Saturday, 31 May 2008

Good Times With Lawyers

Case no. 1
Port Phillip Council vs South Melbourne Hellas Soccer Club

What the hell is going on here I don't quite get. Anyone out there more smarter in legal type stuff who can explain it? Or do you remember what it was all about? Were you actually there?

Case no. 2
Danny Wright vs South Melbourne Hellas Soccer Club

This one's a bit more obvious. The former South champ coached Hellas in the 2002/03 season, getting the arse late in that campaign after 7 games without a win, the final straw being the 4-1 loss to Parramatta Power. Also included in that run was 3-2 loss to Sydney Olympic at Shark Park, which I note only because of the trip taken up there by a loyal reader which was related to South of the Border this week on the occasion of South going to Canberra on June 22nd. I'll never look at a small fries in quite the same way again. Or dim sims. Anyway, Peter 'Gus' Tsolakis took over the reigns for the final two games of that season (winning both, woot). Looks like the case was dismissed, even though it took some two years to resolve.

Friday, 30 May 2008

To Knights Stadium with no Knights - Round 15 - Coburg United vs South Melbourne

Last time they met

Round 2, 2008, at Lakeside Stadium

South Melbourne 1 Coburg United 2

Slow paced and cautious game with few chances for either side, but the visitors made the most of their limited opportunities taking a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd half, before South eventually woke up and tried playing football, with De Moraea goal not much more than consolation.

Coburg started off the season in decent fashion, seemingly did a Kingston even faster than Kingston did in 2006, but has recovered in recent weeks to at least beat a couple of fellow relegation threatened sides in the Pines and Zebras, and they still have, on paper at least, a decent squad. South failed last week to take advantage of the opportunity presented them to reign in the top six, but were perhaps shown also that they're not quite at that level this season, and are now back, almost in the relegation dogfight. Indeed, even halfway into the season, this could be the season defining game for both these sides, especially with fellow strugglers Preston and Whittlesea squaring off (with the former also due to play their postponed game against Oakleigh midweek), and Western Suburbs playing Fawkner, meaning that a loss here, especially for Coburg, drags them right back into the thick of the mire they've recently drawn away from Like wise for South though, slip ups against Coburg and Suburbs next week will mean that extra pressure will be added onto the big games against Oakleigh and the AIS. Still, with MacNicol and Kelly joining the ranks, and with some sort of form despite last week's hiccup, Sputh should win this.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

You know you've made it it when...

In my culture and communications class this week - yeah, I know, I failed psych last year and I needed to catch up first year subject orright? - we were covering bloggers and the myspace phenomenon and all that jazz, and everything that gets the life sucked out if it by academics. Reminded me of Nick Curtis' MySpace page, and his battle with injury over the past year. This is actually a couple of years old as you can see, but funny how some things mirror the real world. Like now ex-South defender Arthur Tsonis having very poor morale... dedicated fans will remember his wrecking his knee that year and sitting out most of the season, taking over the coaching of the under 21 side (which did quite well that year). Strange the characters that you find on the interweb.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

South off to Canberra for AIS game

Now I know this was confirmed some two months ago for Morwell, but it appears that the AIS have chucked a sook at not being able to get back to Melbourne in time to catch the last flight to Canberra, so now it seems almost 100% certain that the game will be moved up to AIS Feild 14, making it South's first interstate trip since the Hindmarsh semi-final game against Adelaide United back in 2004, our last NSL game.

Plans are currently underway to ascertain costs and interest for a bus trip up to Canberra. More news as it comes to hand.

Maybe I'll even get to say hi to Eamonn!

Scotty Mac... back! Plus 1!

So you type up the news and get it out there all for it to be made irrelevant just hours later. Anyway Oakleigh gave up on the tribunal, and released Scotty MacNicol from his contract. Also one Stuart Kelly, also of the Cannons, will crossing over from the industrial backblocks to sunny Lakeside. Two central midfielders, who could be lining uo this week, just in time to fill in some injury gaps.

Scotty Mac vs Fat Aki

Now I don't normally go searching through the FFV's rubbish bin, looking for free stuff. Thankyou to George for having absolutely nothing better to do. Will this be resolved tonight?

Scotty MacNicol vs Oakleigh Cannons

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Ultimate Hobnobbing Championships

Got a spare $70? A bit of free time before the South-Oakleigh game? Can't possibly wait any longer than necessary to find out about South's glorious future? Like food? Then you should consider going to this.

Personally, I don't have a spare $70, I'd rather watch the ressies kick the ball around, am sure of getting the info one way or another before or after it's announced, and have a slim figure that I wish to maintain. How cliche. Really, you wanna go, be my guest. You're grownups. Well maybe not. Unlike certain other sites, I don't have a warning before entering and such. You've got the gist anyway. I'll be with the plebs, Manic Street Preachers b-sides playing in my head.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Around the grounds

SMWFC missed a chance to keep up with top half of the table and slipped closer to the relegation zone after losing 3-1 to the Bendigo Vipers. Women's ressies went down 6-2. Under 21s picked up consecutive victories, winning 1-0. Women have a week off this week, resuming duties in a couple of weeks time, with South involved in a crucial game against fellow relegation candidate GSL. And finally congratulations to the Women's thirds team who broke their duck by beating Knox 2-0.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

South of the Border haiku edition no.7

Bah, can't be bothered explaining this week. I think you know what this one's about anyways

weary soldiers
banners frayed
to the death

Friday, 23 May 2008

Billy Nats out for the season

As unfortunately foreseen by one of my sources, confirmation that midfielder and fan favourite Billy Natsioulas will be out for the season with an as yet undisclosed injury, suffered in the recent 1-0 win over Richmond. More news as it comes to hand, but this further weakens South's midfield stocks, with Nats joining Nick Curtis and Yusef Yusef with season ending injuries. I wish Nats all the best in his recovery, his darting runs on the right hand side will be missed in the 2nd half of the season.

Fucking Season Defining Derby Match of Epic Proportions - Round 14 - South Melbourne vs Heidelberg United

Last time they met

Round 1, 2008, at Olympic Village

Heidelberg United 2 South Melbourne 1

Zoric put South ahead from close range in his debut for Hellas, but the visitors then went to sleep in a scrappy game. A backpass on a bumpy pitch led to the Bergers' winner, with South squandering late chances to level the game.

South hasn't won four in a row since it won five in a row in early 2005. The fans probably shouldn't get carried away with the recent three wins, against two relegation threatened sides and a below par Richmond outfit. Heidelberg has been solid, if perhaps unspectacular, and are looking to consolidate their place in the six, as South looks to bridge the gap. This game looms as season defining for both sides - if the visitors can take three points out of it, they maintain their momentum and put some hefty breathing space between themselves and the sides outside the top six. If South can get the win, that's four in a row, and all of a sudden there is massive momentum heading into the 2nd half of the season, and all the confidence and balls going in instead of out that goes with it. Heidelberg after a sluggish draw ridden start to their season, have registered a six game unbeaten run, 5 of those being victories. South hasn't had a draw for something like 17 consecutive league games, almost certainly a record. This one has draw written all over it. Should be a cracking game played in front of a crappy crowd unless you get your arse out there on Sunday and bring as many people as you can.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Popularity Stakes

Pissfarting around with this stupid site that guesstimates how much your site is worth, and thought I'd see which South site was worth the most... and it was...

