction.

"I know his staff and the kind of training they will have the team doing, so everything was very attractive for me.

"The owners want the club to be more successful - they want to break into the top four, and the fact that the fans are so passionate about everything to do with City was also a factor. I am very motivated to play for these fans."
A fee has not been disclosed as yet, but it is reported to be in the vicinity of £16 million.

The Sydney Supporters Club is again proud to bring you these exclusive pictures from the ground. I don't know how we get them so quick, but here is Santa Cruz being unveiled after his medical.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2009-10 Fixtures Released

Here are the Manchester City fixtures for the 2009-10 campaign. Please note that the times and dates may be subject to change, due to cup competitions, Sky's TV schedule, and the wishes of Sir Alex Ferguson.

This post is fluid and will be updated throughout the season, so click "Fixtures and Results" in the Search by Category box to view the results in one click. Alternatively, select the date to be taken to the relevant match report.

Aug 15 Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City (2-0)
Aug 19 Manchester City v Everton (re-scheduled due to Europa match)
Aug 19 Friendly: Barcelona v Manchester City (1-0)
Aug 22 Manchester City v Wolverhampton (1-0)
Aug 27 Carling R2: Crystal Palace v Manchester City (2-0)
Aug 30 Portsmouth v Manchester City (1-0)

Sep 12 Manchester City v Arsenal (4-2)
Sep 20 Manchester United v Manchester City (3-4)
Sep 24 Carling R3: Manchester City v Fulham (2-1 aet)
Sep 28 Manchester City v West Ham United (3-1)

Oct 05 Aston Villa v Manchester City (1-1)
Oct 18 Wigan Athletic v Manchester City (1-1)
Oct 25 Manchester City v Fulham (2-2)
Oct 28 Carling R4: Manchester City v Scunthorpe United (5-1)

Nov 01 Birmingham City v Manchester City (0-0)
Nov 07 Manchester City v Burnley (3-3)
Nov 12 Friendly: UAE National Team v Manchester City (0-1)
Nov 21 Liverpool v Manchester City (2-2)
Nov 28 Manchester City v Hull City (1-1)

Dec 02 Carling QF: Manchester City v Arsenal (3-0)
Dec 05 Manchester City v Chelsea (2-1)
Dec 12 Bolton Wanderers v Manchester City (3-3)
Dec 15 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (0-3)
Dec 19 Manchester City v Sunderland (4-3)
Dec 26 Manchester City v Stoke City (2-0)
Dec 28 Wolverhampton v Manchester City (3-0)

Jan 02 FA Cup R3: Middlesbrough v Manchester City (1-0)
Jan 11 Manchester City v Blackburn Rovers (4-1)
Jan 16 Everton v Manchester City (0-2)
Jan 19 Carling SF: Manchester City v Manchester United (2-1)
Jan 24 FA Cup R4: Scunthorpe United v Manchester City (4-2)
Jan 26 Stoke City v Manchester City (postponed due to Carling Cup replay)
Jan 27 Carling SF: Manchester United v Manchester City (1-3)
Jan 31 Manchester City v Portsmouth (2-0)

Feb 06 Hull City v Manchester City (1-2)
Feb 10 Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers (2-0)
Feb 13 FA Cup R5: Manchester City v Stoke City (1-1)
Feb 16
Stoke City v Manchester City (1-1)
Feb 21 Manchester City v Liverpool (0-0)
Feb 24 FA Cup R5 replay: Stoke City v Manchester City (1-3 aet)
Feb 27 Chelsea v Manchester City (4-2)

Mar 06 Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (postponed due to FA Cup)
Mar 14 Sunderland v Manchester City (1-1)
Mar 21 Fulham v Manchester City (2-1)
Mar 24 Manchester City v Everton (0-2)
Mar 29 Manchester City v Wigan Athletic (3-0)

Apr 03 Burnley v Manchester City (6-1)
Apr 11 Manchester City v Birmingham City (5-1)
Apr 17 Manchester City v Manchester United (0-1)
Apr 24 Arsenal v Manchester City (0-0)

May 01 Manchester City v Aston Villa (3-1)
May 05 Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (0-1)
May 09 West Ham United v Manchester City (1-1)

Daylight Savings Time in NSW begins on 4 October 2009 and ends on 4 April 2010.
Daylight Savings Time in England ends on 25 October 2009 and recommences 28 March 2010.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Transfer Rumour Round-up

One disadvantage of living in Australia is the lack of news coverage for the English Premier League (which is understandable, with it being English and all), so unless you trawl the web it is very difficult to keep up with the transfer news.

