Friday, 31 August 2012

Origin of the Socceroos

No game for us this week. Therefore no previews, a little less angst. But reading week old ephemera about last week's match isn't everyone's cup of tea, so time to put up something new.

Academic and Australian football historian Roy Hay is back in the country after a UK sojourn to cover the Olympic Games. Goal Weekly published this article of his last week or thereabouts, looking at where the 'Socceroos' name came from. You know we could've been the called the Emus?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Now With 30% Less Shrugging of Shoulders Than A Regular Blog Post - Northcote City 0 South Melbourne 1

How much attention did I pay to yesterday's match? I can't remember. I remember a bloke with a big blue Greek chocolate wrapper in his shirt pocket. I remember two dimmies and a potato cake. I remember South getting hammered for large periods of the game, and relying on counter attacks, in a neat role reversal from the last time we played. I also remember feeling a smidgen better our season, and that perhaps I should've taken on board the feelings of one of the anonymous comments people who said we were going to win (even though their score was wrong). Can you believe we beat Northcote, at Northcote? Scary, no?

A Comment On The Relationship Between South's Supporters And Players
Krusty: Anybody here have herpes? Huh? Huh? [No one answers] You people are the worst audience I've ever seen.
Man: You're the worst comedian we've ever seen!
Krusty: Oh, great! Well, we'll just sit here silently for the next ninety minutes.
Man: Fine with us.

Clarendon Corner
Genius idea mooted yesterday. Instead of CC vs OM21 (as was the old, short lived end of season tradition), we should have what's left of CC vs the actual South squad. Someone make this happen!

Everyone Hates Brad Norton
Not the most popular player among a certain of section of South supporters, he managed to score what looked like a pretty legit goal yesterday - only for it to be taken away by an offside call that befuddled many of the behind the goals crew. Was it offside? I don't know. For all his faults, he's pinched a crucial goal here and there.

Greek Singers
Try so hard to get rid of the effnik stigma and then you get some Greek singer (never heard of him, 'something' Melas) to toss the coin. Just bring out the goats and dancing groups again, get it over and done with.

Hawthorn Invading Lakeside
Watching channel 10 news today (it was on when I got home, OK?) and saw Hawthorn players running around a familiar venue, though it was named as 'Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre'. No idea what that was about.

Neil Armstrong (with apologies to Neil, his family, and the friends and family of the deceased person who was being honoured at Northcote yesterday)
I don't even know where to begin or how to relate this story. As we walked into the ground before the reserves, there was a minute's silence taking place. We didn't know who it was for, so when Steve from Broady asked the question, I answered probably Neil Armstrong. He seemed a bit surprised by this? Did Neil die? Yeah, was reported this morning. After a bit more chat, it turns out that Steve from Broady though I was talking about South's own Jimmy Armstrong. Then somehow, his brain fade continuing even after we established what I was talking about, he asked, 'did he (that is, Neil) used to come to South games?' What can you do in such a situation, except laugh, while still berating him for his utter stupidity.

Next Match
Not this week. Cup final is on at Lakeside between Port Melbourne and Dandenong Thunder. Might head down there. Might not. Then Bentleigh Greens for our final home match of the season Sunday week. Step 2 of 7 in our must win at all costs to win the title campaign.

Ross Aloisi (Cool Story Bro Department)
Walking towards John Cain at about 1:00, some blokes with FFA gear trot across our path towards one of the nearby fields. One of the blokes has this exchange with me

Bloke: Are South playing today?
Me: Yep.
Bloke: I thought they played last night.
Me: Nup.

Thrilling stuff. Later on Gains and Steve from Broady inform me that was Ross Aloisi, reaffirming how out of touch I am. If it was John Aloisi, would have congratulated him for bleeding the A-League out of a few million while doing fuck all for it. Then again, probably not.

Take This Job and and Shove It! Department
You get to see a fair few dummy spits in the dregs of state league 2 north west reserves. And there were a few to choose from last Saturday at Altona East vs Preston. The bloke who got subbed (after 70 minutes, mind) and took about two minutes to walk off the field would normally win the prize, but credit to Preston's volunteer linesman who was so disgusted by his offside call being ignored (leading to Altona East sealing the game at 3-1) that he threw his flag onto the field and trundled off back to the gravel hill. No carry on after that, just stood with his mates and watched the rest of the game.

Under 21s
Well beaten by Northcote, 3-1. The one goal we did manage was pretty funny though. No further comment.

VPL Discussion/A Story About The Death of Pretence
Ah, the halcyon days of the A-League's formation. When those who sought to extend an olive branch from new dawn to crusty bitter attempted to show their inclusiveness by talking about the VPL in a special thread on their forum. I'm glad that phase is over. Like a divorced couple who still want to be friends for the sake of the children, the hatred that lead to the split eventually returned, just turned into indifference.

So, are we the real Northcote yet? There can be only one!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Pinch hitting for the Kiss of Death, Round 20, 2012

The Kiss of Death says that they've been flat out this week and can't be sure they'd be able to produce something for this week. So I'm pinch hitting for this round, while I wait here at Victoria University's St Albans campus for the HR, Admin and IT people to figure out how to get me a proper identity card. Ever get the feeling that people in these jobs end up making more work for themselves, to justify the existence and proliferation of their positions?

