Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Blast from the past - Martin Power

With apologies for the terrible photo taken on my terrible mobile phone. This is a small but important piece of South Melbourne Hellas history. It's a trophy presented as a memento of the 1960 championship season to an Irishman named Martin Power. Power played as a goalkeeper in our inaugural season, after originally coming to Melbourne as an assistant to the Irish boxing contingent for the 1956 Olympics. A former Irish boxing champion himself, Power also played Gaelic football in Melbourne. He came to Hellas having previously played with South Melbourne United. Despite it having immense sentimental value to him, Power sent this trophy back to South, and thus a small part of our fragmented early history is made known.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

More on our Tasmanian trip

Of course, not from our own club, but from South Hobart and this article on Walter Pless blog. In summary, our apparent schedule is:

    • Thursday 13th January vs South Hobart
    • Friday 14th January vs Hobart Olympia
    • Sunday 16th January vs South Hobart, with some sort of cup on offer 

    Won't get too excited until we get definitive confirmation from the crew at head office.

    Three Years Tops!

    As per usual, as the anniversary of the blog's foundation comes along, I would like to thank certain people and organisations for several things that happened over the past year - if I've missed you and you think you should be in, the fault is all mine.

    I'd like to start off by thanking The Kiss of Death for its weekly articles - apart from taking my least favourite task of match previews away from me, your writing and style improved markedly as the season went on - and it was hilarious when people thought I was responsible for those entries. Blogger for finally improving the heck out of their blogging platform - it's made everything much prettier and easier to handle. Everyone who commented on a page who wasn't a spammer. People who linked articles on here to other places. GoalWeekly for publishing my match report and my book reviews. Half Time Heroes for also publishing my book reviews. Thanks to the people behind the Bolasepako and Jakarta Casual blogs, of course - thanks to the Singapore Cup, we had the opportunity to discuss issues of common ground.

    I would also like to extend my thanks to Paul Conroy - I only saw him once this year, but the reassurance that he provided about a certain controversial article was very much appreciated. Gains and Johnny Diegan for helping me write a match report. Those two again with Steve from Broady, great public and private transport traveling companions to seemingly every stupid corner of this city. Nick (Go Pies!), Cuddles and Tony, as per usual. Ian Syson for some reason.

    And lastly thanks to everyone who continues to read this guff and visit this site. I'd still write it if you didn't come by, but the fact that people do, and the positive feedback I get makes it far more worthwhile.

    Wednesday, 22 December 2010

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder - SWE 2 South 1

    Whatever, I wasn't there, I don't have any in depth report on how this match went  apart from new keeper Zain Zanelli allegedly looking good and very few first teamers getting a go. As you can tell by the watermark on the photo, I nicked this photo from the rather good Football Chaos site, not to be confused with the utter cesspool that is the Football Anarchy forum.

    Tuesday, 21 December 2010

    Looks like I made the right decision...

    to stick with The Shield instead of flicking over to watch The World Game, because they ended up not plating our segment. What a laugh, and I love how it's brought out the conspiracy theorists as to why it didn't go to air. Next thing you know they'll want to put Janet Albrechtsen on the board at SBS to make sure that there isn't more anti-South bias - especially when they still put to air a short piece about the Anastasiadis brothers.

    Monday, 20 December 2010

    South on World Game show tonight

    There's going to be a feature on South on SBS's The World Game show tonight, 9:30 pm on SBS2. Can someone record it for me? Unfortunately I have to keep up with the wacky adventures of Vic Mackie on The Shield.

    Sunday, 19 December 2010

    Albanian Adventure Playground Experience - Dandy 2 South 1

    Game played at fairly casual pace. Started off with quite a few senior players, fell behind 2-0, gradually took off most of the seniors and replaced them with 21s. The 21s did better, but the pace of the game died in the arse even more so. Pulled one back late when Joryeff slotted home a ball across the face of goal. Both Stefaan Sardelic and new signing from Sydney Olympic Zaim Zenelli had a half each in goals - too early to tell who if either of them is the frontrunner. Only one player in the game who got out of second gear really impressed - some 16 year old called Rob Naumovski or some such, who was at Altona Magic (and hence why when I asked equipment manager Frank Piccione who he was, he replied 'Rob Altona'). Anyway, the highlight of a day spent in the rain and cold for no apparent good reason, was the playground adjacent to the field, decked out patriotically in Albanian red and black.

    Friday, 17 December 2010

    Lakeside from the sky, November 20 2010

    It's getting there. It's taken Nearmap longer than usual to get this update up - one would hazard to guess that there's a fair bit of progress been made since. But in this photo, you can't see that they haven't started the Athletics Victoria building yet behind our stand. Still cleaning out the 1926 stand - a week after this photo was taken, during the AGM, workers were taking off some sort of paneling from the side of the roof - someone said it was asbestos, but I'm not sure about that. Click on the photo to enlarge.