- South of the Border at $461 (with a potential of $65,902)! Ding ding ding! Worth more than smfcboard and the official site combined! Awesome. Fabulous. I'm going to cash that cheque in right now. Other South related sites (that weren't piggybacking off a higher rating site) included

- South official $125
- Smfcboard $95
- South Women's blog $10

a look at some of the other stuff that gets linked here

- Astronomy Pic of the Day $264,309 - can you put a price on such a tremendous site?
- Nearpost, $7,663 - I'll get there soon
- Bolosepako $120 - lift your game po hui!
- Pumpkin Seed Eaters $9 - a) lol. b) kicked their arse c) shows just stupid this ratings site is and d) not quite so funny now they've departed the building.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Little bit of linkage

Link now on the side for smscmaster's youtube collection. Not just the usual higlights that end up on the web, plenty of rare insights into the club too, like what the social club used to look like, and games against South Korea under 23s etc. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Pumpkin Seed Eaters episode 8 - Special Edition

Highly recommended episode (best so far...), revolving heavily around an interview with FFV CEO Mark Rendell. If you can't be arsed listening to it - and you really should - here's the gist of it. Apologies for the messiness of the summary.

  • FFV/Foxtel Cup promotions - no idea how to effectively use their spending money.
  • FFV has no money because all money gets sucked upwards. That may change in a few years if the FFA gets better sponsorship and TV deals.
  • Victory influence - sit there and take it.
  • 2008 Preston/South incidents - not our responsibility, and besides, inside was all fine! Really!
  • Summer League - went around and talked to lots of people, and it was the stakeholders who asked for it. Specifically who asked for this stuff is not made clear.
  • Summer League clubs will not receive transfers and such... duh.
  • They more or less expect clubs within the designated regions to fund it. In effect, still a lot of dithering going on, largely clueless.
  • Basically the FFV believes that the 20-30 clubs within a zone, and their supporters, will support the representative zones.
  • Clubs will not required to participate in the Summer League, and there is flexibility in how much they may participate.
  • FFV to A-League transfers - it's being looked at - lalalalalalala...
  • The $3000 rule has been ratified by FIFA.
  • Dockerty Cup, lack of a suitable financial model.
  • Mark Rendell has a voice which could send anyone to sleep.

Final word from me. The FFV is fond of passing the buck. To the clubs. To the fans. To the FFA. Take little to no responsibility for their own fiefdom. Essentially saying, we are powerless, do it yourselves. Rendell may very well have gone in to this with the best of intentions. as a way of communicating the FFV's stance on a number issues directly to the fans, and not appearing as some mischievous clandestine organisation. But always, in the back of my mind, the attempt to neutralise any backlash by tackling it head on, and therefore taking the sting out if it.

It is quite sad that the Pumpkin Seed Eaters are taking what appears to be a near permanent hiatus. The reasons for this, whether due to legal or time constraints or both and other things, are unknown to me. I've given my fair share crap towards the Pumpkin Seed Eaters, as well as praise. They could've gone in harder at times, and occasionally went in on the wrong target, but the show improved just about every episode. They had a style that saw them reach out to the disenfranchised and captured the imagination of the haters alike, and achieved a rarity in local soccer in managing to unite, for around 40 minutes every fortnight, the disparate and mostly self-interested fans of the local scene.

In closing... thanks for the plugs... the site hits went up considerably whenever South of the Border got a mention. It was nice to contribute some material for the show occasionally... even if it wasn't always intentional. Here's to the future... fight the power. Vale PSE, for now at least. 

If someone wants a copy of the episodes... I have all of them, just ask and ye shall receive.

Timely advice

For a fellow South fan who got their way recently... they know who they are... be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. That is all.

Monday, 19 May 2008

South vs Bergers promotional video

I saw this last week, but in some sort of bid to take the Frankston Pines game seriously and not have it written off as a win before we played them, I delayed the release of it here until now. Fire up people!

Ricky Diaco - on how to take and how not take a penalty

Thanks to Cliff for the footage.



Sunday, 18 May 2008

SMFC Youth sides roundup

Our under 18s Superleague side kept up their good start to their season, with a 2-0 win over Essendon Royals, keeping on tip of the table. And in perhaps a bit of an upset, our under 21s notched up their third win for the season with 1-0 win over Frankston Pines. Good winning weekend all round.

SMWFC beat Bergers in 5 goal thriller

A huge 3-2 win for the girls at Olympic Village, and their first victory since round 1. That has them 2 points above the relegation zone, with their next three games against other relegation threatened sides. Time to make a move and show everyone what they're capable of.

The Nick Jelic Game - South Melbourne 3 Frankston Pines 1

Good to get away with all three points, after going behind early and missing a penalty. Nando's 2nd half cameo was probably the difference, kati downhill skiing from the whole team in the 2nd half. Anyway, that's three in a row now, four points outside the top six, massive game against Heidelberg coming up. And not a bad debut from Jelic in goal, too bad he's going back to the NSWPL to play for Blacktown.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

South of the Border haiku edition no. 6

It's raining. It's a Saturday. Bored. Trying not to reply to one of the most retarded threads I've ever seen on the Victory forum about how awesome everything is now, and how we're all riding into a gorgeous sunset, off to the next frontier town after vanquishing those evil effnik scoundrels who were harassing this poor town and its decent, churchgoing folk. No explanation this week, but in exchange you get two haiku on the same theme, to make up for not putting them up last week. Because I know you missed this segment so very much. Sort of a tribute to the on field vision of Fernando De Moraes, who sees paths which others don't.

through ball
through wormhole;
bent linearity

through ball through wormhole;
notions of linearity
dashed with defenses

Friday, 16 May 2008

South looking for 3 wins in a row - Round 13, South Melbourne vs Frankston Pines

Don't you love obvious anagrams that shouldn't be touched with 30 foot pole?

Last time they met

Round 25, 2006, at Bob Jane Stadium

South Melbourne 5 Frankston Pines 1

The Pines hung in there for a while, even leveling the scores after Tavsancioglu put South ahead early, but doubles from De Moraes and De Nittis put paid to any notion of an upset. One team was on the march to the finals, and one was headed for relegation, and it showed all over the field.

South hasn't won three in a row since mid last year. Pines haven't won a game all season, managing only two draws and conceding an average of over of two goals a game. I know who my money's on. And yet this could be the kind of game where the Pines rally, and with Peter Zois now in goals, South's poor finishing this year may find another obstacle to overcome. But really, South should win this fairly comfortably, considering that they've started to show signs of cohesion and form, and continue to close the gap on the top six, and a win here would set up a nice little derby against Heidelberg next week, with the hopes of launching the 2nd half of the season in a much better fashion than they started it.

Fernando Futsal Video Action

Got some highlights at last of Nando in action. Ok this might be a little tricky for some. Go to this link - yes I know it's in Thai, but hold on - and click on the third link in the right hand column. Or if you can read Thai, the link that looks like this. Enjoy. Thanks to Brazuca for finding the clip.

