Thursday, 28 June 2012

Kiss of Death, Round 12, 2012

Blogger is giving me the irrits this week. Don't like my browser? That's fine, but can you please permanently remove your drop down box suggestion to move to Chrome?

Now on to this round's Kiss of Death.

Friday 8:30 PM Hume City (5th) v Melbourne Knights (9th)
Both teams lost 2-1 last week, with Hume being beaten by Moreland and the Knights by Southern Stars. Theoretically this will be a tough encounter. Realistically though, the Knights will overcome Hume with a resounding 1-3 victory out at Epping. As long as they hit the lead first, and hold it.

Friday 8:30 PM Oakleigh Cannons (2nd) v Heidelberg United (12th)
Greek derby. Seconnd Greek derby for both teams two weeks in a row. Oakleigh beat Bentleigh 2-1, while the Bergers lost at South 2-1 last weekend. Heidelberg impressed me under the watchful eye of George Katsakis. They played well, hassled all over the park, and didn’t park the bus. Oakleigh from all reports were lucky to beat Bentleigh. Oakleigh Cannons 0 – Heidelberg United 2. I will be at this one, so I expect virgins throwing rose petals at my feet throughout the 90 minutes.

Friday 8:30 PM Richmond (10th) v Northcote City (3rd)
The Eurozone derby. Northcote must do this for Greece. Let’s show the Krauts what we think of their Euro. I’m not expecting Angela Merkel at this one. Both teams are coming of 1-1 encounters last weekend. Mixed bag both these teams. Up and down, up and down. Not much else to write about this one. Richmond 0 – Northcote City 0.

Saturday 3:00 PM Green Gully Cavaliers (6th) v Bentleigh (4th)
Gully drew with Northcote last week. An upset result of sorts. I see the same thing happening this week. Bentleigh will go to Green Gully Reserve happy with a draw, and that is what they will get. Green Gully 2 – Bentleigh Greens 2.

Saturday 7:00 PM Southern Stars (7th) v Dandenong Thunder (1st)
A derby of no interest to me. Couldn’t care less what happens here.
Southern Stars 0 – Dandy Thunder 9

Sunday 3:00 PM Moreland Zebras (11th) v South Melbourne (8th)
There’s only one Moreland, and that’s Moreland City in the State 2 N/W. This Moreland is an imitation. A poor one at that. This is like the gazillionth name change of this team. South Melbourne however, has always been South Melbourne. Oh how you wish you were us. Especially after we beat the Bergers last week and are back on the warpath. I don’t care about Moreland this weekend. They are a speedhump on South's road to success this season. After last week's victory over the Bergers there’s a smell in the air. The smell of success. I think we have our mojo back. No. the first goal last weekend was NOT offside. I’ve seen the footage and Rixon was clearly on. Confidence is at an all time high. I’m so happy, I have no idea what else to write. Moreland Zebras 0 – South Melbourne 3.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Kiss of Death 2012 Mid-Season review

Firstly, a bit of background. While we've appreciated the efforts of the Kiss of Death over the past couple of years, it has often been a bit of a struggle to get them to send their work in at anything other than the absolute last minute.

An email exchange would usually go something likes this, usually on a Thursday afternoon, with me panicking (ever so slightly) and worrying about the Kiss of Death's legion of fans:

Me: KOD, coming this week?
KOD: Been really busy, will get it done by Friday morning.

The Kiss of Death didn't even do an awards/end of season review for last season. :rollseyes:

And yet something about this season has fired up the Kiss of Death. As the results got more and more disastrous, the Kiss of Death's submissions kept coming in earlier and earlier, like they barely sleep or eat (for me it's been the opposite - the appalling season has seen me delay and delay).

The Kiss of Death was so eager to put forward this mid-season review, that it was sent to me last week. But I told them, look, wait until after the match against the Bergertrons, the proper halfway point if you will.

So here it is, the Kiss of Death 2012 mid-season review. Enjoy! And don't forget to plant all your praise and criticism into the comments section.

Peter Gavalas - 5/10 - Aerial weaknesses constantly exposed - Has cost us too many goals - Heart in mouth stuff when the balls in the 6 yard box - Must be dropped

Tom Matthews - 8/10 - No weakness other than the panel beater job he copped at Richmond - Excellent all round performer

Rhodri Payne - 7/10 - When given a start - Hasn't been exposed this season as has seen minimal game time - No issues

Steve O'Dor - 5/10 - Captain courageous has gone missing - Expect more - Too slow to get out of the back when needed.

Philip Petreski - 5/10 - Apparently a great talent - Not ready for starting 11 - Overrated.

Dimitri Tsiaris - 6/10 - Has been played in multiple positions this season due to injuries - Yet to settle - Needs time

Joe Keenan - 7/10 - Minimal game time due to injury - When played has been the difference - Must get injury free

Dimitri Hatzimouratis - 7/10 - Works hard when on the park - Has missed easy goals - But has scored important ones - Needs time to settle

Trent Rixon - 5/10 - Poor start - Fans expect more and rightly so - Might be playing injured which is a bad thing - Must lift ASAP.