    Pre-season match against Dandenong Thunder on Sunday

    Finally time to dust off the spectator cobwebs with a probably very, very casual hitout against Dandenong Thunder. The game will be held on Sunday at 4pm at  Larissa Reserve, St Albans, the home of the North Sunshine Eagles. If you're a real masochist, there's also a game between North Sunshine and the Thunder preceding our match. Apparently food and drink will be available.


    And now to discuss a completely unrelated matter.

    Someone from our club seemingly attempted to start a rumour that this pre-season friendly was going to be behind closed doors.

    How they could have achieved the non-attendance of the few South people who would have attended anyway, I don't know.

    There is another game prior to ours on at the same venue. Would they have kicked everyone out?

    It is being advertised on soccer-forum by Dandenong Thunder people and by North Sunshine on their own website as an obviously open to all event. Are we just not supposed to believe them?

    It's on a public park, which is open to the community 365 days a year - you're even allowed to drink alcohol there - except of course for the soccer field when it's in use by people who have booked the field. Was this person intending to kick kids off the adjoining playground, lest they see Eddie's super awesome tactics and spread the word?

    Who the person responsible was, I don't know - and I wouldn't want to name them in the event that I knew anyway, because if they did indeed start this rumour with the intent of keeping South people away for reasons I can only speculate on, then they obviously think we're all morons, and they'd probably feel pretty lousy at having made such a woeful effort at getting their point across.

    Of course, it could have all been an honest mistake.

    Saturday, 11 December 2010

    The trees have eyes

    I was sitting hunched over my laptop, typing away with righteous fury -  at times it appears as if there is no other way to conduct my internet business - waiting for a particular call. When the phone did ring, earlier than I had anticipated, it was from someone I did not expect. The caller's identity is not important. Their information? Three unknown men and Leo Athanasakis hanging outside the front office at Lakeside, chatting... two of the unknowns jumped into a car with SBS markings on it. What could it mean? Something good, I'm sure of - though how long until we see the end result of such things, I don't know. As for the original call I was expecting, well it never came. But fret not dear reader, that issue too, seemingly found itself on the way to being sorted by the early hours of the morning.

    Much consternation about the possibilities

    I have no children, but I suspect at one level that supporting South is like being the parent of a rowdy toddler - you enjoy the short bursts of peace and quiet while they last and try to love them no matter what. The rumour has been circulating that former FFV employee George Angelopoulos has already been given the job, or is at the very least the front-runner for the role of general manager, and this caused a certain level of disquiet amongst certain combustible people. Rather than pour out a deluge of opinion here and now I'm going to wait and see what comes of this whole thing.

    Thursday, 9 December 2010

    2011 Fixture released

    The things to note
    • All our home games to be at Northcote this coming season. I endorse this - Kingston Heath, where we played two of our relocated home games in 2010, is a nightmare to get to with public transport.
    • 5pm starts early in the season for home games before moving to 3pm. 
    • Finally seem to have got rid of the situation where we'd go without a home game for a month or so in the middle of the season.
    • Following on to that, no more than two consecutive games played at home or away.  
    • A new Friday night away fixture, at Springvale White Eagles - should be fun getting to the ground with public transport.
    • The ANZAC Day game against Hume seems to have been moved back a week earlier, probably because the Easter holiday also falls on ANZAC Day. I wonder if we'll still play off for the trophy?
    • Orthodix Easter seems to have fallen once more on the same date as the Catholic/Protestant Easter. Convenient.
    • There's a Queen's Birthday week off, and a break between rounds 20 and 21, but no obvious free weekends created for the reinstatement of the Dockerty Cup. If the FFV still intend to bring it back, it looks like it's going to be midweek.
    • There are NTC matches again this year, which I've not included in my fixture list, because even though they are allegedly for points this time, if they finish in a finals or relegation spot they supposedly won't get counted in either. Which makes one ponder what the point of it is.
    • Finish up at 'home' to Northcote - could result in some hilarity if results need to fall certain ways, especially if one of the teams doesn't want to play along to 'expectations', ala Melbourne Knights vs St Albans in the final round of 2005.

    Monday, 6 December 2010

    More off-season digressions - women's ice hockey

    Yes, it finally happened. While trundling aimlessly around Laverton Market last Saturday, waiting for my watch to have its battery changed, I got the call from my mate Trev, the very same Trev immortalised in my petty and sullen revenge fantasy The Chattering Classes (available in Offset no. 10). 'Paul, I've got a spare ticket to the Ice Hockey, do you want to come?'.

