Everyone has their Christmas Wishlist at this time of year, some people want a new dining set, others might want new clothes however this sports fan just wants good things to happen across the board. 2017 brought highs and lows around the sporting world but there are just a few things that are on this list to help make 2018 a good one.
A-League: No More VAR
Let’s be honest, the VAR trial has not gone anywhere near as well as the game’s administrators had hoped for. Things came to a head in this past round with multiple games being impacted by controversial interventions from the official in the box. While there is still an argument to be made to have some sort of technological oversight for match officials, it is hard for fans to back the current setup. Obviously there are plenty of other issues that need resolving as well but VAR is at the top of the wishlist right now.
Socceroos: A Big-Name Coach
Safe to say that it was a big shock when the story about Ange Postecoglu deciding to resign from his post broke in mid-October and by the time it became official six weeks later, there was a real sense of uncertainty about the future of the Socceroos. With a World Cup in six months and an Asian Cup in early 2019, a recognisable coach to guide them through the next fourteen months would be great and bring a lot of excitement to the national team. One of Postecoglu’s major influences, Marcelo Bielsa is available and could continue on with Postecoglu’s legacy. With his famous temperament it would not be a long-term option
Super Rugby: A Win Against a New Zealand Franchise
2017 is a year that many fans of Australian rugby would like to forget including a Super Rugby campaign that saw all five teams fail to win a single match against New Zealand opponents. On the wishlist this Christmas is an improvement for 2018 and the chance to build on some of the momentum generated by the Wallabies in the last two Bledisloe Cup matches. It could be a bit of a long wait for this present though as there are no games against Kiwi opponents until March 31 when the Rebels host the Hurricanes.
NRL: Jonathan Thurston Back to Full Health
While he has tormented New South Wales in Origin for the better part of a decade, it is hard to see Thurston sitting on the sidelines. Last season was one that by and large he would like to forget and with one more year left in him, it would be good to see him go out on a high note still playing at his peak. Add in the excitement of another tense Origin series and it could make for a great year on-field for rugby league.
AFL: Another Drought Broken
Over the past ten years we have seen some classic grand finals to break premiership droughts. Sydney’s win thanks to a last second mark from Leo Barry to end 72 years of heartbreak is still one of the more iconic images to come from this century. It was 62 years for the Bulldogs in 2016 and 37 years for the Tigers in 2017. Looking at some of the options for this year we might see Melbourne or St Kilda end their 50+ year droughts or would it be something a bit less with Carlton ending their quarter of a century wait for Premiership glory?
Cricket: An Ashes Series Sweep
Compared to some of the other requests, this one has the potential for a relatively quick payoff as the series concludes in the first week of the new year. With the convincing nature the Australians have closed out the tests so far us fans have to be fairly optimistic about the chances of that happening.
Horse Racing: Winx Wins a Fourth Straight Ladbrokes Cox Plate
What is better than a hat-trick of Cox Plate wins? Four in a row. Currently on a remarkable winning streak spanning back to 2015. When she lines up in October 2018 it will cap a stunning feat to claim four in a row in what would be a memorable day for all involved.