Monday, 31 December 2007

Day whatever: Compatible

For whatever reason the goddess Fortuna has now seen fit to make editing with Opera compatible, which is great. Also sorta fixed an admin/editing issue, so if you see at the bottom two 'Pauls', they're both me. Logo probably coming soon, manifesto probably sooner. Thanks to amongst those who few I have shown this blog to who have given encouragement.

While you were sleeping, part 2.


* During the pre-season, South defeats Oakleigh in the Hellenic Cup final on penalties, triggering the most half-arsed pitch invasion in history.

* Also during the pre-season, a young Dutch defender named Jasper Valentijn makes his mark, and is never seen again except in the annals of myspace.

* A highly professional membership drive (by VPL standards) is enacted, but despite the effort, the membership numbers remain essentially the same.

* A press-release is er, released, signifying South's intention of making a bid for the A-League. Lots of people get very excited, and hell, even optimistic.

* South gets off to a reasonable start, but poor squad management (everyone knew those players were going to leave for the A-League) coupled with a goalkeeping crisis, leads to some very inconsistent results, from which the side never truly recovers.

* Owing to a foofoorah between certain people at the Australian Open tennis and Water Polo championships, South decides to play its home match with the Melbourne Knights behind closed doors. The FFV says no. The Police have it both ways. The FFA looks the other way. South lose, as the game is never played, and the three points are awarded to the Knights, using some sort of FFV logic.

* A breakaway faction from the Clarendon Corner supporters group, calling itself Gate 1, forms.

* Despite playing pretty crappy football throughout the tournament, Australia almost in spite of itself, almost reaches the semi-finals of the 2007 Asian Cup.

* Halfway through the season South hosts the Melbourne Victory in a pre-season warm up match for the latter, and gets spanked 5-1, with Nathan Caldwell scoring for South. But the game will be remembered more for the large crowd (7,000), the large amount of flares ripped by the visiting fans, with one hitting fringe South player Andrew Bourakis in the head, and the argle-bargle which essentially lead to the dissolution of Gate 1, and which also earnt them the nickname, 'gate one game'. The optimism of the press-release dies a lonely death.

* South struggles to score for the rest of the season, except for a brilliant 5-2 thrashing of Oakleigh.

* South's finals chances come to a dispiriting end at Ralph Reserve against Western Suburbs, losing 3-0. A 2-0 win against Kingston in the last round follows, but no one really gives a toss.

* A bit of a clean out starts taking place.

* Some people, for reasons perhaps known only to themselves, start peddling the notion that 'big things' are in store for the club.

* In a rather strange coincidence, the club's coterie group is renamed Southern Cross, the same name as an alleged bid of the second Melbourne A-League license.

* South starts off preparation for season 2008 proper by winning two meaningless games against Altona Magic and Coburg United with a bunch of nobodies who still got to live one of my dreams by playing for South.

Friday, 28 December 2007

While you were sleeping, part 1

This is for those former readers of Park Life (and anyone who has just woken up from the last two years) to get them up to speed, more or less. Yes it's incomplete. Feel free to add stuff in the comments section, or maybe I'll accept your offer of joining me on this literary crusade.


* South fields a full strength side against the Oakleigh Cannons in the Hellenic Cup final, with hopes of winning not just the game, but also the $10,000 in prize money. They fail.

* A couple of days later, South takes out the FFV's pre-season cup with a very young squad against Fawkner Whittlesea, and wins only $5,000.

* After the big crowds against Heidelberg in all three games the previous season, and on a perfect day for football, an underwhelming crowd of about only 5,000 turn up in round 1 to watch South steal victory with two goals at the death.

* Australia plays Greece in a friendly, and a big crowd turns up and watches Australia win a pretty half arsed game.

* A few days later football's growing popularity is reiterated when the Matildas play Mexico. Despite the obstacles of soccer and world cup fever, a beautiful day and free entry, Bob Jane Stadium was bursting at the seams with the massive crowd of 150 patrons, including the massive contingent of 3 Green and Gold Army personnel.

* After losing a few players to the A-League during the season (Coveny, Salley) and probably some others to injury or 'bad' behaviour, South 'recruits' three players (Dino Djulbic, Andreas Oliveira and Antonion Naglieri) from the Frankston Pines. These players become a crucial part of the side immediately, though Naglieri will only be missed when he's gone.

* The World Cup comes around, Australia do quite well, and football becomes even less eviler.

* An injury to star striker Kevin Nelson sees him leave the club in acrimonious circumstances. The fact that he had the first touch of an elephant, mostly couldn't be arsed jumping, running or defending, and mostly only finding himself in correct positions by accident, has little to do with his departure.

* South finishes the regular season in third place, on the back particularly of strong form in derby games (5 wins and 1 draw against the Bergers, Knights and Preston).

* South earns a grand final place after consecutive wins against Green Gully and Altona Magic. In the grand final itself, also against the Magic, 5,100 or so people turn up on a cold and very windy day to see Gianni De Nittis head home Fernando De Moraes' cross from close range, to lead South to a 1-0 victory and its 8th state title. Most South fans are at least momentarily happy.

* World footballing legend and South's 1991 NSL championship coach Ferenc Puskas passes away. Thankfully, very little of his time in Australia is mentioned in the media, thus avoiding publicity for South Melbourne and any mention of football pre-2005 without reference to an ethnic riot.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Day 1: Incompatible

Have realised, much to my dismay, that this blogging software does not get along with the wonderful Opera browser, and thus I am being compelled to use Firefox. Either that or have text chopped off or have odd line breaks.

Zeus induces Chronos to vomit up his children

While searching for Lester Abalos and smfcboard simultaneously on google cache (the internet equivalent of an archaeological dig, only much less magical), I came across some bloke's old SMFC blog which, as he somewhat fatalistically predicted, only lasted a couple of weeks. His parting shot was if anyone wanted the url, he'd hand it over. That was in January 2006, so it's perhaps no surprise that my plea in late December 2007 to take over that blog has gone unheeded. So undermining my own tendencies of not trying very hard unless someone makes me, I decided to start my blog, which I know is a really cutting edge move.

I suppose this blog will contain the occassional match report, general thoughts on the club and game, sensible soccer 96/97 updates and mostly correct spelling and/or grammar. It will also eventually likely have some kind of logo, but at this moment I'm off to play Kartrider.