    Of course I said yes. I didn't know then that it was women's ice hockey, and that it would take forever to find the stadium, which is mostly my fault. But me being a deadset 90s guy, who doesn't mind watching women's sport for the actual contest itself as opposed to more carnal reasons, it wasn't that much of an ordeal. After all, I'd been planning on checking out the IIHF World Championship Division II series that is going to be in Melbourne next year for the sheer novelty, so why not see a local match?

    The first thing you notice upon walking into the arena is that it's not as cold as you might think, but a light jacket is recommended. The arena has seating on only one side, with only a very small smattering of seats located on the opposite side of the 'stand' next to the sin bin. Because the rink was also home to a Christmas holiday show of some sort, the glass on the side with all the seats was mostly removed, which meant that we weren't allowed to sit on that side at all. Insurance and public liability and all that.

    So we went up to bar area where there was some seating. Some nice, comfy chairs, but several problems. One, the beer and drinks were expensive. Two, you couldn't hear pretty much anything from behind the glass - it took us awhile to realise they were playing the national anthem. And lastly, you couldn't even see the entire rink - the near side, including the goals, was only visible if you stood up. Which was kinda not really the point with the aforementioned comfy chairs being there.

    So we decided to move down to the area next rinkside with the few seats that we were allowed to use - we decided to stand anyways. The game made more sense there. For starters, you could see and follow the puck. You could also hear things like the players yelling, the clash of sticks and the thud into the walls of players competing for possession. Some sports are flexible in that they can be both good in the flesh and good on tv or radio. Ice hockey does not seem to be one of those sports.

    The game itself was between the Melbourne Ice and the Sydney Sirens. You could tell that there was more enthusiasm than skill on show, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it did remind one of watching women's soccer at a certain level - that the depth of talent is not as deep as anyone would like and therefore some of the slightly more advanced moves - such as connecting with a pass across the face of goal for a well timed first time shot.

    There was enough argle bargle I guess, though there's always room for more. The visitors scored first, and then the home side leveled. Both of these goals were messy, resulting from shots saved by the goaltender but spilling out just enough to be scrambled in. The Ice's winning goal was better, a more genuine fluid movement and nice finish. Unlike in sports on a larger field, it was harder to tell who was dominating the match and where the momentum lay, as it was much easier to get into positions close to the other team's goal even if clear cut chances weren't forthcoming.

    Sunday, 5 December 2010

    1995 Dockery Cup Final

    The 1995 Dockerty Cup Final, with thanks to our friend Boo once more. Tansel Baser has a great game, Curcija's name gets pronounced differently to what is these days, Frank Arok looks more grizzled than usual. Deano has his surname on his shirt, but no one else does. And what a nice trophy it is. Perhaps one day we can not only play in this competition again, but maybe even win it, too.

    First half

    Second half and presentation ceremony

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    Dockerty Cup Quarter Final 1995 vs Preston

    Here's a treat folks. For a little while now there's been discontent that the Dockerty Cup has been discontinued for so many years. I agree with that sentiment, and the recent and seemingly credible talk that it may be brought back has gladdened my heart somewhat.

    However, that enthusiasm includes a couple of caveats. Firstly, I would not include the Victory or the Heart, as I don't think they have a place in this competition - apart from the disproportionate strength of the sides, they are meant to sit above everything below them - that is, they've been set up as 'representative' teams inclusive of 'everyone', which doesn't suit the divided and diverse environment that the rest of the Victorian system entails. It's not perfect logic, but it's the best I could come up with at short notice.

    The other concern that I have is that people who want this competition back will think that it will be some kind of boon to crowd numbers. It may do so initially, but I doubt it will last. As evidence of that fact, look no further than the near permanent discontinuation of the competition since 1996. And look at the crowd in this clip of what used to be a heated rivalry between South and Preston. It's 1995, and the crowd is worse than a 2010 VPL crowd.

    Still, enjoy the trip down memory lane, courtesy of our friend Boo. Amongst the the other things one may notice are.

    • The error made in the intro that the quarter final stage was when the NSL teams entered the competition. They actually entered in the previous round (round 3). We beat Port Melbourne 2-0 in that round.
    • The young players like Con Blatsis and Tansel Baser making their first steps in senior football.
    • The dreadful offside trap set up being used by South.
    • Vaughan Coveny scoring a goal in the manner he almost always did. If you can find his highlights/tribute package out there, it is without doubt the most dull and pedestrian highlight reel of all time. Which is not to say they should count for less than spectacular goals, just that it paints a certain picture of the kind of striker he was.

    First half

    Second half