Don't get me wrong I love what Ben Khalfallah has done for us this season and having met him a couple of times I know he is a top bloke. But you have to stop and ask the question, what are we going to get in the long run by giving in and paying him more money?
Another shot at a title? A decent run in the Asian Champions League? Maybe both, which would be great for the club in the short I know. But being as greedy as any football fan in the world, for me, that is simply not enough.
I want Victory to dominate. I want to bore the pants of the rest of A-League world. I want to be hated for our success. I want go on holiday to Sydney and walk around in my dark blue shirt with a smug grin on my face. I want Victory to be like Liverpool were in the 70s and 80s, feared and almost unbeatable. You might say that we have a better chance of doing just that with the Tunisian maestro in the side, but will we? Really?
Khalfallah is already 32. He will be 33 when his new contract kicks in and almost 34 if we make it through the group stages of the Asian Champions League. I know it's not an astronomical age and players have done well at this level to 35 and beyond but I feel to create a real dynasty, to have the success that I crave as a deep dark blue fan, that youth is the only way forward.
I would rather see any money invested in the squad being used on players that are going to be there for a while. Players that are hungry to prove themselves and not just aging foreigners that are only after one last pay packet. I have already pin pointed Davante Clut and Kwame Yeboah as players I would love at the club next season. There are others with great potential knocking about in the NPL such as Oakleigh's Omar Ammache and more currently heading over seas for trials. Will they bring us instant success? Maybe not, but I would prefer to be talking about players that have a long future than ones that simply chase the money to Sydney with little regard for the fans they leave behind.
I know heading to Europe is still seen as the holy grail for young Aussie footballers but maybe that would change if they could see a path to stardom and stardom money in the A-League. Maybe if we stopped giving in to the financial whims of a few. If we looked at giving our youngsters the incentive to stay at home. If showed that they could really progress then they wouldn't feel the need to go and play in some backwater European League or reserve competion. Maybe then we would finally see some truly top class Aussie talent taring up the A-League and Melbourne Victory could be the club that starts that new trend. We have the resources, we have the history, we are the best supported club in the country and I feel it's time we planned for a long future of A-League domination.
Some might say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.