Just under three years ago, as a 16 year old, I pooled together some of my pocket money and stumped up the cash to buy my very own website domain. It was the platform to explore my passion of dissecting football. From those humble beginnings Australia Scout grew into a hub for in-depth tactical analysis of Australian football, and now two years on, the site has grown immensely in its appeal, readership and focus, opening doors for me as a writer I never thought possible.
Today marks an important step in the site’s evolution. Australia Scout has been hard at work during the off-season on our fitness, streamlining the approach to content and design by devising a new tactical system that will help realise the goal of becoming the number one website for Australian football.
The most noticeable change is the new look, with a top-to-bottom overhaul of the design. The purpose of the redesign was to take the site towards the look and feel of a magazine, reflecting our new range of content (more on that below) as well as the existing articles. The site is now also responsive, meaning you’ll get the same experience across phones, tablets and the desktop.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the commitment to tactical analysis. This season, Australia Scout will feature two regular match reports – the ‘bread and butter’ of the site – per A-League round, with an emphasis on covering all the sides in the competition (and not just the ‘big three’).
Furthermore, specific points of topical tactical interest will be explored in greater depth where appropriate. There’ll also be in-depth analysis from each round of the FFA Cup, as well as the Asian Champions League (having already started with the Wanderers Round of 16 tie against Guangzhou Evergrande).
We’re also expanding our horizons by taking a closer look at overseas players, and analysing overseas trends that are pertinent to Australian football (such as the rise of possession based football).
On top of all that, Australia Scout is expanding into video. Each Wednesday, we’ll produce a new video, while the general analysis will also feature smaller, more specific match clips.
2015 will also see Australia host the Asian Cup, an event that will feature unprecedented coverage on Australia Scout. This site will feature pre-tournament tactical previews of every team, as well as comprehensive analysis of every match. We’ll reveal more about the extensive coverage closer to the event.
New article features
Hand in hand with this revised approach to content is a raft of new features designed specifically for the articles. The process has begun of gradually giving all graphics a top-down refresh (even our very first article, which analysed the 2011 A-League Grand Final) but there’s also an exciting new interactive animation feature that will help explore certain tactical themes in greater depth. You can find an example below, from the analysis of Graham Arnold’s changes at Sydney FC.
Keep an eye out for these animations in articles – they’ll always be annotated with the same caption as above.
Furthermore, just like last season, the FourFourTwo StatsZone app will return to supplement our analysis, as will The Breakdown – a weekly column analysing key features from each round. To keep up to date with that column, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to the newsletter.
To keep up with all the new content, Australia Scout has launched a brand new newsletter. Get the best A-League analysis direct to your inbox every Tuesday. It’ll feature breakdowns of A-League and Socceroos matches, as well as video and StatsZone content and links to the very best writing in Australian football.
To celebrate the newsletter’s launch, every new subscriber will go into the draw to win a year’s subscription to FourFourTwo Australia magazine.
The most exciting news, however, may be the announcement of the official Australia Scout 2014/15 Season Preview Magazine, which will be published as a free e-book to all subscribers on Tuesday, October 7 (six days before the first game of the new season). To receive over 50+ pages of unique content, all readers need to do is to subscribe to the newsletter – then you’ll receive a link to the download on launch day.
The e-book will include:
- Team-by-team previews ahead of the new A-League season
- Exclusive interview with Graham Arnold
- A special feature on how Ange Postecoglou transformed the A-League
- A look inside the Barcelona template Josep Gombau is trying to replicate
- Investigating the tactical theory behind a back three, and the false nine
- Revealing how will the new signings fit in at their new clubs
- Why the A-League All-Stars demonstrated the competition’s tactical evolution
- A look at the on-field roles of the overseas Aussies, and what these mean for the national side
- A historical look at Guus Hiddink’s unique tactics at the 2006 World Cup
The magazine will be completely free to all those on the Australia Scout mailing list. A download link to both a PDF and ePub file (compatible with e-book readers) will be sent to all subscribers on the 7th of October, with all new subscribers after that date also receiving the download link after signing up.
Of course, that means not only do you get over 50+ pages worth of exclusive content completely free, you’re also going into the draw for the aforementioned FourFourTwo magazine subscriptions!
New ways to connect
To keep up with everything, you can now connect with Australia Scout on our new Facebook page, or on Twitter. The site is now RSS-friendly, and you can also socialise via our LinkedIn and YouTube pages.
There are hundreds of new improvements across the site. We’ve now got an Apple-friendly touch icon now, and a Portfolio page – but it’s also just the start. Australia Scout has grown from humble beginnings in September 2012 to become one of the foremost websites in Australian football, with particular praise in the football community for its analysis, including recognition from Ange Postecoglou.
The best is yet to come, however, for both Australian football and Australia Scout.