On to this week's games. I initially felt good doing some of these again, but only ended up liking two of them. Such is life.

8:15 PM Friday 24 August, Bentleigh Greens (4th) vs Heidelberg United (12th) - Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
Bentleigh have almost secured a finals spot. They could even manage to snare the double chance. But first things first. The Bergers are done and dusted for 2012. Even their cup run was ended by Dandenong Thunder on Tuesday night, so there's literally nothing to play for any more. Pride? Money? Love of the game? Bah, humbug. The one shining light as far as I can gather has been the form of Kristian Sarkies. Somehow he's defied all expectations - well my uneducated ones at least - of cementing his hard earned reputation of being the most over-hyped player this side of, let's say Travis Cloke for want of a better example, and actually did a pretty decent job in his half season stint there. He's scored goals, including some from free kicks! A bit late perhaps to restore his former (and bizarre) reputation as some sort of set piece specialist, but perhaps just in time for when the A-League unleashes its next wave of expansion with Back of Bourke United, FC Beyond the Black Stump, and East Altona PAOKARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like their fellow northern suburbs brethren in Preston, the Bergers have had a habit of just not going away, even when everyone else wants them to. Year after year, season after season, their immediate and deserved demotion to the lower leagues was deemed inevitable. But they defied the odds at every turn, not just avoiding relegation and making finals, but also proving to be a real pain in the arse for South in particular (though hilariously, they've switched their attention to the Knights this season). But not this year. So desperate did the Bergers get, that they even recalled George Katsakis back to the coaching helm, but that didn't work. And the less said about Katsakis coaching two clubs at once the better (he also took control of the big talking, but done nothing Clifton Hill in state league two. Having said all of that, this is one of those times you want them to win, because South's remarkably still alive finals aspirations depend on it. But Bentleigh, though a rather unremarkable unit overall (come one, their squad includes Nic Curtis and Johnny is the gaffer!), play half decent football - and while often that in itself can be a death sentence for a club in this league, they've made it work, and according to the paid boffins at the FFV, have scarcely been out of the five all season. Add to that the Bergers' just god damn awful defence, and the miracle result (among many in the rubric) needed for South to make finals just ain't happening. Bentleigh 3 Heidelberg 1.

8:30 PM Friday 24 August, Hume City (6th) vs Richmond (7th) - Epping Stadium 
The rise and fall of the Victorian Premier League resembles that of the Ottoman Empire. Discuss. But seriously, has there ever been a club in which descriptions of its activities and even raison d'être include the word 'allegedly' as much as Hume City? And especially when you consider that the word 'allegedly' is not thrown in for fear of legal action but due to fear of (removed due to legal advice) And what of Richmond? The reason most people endorse this club's participation is because of the quality of their canteen, which really is straight out of the Michael Lynch book on multiculturalism. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except when they overcook their burgers. That makes me a little less sympathetic to their cause, especially when it's raining so hard at their ground that there's nothing to do but sit in their cosy but no good for football viewing social club and eat more food, especially if you're only going to look like a pig when you order your fourth or fifth piece of poppy seed cake, with whipped cream of course. Both sides are in the finals race, but a loss for either of them here ends it all. A draw would be just as disastrous. And in that spirit, Hume City 2 Richmond 2.

7:00 PM Saturday 25 August, Dandenong Thunder (1st) vs Oakleigh Cannons (2nd) - George Andrews Reserve
Top of the table clash, possible precursor to the grand final. Oakleigh haven't impressed me pretty much at all this season, with the exception of Ricky Diaco. If there was justice in this world, Dandenong would have been crowned champions back in 2009 when they dominated the league, and would need just a point in their last three games to be awarded the same honour. But it doesn't work like that. Ask Port Melbourne, St Albans, Port Melbourne again, Oakleigh, Fawkner, Preston, even Green Gully, all teams who failed to win the title from first place. Unless someone gets a lengthy suspension or injury, or the FFV wields a massive point deduction for who knows what reason, this game doesn't really matter. Thunder 4 Oakleigh 2.

