Thursday, 29 December 2011

Four More Years! Four More Years!

Another year gone by on the blog. Least amount of posts in a calendar year, but still kicking on.

From the beginning of the year, thanks to Walter Pless and everyone who made the blog's trip to Hobart so enjoyable.

Thank you to The Kiss of Death, whose infectious enthusiasm kept the blog ticking over. Too bad you didn't get around to doing your end of season roundup, but I understand the reason why. Much praise also to everyone who provided photos, or had them used by me. I hope I provided proper attribution.

Thanks to the organisers of the Hellenic Cup, whose inability to maintain a coherent and up to date website meant that this blog was the only place for people to get even a semblance of what was going on, thus getting us some heavy off-season hits. Thanks also to Jim Marinis for the unintentional lols and resultant hits.

Kudos to Mia Hayes, erstwhile of the FFV, who thought it fit that I should have access to a media pass in my own right. Costa from Goal! Weekly for letting me write in his paper; and to Southpole for having such poor internet access combined with superfluous social and sporting commitments that I was able to write on state league soccer for the aforementioned paper.

Thank you to every reader both South affiliated and non-South affiliated, especially those who left a comment at some point. Some notable mentions:'s Needledown for eventually getting the bee out of his bonnet; and Krizar, for discussing similarities and differences over a quiet drink.

The South Melbourne Hellas Hattrick crew. Most of us are slugging it away in divisions four and five, but in our own way we punch above our weight.

It's always a pleasure to spend time with Gains and Steve from Broady; the bus rides, train trips, quiet dinners and weekly stories starring Greeksta made the season that much more tolerable.

And of course, Ian Syson, who points out tics in my writing that I never seem to see for myself.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Review of John Maynard's 'The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe'

This review first appeared in Goal Weekly. It's a pretty sloppy review which probably doesn't do the book justice, but I do hope people give it a chance (use any book vouchers you got for Christmas if you must), as there's several important stories it has to tell.

There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that sport and politics should not mix. And yet throughout John Maynard's The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game (Magabala Books), for many of the Aborigines involved in soccer, the two are impossible to separate.

Make no bones about it, Soccer Tribe is an important book. In large part this is because it seeks to cover new ground in an uncharted part of our soccer history, and attempts to link the game to the broader Indigenous struggle for social justice. Soccer Tribe's best sections are those which merge the personal with the political, recounting the important players of the past, and the social and political obstacles still in place preventing more Indigenous Australians from taking up the game.

In the 1950s, when Charles Perkins, John Moriarty and Gordon Briscoe emerge on the Australian soccer scene, Maynard showcases the role that soccer played in this trio's overcoming of social disadvantage and their subsequent entry into the political and public sphere. The self-esteem gained from their success in the game, and their treatment as equals by the Continental European migrants who had come to dominate Australia soccer by the early 1950s was crucial to their political awakening. The late Perkins recalled that soccer:

“brought me into the migrant community where I found great satisfaction, no prejudice, no history of bad relations, no embarrassing comments or derogatory remarks, they welcomed me into the fold and I've been there ever since”

Also crucial to their political awakening was that all three travelled to Europe to try their hand at soccer careers. Most Australian soccer fans would be aware only of Joe Marston and his appearance for Preston North End in the 1954 FA Cup final. But Moriarty, Briscoe and Perkins were just as pioneering in their endeavours, though they mostly played for high ranking amateur clubs. There too, they found an acceptance among the English that was wanting in Australia.

Harry Williams, the first Indigenous player to play for the national team, also gets his due recognition. A powerful advertisement for what soccer can do for Indigenous people, Williams was part of the groundbreaking 1974 World Cup squad. As Aboriginal activist Warren Mundine noted on watching Williams play in that tournament, 'with his big afro hair, he was a big inspiration to us all, because in those days only a handful of us played the game'.

Maynard also dedicates several sections to current and future Aboriginal stars of the game. This is one area where some may consider Soccer Tribe to have slipped – and it's a somewhat inevitable failing in a book seeking to celebrate Indigenous achievements in soccer – as Maynard is prone to over-hyping the talents and potential of several contemporary players. Some readers may query the merits of some of Maynard's appraisals.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the book is the significant section on Aboriginal involvement in women's soccer. Though several of the player profiles are short, those that do go into more depth provide stories equally as gripping as those of their male counterparts.

