An Australian relative recently said something that left me speechless.
Out of the blue, with no prior warning signs, he said: "Gees, Tottenham are going well aren't they?"
A lifelong AFL fan and devotee of the Aussie cult that doth decree soccer shalt not be mentioned unless to observeth that thou art all diving softies, I was stunned that he was even aware of the existence of the word "Tottenham".
However, his next sentence added the equally alien word "Spurs".
The reason for this is a stubbly Melburnian of Greek descent - and that's not the MasterChef judge who under-paid his staff.
Before Ange Postecoglou became his nation's first English Premier League manager, Australian interest in major soccer club competitions was limited to either fellow migrant descendants or to comment on how easily the protagonists tend to fall over.
But suddenly the success of Postecoglou at this Tottenham place plus the equally impressive efforts of the Matildas at their home World Cup have opened the nation's eyes to a sport previously reserved for widespread scorn and derision.
When Sam Kerr was banging in that beauty in the World Cup semi-final against England, more Australians were watching than at any other time in their country's television history. More than any AFL or NRL grand final, Cricket World Cup, Olympic Games or even reality TV cookery show presented by judges with questionable payment ethics.
All of which might suggest that a tide may be turning - surely a popular development in a nation which loves surfing.
However, this could not be further from the truth according to both Postecoglou and the latest compatriot to take charge of Australian national teams.
Big Ange has long pointed out the disparity in both media coverage and government investment in his sport compared to what he delightfully referred to as "the next AFL player who farted or NRL player who did something stupid". And this week, on the eve of the A-League women's competition kicking off, he described the Matildas' World Cup performance as "unbelievable" but personally guaranteed it would not lead to an influx of resources to the game.
"I just don't think the nation as a whole has that inside them to understand you can make an impact on the world of football, but it requires a kind of nationalistic approach that I just don't think Australians at their core are really interested in," he said.
Despite enjoying domestic success in Australia, Japan and Scotland before guiding "Spurs" to the top of the Premier League, Postecoglou quit the Socceroos job because he felt he had made no impact on the sport here. He said the strength of rival football codes in Australia made the task facing soccer "insurmountable".
A day after this sobering message, the latest Socceroos coach went even further.
Speaking as his side prepared for a high-profile friendly against England at a sold-out Wembley Stadium, Graham Arnold targeted Anthony Albanese and other politicians who are happy to be seen enjoying international soccer success but not so happy to fund it. "The Prime Minister and the governments, they love coming out to watch the Matildas and the Socceroos with scarves on - but they must lose them when they go home," Arnold said, before turning his sights onto another hugely-powerful administrative organisation and daring to highlight its over-riding inherent flaw.
"We have a sport in Australia, AFL, which is, as Ange said, the Indigenous sport which is the biggest in the country and, at the end of the day, there's a lot of funds and a lot of money put into AFL, but it's only played in one country. We're playing in a world sport and we don't get anywhere near the resources or the help that sport does."
Comedians Roy and HG are among those to have pointed out in the past that one of the main reasons Australians love AFL is because every year it guarantees an Australian winner.
Venturing onto the global stages of other sports may open up the horrifying prospect of Australia not winning, but it also showcases the country to a global audience. And the international feedback to this year's Women's World Cup tournament was overwhelmingly positive.
Australia will have another such opportunity in 2034. Due to FIFA's confederation rotation policy, only member associations from Asia and Oceania will be eligible to host the world's biggest sporting event that year.
However, hosting rights for 2034 may be somewhat pre-determined. In a remarkable coincidence, on October 4 - the very day that FIFA opened the bidding process for that World Cup - Saudi Arabia submitted a bid.
Helpfully, FIFA also announced a deadline for confirmed interest of October 31, thus giving Australia all of 27 days to decide whether to waste another few million dollars on a doomed bid.
Putting aside the cynicism about FIFA transparency and the organisation's murky past in regards to tournament hosting rights, the 2034 World Cup - coming just two years after Australia hosts its third Olympic Games - would present a golden opportunity to build on foundations so expertly constructed by the likes of Postecoglou, Kerr and Arnold.
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