3:00 PM Sunday 26 August, Moreland Zebras (11th) vs Southern Stars (10th) - Epping Stadium
Before the season started, Moreland talked big. Supercoach Dom Barba. Striker Vinnie Flaherty would tear the league apart. Griffin McMaster in goals. The big name signings of 2005 2007 2010 2012 in Daniel Vasilevski and Carl Recchia. And how did that turn out? Barba sacked after a couple of games. Flaherty back in Ireland. McMaster now trying to pinch a title with a very late season move to Bentleigh (while being linked to South in 2013). Vasilevski as usual playing on one leg. Recchia trying to get back into a South shirt for next season. And the 2011 state league one champions relegated with three games to go. Meanwhile, Southern Stars, who fell into promotion to the VPL because of the premature ejaculation that was Port Melbourne's 2011 season, have somehow managed to survive. They've payed their players bugger all since halfway through the season. They play a simple game based on stacking the defense. They were the first team to beat Dandenong, when it looked like the Thunder might go undefeated for the season. And they're also the best dressed team in the league by far. And then rumours started that they didn't want to be in the VPL in 2013, because of the costs. One could ask why not just go for an extreme youth policy, not necessarily cheap and nasty, but at least cheap. One could also ask, that if they really didn't want to stay in the league, why did they try so hard to avoid relegation? The possible latent irony in all this, is that should they decide to bail on the VPL, Stars' 2013 place would firstly be offered to the team that finished 11th in 2012. And at the moment, that's good ol' Juve who, while they are no chance of avoiding relegation by conventional means, are still not quite safe from finishing stone cold motherless last, what with being just one point ahead of Heidelberg. Add to that the rather morbid (but hilarious) interest in where the Zebras will play next year, what with the scurrilous rumour that if the Zebras do get relegated and Pascoe Vale get promoted, that the Zebras won't get preference for use of the upgraded De Chene Reserve facility. Are fanciful internet rumours enough to get more than a dozen people from either side to this game? Probably not. Zebras 1 Stars 1.

3:00 PM Sunday 26 August, Northcote City (5th) vs South Melbourne (8th) - John Cain Memorial Park
People who don't know any better say that writing is easy. That all it takes is sitting your fat arse down in front of the computer and just banging away. Never mind that the majority of those people making such claims usually can't do much more than spell their own name, and if asked would quickly baulk at being asked to write anything requiring even the merest hint of comprehension and creativity. That being said, those people are actually half right. Any chimp can sit at a computer and type up all sorts of garbage, and if one or two people are amused by it, they can then convince themselves of being some sort of underground genius, on the cutting edge of satire. Unlike real writers however, those people of course almost never get paid for those kinds of efforts, and rightly so. We readily acknowledge that this blog sits firmly within that category. Then again, does merely being paid for your work make you a professional? Or do you have to adhere to some standards above what might be expected of a hobbyist? I ask this question because it's fair to say we have often not seen those elevated standards, or even attitudes, from South players this season. A recent discussion on posed the question about which players should be kept, and which ones should be turfed out. I had the bulk of my response up and ready to go, before reconsidering. For starters, the season is still not quite over. Neither are we officially out of the finals race. And what would happen if, hypothetically, I had demanded that only a third of the players in our squad were definitely worth keeping? How foolish would it be to berate everyone else for calling for another off-season squad pogrom while doing near enough to the exact same thing? And yet, I found I struggled to fill a starting eleven's worth of names... South has never beaten Northcote in the VPL. Northcote is also the only team to defeat South at John Cain. All of that means nothing, especially since it's likely that none of the original Northcote triumvirate of Trifiro, Rixon and Trifiro will start the game. One because he's suspended, one because he's representing caveman stone throwers in Sydney, and the other because his heart doesn't seem to be in it any more. Northcote 1 South 0.

3:00 PM Sunday 26 August, Melbourne Knights (9th) vs Green Gully Cavaliers (3rd) - Knights Stadium
Back in 1978, or 1983, this game would have attracted a decent crowd. Maybe as many as 3,000 Croatians and 30 Gully fans, sardined into Montgomery Park in Essendon before the local residents had had enough, or taking up a position on the hill at Green Gully Reserve. Now it will probably attract 300 Croatians and 30 Gully fans. Someone should investigate whether the make up of those 30 Gully fans has changed at all in the intervening 30 years. Back then, these two clubs, along with Preston, were the leading sides of the state league in the immediate post-NSL era. Gully are the only Victorian ex-NSL club to have properly settled into the long haul of VPL hell. Mooroolbark got stooged by the system and ended up in the provisional leagues. Morwell disintegrated once the irreplaceable driving force of Don Di Fabrizio departed the helm. Juventus cut up their carcass into a million tiny pieces and reused the meat several times when the meal kept getting sent back to the kitchen. Preston is in state league two, and may have finally steadied themselves, though they're still a real chance of getting relegated to state three. J.U.S.T. fell over more or less in tune with the Iron Curtain. South persisted with delusions of grandeur and relevance almost to oblivion, before offering the government and Collingwood a way out of their years of neglect of Olympic Park and Victoria Park respectively. The Bergers continue to blame South for their demotion from the NSL in 1995, despite having had a solid decade or so of being an absolute rabble before that. The Georgies subsist on a diet of Elvis impersonator gigs, seafood nights, and the hope that one day they will actually move out of Chaplin Reserve with a dump truck full of money, which they will then probably squander in the most unimaginative way possible - by trying to buy a VPL title in the belief that it will bring back people to the club. Chopper Read once said of spending time in prison, that those who wouldn't reconcile themselves to the fact that they were in prison, and the fact that prison life was entirely different to 'real' life, were inevitably the ones who suffered the most from the experience. Now, I don't really know how much like a prison the VPL and the state leagues are. After all, most people eventually get out of prison. It might take 20 years, but people do get out of refugee camps in Kenya. People have been released from Guantanamo Bay. And even though it required Stalin carking it, people even managed to get out of the gulags. No, the Victorian system is more like the Hotel California, in that you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave. So credit must go to the Knights for becoming perhaps only the second ex-NSL club from Victoria to cotton on to the fact that they are here to stay, and that they should adapt to the situation. Still, this is the now traditional time of year where Gully ramps up their efforts to bore everyone to death on their way to another title. Knights' very slim chance of a finals appearance to be ended, regardless of more Jake Nakic heroics. Knights 0 Gully 2.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