Glen Trifiro - 6/10 - Hard worker - Seems to turn into trouble - Has plenty of juice in the tank - Has been a good acquisition

Brad Norton - 5/10 - Keeping Payne out of the team - No idea how - Young talent but still very raw - Needs confidence

Luke Byles - 8/10 - Signing of the year - Unlucky to break his hand v Knights - Should be back soon to plug the leaky defence - Great talent

Fernando De Moraes - 5/10 - Hasn't seen much game time due to Futsalroos - Most likely coming to the end of his outdoor playing career - Will always be loved at the club - New system doesn't suit him

Christian Skok - 5/10 - Young talent who has seen a few minutes here and there - Very raw - Looks comfortable at U21 level - Step up to senior football will be a challenge - Still raw

Matko Budimir - 7/10 - Young Matko has been impressive when required - Seems to commandeer the right hand side with ease - Needs more exposure to senior football

Marinos Gasparis - 6/10 - Not the Gaspa we know - Rare glimpses of the past been shown - Something's up - Needs to re-focus on the job at hand

Gianni De Nittis - 4/10 - Has come off the bench in last 10 minutes - Can't do much in that time - Tries hard - Great personality - Needs game time in 21s

Jason Saldaris - 5/10 - Unused substitute. probably itching to get a run. Has been excellent in the under 21s, and must be promoted.

Jason Trifiro - 6/10 - Hard worker - Good acquisition - Holds position well - Loses possession easily at times - Needs to settle and take time on the ball

Kyle Joryeff - 7/10 - Started the season off with a bang - Must be starting 11 soon, the way the rest of the team are going

Coach - Peter Tsolakis - 5/10 - With this squad must be doing better - Leaves subs late - Must take more control

Assistant Coach - Joe Montemurro - 5/10 - Great personality - Has passion - Responsible as much as Gus - Must do something

Team Manager - Frank Piccione - 10/10 - Strips are well organised - Always clean - Works hard around the club outside his Team Manager duties - Must be applauded

Total: 139/230 (60.4%) including team manager

Overall we are failing. Our ladder position would be correct for our performances.

The win against the Bergers although important, was not as convincing as I would've liked.

A scrappy 2-1 win over a team who will be playing state 1 next season unless they start stringing some wins together.

Kiss of Death
Chief Soccer Analyst of all the Chief Soccer Analysts

Monday, 25 June 2012

Derby Daze - South Melbourne 2 Heidelberg United 1

Wednesday morning, we publish the Kiss of Death's mid-season ratings. But for now let's bask in the glory of a derby win.

It was a messy, but entertaining match, full of passion, spite, and action. End to end stuff a lot of the time.

And the best thing is, we won. Snapped our four game home losing streak. Put the Bergers in deeper relegation danger. Maybe turned our season around.

Adidas Hoodies
Get around them! (preferably in blue, though).

Countdown to Oblivion
Nice to see a clock integrated into the scoreboard experience. Next step - a clock that counts up. It was quite nerve wracking seeing that clock countdown... and then injury time, nothing.

Disco Inferno
I can understand playing sponsor announcements, highlights of previous games, etc on the scoreboard. But I can't take much more of the pre-game and half time music.

Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life

Taste is one thing, and that dance crap does nothing for me. But it's almost impossible for people to talk to each other in the stands. To think, that even at the MCG it's not as bad as it once was. Just turn it off, the music isn't fooling anyone that we're not in the VPL.

Euro 2012 Digression/I'm Rich, Biatch
Arthur Papas has a three point lead over the Kiss of Death as we head into the final state of their tipping competition.

More important, however, is the fact that trash talking England fan Steve from Broady, whose perennial and unfathomable optimism about England, in the face of all history and logic, now owes me $5.

The clown - and really, that's the only way to put it, after being on the receiving end of about three years of nonsense tirades about how England's 'time was now', wagered that they would at least make the final. I even offered to not take his money if they at least made the semis.

Really, being proven right about England failing is like shooting the proverbial fish in the barrel. But still, there's something to be said for moral victories.

Fight to the End
Two scuffles, and the will to put our bodies on the line.

While it costs you in the long run, for once we were more likely to get yellow cards than the opposition.

It was scrappy a lot of the time, but the base line that everyone must start with is at least putting in 90 minutes of effort.

Nα Τσουξει
It means 'to smart, to sting, to hurt'.

I'm all for 30 metre rocket goals, but when it comes to the Bergers, I'd rather the dodgiest goal you can imagine. 5-0 wins are great too, but just as sweet are the arsey wins. Think the injury time sting of the 2006 round one win at Olympic Village, or last year's elimination final, where we scored from a dodgy penalty, and had Hamlet Armenian twice stuff up the equaliser from their own dodgy penalty.