ฟุตซอลชิงแชมป์เอเชีย 2008 ที่อาคารนิมิบุตร ทีมไทย ชนะออสเตรเลีย ได้สิทธิ์ไปแข่งฟุตซอลชิงแชมป์โลก ที่บราซิล แน่นอนแล้ว 15-05-2551 | 17:55 น.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

AFC Futsal - Australia 2 Thailand 5

Fernando finally gets amongst the goals scoring both of Australia's quarter final goals, but the Futsalroos campaign ends with a disappointing 5-2 loss to hosts Thailand. Read the match report for more info. Will Nando be back in time for this week's game? Probably not, and even if he was, he'd probably be exhausted. So Australia out of this tournament, and also out of the running for a World Cup place. Would love to see a Futsal championships here in Australia. Come on FFA, make it happen.

On why you should always compel people to registers on forums, and not merely post as guests

Ok, I admit, I was the one that posted the address on smfcboard. But really, it shouldn't just be Athletics Victoria people taking a look at smfcboard... by rights, we too should be able to wonder with amazement at what the people on the other side of the fence - and who it seems we'll soon be cohabiting with anyway - are up to and give the budding arranged marriage couple some time to get to know each other, at least a little. Hey, this is a sort of a like a Greek proxy marriage isn't it? The forecast calls for 70% chance of hilarity! Ok, go visit the Albany Athletics Forum, already, and see what hijinks you can get up to. Someone's already gone and impersonated the well known South fan called 'Greeksta'.


Remember this stupid gimmick that everyone was falling over themselves to praise the South board for getting us in there ahead of the Victory who wanted nothing to do with it? That sentence could have done with some punctuation. Anyway, remember


Well about a year later and what happened? Well firstly, we certainly are not in there. But would we want to be? What the hell is Teamelbourne all about anyway? It looks like the only people they've managed to rope in are, a glorified pony club, an aussie rules team which stands for nothing, a thugby league team bankrolled almost entirely by Rupes, the city's premier basketball team which plays out of the netball centre, and a netball team. Oh, and the MSO. Whoopee. And what do they do? I can't really tell to be honest. What would be the benefit of joining this illustrious group? You tell me, because I can't bloody figure it out. All that getting your jollies off for nothing, except that like most of your wanks, they weren't memorable enough to file away to reminisce upon during a quiet autumn evening.

So, where to from here? Well, there was this book I read by some schmo called John Carroll, called The Wreck Of Western Culture: Humanism Revisited. It's all about how western society, from the Renaissance onwards, destroyed all its central myths to the point where we believe in nothing and stand for nothing, and therefore our lives have no centre to turn to when it all goes pear shaped. Or something like that. Anyway, even if you end up disagreeing with it, you'll still remember it long after sham enterprises like Teamelbourne end up in the sportsentertainmentmarketing toilet. Well, one can only hope that's how it ends up.

AFC Futsal - Quarter Finals Today

Nando and the team face hosts Thailand this evening our time, 6pm. If they manage to get to the semis, not only will the qualify for the World Cup, they'll also be televised on Thai State TV, and therefore there's a chance we'll see footage of them via certain means, the legality of which is kinda murky, but damn it, freedom of information and all that. That's if they make it through though, and we all hope that they do.

Durakovic, Mautone, alive, employed

From The World Game site, via smfcboard. Not necessarily fall out of your chair news, but good luck to them anyway, I guess. Noteworthy that TWG doesn't mention where these fellers played, yet the official Victory site (for Durakovic) does? Maybe.

Durakovic gets Victory role

Melbourne Victory has appointed Mehmet Durakovic as coach of its National Youth League team.

Durakovic, who will be assisted by Victory goalkeeping coach Steve Mautone, is an ex-Socceroos defender who made 64 appearances for his country and spent three years as assistant coach at the Victorian Institute of Sport.

“Mehmet Durakovic is a legend in Victorian football,” Victory football operations manager Gary Cole said.

“He was a wonderful player and he’s been assistant coach to Ian Greener at the VIS for three years.”

“He’s been part of their youth development and understands very well the football development program here in Victoria.”

“He’s very excited to be in football full-time and we’re sure he’s going to do a fantastic job.”

“To support Mehmet we’ve got Steve Mautone, who’s currently our goalkeeping coach and also has a terrific background,” Cole added.

“He’s got his International Asia ‘B’ Coaching Licence and has started work on his ‘A’ Licence.”

“Steve now has three roles within the one, he’s still the club’s goalkeeping coach and he’s also got a part-time recruiting role assisting (coach) Ernie (Merrick) and I.”

“As well as that, he’s assistant coach of the club’s National Youth League team and will be heavily involved with Mehmet in the recruiting of players for the National Youth League, which well and truly adds up to a full-time job.”

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Paul Trimboli Puma Card

Anyone seen this before? Know what set it comes from? This is from an Ebay auction (still in progress at time of print). I've seen (online) the always available on Ebay Futera set, and the rarer Scanlens sets from days of yore, but strangely perhaps nothing from this one.

AFC Futsal - Australia 2 Japan 4

Sort of meaningless game, since both sides were through, but the Futsalroos will still be annoyed they lost after going 2-0 up. From the match details/card it appears that Fernando may have been rested for this game, and probably quite a few players were from both sides. So now on to the quarter finals against hosts Thailand, who finished top of their group. Not sure when the date/time is of the game, but if we win it, we're through to the World Cup next year in Brazil.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

AFC Fustal - Australia 6 Chinese Taipei 0 - Australia through to quarter finals

Fernando Jorge Lima De Moraes didn't get on the scoresheet and Australia had their keeper sent off, but they are through to the quarter finals regardless after disposing of Chinese Taipei and with Japan seeing off Turkmenistan. Coach Gilligan will seemingly rest a few players against Japan, and probably rightly so. The AFC report suggests that Kyrgyzstan and Thailand, one of which Australia will play in the next round, are about on equal footing, and so there appears to be no need to go hammer and tongs and finish first in the group.

It's Logoriffic Johnny Unitas!

Notice anything different about South of the Border? That's right, after many months - five of them to be exact - and the quiet resignation that this blog would not get a logo ever, and that it didn't really need one - as silly articles on South in the the IPL and reciprocal plugs with the Pumpkin Seed Eaters would be its bread and butter - thanks to George Kouroumalis, we have the blog equivalent of a fancy new hairstyle, much more Joe Namath than Johnny Unitas, thankfully. I won't harp on about the previously promised but never seen logo to be... let by gones be such and such and all that. This is the revised version of the original design, which I won't put up because, though it showed promise, doesn't come near this one for dazzling effect, and overall blending in with the current setup. Looks good, and a welcome addition to the set up. of course, if someone else thinks they can do better, by all means submit your logos, and I'll rotate them around every few weeks or so. Now go back to whatever it was you were doing.

Monday, 12 May 2008

No South, no IPL!

Supporters of four time Australian soccer champion South Melbourne have shocked and confused the world of international cricket by calling for their side's entry into cricket's controversial Indian Premier League, claiming that without their inclusion, the league would lack credibility amongst traditional soccer fans.

A spokesman for the group, who wished only to be known as Hellas4eva, had this to say. "South Melbourne is Australia's most successful soccer club, with a proven ability to attain good crowds even with sub standard marketing and administrative leadership. We also have a tremendous history, which would give this new league the credibility amongst the establishment it so sorely needs."