The South Melbourne Dim Sim in hot oil for abusing South fans. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Nearly Done For 2012 - South Melbourne 1 Dandenong Thunder 2

Detective John Munch's legendary despondency has
 apparently infiltrated my efforts on this blog
and made them even more depressing
Steve from Broady hated the last match report blog. So, just for this week, maybe, we're taking a slightly different approach, back to the old slapdash ramshackle efforts. Steve said that the segmented approach made him feel even more depressed by my efforts than usual, being able to visualise the resigned (and implied? inferred? Detective Munch has screwed me up on the definitions of these after a recent episode I saw of Law and Order SVU) shrug of the shoulders after the end of each section.

Me, I personally blame the team for me taking that direction. But there's just three more weeks and one more dropped point or so, and we can go about forgetting another forgettable season. How appropriate that we'll likely be done and dusted at this coming week at Northcote City Hercules, the little team that could, the team whose relative success we'd try to take for ourselves, not realising that you can't just take that sense of camaraderie and spirit off a club, that for the most part you have to make it and earn it yourself.

Is there a little switch somewhere that we don't know about? We started like a house on fire, then disappeared for a 30-40 minute spell, before inexplicably turning it on again towards the end. I had no idea where that impetus came from. I'd almost rather we had not turned it on again. It just creates further confusion and angst. If I was a neutral, I perhaps would have said that was the best game all season, with an ebb and flow, attack and counter attack, and the game played in the right spirit.

But I'm not a neutral. Like most of my readership, regardless of the teams we support, and regardless of how much I love soccer as a sport, I am a partisan supporter of the game. I have my team, and when they lose, or have another frustrating season, the spectacle provided by a good game is little comfort.

Full credit to Dandenong - they were outplayed at the beginning of the match and at the end, but they dominated us in the middle section of the match like no team has at Lakeside for a long time, and found something to get themselves over the line at the end. They're a very even team across the park.

The coulda, woulda, shouldas will be out in force again. What if Gavalas' positioning for Thunder's first goal was better? What if Burton did even a little better with his pint blank range shot late in the match? What if we had tried to take the initiative at 1-1, when we were under the pump, instead of waiting and waiting and waiting.

Then again, what if Thunder had scored either or both of the chances they had cleared off their line? The game would have been done and dusted much earlier. That's the harsh reality of playing that kind of game. Still, we did make them look like an average team at times.

Lastly, the game was well officiated. Such a nice change.

P.S. I'm actually not particularly pleased with how this post turned out, but there's no taking that back now. I suppose there are worse things in life than to have penned a(nother) substandard blog piece. I just can't think of what that might be at this stage.

In other news
  • The under 21s managed to eke out a 3-2 win. Baggio Yousif managed to net a hattrick, but who created all those opportunities?
  • Check out Thunder's running track celebration later on SMFCTV or the youtube highlights. Bit sad that we gave them the opportunity to do that though.
  • I'm one of the few that seems to have adjusted well to the new stadium layout - most others I speak to just can't seem to get a feel for it.
  • I went to the Oakleigh - Melbourne Knights game on Friday night, which only made me angrier with our season. There's one consistently good team, being the Thunder; there's also Green Gully, who no one likes or watches but who can be counted on to get far; and there's the majority of the rest of the league who range from inconsistent at best to incompetent at worst, and for whom the fact that there are three extra spots up for grabs gives them an undeserved chance at playing finals and maybe even winning the title.
  • Francesco Stella is apparently trialing with Rangers. The Scottish four tier it may be instead of the first, but we wish the stepover king well in his attempt to join a pretty famous club down on its luck. But then again, he's been in that position before...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Sometimes life gets in the way - Kiss of Death, Round 19, 2012

Sadly, we can't yet snap our fingers and make posts appear.
I got rushed this week Kiss of Death says. Make it look good Kiss of Death says.

Here's the thing. I just got my pigeonhole key today - four weeks into a twelve week semester. Do I really care about anything else at the moment?

Surely the Kiss of Death fanboys can deal with a slightly hampered edition of sophomoric humour, misplaced punctuation and more calls for Anthony Giannopoulos to get a run every once in a while.

You people out there pay nothing for this concoction - and I don't even use AdSense on it. Yet some of you have the nerve to say I should have my head kicked in because after nearly three seasons of the Kiss of Death being on this blog, you still think it's me writing it.

Anyway, we have a bit of a bonanza of Star Trek: The Next Generation coming up tonight - a Romulan episode, a Q episode, and the first of a two parter - so I best be off. Take it away, Kiss of Death.

Believe it or not, but work got the better of me this week. But instead of disappointing Paul and all you loyal readers, I actually put this together during MY lunch break. Enjoy.