The story of Karen Menzies in particularly moving. Taken from her mother as an infant, raised as a 'white' child without any knowledge of her Indigenous background, breaking through barriers that female athletes have always faced in pursuing male dominated sports, and being openly gay to boot, Menzies reached the heights of playing for the Matildas. Sadly, her involvement in the game stopped when she became faced with further discrimination when she sought to a high profile assistant coaching role. More reassuring is that there were and are still Indigenous women who have followed in her footsteps towards playing for the Matildas, such as Kyah Simpson and Lydia Williams.

Maynard also covers the problem of getting more Indigenous Australians into the game. Soccer in Australia, apart from the notable exception of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, is a sport whose heartland is based in the large metropolitan centres. To counter the appeal of rugby league and Australian rules in particular, who have such a healthy engagement with regional Australia, and thus with Indigenous people, the game must make a concerted and committed effort to promoting the game outside the major cities. In addition, Indigenous soccer players need to be better utilised in promoting the game, and showcasing the huge opportunities there within it. As with all codes, emphasis is also placed on the particular needs of Aboriginal players, especially those from remote communities and the problems of homesickness.

While all those points are crucial, occasionally Maynard also neglects to provide the wider context of a given situation. While being an Aboriginal soccer player from a rural area such as the Sunraysia region is not easy, especially with regards to the huge distance from the game's metropolitan strongholds and higher standards of competition, these same problems also exist for non-Aboriginal soccer participants, albeit obviously not to the same extent.

Likewise, the lack of primary accounts in some sections also creates a jarring effect when put up against those parts of the book where participants and their families are interviewed by Maynard. When relating the story of Mildura United, and Chris Tsivoglou's noble attempt to provide opportunities for Indigenous youth from the surrounding missions, Maynard relies on reports from the Koori Mail and Sydney Morning Herald, thus denying people like Tsivoglou and his charges from providing more in depth analysis of the wider Mildura soccer scene.

One other issue pops up repeatedly in Soccer Tribe – the lack of a binding narrative. Given the history of Indigenous Australians since European settlement, this is easily understandable, to the point where this lack of narrative becomes a key part of the narrative in itself.

To illustrate this point, Maynard uses the story of Bondi Neal, a star goalkeeper who played for several clubs around Newcastle and the Hunter Valley in the early 1900s. Despite several reports on his goalkeeping prowess in contemporary newspaper accounts, there are scarce details of his origins – and after the passing of stricter laws controlling Aborigines circa 1910, Neal disappears entirely from the public record, along with any known Indigenous participation in soccer.

Soccer Tribe's main flaw is almost an inevitable one – in the past, so little effort has been put into compiling work on the past, present and future of Aboriginal soccer, that it is difficult to know where to begin. Maynard opts to go for a sort of sprawl, trying to cover as much content as possible. Nevertheless, it is still a satisfying and intriguing starting point for coverage into the Indigenous soccer experience, and a worthwhile addition to the collections of Australian soccer aficionados. Hopefully it contributes to being a launching pad for more investigation into Aboriginal soccer.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lucky With Disease

Fell like a crippled crow/
Spinning through and breaking branches

I was filled with a lot of bitterness last night. And yes, even this morning when posting the initial AGM gist. But then again, people have claimed that I'm very bitter and cynical anyways - I could go on about the assisted epiphany I received in early 2004, but it's kinda pointless.

I suppose people want more detail. And yet, how do you go about providing that sort of depth which is reserved for the members of this club? One angle may to provide details of things which may happen in the future anyway, and thus will become common knowledge in due course.

Like the social club redevelopment. Why hasn't it started yet? Well, because they were waiting for WATPAC, the construction firm in charge of the stadium redevelopment, to finish up and move out. And what are they going to do with it once we can get in there? Use it for a bistro/restaurant kinda space, along with a museum feature - hopefully I'll be having something to do with the latter when the time comes.

There's also stuff on which I've been unintentionally been misleading people with. With regards to the food and drink vendors, apparently we do get a cut out of that. So eat and drink up! Also, with regards to the VIS gym and pool facilities, while they are currently off-limits to us, that may change in the future. Even if they don't, MSAC is not too far away.