When quizzed about what some commentators have termed as the obvious difficulties of distance and the fact that South Melbourne FC have never had anything to do with cricket, the response remained unequivocally positive. "We have a stadium, we have the fanbase, and with all the money and marketing now available, there is no doubt in mine (sic), nor in any of the other South fans I've spoken to, that we would be a more than worthwhile and successful addition to the IPL. Indeed, we are firmly of the belief that the league will go nowhere without our inclusion."

Fans of the Albert Park based club had previously conducted a "No South, No APL" campaign, in an attempt at protesting South Melbourne's exclusion from the then fledgling A-League, a campaign which fizzled out over time, even as the new league went from strength to strength. Experts have widely tipped the same result for this new effort. One of these experts, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say. "The IPL has no place for teams like South Melbourne. They would bring up all the ethnic baggage that has been haunting soccer for generations, and from whose shadow that game is only now starting to emerge. Plus, they don't even play cricket."

The organisers of the rogue cricket competition were unavailable for comment.

with apologies and acknowledgments to George for his idea :)

AFC Fustal - Australia 3 Turkmenistan 1

Come from behind win for Australia, Nando didn't get on the scoresheet, but one of his shots rated a mention in this match report. If they get over Chinese Taipei in the next game they should be through to the quarters.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Good Enough - Whittlesea Zebras 0 South Melbourne 1

Not the best performance to be sure, but got the points. And to be fair, except for our own defensive tomfoolery, the home side weren't really in it too much. Had a goal disallowed for offside, Zoric screwed up his one on one, Hamlet hit the post, and La Verde shooting low and well into the bottom hand corner was the difference. Hamlet played perhaps his best game for South, while Zoric and Poutakidis provided good width, and unusually, there was also plenty of ball won in the middle of the park as well as play going through there, which was a nice change. Pines next week, chance to get on some sort of proper roll.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Stateline segment on Lakeside redevelopment

I'm a bit worried about anyone who spends their Friday nights watching ABC1's Stateline program, but in this case it's probably a good thing. Thanks to Diagoras off the main South forum for alerting South of the Border to this piece by the said program, which comes almost entirely from the Athletics Victoria point of view.

It goes to show that it isn't all strawberries and cream, and that Athletics Victoria will quite likely become the key tenant, with expectations of the privileges of such an arrangement. While the fairness of it all may be something left to desire, considering all the money that w
e as a club have invested in the venue, it may be the obvious way things were due to turn out, after all, they're probably going to get higher crowds and more event use out of it than we will. Also shows what happens when governments cave in to people like Eddie Everywhere, instead of following a pluralist approach to this kind of thing.

Also note that the 1926 stand is not slated for demolition as hinted in Neos Kosmos English Weekly earlier this week - rather, it appears that it will be converted into the headquarters for the Victorian Institute of Sport. Again, drip, drip, drip, information coming out so slowly. And lastly, where are we? Why aren't we in the segment, as in like, ask us our point of view? Should we have started a brawl first in order to rate a mention?

Victoria's Athletics community lament football's takeover of Olympic Park

Broadcast: 09/05/2008

Reporter: Kathy Bowlen
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RON CLARKE, FMR WORLD CHAMPION: The only world record set in Australia on any track that's still there was set at Olympic Park.

JAMES MERLINO, SPORTS MINISTER: You don't see as many athletes training at Olympic Park. You don't see as many schools using Olympic Park.

ANNE LOVE, ATHLETICS VICTORIA: There's lots of school events that are conducted here at Olympic Park, training most nights, athletes come in to train. We hold - over the summer - we hold all our championship events here.

JANE FLEMING, FORMER HEPTATHLETE: I just think it's really sad. I mean, Olympic Park has been the home of athletics for 50 years.

KATHY BOWLEN, PRESENTER: For the girls competing at this week's Secondary Catholic Sports Association at Olympic Park, there was plenty of history to inspire them. This is the track where Kathy Freeman first ran under 50 seconds. Raelene Boyle, Jane Fleming and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor competed here. Going back further, it was here that John Landy stopped running to help a fallen Ron Clarke before going on to win the event. And some of those champions are among the most strident critics of the Government's plan.

RON CLARKE: It's always been in that area and that city precinct. And so many memories, so many traditions, so easy to get to. And how it can't be combined with everything else they're doing now, I don't know. It just seems strange.

JANE FLEMING: One of the reasons that athletics thrives in Victoria - most of our national teams are made up of more than 50 per cent Victorians - is because of Olympic Park's location. It's very, very central. And I think by moving it to anywhere else, we're going to lose that to start with and we're also not in the middle of the major sporting precinct of the major, you know, of Australia's sporting capital any more.

KATHY BOWLEN: Jane Fleming, who's expecting twins next week, lives in Sydney these days, but she's horrified by what she sees as a blatant disregard for the sport's tradition.

JANE FLEMING: People within athletics are very emotionally attached to that track because of all the history. And, I think that, you know, whilst the Government might have all sorts of, all sorts of reasoning behind what they're looking at doing, I think they need to put a value on the history and the emotion.

JAMES MERLINO: I can understand the heritage argument, but if that's the only basis on which that sport stays at Olympic Park, I don't think it stacks up in terms of the benefits we're gonna see down the track.

KATHY BOWLEN: James Merlino, who's been Sports Minister for 18 months, inherited the plans for Olympic Park. Nevertheless, he's committed to what he says is the future of athletics at Albert Park.

JAMES MERLINO: All of the principal Olympic sports will be based at Albert Park. So, you'll have track and field at Lakeside Oval. At MSAC, you already got the principal aquatic sports, so swimming, diving, water polo - all of those sports based at MSAC. In addition to that, we'll have the VIS base there. So, we'll have a new purpose built facility for the VIS based in the old 1926 grandstand, so that's gonna be completely renovated. We've also got sports medicine Australia, a number of state sporting associations based in that precinct. So, we're creating something quite special.

KATHY BOWLEN: Negotiations have been going on for well over a year and Athletics Victoria is cautiously optimistic.

ANNE LOVE: In a perfect world, no, we'd probably stay at Olympic Park. But, as I said, we've got to do the right thing by our members and our past members as well as our present members and to move the sport forward and to get a better deal for our sport is what we're after. And that's what we're working closely with the Government, you know, towards that. They've been terrific. And we have no doubt that they'll deliver on their insurances.

KATHY BOWLEN: The plan would see athletics share the lake side venue with the South Melbourne Soccer Club, who are also part of the negotiations. The plan is to provide another two ovals so their junior and women's teams can be based at Albert Park, giving the club a proper home. Their lease runs for another eight years, as does the sponsorship deal, which names the venue the Bob Jane Stadium.

The Minister concedes it's an odd name for an athletics stadium.

JAMES MERLINO: So, it's Bob Jane Stadium for a period of time, but what is absolutely crucial to athletics and I agree totally is that this is to be known as the State Athletics Centre or the Victorian Athletics Centre and we're completely in agreement with that. And we'll make sure that athletics gets the recognition that it deserves in this facility.

KATHY BOWLEN: When Melbourne staged the Friendly Games in 1956, Olympic Park was the home of our swimming, cycling and track and field teams. It was the warm up track for athletes competing at the MCG. At the conclusion of the games, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne pledged that the area would always be kept for amateur sports. That hasn't happened. The area now plays host to the Australian Open tennis, the Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Victory and perhaps most controversially, the Collingwood Football Club.