Friday 8:15 PM Bentleigh Greens (5th) vs Moreland Zebras (11th)
Bentleigh had a 1-1 draw at Northcote, while Moreland lost 1-2 at home to Richmond. South needs a win to Moreland, so I’m tipping a win to them. I might be at this one, not sure yet. Bentleigh Greens 1 – Moreland Zebras 2.

Friday 8:30 PM Oakleigh Cannons (2nd) vs Melbourne Knights (9th)
Oakleigh had a 0-1 at Hume, while the Knights had a 2-2 draw at home to South Melbourne. The Knights were pretty good, and that second goal was a real pearler. The red card they copped was laughable at best. Oakeigh Cannons 2 – Melbourne Knights 2.

Friday 8:30 PM Richmond (6th) vs Southern Stars (10th)
Richmond had a 2-1 win at Moreland, while the Southern Stars had a respectable defeat at Green Gully 1-0. I need Southern Stars to get up at this one. Richmond 0 – Southern Stars 2.

Saturday 3:00 PM Green Gully Cavaliers (3rd) vs Hume City (8th)
Green Gully has a 1-0 against the Southern Stars, and Hume lost at home to Oakleigh 1-0. Green Gully 2 – Hume City 0, and an end to Hume's finals hopes.

Sunday 3:00 PM Heidelberg United (12th) vs Northcote City (4th)
Heidelberg got humped 5-0 at Dandenong and Northcote had a 1-1 draw with Bentleigh. This is a game Heidelberg should win despite their ladder showing. Heidelberg United 3 – Northcote 1.

Sunday 5:00 PM South Melbourne (7th) vs Dandenong Thunder (1st)
South Melbourne drew 2-2 at Somers Street, and Dandenong had a textbook 5-0 win over lowly Heidelberg. This is a must win match for South if they are to remain in the finals hunt. With all results tipped to go their way, all is looking good for this weekend. After going ahead in the first 90 seconds at Somers Street, South looked boring. To top it off, they bring on a kid named “Baggio” in the last ten or so minutes. I don’t have an issue with that. What I do have an issue with is the following. You have a bench including Gasparis on it. If he is good enough to be on the bench, then he is good enough to start. Oh hang on, he’s leaving for Greece after the game. Then do not include him on the teamsheet for fuck's sake! The other sub who was brought on, “Baggio”, played a half in the under 21’s. Yet the other two subs were fresh. Der. You would think one of them would come on instead. Simple, simple, simple. Not that I’m saying that cost us the win. What cost us the win was Fernando’s simple miss at the start of the second half. Not only that, but our desire to bombard the ten man opposition, instead of trying to spread them wide and keep possession is what cost us the three points. This week we need to win at all costs. If we lose, then bye bye finals. South Melbourne 3 – Dandenong Thunder 1.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Alphabet Soup - Melbourne Knights 2 South Melbourne 2

Didn't deserve to win, didn't deserve to lose. Out of that we somehow got a draw. There was controversy, lots of goals, bit of niggle, and yet it just didn't do something for me. Maybe I can sense the end of the season is coming for us, and I'm already subconsciously getting ready for it.

Anthony Giannopoulos
Still can't catch a break.

Baggio played for South!
But not the one you're thinking of.

Clarendon Corner
Going, going...

If a derby gets played in the woods (or the back blocks of Sunshine) and no one notices, did it actually happen?

English Premier League
Starts again this week, or so they tell me. Shoot me before my Facebook page gets cluttered with mostly Grecian Geezers (and I'm not referring to Exeter City fans).

Fernando De Moraes
Early in the second half he was provided with the best cross we've made since the 1999 NSL grand final, and we all thought it was in. It wasn't. Anyone else and we would have expected that.

Glen Trifiro
Does he even give a shit any more?

Heidelberg United
Sad that their troubles are the only thing we can smile about this season.

If We Are To Make The Finals...
My guess is that we'll have to get ten points from the remaining twelve. I think we'll fail at the first hurdle this week at home against Dandenong, but I would love to be proven wrong. PROVE ME WRONG BOYS! PROVE ME WRONG!

Joe Montemurro
Anyone notice anything different while he was coaching the last two weeks?

Kevin 'Power Trip' Docherty
Good on him for giving that red card to the Knights player, even if the players involved thought nothing much of the incident. Stupid and pointless act by the player in question.

Low Flying Aircraft
The view from Knights Stadium is good, but not quite up to the helicopters landing at Moorabbin Airport during a game at Kingston Heath.

Marinos Gasparis - Man For A Crisis
Apparently going off to Greece (mate's wedding) and will miss the next three games or so. Great stuff.

Nick Jacobs
Broke his leg while playing school football. Get well soon, champ.

Olympic Games
Thank Lucifer that crap is over. Now we can focus on sports we actually like again.

Pigeonhole Key
That's me next to David Hicks. We had some good times.
I think the reason that Victoria University and their crack security squad is stalling on this, is because I actually am a security threat. Hopefully my apology for chucking The New Citizen and other Larouchian propaganda into everyone's pigeonhole will be seen as sincere.

Quote of the Month
From our old acquaintance Mercs, who doesn't come around anymore, but whose blog we read for reminders that there are sporting clubs almost as fucked as ours, and for work like this.