And the fact that they got their hopes up so early into the game, after Peter Gavalas and a mystery central defender got nowhere near an unmarked Ben Griffiths on the edge of the six yard box makes it even better.

Of course, at that stage, the absolute only positive one could possibly find to avoid more wrist slashing was that we had another 88 minutes to redeem ourselves.

There seems to be universal agreement that our first goal had more than a whiff of offside - something like two metres - but in this case, the more offside, the better.

The fact that it was a direct ball to Trent Rixon, who laid it off for an unmarked Jason Trifiro, was icing on the cake. It was the thing we should have been doing all season, yet it came across as something so rare and novel.

The second goal, courtesy of a Brad Norton shot from the edge of the box, took a massive deflection, giving Heidelberg's goalkeeper no chance.

Late in the game, Heidelberg received a free kick in a reasonably dangerous position. Up stepped that noted free kick specialist (snigger) Kristian Sarkies. Did he take a shot? No. Did he pass it across to the free man on the right hand side? No. Did he place a basically harmless dink over the top which we fairly easily cleared? Yes.

There's people that will tell you this rivalry is dead. They can get stuffed.

The crowd numbers are of course a mere shadow of what they were in the now long distant glory days. The average age of the spectators would make a pension day line at the Borrack Square Commonwealth Bank look like a kindergarten class.

But man, it still means something to everyone that rocks up to these games. It means something to George Katsakis, to Gus Tsolakis, and amazingly, it seemed to mean something for the players as well.

And it was pleasing to see Heidelberg actually try to take the game on, instead of sit back and absorb pressure. I'll give them that much. They're a long way from safety now, though.

Under 21s
Drew 2-2. Saw the second half, pretty even, but messy game. Maybe Bergers a bit stiff not to come away with all the points.

It wasn't necessarily the prettiest thing, but pretty hasn't got us very far this season.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

South Melbourne Hellas: the musical - Kiss of Death, Round 11, 2012

Kiss of Death vs Arthur Papas Euro 2012 Tipping
After the group stage, the Kiss of Death trails Arthur Papas 12 points to 13. Here are their quarter finals tips.

Czech Republic v Portugal (KOD) 1-3 (AP) 1-2
Germany v Greece (KOD) 0-1 (AP) 2-0
Spain v France (KOD) 2-1 (AP) 2-0
England v Italy (KOD) 2-0 (AP) 0-1

Friday 8:30 PM Oakleigh Cannons (4th) v Bentleigh Greens (2nd)
It started as a rumours on, then it was confirmed that Oakleigh coach Huss Skenderovic has been sacked. Strange really. He hasn’t been doing too bad and he has them in 4th. Weirder things have happened I suppose. How Bentleigh are second just shows how fucked this league really is. They hardly threatened last weekend against South Melbourne, yet won with an 85th minute penalty. Oakleigh had a 3-2 away loss at Northcote last weekend. They equalised 2-2 in the 88th, yet copped the third in the 90th. Both these teams are playing their second Greek derby in a row. The pressure is on. Oakleigh Cannons 2 – Bentleigh Greens 2.

STOP PRESS! - posted at 9:19am Friday
Oakleigh players revolted against coach after last weeks loss.......
Sunday night - Huss Skenderovic is sacked
Sunday night - George Katsakis appointed coach of Oakleigh
Monday morning... players get wind of appointment
Monday afternoon - Oakleigh board are notified that players are revolting if Katsakis has been appointed
Monday night - Katsakis sacked as coach of Oakleigh
Tuesday morning - Zois and Theo appointed

Friday 8:30 PM Richmond (10th) v Dandenong Thunder (1st)
Richmond was eaten and spat out by the Knights last weekend 1-0 while Dandenong had a convincing 3-0 win over Green Gully. Dandenong will be the team to beat. Unfortunately Richmond will not be able to beat them. Richmond 0 – Dandenong Thunder 4.

Saturday 3:00 PM Green Gully Cavaliers (6th) v Northcote City (3rd)
This should be an exciting encounter. One team is defensively content in their approach, while the other one fights 'til the end. Northcote always win at Gully and this weekend will be no different. Green Gully Cavaliers 1 – Northcote City 2.

Saturday 7:00 PM Southern Stars (8th) v Melbourne Knights (7th)
Southern Stars drew at Hume last weekend, while the Knights did what they had to do against Richmond. Marth, I suppose, has settled well for now, but only time will tell if he can survive. Big crowd expected for this one. Southern Stars 2 – Melbourne Knights 2.

Sunday 3:00 PM Moreland Zebras (11th) v Hume City (5th)
The ‘same home ground’ derby. Both these teams are playing out of the same venue, so how shit the food will be is anyone's guess. They seriously need to get the bar and canteen sorted out. I had some food there once and I didn’t make it out of Epping. Anyhoo, this game is of no interest to the Victorian football public, that’s why it’s being played in the middle of nowhere. Epping Stadium is a white elephant and a half. This will be a shit game. Moreland Zebras 0 – Hume City 0.