With Manchester City having as much cash as they do, there is certainly a hell of a lot transfer speculation (but of course hardly any news). Which is definitely a change from the days of trying — unsuccessfully — to sign Mido or Steed Malbranque.

A quick whip around the grounds suggests that we are looking to bring in the following players:
  • Carlos Tevez still looks the most likely, with the Rags apparently unwilling to pay the £26million to secure a full-time deal. Although, there are some doubts about this deal now with the transfer of Tranny to Real Madrid giving Fergie a transfer kitty of up to £80million. It looks like the loan deal expires at the end of this month, so we may not know for sure either way until then.
  • Samuel Eto'o is another name that won't go away, but it has been reported we are baulking at his wage demands (£200,000 a week if you don't mind). It is also alleged that the success of the this deal is dependent on whether or not we sign Tevez.
  • We are also apparently in advanced talks with the likes of Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn, Joleon Lescott from Everton, and Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson from Portsmouth. The Santa Cruz deal looks to be the most likely from these names.
Players set to leave the club, include:
  • Elano. By far the most unsettled player at the club, there have been murmurs about an exit for the Brazilian for almost a year now, with Inter a likely destination. Would be a real shame to lose someone of his quality, but it is difficult to slot him into our system with Ireland and Robinho, as well as attempting to keep his massive ego in check.
  • The talk around Daniel Sturridge has gone suspiciously quiet the last couple of weeks, he was reportedly close to a move to Chelsea a few weeks ago. However, nothing more has come of it.
  • The contracts of Darius Vassell, Michael Ball, Danny Mills, Dietmar Hamann and (unfortunately) Glauber Berti expire and will not be renewed.
  • The future of contracted players on the outer such as Jo, Joe Hart, Michael Johnson (who?), and Chad Evans are unclear.
So there it is, for all the talk about how many players we were going to sign and how our summer spending was going to ruin football, we have so far only wrapped up the signature of Gareth Barry. There are still over two months left in the window, so there is absolutely no need for concern — especially as no other Premier League club has made any transfers of consequence. You'll just have to wait a bit longer before buying your Carlos Tevez kit...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gazza Bazza unveiled...

Not quite as exciting as the Tranny to Madrid transfer, but Barry was unveiled to the British media at 11am (8pm here). All the usual quotes about how it's a challenge and he's excited to be at City at this time. Pretty run of the mill press conference from what I saw of it (and that was feck all).

You wouldn't believe it, with me being on the other side of the world and all, but I did manage to get my hands on these exclusive pictures from the City of Manchester Stadium.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Aussie Blues going to Eastlands?

If any Australian fans plan on attending any matches this season, please let me know.

I bit the bullet and purchased a season ticket for this campaign. "Why? How the bloody hell are you going to get to games?" I hear you ask.

Well for most matches, I'll transfer the ticket to another fan in Manchester for under the price of a walk-up purchase. Thus saving the lucky punter a few quid and eventually making back the money I outlaid for the seasoncard. So it's win/win.

Besides, by purchasing a season ticket now will secure me a seat forever, and you can bet your life as City becomes more and more successful there will soon be a waiting list to purchase.

But if there are any Australians wishing to travel to Eastlands for a match, there is a guaranteed seat in a mint position — not up in the gods. The seat is in the singing section, block 111, row U. Trust me, it's a good spot. And for cheaper than you'd be paying in Manchester.

New Kits!

Firstly, welcome everyone to the new location of Sydney Manchester City supporters on t'internet. Please check regularly for information about public screenings and other news about the club. There are thousands of other places on the internet that do news and opinion... I'm not going to try and replicate that. It will be a City blog, but more relevant to those of us in Australia.

Firstly, the new kits have been released for 2009-10 and they are absolutely fantastic.

The quality really looks to be second to none.

However, this comes at a price, with the new kits expected to be priced at £40. Whack on the £15 for postage to Australia and it becomes and expensive exercise, especially as they are being released on seperate dates. Although, we don't have to pay VAT on the goods, so it's swings and roundabouts there.

The home kit is available on 18 July, with preorders taken from 1 July.
The away kit (black) is available in August.
The third kit is available in October.

It might be in our best interests to do a bulk order to save a bit on postage, but we'll work on that closer to the date.