Monday, 31 December 2007

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.

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