Sunday 5:00 PM South Melbourne (9th) v Heidelberg United (12th)
How depressing. Where I should be writing an article about how South is going to absolutely pummel the Bergers, I sit here at my desk nervous about this weekend's encounter. In order to ease the nerves, I will talk about last week's loss at Bentleigh. The usual South stuff. Play teams off the park with pretty one touch short passing football, and we lose to a bunch of ugly long ball playing panel beaters. “What else we can do”, once said a certain president of a now state league 2 club. I got there early to watch the U21’s. Reffing was woeful, South should’ve won. Had a good laugh at the moron who wouldn’t shut up about how he paid $9 for, and I quote, “Man this is the shittest souv I’ve ever eaten, and I paid 9 bucks for it, what a fucken joke”. Get over it tightass. Then I sat back on the bodgiest grandstand and witness one of the Trifiros go through the middle, hit the post, celebrate, then realise it went for a goalkick. If we ain't jinxed then I don’t know who is. Second half and more of the same. Then a handball appeal which the ref gives to Bentleigh as a peno. They score, we abuse the players/board/coaches/peanut man/a couple of saints and holy figures and go home. Another riveting South Melbourne performance. This week Heidelberg is on the menu. Will we beat them? That’s a question I might be able to answer if the moons align and I feel good. Must we beat them? Um hello, no shit Sherlock. If we lose to the Bergers, the entire coaching staff must be sacked. Enough excuses. I know people on the South board read this blog. You have an obligation to the members. South Melbourne 8 – Heidelberg United 0 (This is only because Moreland Zebras scored 4 against them last week, and I think we are double the talent of Moreland). Anything less is a poor result.

Late Breaking News
George Katsakis has retaken the reigns at the Bergers. This is a bad thing for South. Every time a team gets a new coach, they perform, and usually win. Will definitely be a shit match for South. This coach has a way of lifting his players regardless of how low their morale or ladder position might be. He is the only coach I see week in, week out at other matches. Hard worker all round. Was also present at South 1-0 loss last week at Bentleigh. Even he was shaking his head at Souths performance ! Ah fuck.

Admin Stuff
A request to all South Melbourne fans who read this blog. Please light a candle for our beloved South Melbourne. If we keep going along like this, not even a bushfire will be enough.

Join me in prayer every evening at 9.08pm AEST, with the following:

Dear God,

Please disregard all the prayers that are being said for the other team.


  • Rumour has it that SMFC will be holding an interfaith service next week IF they lose to the Bergers. Great idea, but our religion is SMFC.
  • Rumours going around last Friday at Bentleigh were that we have been “evil eyed” and we have had a curse put on us. So get the priest down there and bless everyone, or get a few golden toothed old ladies to remove the “evil eye” from the stadium, and everyone involved at the club. I have the gift of “xematiasma”, and you can contact me at
  • Lakeside stadium needs a DJ who can play to the mood of the crowd. I have selected some songs specific to the events at Lakeside, mainly losses:

Otan Pethano Thapste Me (When I die, bury me) Stratos Pagioumtzis

Synefiasmeni Kyriaki (Cloudy Sunday) Stelios Kazantzidis

Se xilious duo mpelades (A couple thousand problems) Manolis Mitsias

Svise me Kira mou (Turn me off woman) Manolis Aggelopoulos

Gia ta lefta ta kaneis ola (You do everything for money) Antipas

Eimai se katastasi ektaktou anagis (I’m in a position of urgent need) Makropoulos

Yakety Sax (The Benny Hill Theme)- Boots Randolph (the editor has decided to be a smartass and present instead Yakety Axe, as performed by Chet Atkins.)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

I hate our press releases at the best of times - this one's even more desperate than usual, so you've been warned.

South Melbourne FC supports the recommendations of the FFA National Competitions Review

Having said that, there is word going around - including from people not at South - that the eventual format of this new competition will not quite resemble the rumoured strictly patsy under 23 development pathway, nor even be as extreme as the recommendations seem to suggest.

The fact that the Melbourne Knights, who had been strongly rumoured to be completely uninterested in this concept, but are now allegedly at the forefront of this new setup says a lot to me. Still, a fans/members forum provided by the club would be worthwhile.

If there's chance that this could be a genuien attempt to help 'progressive' clubs (whatever that means) and punish the alleged money laundering, no junior playing, senior wage splurging clubs for their years of apathy, then I've always been in favour of that kind of arrangement.

Of course, it would have been nicer if we were to have had the V-League proposal get up back in 2006/07, with a certain grace time given for ambitious clubs to get their house in order and prepare. But that opportunity was squashed by the likely suspects.

No attempt at reform or improvement is perfect, but the thing to do is to at least try and make it as wholistic as possible. I'm not sure if this is even halfway to something sensible, but the current arrangement is going nowhere and nowhere fast.

