Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Australia Day Cup - South Melbourne vs Perth Glory, 2004

It's been almost completely forgotten these days, but today marks the 10 year anniversary of what was the inaugural - and sadly also the last - Australia Day Cup match, as staged between South Melbourne and Perth Glory.

South and the Glory had built up a decent rivalry since the Glory's entry into the NSL, as South tended to do with all leading teams of a given era. Unlike the Glory's rivalry with the Melbourne Knights however, it didn't have the spitefulness to it, for lack of a better word.

Indeed it was built on the back of some great games (the midweek game from 1999 at Lakeside is perhaps the pinnacle for South fans), Con Boutsianis' defection/ouster to he Glory after that incident, and the fact that for whatever reasons, South had an appalling record in Perth.

While I think I have footage of the game somewhere, I don't have it uploaded yet, and will have to revisit this page at some time after I've uploaded it youtube. In the mean time, you can read about the game in Paul Jefferies' report for OzFootball, as well as Alan Clark's report from the same site.

It was a terrific game, with a bumper crowd, which somehow finished 0-0; South therefore retained the trophy. The trophy was kept in one of the glass cabinetns in our social club, until we had to put everything into storage. The photo of the trophy comes from that packing away period, when I was also taking photos of some of the items.

There were a whole bunch of festivities planned for the day, as well as a lot of effort put in, which you can read about in this preview from the South official site from back in the day. The trophy was even sponsored by SEN 1116. After the difficult years during the 1990s, with the club torn between trying to transition towards a more mainstream identity, while appeasing the corservative elements of the club, my feeling was that days like this were proof that we were gradually making the transition to something that could be the best of both worlds.

It's a pity that we're no longer in the position to continue this fixture, let alone the rivalry. Nor, as one friend noted, were we able to develop the then nascent rivalry with Adelaide United, which also pulled in some great crowds. Another case of what might have been.

4 comments:

  1. Fun fact: The previous season's game on Australia Day, South vs Wolves, also finished 0-0.

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  2. Looks like mey video sources - which are comprised almost entirely of wins - do not have this game.

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  3. But on the other hand, there was the famous Australia Day 2000 2-0 win over Olympic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylhJtjn3lTE

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  4. Another sad footnote to the NSL is that SEN1116 has "forgotten" it has any involvement in this. The match was even broadcast live on their fledgling station. One of the first proper live sporting contests they actually covered.

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