Collingwood now trains at Gosh's Paddock on Punt Road, but when Olympic Park is pulled down it will have a purpose built training facility, right next door to the club rooms.

Collingwood President Eddie McGuire is also a board member of Athletics Australia. Many in the athletics community believe he has a conflict of interest when it comes to dealing with what's best for athletics.

RON CLARKE: I'm flabbergasted why they should even do it. I spoke to Eddie McGuire and - some time back - and he was assuring me that they wanted to retain Olympic Park, they wanted to retain track and field there. And I really can't understand the big change-about. Either - I don't know if this is the State Government or driven by Collingwood themselves.

JANE FLEMING: The Storm and the Victory have been able to share the venue, and it's only really the AFL clubs. And I feel like saying to them: "Don't you have enough already?" You know, in comparison to the amateur sports.

KATHY BOWLEN: Businessman and former decathlete Rob Fildes chairs the sport's governing body in Australia and invited Eddie McGuire to join the board. He says the Collingwood President has acted in good faith.

ROB FILDES, ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA: It hasn't been a big issue at the board level. At our last board meeting, we did however raise it with Eddie and we went through any questions that there might be. And from his point of view, when he comes to athletics he's been very supportive of our sport.

KATHY BOWLEN: As a successful international businessman, Rob Fildes has a pragmatic approach to his former sport and believes funding of athletes and coaches is far more crucial than where they train. But as our competitors invest heavily in their sporting futures, will we come to regret relinquishing the connection to our golden era of track and field?

JANE FLEMING: I just want the Government to think about the next time they want to have a photograph taken with a Cathy Freeman or a John Landy or a Ron Clarke or at the Premier's fundraising for the Olympic Games team about removing piece of integral infrastructure to the history and success of our sport.

Mixed Bag - SMWFC - Ressies 1-3, Seniors 2-2

So I did make my way down to Lakeside last night to see some football action. Saw part of the first and the whole of the 2nd half of the Ressies game. They'd taken the lead in what I gathered to be an even first half. In the 2nd half they were largely outplayed however, conceding two goals in a minutes to be 1-2 down, and despite improving significantly to the point where they should have equalised, Keilor Park did well enough to add another and kill the game off. Post match the ressies' coach was pretty spot in his comments, telling his team that they were outplayed when they stopped moving, and it was plain to see that the visitors wanted it more, by running in numbers and keeping up the chatter (last part my comments).

Missed the first half of the seniors game, because some people I was with at the game wanted to have dinner, and a sit down dinner with plates and everything, so I was kinda obliged to join them in the unsocial club. Anyway, we caught the 2nd half. It was 1-1 at the break. South copped an early goal in the 2nd half, but managed to equalise midway through said period. Both sides wasted a few chances, but especially South, but credit also to both keepers for doing a good job. One of the people who I was watching the game with was pleasantly surprised with the standard which was good to see, especially considering the two teams are at the wrong end of the table. Shows that the local women's game is gradually getting there. There's still scrappy elements to the game to be sure, but they are amateurs, and I reckon there's been significant progress in the action I've seen over the past 2 and a bit seasons. Overall, good night out, but a missed opportunity to get three points and get clear of the relegation zone.

Pumpkin Seed Eaters Episode 7

Hmm. Another fortnight, another episode. This time around, mailbag, previews, Chelsea headhunter returns, gold logie award, their continued surge in popularity across this big brown land, and music which or may not be to your taste - needs more Holy Bible era Manic Street Preachers in my opinion. And then there's the good stuff. The aural equivalent of a pretty fucking nasty angry pill which will get even cynical members of Generation X off their arses to fight the power, namely an analysis of an interview which Evil Geoff Lord did on on SEN. And an actually rather clever and well executed parody of the 4Diegos, also of SEN.

And in some serious postmodern headfuckery, another plug of South of the Border, with particular focus on my review of their episode 5. Selective quoting? Elaborate gamesmanship in order to receive and send reciprocal plugs, or just an attempt to use South of the Border for certain slightly nefarious purposes? It's all a bit much to think about at the time of writing this, (11:30 on a Wednesday night), but for those of my 10-20 regular readers who haven't downloaded the show by now, you'll want to head straight to 35:25 minutes into the episode and hear it for yourself. But really, you should all know whether you enjoy their stuff or not by now anyway. National audience, does your head in contemplating the ramifications. Soon, like South of the Border, they'll be an international phenomenon. And Zeus help us all when that happens.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Fustal - Australia 6 Kuwait 2 - Nando with one of the goals

There's so much South related stuff going on it's hard to keep up at the moment! Anyways, the following is a two day old match report as seen on the FFA's official site. Thanks to smfcboarder Brazuca for alerting South of the Border to this piece.

Qantas Futsalroos beat Kuwait as preparations continue
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Lachlan Wright
Lachlan Wright against the Philippines at the AFF Futsal Championships

The Qantas Futsalroos continued their preparations for their assault at making the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil later this year, with a 6-2 win over Kuwait in Bangkok, Thailand.

The team came back from a 2-1 half time deficit, to overwhelm the Kuwaiti’s who are also participating at the AFC Futsal Championships that start in Bangkok next Sunday.

It wasn’t the best start by Australia as they tried to find their rhythm in the hot and humid conditions, with Kuwait taking advantage and grabbing the half time lead.

But the second half was a different story, as Australia scored five unanswered goals with experienced Futsalroo Lachlan Wright snaring a double. Other goalscorers were Danny Ngaluafe, Chris Zeballos, Greg Giovenali and Fernando de Moraes.

The team will conclude their preparations with a hit out against the Thailand U21 team on Thursday.

Australia begins their AFC Futsal Championship campaign with a game against Turkmenistan, followed by matches against Chinese Taipei and No.2 ranked Japan. The top two from each group will progress to the quarter finals, with the four semi finalists qualifying for the World Cup that will be played in Brazil in October.

Women's game tonight, 8:30

Don't forget, the Women's team are playing Keilor Park tonight. At 8:30. Under lights. At Lakeside. Open kitchen. See me get into a verbal slanging match with 21st century authoritarian scumbags. Seriously though, that probably won't happen. But it could., Be there regardless though, should be a good night and all.

A trip to a Tolkienien northern wasteland - Round 12, Whittlesea Zebras vs South Melbourne

Okay, maybe a slight overreaction. But best to bring your woollies with ya. And has anyone over the age of 15 ever read Tolkien for the first time and liked it?

Last time they met

Round 11, 2007, at Epping Stadium

Whittlesea Zebras 3 South Melbourne 2

Lively enough game in their only meeting for 2007, but Whittlesea's counter attacking style won the day, despite Ramazan's South of the Border goal of the year effort. South at the time were scoring goals like they were going out of fashion, which they did a few weeks later. Whittlesea ended up making the grand final.