Some pet peeves. Serving food and drink was a neat touch. Too bad the twit behind me thought it was fine to crinkle and crunch his empty plastic cup throughout the majority of the meeting. Still, better than that other twit who kept kicking my chair. Also, would it kill some of our members to shut up and let someone ask a question? Or ask their questions at the suitable time and place instead of interrupting my carefully planned attack on certain board members?

And yes, the cost of water has gone up in recent times, but is that any reason to have to get up every five minutes to refresh your glass? And did we really need that five minute digression on not calling Peter Tsolakis 'Gus'? And could clowns turn your phones off or put them on silent?

Also, yes I blew a gasket with regards to the thankfully aborted hiring of George Angelopoulos as general manager, but the shutting down of that debate was a disgrace. It's not just about what we supporters think of Angelopoulos - it's also the process that lead to that point which needed to be addressed.

The timing of the event wasn't great. Four days before Christmas? Still, most of the usual suspects turned up, while most of the usual absentees also did their thing. Presidents room was nice. A beautiful view of the field, air conditioning - for a certain period at least. Maybe one day we'll even start on time, though the initial projector problem didn't help.

I wonder what my buddy Gains made of the whole affair, after attending his first AGM? When it comes to Greeks and South Melbourne, simple black and white answers seldom emerge. No wonder they made a national holiday of the one time they did take a definitive position.

As for that clown who thinks that there's not even a perceived issue with his son playing in the under 21s while he sits on the football sub-committee, he should perhaps open his eyes and ears and acknowledge the disbelief and fury that exists some of our South Melbourne family. Too bad he seemingly has enough support from others on the board to justify his stance that it's not an issue. Coincidence that they left this issue to the very end when everyone was busting to get home to their loved ones/repeat of Letterman?

No one asked where the World Club Championship money went.

Also, I apparently have to watch more things that Tim Roth has been in since he's on a t-shirt of mine.

2011 AGM gist

Off-field, they have a plan, and it's decent enough. Well planned, seemingly achievable and sensible. On-field, if we somehow do win a trophy that isn't the Hellenic Cup, it will be in spite of the board and its football sub-committee, and not because of it.

Some board members were willing to answer questions patiently and in appropriate detail. Others sought to shut down debate. Unfortunately, some of our members, who were more interested in talking among themselves and asking about trivialities, helped these wannabe oligarchs control the meeting.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

John Bedford passes away after long illness

Sad news from yesterday, that 1960s and 70s South stalwart John Bedford passed away after a long illness. Australian football historian Roy Hay was kind enough to provide this overview of Bedford's career, along with the accompanying photos.

The only notable thing omitted from this obituary is his status as a South Melbourne Hellas Team of the Century squad member. 

John Bedford (7 August 1941–18 December 2011), by Roy Hay

Springheeled John Bedford leaps to control a high ball. Source: Les Shorrock collection. Deakin University Library.
John Bedford was part of the South Melbourne Hellas team which won the first State League championship under the auspices of the Victorian Soccer Federation in 1962.

John died this week at the age of 70 in Wodonga. He was born and brought up in Box Hill and Bill Stewart persuaded him to start playing soccer at the age of seven. After heavy defeats in the early years, the Box Hill juniors won their leagues from under-9 to under-11 and by the age of 15 John Bedford was making his debut for the Box Hill seniors. He won the club’s best and fairest award twice in four years. Unfortunately the glory days of Box Hill were behind them and in 1961 the team was relegated from the State League.

In the match against Hellas that year, however, the young Bedford played and scored, and coach Manny Poulakakis moved quickly to sign him. Box Hill did not want to let him go, but eventually the transfer went through. His first game for Hellas was against Sydney powerhouse Pan Hellenic and he scored twice in a 3–1 win. But as John tells it, the details of his move to Hellas had not been settled when he went along to watch an Ampol Cup night game between Hellas and Polonia. Someone grabbed him from behind and told him he was playing. So he took the field and scored. Not a bad start to a career at Hellas which lasted until 1974. He was ever present as Hellas won the State League title in 1962.

