Find out the top 10 takeaways from the Dream Big series below...
1 NO STONE UNTURNED
Melbourne Victory left no stone unturned in re-establishing itself as an A-League giant, after several shambolic seasons, including their worst ever in 2020/21 when they won the wooden spoon. Chairman Anthony Di Pietro was hands-on in the overhaul, and Dream Big includes emotional and direct meetings with players and football staff.
2 SUCCESS NO ACCIDENT, AUSSIES CAN COACH
Aussie football coaches were overlooked domestically and globally for so long, but Ange Postecoglou's Celtic feats and Graham Arnold's 2022 World Cup success confirms that our Aussies can mix it with the world's best. Victory coach Tony Popovic is among the top echelon of Aussie coaches.
What becomes evident is that his ongoing coaching success is no accident. He pulled off one of the great - and still most underrated - Australian sporting successes, leading Western Sydney Wanderers to the 2014 Asian Champions League crown.
The defining moments that drove him to coaching greatness and the ingredients that go into his continued coaching success are explored in Dream Big, which is the most detailed look at the famously private coach.
3 UNSUNG PLAYING CAREER
When ex-Socceroos Harry Kewell, Mark Bosnich, Craig Foster, Archie Thompson, Craig Moore and Hayden Foxe and ex-England and Premier League players, including Andy Johnson, speak about you in such high regard, you must have done something right.
Popovic is never mentioned in the same breath as Kewell, Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill, but his influence on the golden generation was profound and Dream Big explored how many of the ingredients that made him a playing success have translated into his coaching.
4 AUTHENTIC FOOTBALL INSIGHTS
Unlike many sports documentaries, which only capture a finite amount of time within an inner sanctum (for budgetary reasons), this captured every moment of a dramatic season. In total, 15TB of footage was shot, incorporating 32 hours of team meetings, 68 interviews and seven international shoot locations. Some quality content was left on the cutting room floor, in the making of the four episodes of this pacey, informative football documentary.
5 ORIGINAL CONTENT FOCUS
This is the latest KEEPUP Studios production (KEEPUP Studios and Melbourne Victory, led by director Chris Gospel) and signifies the A-Leagues unwavering commitment to content and original productions, in the wake of the ground-breaking weekly docuseries A-Leagues All Access and trailblazing new weekly A-League Women’s show Dub Zone.
KEEPUP, the digital media arm of the Isuzu UTE and Liberty A-Leagues, was a key reason US private equity firm Silver Lake - a global leader in technology investing – took up a 33.3% equity share in the APL in a transaction that valued the organisation at approximately AUD $425 million (USD $300 million) at the time of the investment, in December 2021.
6 UNIQUE FAN EXPERIENCE
This is probably the deepest dive into Isuzu UTE A-League active fans and the challenges clubs face, within a broader football documentary. The recent Australia-wide scenes, with hundreds of thousands of fans cheering on the Socceroos and the positive sentiment from media and authorities alike, juxtaposes how the Isuzu UTE A-League is viewed in this country.
In Dream Big, Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie marched with Victory fans to Hindmarsh Stadium for the away match with Adelaide United in the first episode.
7 RICH BACKSTORIES
The calibre of players and rich tapestry of Australia’s most multicultural domestic is explored, along with the varied personalities. The documentary delves into the backstories of Socceroos 2014 World Cup stars and 2015 Asian Cup winners Matthew Spiranovic and Jason Davidson while visiting the likes of Roderick Miranda (ex-Portugal youth international and Benfica) and Ivan Kelava (ex-Dinamo Zagreb and Croatia youth international) in their native countries.
8 FOOTBALL’S GLOBAL POWER
Craig Foster and Victory football chief John Didulica reveal the backstory of how the Afghan Women’s national team – which fled Kabul just months earlier – was adopted by Melbourne Victory, which attracted global headlines and underlined the power of football.
9 COVID REFLECTIONS
The recent public gatherings for Socceroos matches are a far cry from 2020-22. Just over a year ago, we were still in lockdown and COVID was causing chaos with Isuzu UTE A-League fixturing. Dream Big goes into the chaos caused by the global pandemic, which includes a trip to Japan for the Champions League clash with Spanish great Andres Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe, where COVID protocols were off the charts.
10 AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL HISTORY
Dream Big pays homage to Australia’s rich football history, and includes archive footage of Popovic’s playing days with NSL club Sydney United (Croatia), plus Socceroos archive footage and wonderful vision from Victory’s early days, which reflect on how the Isuzu UTE A-League giant was built.