You'd never turn back a win (well, you might if it was 2009 and SNIP - legal department) but a victory of this variety was a bit like on-screen nudity before the internet came along. Back in say 1992 you didn't know when you were going to see norgs again so anything looked good.

Not the best thing I've ever eaten at the soccer, but not the worst either, and great value at $6 with cabbage and onion! And service that was atypically cheerful for Knights Stadium.

Social Club
They tell me that they've finally and actually moved the stuff that me, Steve from Broady, Mr Valkanis, Polish Nick, Ryan the Intern (and possibly assorted others) put into boxes out of there, and into storage. Maybe we will get the

I am now officially a Twit. Check me out at @PaulMavroudis, though I probably won't have much, if anything to say. How does this crap even work?

Unidentified Vehicle
Starting beeping me on Ballarat Road, no idea who they were, what they wanted, whether they were sticking their finger up at me, whether my white South hoodie was actually a Collingwood one. I just tried to concentrate on getting to the ground in one piece by focusing on the road.

Victoria University Students
Plenty of time to sink piss. Not enough time to read a couple of articles.

Worlds of Football Conference 2012
I've submitted my abstract - will they allow me to present a paper? Or will I have to go back to reporting only on everyone else's papers? Interesting factoid about that piece - despite being just about the most high brow piece on here, it still ranks as one of the most visited pages on this site. Not too bad considering it isn't a Hellenic Cup or Jim Marinis piece.

The most delightful of all music, that of your own praises.

Young Wife
Because the Government does not favour the entry of foreign women, New Australians are often men without wives; hence unfulfilled desire reinforces love of country. There is no night life worth mentioning, no corso, no processions. In other words there is nothing, though it’s a comfortable nothing. Bored and frustrated, the New Australian is permitted to express himself once every seven days for twice forty minutes (sic) at the soccer match (Martin 1966: 152)

People still think we're not a VPL club. How cute.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Kiss of Death, Round 18, 2012

Friday 8:30 PM Hume City (6th) vs Oakleigh Cannons (2nd)
Hume lost 2-1 at South Melbourne, while Oakleigh beat Southern Stars 5-0 at home. I was at the Oakleigh match and wasn’t too impressed by Oakleigh to be honest. While Southern Stars did all the attacking, it was Oakleigh who was scoring the goals. End of the day, they got the three points. Hume on the other hand was hit with two goals in the first four minutes of the 2nd half against South Melbourne. They had no answers after that, other than one goal which wasn’t enough. Hume City 1 – Oakleigh Cannons 1.

Saturday 3:00 PM Green Gully Cavaliers (3rd) vx Southern Stars (10th)
Green Gully were trailing 0-2 at home to Richmond before drawing 3-3, while Southern Stars were on the receiving end of five Oakleigh goals last week. Southern Stars impress me somewhat with their fast attacking play, but disappoint themselves with their defence. Green Gully should pick up all three points this week, and I can’t see them losing to Stars. Green Gully 4 – Southern Stars 2.

Saturday 3:00 PM Northcote City (4th) vs Bentleigh Greens (5th)
The most important game for South Melbourne. This match will either make it more difficult or easier for South to enter the Top 5. Northcote beat Moreland 3-1 while Bentleigh copped a 91st minute equaliser against Dandenong last week. I’d say that Bentleigh are the form team going into this fixture, but at Northcote they might struggle. Northcote City 2 – Bentleigh Greens 2.

Saturday 7:00 PM Dandenong Thunder (1st) vs Heidelberg (12th)
The Bergers are gawn! They beat the Knights last week (again) and Dandenong had a bit of a struggle against a ten man Bentleigh. No bookmaker is giving the Bergers a chance on this one, and neither am I. You would have to be stupid to tip the Bergers this week. Dandenong Thunder 4 – Heidelberg 0.

Sunday 3:00 PM Moreland Zebras (11th) vs Richmond (8th)
Moreland had a 3-1 loss at Northcote while Richmond got a 3-3 at Gully after leading 0-2. As much as I have a gut feeling that Richmond will beat Moreland, I still think this game will be a draw. An exciting one too. Moreland Zebras 5 – Richmond 5.

Sunday 3:00 PM Melbourne Knights (9th) vs South Melbourne (7th)
The Knights lost once again to the Bergers 2-1, while South got its second win in a row against Hume City 2-1 at Lakeside. The first half wasn’t really exciting, but the second started off like a house on fire. In the 46th minute Steve Burton side footed an Andy Vlahos cross into the back of the net, and the second was probably one of the best we have seen at Lakeside in a while. Fernando hit a ball to Andy Vlahos who was just passing the half way line, Vlahos had Burton out wide on the right but decided to go alone. He beat the first, then the second defender in the area, while hitting a curling shot past the Hume keeper which bent in at the back post and sent the South faithful into an orgasmic frenzy only ever seen on Bukkake Sluts 4. Gavalas was beaten late in the game by a shot which one can be describes as a regulation save. Yeah OK, OK ,you say you had too many legs in front of you, but fuck me man, at least make an effort, it wasn’t exactly a blistering shot. What followed was some nervy moments for South, but the referee's whistle finally blew. A deserved win for South with a still under strength side. Tom Matthews has two more weeks while Rixon has 4. Other than that, a good day all round for everyone concerned. The trip down to Somers Street is always pretty good. They have the best cevaps in the league, and probably the best beer. This is a change for South fans, as we are visiting a team who actually has more than 20 fans not related to the players. The Knights are on a three game losing streak, with last weeks result against the Bergers sure to fire them and their fans up. But, this is a must win game for South and they way we are playing, I don’t see why we cannot beat the Knights. Melbourne Knights 0 - South Melbourne 3.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Angles - South Melbourne 2 Hume City 1