No Nando. Possibly no Billy Nats. Out there in the freezing cold. Alone. Wait, back up. Should be a tough game, both teams on level points and all, seven points behind sixth placed Heidelberg. A win here for either side could mean the start of something good, a loss, and well and truly back into the relegation battle. The Zebras coach, former South player and Socceroo Peter Ollerton has left, but there's still the nucleus of a good side there, including lively Floreat Athena recruit Jerry Karpeh. Still, South has finally seemed to get on a bit of a roll performance wise, even though everything isn't quite clicking 100% yet. Last week's win was a pretty big one, but now, with two of the league's strugglers to come in the Zebras and Pines before what could possibly be a massive match against Heidelberg in the context of the season, anything less than six points may well seem to fall short of the target. Still, four points would also be good, but seeing as we haven't had a draw for a long time - 15 consecutive league matches - one can only see a comfortable win or a heartbreaking loss on the cards.

Dean Anastasiadis set to tour with Kiss... maybe

This is off soccer-forum, a very possible playing out of the last days of Dean Anastasiadis as South keeper, courtesy of a poster known only as "phils". Rather than keep it hidden in the restricted areas of that forum, I thought i'd be nice if it was released into the public domain. Minor script errors edited by myself for clarity. Enjoy.

...Peter Zois is wanted by 'mixmastermike' at south but Anastasiadis's father and dean will fight tooth and nail to keep the zoismeister away for this season so dean can go out on a high in his "last" season. Its almost like KISS announcing another final tour. Whats the bet he will play one more year and the conversation with mike m will be a little like this...

DEAN: C'mon Mike, I'm turning 40 next year, I wanna be the first keeper since Maurice Raponi, Jeff Olver and Robert Brian to play in my forties and hinder the progress of today's young keepers.
MIKE: But I have Zois, Kenny and that chick from Box Hill that played in the Richmond Ressies wanting to come down.
DEAN: What if I give you 10c off every litre of regular unleaded you buy at my servo?
MIKE: My X5 needs premium malaka.
DEAN: Um... I think only my dad can give discounts on premium. (Long pause, Deano's soccer career is flashing before his eyes) Probably best if you speak to him.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Fernando in Futsalroos squad for AFC championships

As mentioned a little while back, and as seen and borrowed from Z-League loving but otherwise tip-top aussie soccer blog Football In The Capital, South's own Brazilian maestro Fernando De Moraes has been named in the Futsalroos squad which goes to Thailand to compete for the AFC championships, of which the four semi-finalists qualify for the 2008 Futsal World Cup. Nando is also the only Victorian to make the cut.

Should Australia reach the semis, Nando will miss not only this week's clash against Whittlesea, but also next week's game against Frankston Pines. Nevertheless, South of the Border has no hesitation in wishing Nando, who is always glad to have a quick chat when he can with your correspondant, and the Australian all the best in their Thailand adventure. It's always an honour to represent your country at the elite level, and even better when one of our own South boys gets out there on the big stage. Hopefully as with the Kuala Lumpur tournament from earlier this year, there'll be footage made available by the smfcboard forumite known as Brazuca of Nando slotting a few away. You can try to keep up with the latest from the tournament via the AFC's brilliant official site, or something.

The rest is a press release as seen and nicked from Football in the Capital via the FFA, but I'm sure Eamonn doesn't mind.

FFA Release:

The Qantas Futsalroos will open their qualifying campaign for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup on Sunday with Scott Gilligan's side looking to maintain Australia's record of having appeared in every FIFA Futsal World Cup since the inaugural version in 1989.

The Qantas Futsalroos have been drawn alongside number 2 ranked Asian side Japan, along with Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei for the Asian Football Confederation's Futsal Championships being held in Thailand.

The four semi finalists at the 16 nation tournament will represent Asia at October's FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil.

Gilligan has chosen an experienced 14 man squad for the qualifying tournament which features seven veterans of the 2004 World Cup campaign.

Australia’s first Group B match is against Turkmenistan on Sunday, followed by Chinese Taipei on Monday and Japan on Tuesday 13 May. The all-important quarter finals will see the top two teams in Group B meet the top two teams in Group A that features Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Indonesia.

Australia will complete their final preparations with matches against Kuwait tomorrow and against the Thailand U21s on Thursday, having demolished New Zealand 11-2 in Sydney on Saturday immediately prior to flying out to Bangkok.

The Qantas Futsalroos squad for the qualifying tournament is:

Tuan Cao (NSW), Fernando de Moreas (VIC), Trent Flanigan (ACT), Greg Giovenali (NSW), Luke Haydon (QLD), Simon Keith (NSW), Angelo Konstantinou (ACT), Dean Lockhart (NSW), Danny Ngaluafe (Qld), Gavin O’Brien (NSW), Peter Spathis (NSW), Adrian Vizzari (NSW), Lachlan Wright (NSW), Christopher Zeballos (NSW).

The four groups are:
Group A – Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Indonesia
Group B – Japan, Australia, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei
Group C – Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Korea Republic
Group D – IR Iran, Tajikistan, China PR, Kuwait

Australia’s matches are:
May 11 v Turkmenistan – 6.45pm (local time)
May 12 v Chinese Taipei – 12 noon (local time)
May 13 v Japan – 6.45pm (local time)

All matches in the tournament will be played at either the Nimibutr or Hua Mark stadiums in Bangkok, with the final to be held on May 18.

Grease me up woman!

Day old media release which by now every man and his/her dog have seen and commented on.

Media Release from Martin Foley's Office - State Member for Albert Park

Wednesday 7th May 2008


The future of the Lakeside Oval and the South Melbourne Football (Soccer) Club was today secured with the State Budget Announcement of $50.3m for a package that includes for the biggest makeover the old oval will have seen.

State Labor Member for Albert Park, Martin Foley welcomed today’s budget announcement by saying "This is great news for the Lakeside Oval, great news for athletics in Victoria, great news for the South Melbourne Football Club and great news for local community sport. Best of all, this is great news for Albert Park, delivered without any loss of open space."

Albert Park is already home to many local community and sporting groups including golf clubs, rowing clubs, walking and cycling clubs as well as boating and fishing enthusiasts.


Mr Foley said "The package includes relocating Athletics Australia, Athletics Victoria, together with the Victorian Institute of Sport to the Lakeside Oval. It will make the Oval the premier athletics facility in the State. It will be the home of the state-of-the-art training and competition facilities - bringing most Olympic athletics sports in Melbourne to Albert Park alongside the existing Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre."


“More importantly, the project will allow the South Melbourne Football Club the opportunity to consolidate its community links and operations locally by bringing junior and women's club activities back to the club base. It will also allow a modern and accessible set of club facilities to be developed - something the club has been crying out for" Mr Foley said.

Currently the club is spread across three locations. The men are at Albert Park, the women are in St Kilda and the juniors are out at Caulfield. The new development will provide the club with an opportunity to bring all of these clubs together at a completely redeveloped facility.

South Melbourne Football Club President, Leo Athanasakis welcomed the commitment from the Brumby Government saying "This is great news for our Club. The announcement will help us secure our future as not only Melbourne's Premier Community based Football Club but will also allow us to become an even more integral part of Our Local Community.”

Mr Athanasakis said “By the program of building a new state of the art pitch in a revamped standium, plus new all weather and turf pitches in the park we will not only secure our senior team, but we will build football links with our juniors and our women's team. Our new club facilities and function areas will help make us a viable and strong club for the future."