Some weeks into the 1964 season, Hellas signed some new players and John was told that he would be on the bench. ‘No, I won’t’, he replied and went off to play footy with his mates at Box Hill Pioneers, winning a premiership in the process. Next year new coach John Margaritis came back for Bedford and he resumed his soccer career. A tendon injury and a bout of hepatitis kept him out of a number of games in 1963, but he contributed to the 1964-66 seasons when Hellas completed three in a row.

His form with Hellas saw him selected for Victoria 28 times and he was on the fringes of Australian selection but unfortunately never received his full international cap, though he had a couple of games for the Australia B team. The only two games he remembers missing for Victoria were against AS Roma in 1966 and Manchester United in 1975.

John Bedford (right) of South Melbourne Hellas and Eddie Sacco of George Cross at Olympic Park in 1962. Photo: Uwe Kuessner.
In his 18-year career he played 553 games and took part in 6 championship victories. Hellas also won the State League in 1972 and 1974 when John had reached the veteran stage. In the 1960s he represented Australia in the Laidlaw World Cup for local ‘national’ teams. He had a very strong left foot and began as goalscoring winger, though often moving back to a midfield role as his experience grew.

A signwriter to trade he retired in 2007 but still kept his eye in, helping out with the firm when necessary. He was as enthusiastic about the game and his part in it as he was when he was playing. He played for some of the great coaches, including Manny Poulakakis, John Margaritis, Bill Curran and Les Scheinflug. ‘The teams in New South Wales thought they were the best. We went up to play against Prague in the Australian Cup one year and were told we would be hammered, but we beat them 5–1. The only team which beat us was Hakoah,’ he said. A Soccer Weekly writer said John Bedford was ‘a fast, brainy and determined player, who is never beaten till the final whistle’.

John Bedford is survived by his wife, Margaret, his two sons, Darren and Andrew and four sisters, Anita, Sue, Catherine and Julie. His funeral is in Wodonga on Thursday, 22 December.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

2012 membership ad - it's not bad

First official details on 2012 Hellenic Cup


The Hellenic Cup tournament will commence on Sunday 22 January 2012 with the play offs between the lower seeded teams. Games will be played on Sundays only but no games on Sunday 29 January (long weekend). It will finish on Sunday 12 February and the four (4) top teams will join the other 12 teams in the tournament.

The 16 teams will then commence their games on Saturday 18 February 2012 with the finals taking place on Saturday 10 March 2011.

The venue will be advised once all applications have been received. Closing date is 27 November 2011 and no late applications will be accepted.

You may download the application form from our website and either post back to our post office box or email to

Monday, 12 December 2011

Notes from the return to Lakeside

Just very quickly, as I have a throbbing headache and am feeling a little nauseous.

Was there from about 12:45 until the end of the last game. It was by turns chilly and warm, but the rain held off, and it was a pleasant day overall.

Bought my membership, and got a Coke ball and Coke plastic 'glass' as part of some sponsorship arrangement. Was told that memberships were selling well, but they say that every year now, don't they?

Our stand is looking fantastic. New seats, new lights, new facilities. I'm not sure exactly how they're going to patrol and make sure only Gold members will have access to the padded seats, but they were comfortable. The view, while of course distant, is more than adequate. The media/scoreboard room is terrific.

The opposite stand is a bit more bare bones compared to our side, but the view is just as good, though leaving design holes in the back of the stand at the top will mean it gets a bit chilly during winter time. The setting sun still gets in your eyes, overall making our side the better choice.

Behind the goals is problematic, though those who insist on being part of the behind the goals faction will still probably soldier on. Standing room in between our stand and the track is not too bad. I managed to get a lap around the track before security got a more serious with that kind of thing.

Food wise, you're probably better off bringing something from home, or bringing your cheque book. Pricey and mainstream for the most part. Will have to wait and see what kind of fare the social club offers when its renovations are complete. But we do have vending machines!

The scoreboard is visible from outside the ground, but is angled more towards our stand, again making our stand a better choice. Its software crashed at one point, but the potential is there for some awesome usage. Hell, even having a match clock is something to be proud of.

The lights came on, but weren't really needed. Nice that we can do that now, and hopefully there's the possibility of a couple of night games there in 2012. The surface itself looked a treat, and seemed to play just as well.