Concerns about getting the board to focus on the disaster that is our onfield form this season are honourable, understandable, but also misguided. Yes, our season has been poor, but that should not preclude the club from attempting to look towards the next 3-5 years.

Either you karate do "yes", or karate do "no". You karate do "guess so", [makes squish gesture] just like grape. 
If there is one thing that afflicts Australian soccer, it is short term 'planning', and I use that word loosely. Genuine plans spanning a five year period are almost non-existent. Hell, even a season length plan is a struggle at many clubs.

That is not to say that there are no outside factors which prevent clubs from undertaking a long term strategic plan, but too many clubs are slaves to an operational cycle which lasts a mere two weeks, from one home game to the next.

At some point, certain (all?) South fans need to toughen up and take a stand one way or the other. No more hedging bets by bagging out the VPL and FFV as a death sentence for the club while whining about any and all attempts (other than farcical breakaway leagues) to make a decent effort at trying to adapt to the changing football landscape.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Same old, same old - Bentleigh Greens 1 South Melbourne 0

Another loss, another kick in the teeth. Play this while you read on.

ACMI Knights Supporter
Wild scenes before the game. Met Steve from Broady at Flinders Street, and to kill some time, we went across the road to ACMI so I could buy some tickets for MIAF. One of the blokes at the ticket booth recognised our South gear, and started chatting with us about the glory days... of 2005/06.

Contender for almost goal of the year
One of the Trifiros went up half the field, took on and beat about half of the Bentleigh team, slid his shot across the face of goal, only to see it hit the inside post and roll agonisingly along the line or some such.

Did our heads drop after that? That might be a retrospective opinion to take. Suffice to say that, apart from a Trent Rixon header which he should have scored (cue the 'he would have scored that against us last year' comment), we didn't really look like scoring

Back in the country, and yet our fortunes didn't change. Even microwaved murtabak couldn't make a difference.

I was at the complete opposite end of the ground, so I was in the absolute worst positio to see if it was a good call. If it wasn't, well that obviously blows, if it was, well, where have all these calls been during the rest of the season? Where was the handball for us late in the game?

That it was the only time that the Greens hit the target in the match made it hurt that little bit more.

Joe Montemurro
Now, I like the guy, he always has time for a chat. But I'm not convinced he should be anywhere near the senior team, if only for the facts that a) his senior record is actually rubbish and b) he has been one of the few common denominators in the last 2.5 seasons of bollocks performances.

Killing this club
These performances are killing the club. They are sucking the very air out of our lungs.

Semi-random people are coming up to me and asking just what the hell is going on. South fans and rival fans are equally bemused (and occasionally amused) by the goings on.

I can't give them a definitive answer. I wish I could provide something so erudite, that not only will it cut through the matter in one fell swoop, but that I could take it to the dressing rooms and write that sentence in giant letters onto their whiteboard.

But the problems are so diverse and now so deep, and the transfer window is still not open for another couple of weeks, that realistically, what could you say?

The Dandenong draw should have been a turning point, a hard fought result from which we could begin to relaunch our season. Instead we are going backwards at a rate of knots.

Kyle Joryeff is just about the door, and maybe three others, though I would be loathe to speculate as to who, though Marinos Gasparis is a frequent suspect.

Joryeff has been enthusiastic, but his time on the park has been limited. And when he has been given extra time he, like many others, has not put in the performances that have been required.

Gasparis seems unfit. He should be the player driving the team forward, bossing the midfield, but it's just not happening. It shows just how much we miss both Carl Recchia and Daniel Vasilevski.

This is not to romanticise the recent past. Vasilevski, apart from being injury prone, could often go missing in games. But there was a certain forward progress and directness, maybe even an 'x-factor' that they provided. Not having (an ageing) Fernando doesn't help matters either, nor does Joe Keenan's continued absences help - especially when Brad Norton is often the direct replacement.

Every man and his dog reckons Andy Vlahos is a done deal. Despite his age, if he could pull out his form of last year, where I had him as my player of the year, it would go some way to turning our fortunes around. But he has spent much of the season injured as well.

Thunder's McIlroy was touted as a target, seeing as how he'd been on the bench for much of the season. But he played yesterday and scored as well.

I think that the team is hurting, but it's not the right kind of hurt. It's mostly an introspective hurt, it's being turned inward. What we need is an outward expression of that hurt, preferably with increased effort on the field.

Mazenod United Dog Man
Poor bloke, wearing some flashy Mazenod United merch wasn't allowed into the ground with his dog. He did manage to get in somehow at one point, but that stay didn't last long.

Next Week
Bergers at home, in a relegation dogfight. Didn't think I'd be saying that at the start of the year. But that's where we are, and it sucks balls.

Tom Matthews, by Cindy Nitsos
Because we need at least a token photo of the night's proceedings.

Under 21s
Could only manage a 0-0 draw. They looked like they dominated the portion of the game that I saw (the last 20 minutes or so), and even converted a penalty, but they were forced to retake it due to supposed encroachment.