For more information contact South Melbourne FC, Bob Jane Stadium, 9645 9797; the office of Martin Foley MP on 9699 6755; or visit

It all sounds good, but where are the plans? Devil's in the detail, and we haven't seen them yet. So far it's been drip, drip, drip, and not enough to drink. Are we being buttered up? Would we abandon our Caulfield junior base and relocate to Albert Park, or have a split system? And where is everyone going to end up without a loss of open space? All a seems a bit suss at my end, to be perfectly honest. Somehow it all seems too easy. You let us put a running track in and here's a whole bunch of stuff just falling into our laps. I'm also concerned by all this South Melbourne FC love all of a sudden, local community, police, government, all against us for ages, and now we're flavour of the month? Wait and see people, interesting times ahead.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

South of the Border Link Shuffle

Again really minor update... just letting you know of the moving around of some stuff to different categories, hopefully making it a little easier to find relevant links.

There's also the addition of another South related site, something to do with some South Supporters mob or something, I'd tell you more, but their website doesn't have too much info at the moment. However, legend has it is populated by a shy, largely nocturnal beast, which thrives on the risottos and chicken parmas of Clarendon Street and its surrounds, and I'll stop right there or else I could get myself into serious trouble, because who knows what primordial powers I could be messing with?

Also, because you all asked for it, here is the finished version of my Lakeside redevelopment article, on the Neos Kosmos English Weekly site. Kewl. More important and less self-indulgent stuff tomorrow, I promise.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Sometimes the world and all its troubles can be too much to handle. And then to compound that, one of those things which is supposed to temporarily alleviate those issues, watching South, makes matters even worse, especially in recent years. It times like these, it may help to put things back in perspective, by recognising how outrageously small our place in the scheme of things is.

These two galaxies are fighting a multi-billion year war against each other. Some day, one of them will not exist. The scale of the battle is ridiculous. Astronomy Picture of the Day is now available as link on the side, for those times when it seems we're going nowhere, and it's simply not enjoyable anymore. Just to put things in perspective, as well as to awe and amaze.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

South under 18s Super League team crush Casey 13-0

While the senior women lost 2-0 and their reserves got a 1-1 draw, and the under 21s went down 4-0, the under 18s super league team has continued it's good start to their season with 13-0 belting of the Casey Comets. This puts them top of the league on goal difference, and according to one of our loyal readers, they also play a really attractive brand of football to boot. I wish them well for the rest of their season.

South Women at home against Keilor Park in Friday Night Football

Haven't had the chance to see them yet this year, but all that should change this Friday 9th May at Lakeside when SMWFC take on Keilor Park under lights with kickoff at 8:30. Both teams are at the wrong end of the table at the time of writing, so should at least be a close, competitive game, although I'm sure we'd all rather the girls go out there and absolutely thump the opposition. And seeing as there's no Friday night aussie rules, and the kitchen will be open, should be a worthwhile experience.

Monday, 5 May 2008

NKEW article on athletics track and such

Haven't seen the final product myself, but apparently I've had an article published in Neos Kosmos English Weekly. This is the original, almost nothing you haven't seen before, but it's nice to gloat, sorta, every now and again. And also good to spread the love outside South of the Border. Don't even know what the headline is!

The Victorian Government announced last Monday that Athletics Victoria would be moved from its current base at Olympic Park to a redeveloped Lakeside Stadium. The work needed to accommodate the move, which would include the reconfiguration of the venue to incorporate a running track, would reportedly begin later this year at a cost of $50 million. The redeveloped stadium would have a capacity of 10,000, with seating for 5,000, though no plans were released with the announcement.

Lakeside Stadium is currently the home of former National Soccer League side South Melbourne FC since its own enforced move from its former Middle Park base in the mid 1990s. The club, which still has several years remaining on its lease of Lakeside, would remain as a tenant. Currently the venue also hosts finals matches for the Victorian Premier League, as well as training sessions for the Socceroos and overseas sides while visiting Melbourne.

Talks between the parties have been in operation for the past two years. The announcement by the Minister for Sport James Merlino has seemingly ended the constant speculation over the future of Olympic Park, as well as the future of Lakeside itself. The former will almost certainly end up as a training venue for the Collingwood and Melbourne Football Clubs.

In a statement on its official site, South Melbourne said it was “pleased that the Victorian Government has recognised the area as a major sporting precinct”, and emphasised its nearly 50 year association with the Albert Park area. For their part, Athletics Victoria and Athletics Australia were caught out by the announcement, declining to comment on the day announcement was made, and released a joint press release on Tuesday. Many in the athletics community have been angered by the moves to oust them from their base of over 50 years, especially in the perceived conflict of interest of Eddie McGuire, who is both president of Collingwood and on the board of Athletics Australia

The redevelopment could be a major boon for South Melbourne FC, with the right deal possibly securing their future for many years to come. The possible benefits could include a clean slate in terms of the catering and naming rights contracts which currently exist at the venue, additional training grounds in the area, upgrades to its own facilities, as well a new lease which could see the club secure its home at Lakeside for as much as 40 years.

While many in the local athletics community are angry at the enforced move from their traditional home, many South Melbourne fans view this as a terrific opportunity to cement the club’s future, despite the increased distance from the playing field that would ensue. South supporter and volunteer John Kyrou said he’d be disappointed at having the state’s premium soccer facility altered in such a fashion, but ultimately the club’s future viability was a more important issue.

“If having a track in the way is the sacrifice we have to make in order to ensure that Hellas will be around for many years to come, then so be it. Many of our supporters have been to Olympic Park many times to watch South matches and it hasn't been that bad. We would eventually get used to it.”

“I don't like the fact that our ground - one of the very few purpose-built football venues in the state - will have a running track around it. However in saying that, I believe that if the South board can play their cards right in negotiations with the relevant parties and do things the right way then this proposal has the potential to land the club an enormous amount of continual income that will set us up for a long long time.”

The announcement also failed to shed any light on the future of the old grandstand, the last remaining element of the former Lake Oval, which has fallen into serious disrepair. Sources have hinted however that it has been slated for demolition. Previous attempts to convert it into the Melbourne base for the Sydney Swans, incorporating among other things a museum, never came to fruition.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Or Perhaps Not

Someone has now reported hearing on 3xy that Zois has been snaffled by, of all teams, Frankston Pines. All this is good for is the post count.

Zois to South, done and dusted, apparently

I was told this early in the 2nd half by one of my loyal readers, and had it confirmed by the person who was supposed to do my blog logo, and more or less confirmed by the non-comment stylings of a certain suave and sophisticated director - or at least that's the way I'm choosing to interpret that discussion. Now you may have read it earlier on smfcboard, or soccer forum, but it is my exclusive, you hear? I just wasn't near enough to a computer to post it. Still awaiting the arrival of Scotty MacNicol as well, I assume he's still coming.