No bells and whistles in this piece. The experience just didn't live up to anything other than mediocrity except for a three minute period at the beginning of the second half.

I hadn't seen that kind of weather at a South home game for few years - perhaps as far back as the 3-1 win against Heidelberg back in 2006. Rain swept across the arena, sneaking into the stands, courtesy of a breeze that blew strongly towards the lake end. The 'toblerone' ad cushions were being blown all over the place, with the volunteer marshals trying ever more elaborate ways of holding them in place. Metal poles, sandbags, bunching them together, all of them futile. Eventually most of them were stacked against the fence which seemed to do the trick.

The first half was not dour per se, but it lacked a certain amount of oomph. Neither side was able to get much of note going, though they generally tried to play an on the ground, moving around style of game. There were a couple of headers that we should have done better with, but that was pretty much it.

In fact the most exciting thing to happen during the first half was when the ref stopped the game temporarily to remove a pair of scissors found on the pitch. How they got there is anyone's guess. Good thing no one was hurt.

The second half started first with a whimper, followed by a bang. After a botched kick off, South ended up scoring more or less directly from the kick off. Rhodri Payne managed to work his way to the byline, where his cross was brilliantly flicked into the net from a tight angle by Steve Burton. Maybe it was just me, but I reckon that on the second kickoff after the botched first one, Payne was already a good 10-15 metres inside the opposition half before the ball had even been kicked. Maybe I just saw it wrong though.

Andy Vlahos made it 2-0 soon after, with a goal that was all class, though also borne of necessity. Having found himself at the edge of the penalty area, and with negligible support, Vlahos cut in hit the ball into the opposite corner. Hume's keeper Oldfield, who had a good game, was no chance of saving it. It had been an exciting three minutes or so, but the question then became what would we do for the rest of the game.

As it turned out, we'd fluff several counter attacking opportunities (Joe Keenan's first one was probably the worst - why not just take a shot?), and let Hume back in the game with a goal that has divided those who saw it as to its merit. Hume's in form striker Hegarty collected the ball out wide on the right, still some distance out. None of the three or four South players chose to commit to him, deciding to hold off. Having eventually reached a more central position, Hegarty than unleashed what to some looked like a powerful shot, while to others, like myself, it seemed like a comparatively weak effort from distance.

Gavalas in the South goal stood rooted to his position in the middle of the goal, as the ball rolled into the near corner. Could he have saved it? Did he see it too late, what with all those bodies in the way? Did his lack of a dive or any sort of attempt to move across to the shot add culpability?

The goal obviously encouraged Hume and they came close on a few occasions to leveling the score, particularly in their use of aerial bombardment. The closest they came was when a a header near enough to the six yard box was saved brilliantly by Gavalas, acting on pure instinct to recover at least some of his reputation among those who blamed him for Hume's goal (and indeed, for his uninspiring goalkeeping stint so far in 2012).

We managed to eventually waste enough time, getting a valuable three points. Not every week can be 5-0 wins or awesome comebacks in injury time. Still, it doesn't mean I have to like the result any more the absolute bare minimum. Now we're three points from fifth, with Melbourne Knights away first up. Their season, in terms of finals aspirations, is pretty much done I reckon, and they aren't having the best of times at the moment, but they'll probably come out firing. There's no point in looking any further ahead than this week.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Gimme Shelter - Kiss of Death, Round 17, 2012

Friday 8:15 PM Bentleigh Greens (4th) vs Dandenong Thunder (1st)
Bentleigh put four past the Knights, while Dandenong had a 3-1 win against Northcote. Should be an interesting match. Bentleigh have the second best attack, while Dandy have the best defence. I don’t think Bentleigh will be good enough to beat Dandy however. Bentleigh Greens 1 – Dandy Thunder 3.

Friday 8:30 PM Oakleigh Cannons (2nd) vs Southern Stars (10th)
Oakleigh had a tin ass 2-3 win at Richmond while Southern Stars copped two goals in injury time to lose 2-3 against South Melbourne. I saw Oakleigh at Richmond last week. Not much chop. Southern Stars play anti-football and Oakleigh will be too good for them. Oakleigh Cannons 2 – Southern Stars 1.

Saturday 3:00 PM Green Gully Cavaliers (3rd) vs Richmond (7th)
Gully had an easy 1-2 away win at Moreland, and Richmond somehow lost to Oakleigh 2-3. Gully will win this one as Dobbo usually starts preparing his team for finals football around about now. Green Gully 2 – Richmond 0.