What was more interesting was a couple of the more disgraceful refereeing decisions seen in this or any other season. Firstly, with the ball heading out, but not yet over the line, the Bentleigh player decided to grab it prematurely so as to get quick thrown going. The ball was still clearly in play, the linesman a mere ten metres away refused to see it.

The second one was worse. South had a free kick about five to ten metres outside the box, and towards the left wing. One South player cheekily nudged the ball - and yes it did go a full revolution, which is a dumb rule anyway - and his teammate knocked it forward a little, then sent in a cross to an unmarked player in the box. The ref not only called the play back, thinking that there was no full revolution of the ball, but also awarded the freekick to Bentleigh from the same spot. Surely South have been asked to retake it? Can any of our referee readers help?

At least Juniper Hill won in our opening game of the new Hattrick season. Yay.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Kiss of Death, Round 10, 2012

Friday 8:15 PM Bentleigh Greens (3rd) vs South Melbourne (7th)
I’ve kind of given up for this season. All the hoohah about who we signed at the start of the year, and how good we are on paper, is just that. On paper! I don’t know what else to say, other than I’m hurting. Hurting to the point that I’ve actually left games at half time out of disappointment. I don’t know if this pain is also felt by the players and staff down at Lakeside, but I hope it hurts their pockets. If I was ‘El Presidente’, I would start docking the pays. Just like in the real world when you don’t perform at your employment, management starts breathing down your neck. Rumour has it we have lost Trent Rixon for the game at Bentleigh. He hasn’t exactly started like a house on fire so I don’t think we will miss him. Rumour has it we have signed Andy Vlahos? A big WTF?! If this is true then we have bigger issues than I first thought. I remember when we signed Warren Spink in the Arok era. We did that about five years too late. Ah, fuck. How depressing when I can’t write anything positive. I’m not going to bother trying to motivate a bunch of players who can’t take it.

As Paul said in his review of the Port Melbourne loss in the Statewide knockout cup, “We attend out of a sort of religious duty, a fealty to the club that should go beyond results. But everyone has their limits - just how much damage this does to the club's already ravaged supporter base is anyone's guess.”

Tipping with my head on this one. Bentleigh Greens 2 – South Melbourne 0.

Friday 8:30 PM Hume City (4th) vs Southern Stars (8th)
First ever Turkish derby in the VPL. Hume City 3 – Southern Stars 1.

Saturday 3:00 PM Dandenong Thunder (1st) vs Green Gully Cavaliers (6th)
Dandy thumped the chetniks out at Springvale White Eagles 10-1 last weekend. (LOL) Apparently, it coulda, shoulda, woulda been more. That result means pretty much fuck all anyway. They have a real team visiting them this weekend. Dandenong Thunder 2 – Green Gully 2.

Sunday 3:00 PM Northcote City (5th) vs Oakleigh Cannons (2nd)
Oakleigh lost to struggling state 1 outfit Altona Magic last weekend. Shock result I reckon. Altona Magic is on the up since Jonesy took over, but their squad consisted of players mainly under 21. They had 2 freekicks and scored 2 LOL. Me thinks Northcote will do the job on them this weekend. Northcote City 2 – Oakleigh Cannons 1.

Sunday 3:00 PM Melbourne Knights (10th) vs Richmond (9th)
Would love to be at this game, but unfortunately have other commitments. I reckon it will be a cracker, a real humdinger of a match. Melbourne Knights 4 – Richmond 3.

Sunday 3:00 PM Heidelberg United (11th) vs Moreland Zebras (12th)
Relegation derby. A game which will interest South fans the most. The lower down the table these 2 stay, the least chance of relegation for South. That’s why I’m tipping an exciting draw. Heidelberg United 3 – Moreland Zebras 3.

Some admin stuff
A request to the FFV media department. Since I seem to be doing more work than you promoting the VPL, I believe under the rules and regulations and FFV statutes, I am entitled to a media pass. Please be kind enough to forward this to Paul Mavroudis. If you require a name for the pass, then ‘John Doe’ will suffice. Paul Mavroudis will then be given detailed instructions to forward this pass onto me. Thanks in advance.

Steve from Broady
I don’t know who you are, how old you are, and what gender you hail from, or even if your name is Steve.

You obviously haven’t heard of using fullstops, question marks and/or commas. If you want to have a blog off with none other than the Kiss Of Death, then maybe Paul can arrange this. Your positive spin was pretty shit. What have bread rolls being eaten at pre-drinks got to do with team performance?