Believe it or not, there was actually a game on as well - well, several to be precise, as our juniors took their turn to christen the stadium. The main game got off to a lively start, as one of the Trifiros scored within the first 30 seconds after some sweeping play across the ground.

We could have scored a couple more in the early stages, but then Olympic woke up and played the better for the rest of the half, deserving their 2-1 lead I suppose. They were a little too keen for my liking in their attempts at the tackle, and it ended up costing one of their players a trip to the hospital.

Both sides threw on some young players in the second half. We managed to get it back to 2-2, had a blatant onside called offside, copped a late goal, and the match finished 40 minutes into the second half. Then most of the estimated 3,500 crowd left while another junior side played for some reason.

Geoff Lord turned up, as did apparently several belly crawlers from bygone eras. Dom Barba, coach of Whittlesea Zebras was there. Clarendon Corner was there... or was it over there... or perhaps over there, as they struggled to find consensus about where to place themselves. The Olympic Ultras, if they were there, were barely noticeable.

All in all a good day, and now with only the AGM to go before the new year, the people responsible for providing the entertainment - and this wonderful facility - can rest a little easier, knowing that their efforts were worth it.

Pity that one of my preferred Clarendon Street eateries has changed branding/hands and I can't get a club sandwich there anymore.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Article on the architecture of the new Lakeside

A decent article looking at the architectural challenges of combining old and new architecture. There are some factual inaccuracies - our stand is not from the 1970s, it's from the 1990s - but other than that, it's not too bad of a read.

Splendid rebirth of stadium from mish-mash of decay

Joe Rollo

LIKE Lazarus, the old South Melbourne football ground in Albert Park has risen from near-dereliction as the new home of track and field sports in Victoria. And a pretty splendid vision it is, too.

Olympic Park Stadium, the hub of athletics in Victoria since 1956, is no more, fallen prey to the tentacles of the Collingwood Football Club, so welcome to Lakeside Stadium. It is here, amid the pleasant green surrounds of Albert Park and its eponymous lake that fans of athletics will come at twilight tomorrow to see the 51st running of the Zatopek 10,000 Classic.

H2o Architects, the design architects for the $60 million redevelopment, were handed a mish-mash of rotting and degraded buildings and managed to transform them into a world-class track and field arena and FIFA-approved soccer field, home of South Melbourne FC soccer club.

The heritage-listed grandstand of 1927 has been preserved, a 2000-seat stand from the 1970s designed by Daryl Jackson refurbished, the soccer pitch brought up to world-class standard, a new eight-lane composite running track laid and two new structures - a 2500-seat stand and a hall for ball sports - added. Gently-raked grass terraces grace the goal ends and an electronic scoreboard and screen have been erected. In all, 8000 people can be accommodated now in pleasant and comfortable surroundings, in close proximity to the action on the running track or the soccer pitch.

In contrast to the spectacular, cloud-like forms of AAMI Park, next door to the old Olympic Park Stadium, the architecture at Lakeside Stadium is modest. But in its sum of parts - the white concrete of the new buildings, the brilliant sky-blue composite running track, the old red-brown grandstand, its setting within the park and the intimacy of its scale - watching the action on the running track or the soccer pitch, sitting in the stands or standing on the terraces on a balmy summer evening, is going to be a joy.

The new northern stand is a plain affair, remarkable only for its sequence of sculptural diamond-shaped concrete piers supporting a cantilevered roof of steel and corrugated iron, folded like the roofs of petrol service stations from the 1950s and '60s. The ball sports hall is a cube of white concrete and glass attached to one end of the old grandstand; the hexagonal pattern in its concrete panels ''fractured'' along the top and filled with glass to introduce natural light and soften its appearance.

What seems incongruous is the preservation of the heritage-listed 1927 grandstand, which now houses the Victorian Institute of Sports. The ground floor has been extended to include gymnasium and sports sciences facilities, a 50-metre indoor training track and a series of pools. The seating in the stand is gone; the original timber slats ripped out and in their place, a series of minimalist two-storey modules inserted, containing the VIS offices and administration facilities.. Sadly, the net result is that all that's left to see of the original grandstand is the overhanging red iron roof and redbrick structure.