Saturday 3:00 PM Northcote City (5th) vs Moreland (11th)
Northcote lost 3-1 at Dandy and Moreland lost 2-1 at home to Gully. Both these teams are in negative goal difference, so they’re both pretty much a mixed bag with Moreland being pretty shit. Northcote should do the job on them, but I need a draw. Northcote City 2 – Moreland Zebras 2.

Saturday 3:00 PM Heidelberg United (12th) vs Melbourne Knights (9th)
Heidelberg lost 3-1 away at Hume, and the Knights got drilled a new one 0-4 against Bentleigh. Heidelberg has won one game all season in the VPL and that was against the Knights (not forgetting they also eliminated the Knights from the cup - Ed). The loss to Bentleigh came out of left field for the Knights, and some feathers might’ve been ruffled midweek at training. Who knows. Heidelberg will double their wins tally this season with a win over the Knights. Heidelberg 2 – Melbourne Knights 1.

Nicky Jacobs fronts up for the post-match interview
Sunday 5:00 PM South Melbourne (8th) vs Hume City (6th)
I’m still on a high from last week's come from behind 2-3 win by South against the Southern Stars. To be trailing 2-1 in the 91st and to have Steve Burton equalise was enough for me. Then in the 94th to have young Nicky Jacobs header in the winner was heart attack territory. Scenes of pandemonium, broken umbrellas, people hugging each other, slipping on the grassy knolls, jumpers and jackets being thrown to the ground in sheer elation, were scenes that haven’t been witnessed at a Hellas match since the time we beat Sydney Croatia at Middle Park after trailing 0-1 for the whole match. That day it was Angie Goutzioulis with a header that gave us the 2-1 win in the 91st. Total chaos. The team played well I thought, considering the absentees, Gus made the right subs at the right time, and it paid off. Southern Stars were pretty bad, but they hit the lead twice with basically two counter attacks. Gasparis had probably his game of the season, and Fernando looks like he’s back to his normal self again. Burton for me was best on ground. But, I still don’t understand why we persist in playing him with his back to goal. He’s a player that should be played through onto goal. Hence how he got the equaliser in the 91st. Nicky Jacobs did well when he came on. A few nervy touches to start off with, then out of nowhere he pops up with the winner in the 94th. All good for the young boy, but I think everyone should just calm down a notch. The step up from the youth to the senior team is bigger than people think. I’m not saying the youngsters didn’t do well when they came on, but all I'm saying is that they can’t be thrown straight into the deep end because they play well in the under 21’s. Would I start with the same eleven against Hume. Most likely not. If I have players to replace Norton and Petreski with, then I will replace them. I’m sick of hammering Norton. Petreski is good, but not at left back. With Dimi Tsiaris due back and I think Matthews (?) this week, then I’d slot them straight in. Would I have Jacobs on the bench for another stint? Definitely. If he can be rewarded with another 15-20 min experience in a senior match, it will do more good than harm, and Gus must be encouraged to start doing this if the senior players don’t look interested at training. Why wouldn’t you reward players who trained well and who will give you what they have? A youth player who was suspended last week is young Anthony Giannopoulos, better known as ‘Gia', who in my eyes should be on the senior bench week in/week out. He is the captain of the youth team, and probably their top scorer, and has scored most likely the goal of the season against Oakleigh a few weeks ago. He has been at South all his playing life, has passion, is a member of the club, and boy can he play. Any spots on the bench should be filled by him as a minimum. Hopefully he is given this opportunity soon, and he scores for the club he has grown to love. The celebrations should be AWOL. There is a new aura around South after the 2-3 against the Stars, and I see us making a late charge for the finals. Hold onto your hats people. South Melbourne 3 – Hume City 0.

Admin and general whinging.

  • SMFC should’ve ordered replacement umbrellas by this weeks match. I counted 4 absolutely gone after Jacobs winner.
  • Richmond Eagles. How about you guys seriously get some cover. Against Oakleigh I got absolutely soaked. FFV needs to investigate this. Plenty of rule breaches.

2012 Rules of Competition. Pg.49.
Section 3 – Spectator Amenities
Undercover seating
3.6 Undercover spectator seating for 500 people must be provided.

Public Address system
3.7 A fully functional Public Address (PA) system must be provided. The PA must be clearly audible to all parts of the venue, including social areas and operated on match day to make announcements to introduce players, announce scorers and provide emergency instructions to patrons.

Public toilets
3.1.1 Two toilet blocks must be provided for both male and female patrons (each section having a minimum of two cubicles) situated not more than 50 metres from the playing field.

Also, your facility is unsafe as fuck when it comes to buying a ticket.

Over and out.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Rixon suspension downgraded; Tsolakis suspended for two

News from the tribunal hearing is that Trent Rixon had his 12 match suspension reduced to six weeks - making him eligible to return for the round 22 match against Heidelberg. Coach 'Gus' Tsolakis (as he was listed on the tribunal hearing notice; nice one FFV) got two weeks and a fine of $1000.

I suppose we should be happy that we didn't come out of it worse than we came into it. First time for everything.