Euro 2012 Tipping
As you would all be aware, I have challenged Arthur Papas to a Euro 2012 tipping comp. As of Friday I have 6 points while Arthur has 7 points. Will start getting juicy as our tips start to differ from each others around about now.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

It's time we named names

Back in 2009, we posted this photo. Myself and club historian John Kyrou did not know the names of the players in that photo, but during the social club inventory/packing up, a large, laminated version with the names turned up in a locked draw. Check the comments section of that article for the team list. In an interesting development, there do not appear to be any people from Melbourne's 'Olympic' club in the Hellenic squad.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Deja vu (all over again) - South Melbourne 1 Port Melbourne 2

This post is late, because I simply could not muster the courage to face the defeat so soon after it occurred. Perhaps in an act of unintentional prescience, I didn't even provide a preview of the game. I had intended to go watch the Pascoe Vale vs Hume City game as well, sensing that an upset was on the cards, but decided to give that a miss as well.

On Friday night, I stood in the rain, as a combination of ground marshal and oversized, uncoordinated ballboy, for 90 minutes. In some respects, I had a great view - in perfect position to witness our second half missed opportunities, the balls blasted over from six yards out. And in other respects, I had a shocking view, standing behind the net at one end, unable to view the game from a suitable elevation to see where we were going wrong.

We have lost four home games in a row. Once upon a time - admittedly, these days, a very long time ago - losing any game at home was a travesty. It's a good thing I'm not on top of the stats, as that would just make me more depressed. I reckon it might be fair to say that this could be a record, if only for the fact that it would have been just about inconceivable for us to have ever lost even three home games in succession.

Once again, Peter Tsolakis left his substitutions late. This time, so late, they were made with about four minutes to go. What the thinking was behind that, I do not know. Why start Gianni De Nittis, ahead of Dimi Hatzimouratis, I do not know. What we do know is that Trent Rixon did not start - whether that was because on injury or as a precaution we're not sure.

To be fair, when you find yourself in a rut like this, luck also goes against you. How often will Fernando hit the crossbar from six yards out, facing a more or less open net? When is the next time will we see such a dreadful call as the penalty awarded against Peter Gavalas, who seemed to have clearly and cleanly taken the ball away with a sliding attempt against the Port striker?

Last year in this same fixture, it could, perhaps, be argued that we had off day, against a good Port Melbourne team. This year, the Port side we faced was not nearly as good as the side that failed to clinch promotion to the VPL on the final day of the season. And there's no disrespect intended there - after all, they did do the job on us - but the state league 1 table doesn't lie.

What is evident, is that just about every other side we play is more clinical and more direct than we have been all season - and the tremendous start to the season we had was some sort of strange illusion. It is also evident that there is disharmony in the playing group. There are no obvious leaders on the park, especially in midfield, willing to take the game on, to 'boss' the game, to use the vernacular.

Everyone appears to be at their wits end. The board can only do so much - again, there is little doubt that the quality of the team over all is good. Everything else is fine - there are still teething problems with the venue, the social club renovation still hasn't started, but overall the ground is a joy to visit. The facilities from the players are top notch.

The coaches seem unable to find a solution to the malaise, and yet they must at least find some way of improvising improved results for another three weeks before the transfer winbdow opens - and even then, who would one bring over that is available?

Perhaps the best and worst thing about the match, is that there was hardly anyone there to see it. Another paltry cup crowd, which seems to re-emphasise the point about a lack of interest in this competition from all supporters, though the weather didn't help - but considering there was also two forfeits and several teams playing weakened squad, one has to ask how seriously even the clubs are taking it.

So, we're out of the cup, morale is at another low, our best forward, who hasn't been getting much supply anyway, is probably out, and we have to go to Kingston Heath on Friday, to play the young and plucky Bentleigh Greens. We attend out of a sort of religious duty, a fealty to the club that should go beyond results. But everyone has their limits - just how much damage this does to the club's alread ravaged supporter base is anyone's guess.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Kiss of Death vs Arthur Papas, Euro 12 tipping showdown

The Kiss of Death (left) and Arthur Papas (right) prepare for their tipping duel
Me? I don't care about Euro 2012, except for this stupid bet that I have with the relentlessly (and stereotypically) optimistic Ingerlund fan, Steve from Broady, that England won't make the final. He was so confident that they would make it at least that far, he was willing to bet me a whole $5. Mind you, he also claimed that he would easily beat me in a 100 metre foot race, but then refused to put up or shut up, claiming he needed time to stretch, and that he also didn't have the right shoes. Even after I offered him a 20 metre headstart.

But anyway, enough about that. The Kiss of Death is not just interested in the tournament, but also willing to put its credibility on the line against Aussie coaching's next big thing Arthur Papas. Following his slaughter of Lucky Chrisomalidis in last year's wager, the Kiss of Death is willing to take it up a notch. Fairly simple rules I think should be applied. One point for a correct guess (win/loss/draw), and a bonus point for the correct score). Over to the Kiss of Death for its take.

Brains vs Brawns.
This month I will be going head to head with coach Arthur Papas in tipping the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. Arthur contacted me through my email address and lo and behold, he is a huge fan of the KOD’s, and also a pretty good bloke. After a few emails back and forth to India, Arthur agreed to participate in a tipping competition against none other than myself. Wild Scenes!
This is how it will work. We will both be tipping the four stages of the tournament in advance as they approach, eg, we have already tipped all the group games. This will be an interesting hitout.