Winning Is Good - South Melbourne 1 Richmond 0

De Nittis scored, hardly surprising, while a number of players should have scored, but didn't, which was not. Dominated a slow paced game, the previously free scoring Richmond kept to few chances, South earning their 2nd clean sheet for the year. On the minus side, Natsioulas seemed to come off with a serious injury, Fernando will miss the next 1-2 games with AFC Fustalroos duty - as reported in South of the Border, like, ages ago, though you had to look carefully - but on the other hand, some players appear to be coming into some sort of form, and we may have turned the corner.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

South of the Border haiku edition no. 5

Another happy piece! This one started form two places. One was a survey published in the Herald Sun a few years back talking about the fact that, as popular as aussie rules is, only about 27 % of the people in this city actually gave a toss. And then that lead to thoughts on how the remaining majority viewed the sporting world as they passed their fields, ovals, and stadia along their walks and drives. Is it much the same way I, as an atheist, see religious buildings? Sort of quaint examples of a dying breed, or as something unfathomable and distant, in the case of stadia, constructions which include some and but not others? And what of the people who run around the lake every day? Do they not wonder at this large piece of real estate, the old and ew parts of it, all of its history, do they not think about its meaning and purpose? The other place this came from was the night I saw a possum on the ground outside just near the blue gates I think. You kinda forget that sometimes these things are there.

Structurally, this started as a strict 17 syllable piece, then it was broken down slightly, rebuilt, and ended up having 18 syllables. I had another word in place of 'obsolete', but it just didn't fit the poem in. The joggers and possums were the start of it, as you may have guessed, were the non-negotiable part. I like it, but I don't love it. Better than last week's to be sure. No season word, but the balance between structure/nature/humanity/choice/destiny, seems to sit there fairly well.

an obsolete temple;
choosing paths which lead away
joggers and possums

Friday, 2 May 2008

Local Derby Hoorah! - Round 11, South Melbourne vs Richmond

Seeing as Port Melbourne aren't coming up anytime soon, this'll have to do for a local derby. Enjoy fuzzball.

Last time they met

Round 17, 2007, at Lakeside

South Melbourne 0 Richmond 1

Thoroughly dull match, decided by a monumental fuck up by Langerak. Henry Fa'arodo crossed low and seemingly harmlessly from out wide into the box, but the ball slipped through Langerak's legs with Steve Burton scoring one of the easiest goals of his life. On balance though Richmond were the better team, with South showing little of note.

Richmond should win this. They've been one of the best teams of the early part of the season, scoring goals almost at will, and yet they aren't invincible, having lots to Whittlesea and Heidelberg within the past 4 games. The loss of Stuart McCluskey and Pablo Cardozo to suspension may test their depth a little, but with a solid, experienced and obviously capable squad, Richmond would still have to be favourite for this game. South on the other hand, even when playing well has managed to lose games, and still hasn't quite settled under new coach Michaelokopoulos. The defense is still over the place, and the overwhelming majority of their goals have come in two games. Will the opening of the transfer window solve some of these problems? Certainly in regard to some of the central midfielders being suggested it could well do so, still, avoiding relegation will sadly be the goals this year, with a genuine push for the finals delayed for a season. It sucks, I know. But then again, maybe this will be the start of the great Hellas revival of 2008? One can only hope.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

A Tale of Two Federations

First up, a press release from the FFV:

COMMUNITY Football in Victoria received a boost with the announcement of a $750,000 commitment from the Victorian Government on Tuesday at a pressconference held at Telstra Dome, one of the first steps in Football Federation Victoria’s Strategic Plan for 2008-2011.

A host of Melbourne Victory stars were on hand at Telstra Dome as Football Federation Australia, FFV and the Victorian Government, through its Department of Sport and Recreation, confirmed the funding.

Victorian Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs James Merlino made the announcement alongside FFV CEO Mark Rendell, FFA Head of Game Development Matthew Bulkeley, and Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles. Rendell said the financial commitment fell directly in line with the initial stages of the FFV Strategic Plan for the next three years.

“We believe the funding made available by the Victorian Government will have a direct impact on football in this state,” Rendell said.

“We outlined in our Strategic Plan earlier this year the need to generate additional revenue to invest in the growth of Victorian Football, and this falls into line with that.

“The commitment of $750,000 from the Victorian Government is a great start to what we are trying to achieve.”

The funding has been allocated to initiatives and programs that will benefit Victoria’s football community, both in a club and school context, and has provided the FFV and Melbourne Victory with a unique opportunity to conduct new and exciting projects.

The new projects, which include the Melbourne Victory Schools 5-a-side, a Volunteer Recognition Program, Grassroots Certificate Training and Small Sided Games Communication Strategy, have already received excellent feedback throughout the state.

FFV has been a major force behind the success of the projects, which also aim to strengthen the connection between Victory and Victoria’s football community and encourage participation in school football by teachers and students alike.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be involved in grassroots football through the Melbourne Victory Schools 5-a-side,” Miles said.

Next up, an open letter from the CEO of Football NSW, Michael Quarmby, to his constituents.

There has been a lot of talk recently on the viability of clubs competing in the Premier League. Football NSW (FNSW) itself is receiving a fair share of criticism in this regard. While we do not have any control over the spending of clubs, we do have a level of responsibility to help clubs compete with an economically sound model.

The biggest expense item is players salaries. As an ex player many years ago it was nice to receive hundreds of dollars per week but the reality today is there is not enough revenue streams for clubs, ie. supporters and level of sponsorship, to sustain the costs of players wages and the rest of expenses that go towards putting a team on the park.

Part of our responsibility to help the clubs is to have the highest level of promotion that we can do. The one thing I am sure you will agree is that this level of promotion has increased dramatically over the last few years. The players and clubs are promoted on TV (Football Stars of Tomorrow), magazines (FourFourTwo), newspapers (The Daily Telegraph, Australian British Soccer Weekly, local Cumberland and Fairfax papers), radio and our website.

We receive fees from each Club for the conduct of the first grade and Under 20 competition. However, these funds fall well short of the expenditure incurred in the administration, marketing and promotion of the TeleChoice Premier League. As part of our overall responsibility to the game, Football NSW underwrites the gap between fees received and expenses. This underwriting is made possible from commercial revenues generated by Football NSW from activities separate from that of the TeleChoice Premier League competition. With the administration costs of running the League (ie. Referee fees, processing registrations and contracts, general daily correspondence and communications, match commissioners, judiciaries, fulfilling media commitments above including journalists, staff etc), there is a significant net cost to FNSW that we budget for each year in the interest of the competition and the pathway to the A-League for the players and coaches.

As I mentioned earlier, our responsibility is to help minimize the costs of clubs. The Premier League Standing Committee represented by all Premier League clubs and our competitions department are assessing all income and expenses in this regard. They are currently working on a player points system linked to a salary cap which would help in financially running their clubs for next year.

I expect that and other initiatives from the committee over the next couple of months in order that they may help the clubs for next season.

I intend where practicable to make this a regular column where I can address your issues as well as communicate initiatives we are working towards. So please do not hesitate to speak your mind in relevant issues affecting our game.

Next week a snapshot of Football NSW and what we do….

Notice any difference? Now, one wouldn't want to generalise about other federations and their motives, and make grass is greener statements. There's plenty of hatred directed at Football NSW from its own constituents to make that mistake. But look at the first article. Pay attention to how Melbourne Victory is mentioned no less than six times in about a dozen sentences. Then see the other piece and how it's all about promoting the local scene, minimising costs for clubs etc. Take note FFV. The Victory is not your concenr, They run themselves, for a profit, and will use any means and anyone necessary in order to attain it. You are there to support the people who pay your wages. Comprehende?