Two rows of seats were left at the front of the stand as a gesture to its past. But these, though not for public use, are all but useless for watching track and field events. Pushing the ground floor training facilities closer to the running track and soccer pitch means an extended roof creates a vexing blind spot that obliterates all views of one corner of the running track.

It must have seemed like a good idea on paper, but it reveals how complex is the job of marrying old with new in the design of modern stadiums.

Mass exodus of junior teams?

Reports have been circulating on that former head of football Ange Dallas has left the club entirely, and taken five 'elite' teams with him. Apparently the vacant slots have already been filled, and the renegade teams attempts to join with Bayside Argonauts have been slightly hit on the head, with one of the coaches seeking to move his team across being effectively barred from doing so.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Party like it's 2004 - South Melbourne vs Sydney Olympic this Sunday

Everyone else has been talking it up for some time now. The re-opening of the stadium is at hand, with tons of junior teams playing games throughout the day, and the main game between ourselves and Olympic at 5:30.

Entry is free all day, memberships will be on sale, so encourage everyone with even a passing interest to come on down and have a look at the facilities.

I know the people behind the scenes are super keen and raring to go, especially one particular reader who can't wait to play with the electronic scoreboard.

For those extra keen to have a look at the stadium, there's also an athletics launch tomorrow evening, with the main event being the Zatopek Classic. Still undecided if I'll head for that after an unrelated FFV shindig, as Star Trek Voyager is on television that night.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

No Heart of Victory youth teams in 2012 VPL

The FFV today issued a press release announcing that the Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory youth teams would not be participating in the 2012 VPL season. There had been much speculation in the local soccer scene that their inclusion was likely, if not inevitable, but the FFV said that the FFA's competitions review, due to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2012, meant that any changes to the structure of the VPL were best left until after the review was released.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Luke Byles signs with South

As one observant fan noted, pay attention to the Melbourne Victory shorts he's wearing during the training footage. Also with Joe Keenan and Kyle Joryeff already on board, the addition of Byles harkens back to an earlier, 1970s and 80s British influenced South Melbourne, albeit one that is now more English than that period dominated by Scots.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Yeah, I've finally snapped

But blue was doing my head in.

2012 memberships available

They've been out for at least a couple of weeks now, but this relatively late post is still worthwhile, to emphasise the remarkable point that new season memberships are out before the new year.

It's also worth noting that you'll be able to purchase memberships at the Lakeside relaunch on Sunday, which is what I'm planning to do.

Kudos to the membership department for streamlining their packages (corporate packages will apparently be launched separately). Also good to see the costs have remained relatively stable.

My pick as per usual is the South Gold. No polo this year, but you get a scarf, hat (and I really need a new South cap) and 50% off your ticket to the jersey night, as well as the usual social club rights, which is my main reason for choosing this package.

It is also worth noting that since the Trust which oversees Lakeside now takes a percentage of our gate takings, it is even more imperative that our supporters become members, thus ensuring that more money stays with the club.

There's also an interesting deal in conjunction with the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre whereby South members can get some decent discount and access to their facilities. Not my cup of tea, but might be good for those more athletically inclined or who live in the local area.

For more details, head to the club's membership page.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Everyone should have the opportunity... have lunch with former FFV president Tony Dunkerley, at the very least to disagree with him.

Just don't do it at Leo's Spaghetti Bar, or if you do, avoid the ricotta and spinach ravioli - blandness personified.

It is also politically incorrect on a heinous level to afterwards play Slayer's 'Angel of Death' on one's music player, and feel that it's the perfect song for the situation.

I suppose I came out of it understanding, or believing that I understood, where the concept and ideological spark for the zonal system and Victorian Champions League originated from, as it was intended to run by Dunkerley.

I've been lead to believe, by people who could be considered responsible adults (unlike this writer), that discussing the contents of off the record and off the cuff remarks are not suitable for public comment.

For shame limiting me to just my feelings.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Apparently we have a womens branch again

After a very long time of hearing nothing about the state of our affiliation with the entity calling itself South Melbourne Women's Football Club, comes this press release. It appears that we have a (re-)started our own branch, being headed by an Irene Stamatopoulos. Things just got kicked up a notch.