The combatants
Arthur Papas, age: 31
  • Mens Football Scholarship with Jan Versleijen and Gary Van Egmond under the mentorship of FFA technical director Han Berger.
  • Masters in Sports Coaching
  • AFC A Licence
  • Assistant Coach Altona Gate & Melbourne Knights
  • Finals coach with Oakleigh Cannons
  • India U23 (Current)
  • Head Coach Pailan Arrows (Current)

KOD Age: mid 30s
  • FFV Community Coach – Youth Licence
  • Have won many tournaments in Football Manager (PC)
  • Have promoted lower league teams higher up the tree, and won numerous FA Cups with minnows.
  • Potentially the next best thing since sliced bread.
Group Stage Tips
Group A 9 June Poland vs Greece, KOD:1-2 AP: 0-1
Group A 9 June Russia vs Czech Republic, KOD: 2-2 AP: 1-1

Group B 10 June Netherlands vs Denmark, KOD:2-0 AP:3-0
Group B 10 June Germany vs Portugal, KOD: 2-1 AP: 1-1

Group C 11 June Spain vs Italy, KOD: 2-1 AP: 1-1
Group C 11 June Republic of Ireland vs Croatia, KOD: 0-2 AP: 0-0

Group D 12 June France vs England, KOD: 2-1 AP:1-1
Group D 12 June Ukraine vs Sweden, KOD: 2-0 AP: 1-0

Group A 13 June Greece vs Czech Republic, KOD: 1-1 AP: 0-0
Group A 13 June Poland vs Russia, KOD: 1-0 AP: 0-2

Group B 14 June Denmark vs Portugal, KOD: 2-2 AP: 1-2
Group B 14 June Netherlands vs Germany, KOD: 1-1 AP: 2-2

Group C 15 June Italy vs Croatia, KOD: 1-1 AP: 2-1
Group C 15 June Spain vs Republic of Ireland, KOD: 3-0 AP: 2-0

Group D 16 June Ukraine vs France, KOD: 2-2 AP: 0-2
Group D 16 June Sweden vs England, KOD: 1-2 AP: 1-2

Group A 17 June Greece vs Russia, KOD: 1-0 AP: 1-1
Group A 17 June Czech vs Republic Poland, KOD: 1-2 AP: 1-1

Group B 18 June Portugal vs Netherlands, KOD: 1-2 AP: 2-3
Group B 18 June Denmark vs Germany, KOD: 0-2 AP: 0-2

Group C 19 June Croatia vs Spain, KOD: 3-2 AP: 1-3
Group C 19 June Italy vs Republic of Ireland, KOD: 3-0 AP: 0-1

Group D 20 June Sweden vs France, KOD: 0-1 AP: 0-1
Group D 20 June England vs Ukraine, KOD: 2-0 AP: 2-1

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

100 Years Ago Today

Another project from Ian Syson - very productive of late. Originally a part of his Neos Osmos project, 100 Years Ago Today is a pretty simple concept - digging through the National Library of Australia's newspaper database, looking for soccer stories and coverage from a bygone era.

What's the point? Obviously there's interesting historical angles to rediscover and pursue - perhaps also a political point, about sports writing in general, and the lack of diversity, perhaps even fairness in today's coverage.

Something worthwhile to add to your reading list. Lastly, congratulations to Ian for discovering the scheduling tool - did you really think I was posting all those article at 1:14 in the morning? That's way past my bedtime.

Monday, 4 June 2012

That makes me a sad panda - South Melbourne 0 Northcote 1

In theory, there's a massive post to be written.

But in reality, yesterday can be summed up quite succintly.

The result sucked.

The 'gourmet' sausage sucked.

The walk up nearly the entire length of Clarendon Street and the part of Spencer Street before the station in drizzly rain kinda sucked.

Hopefully I'll be seeing at least some of you at Lakeside on Friday for the cup match against Port Melbourne, which will also probably suck.

You know there's problems when our fans can't even be bothered abusing the players. Some of these boys, maybe just about all of them, might just have a month left in their South Melbourne careers.

And stop bloody calling for offsides and handballs - just play the fucken whistle.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Football Chaos

We've been linked to another great site, one that I should have informed my readers of long ago - Football Chaos. Their site tagline pretty much nails down their attitude - Forget about 'grassroots', we go for the weeds! 

They tend to eschew videoing of VPL matches, focusing instead on teams from lower down the leagues, especially in the southern and eastern parts of metropolitan Melbourne.

The camera work is fantastic - even occasionally using three cameras! - there's no commentary, except for that provided by the crowd, and you get to see a stack of different teams and grounds that you otherwise would miss out on. Highly recommended!

Here's some of their work from 2005... heady days at Monterey Reserve, with Lance Whitnall lookalike Nick Waite gracing the paddock. Since then, their video and production work has gone up several notches.